Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park

Today we went to Myakka River State Park in Sarasota to see the real Florida, away from ballparks and retirement communities. At $6 a car, it is what my grandfather calls “a good take.”  My family loves the great outdoors, a good deal, and the chance to learn something. State and  National Parks are at the intersection of these, so we go to them as often as we can.  This is a great place to get away from the theme parks and strip malls that Florida is usually associated with for vacationers. We took a ride on one of the world’s two largest airboats throughout the park, which features 12 miles of river. The guide took us to various spots where gators are known to hang out, and he did not disappoint. It was the middle of the day so most of the alligators were sunning themselves, but we also got to see a few in the water. It’s always so hard to imagine how animals camouflage themselves until I see it in action in the wild. I know there are a lot of places to go see alligators in Florida, but I prefer to see animals in their natural habitats and to support organizations that protect the animals and their habitats. We were also able to get incredibly close, and once the airboat cut its engine we floated up quite close to the alligators without bothering them. At $12 a pop for adults, we found the hour-long ride throughout Myakka River State Park to be very educational and well worth the money–definitely a highlight of our stay. Two boats operate daily...

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