Gator Country Alligator Park, also known as “Airboat Adventures,” is a memorable experience for people of all ages. Situated less than 20 minutes from Panama City Beach, you’ll feel like you’re deep in swamp country, or even in another time altogether!
This attraction is perfectly nestled between West Bay Creek and the Grand Lagoon. The location offers an environment rich with wildlife including American bald eagles, ospreys, herons, dolphins, and ALLIGATORS!
On a recent trip to take an Eco Tour, we started our adventure with an educational demonstration session. The tour group was a reasonable size, and included kids of all ages (no little ones under 4 allowed) adults. The kids in our group were delighted to get to hold live baby alligators with the help of the capable Gator Country crew.
The experience of seeing these powerful creatures up close in a safe, structured setting, is hard to put in words, but it will definitely give you goosebumps! If you’re lucky, they’ll even bring out Bubba, a longtime star of the Gator Country show who is now over 20 years old. Bubba is over 7 feet long, and is a fully trained alligator who responds to voice commands.
No matter which alligators you see, you’ll get a surprising amount of educational information on alligator anatomy and behavior. This education combined with getting up close and person with gators is practically worth the price of admission.
Unlike some of the other alligator tour companies in the southeast, Gator Country makes a clear distinction between their trained alligators and the alligators who live in the wild. The crew is clearly knowledgeable, and has great respect for both the trained gators, as well as those who live free and wild in the swampy waters.
The tour itself can be a wild ride, so prepare to hang on to your smallest children, and ensure any elderly members of your party can stay upright and hold on to the sides of the boat. The captains are all U.S. Coast guard licensed and put safety first, but they are also there to entertain. Expect some thrilling 360 degree turns that will get your heart pumping!
Whether you see an alligator or not, the experience of zooming around a swamp is a total delight. On our excursion, we got to see some dolphins playing not far from the wake of the airboat, as well as a few herons relaxing near the coast. Our captain was friendly and high energy, and kept our group both entertained and informed about the habitat. We explored narrow waterways and got a unique perspective on the area that you just couldn’t get otherwise. And, after nearly 45 minutes, we spotted two live alligators on shore before they slipped back into the water and swam away!
An exciting experience, with plenty of chances to take great photos, make awesome memories, and experience the thrill of speeding through the swamps, Gator Country Alligator Park offers great value for families, groups of friends, or couples looking to experience something a little wild on their trip to Panama City Beach.
-Alligators tend to be “crepuscular” creatures, meaning that they are active at twilight. Upgrade to the Sunset Cruise and you’ll likely have an even better chance to see real live, wild alligators in their natural habitat.