Best places in Florida to Visit

The best places to see wild alligators in Florida

Hillsborough River State Park

Get Up Close
With Big Reptiles

If you're a fan of alligators, there's no better place to see them than in Florida. Find out where the locals get close, but not too close, to these majestic creatures.

Florida is known for its alligators for a reason. There are over a million wild alligators in Florida, and they can be found all over the state. Golf courses, retention ponds and even swimming pools have become homes to curious gators. Find out where you can see alligators in the wild when you visit Florida.

Merritt Island National Wildlife RefugeHillsborough River State Park

Just outside of Tampa, Hillsborough River State Park is a wild escape from city life. The clean and well-maintained park is a haven for campers, hikers and kayakers. Rent a bike, or rent a kayak to explore the wild twists and turns along the river. You're bound to see a gator, even if you take a short boardwalk stroll. Bring your camera, and never feed wild gators.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Ocala National ForestWild alligators don't care if they live just a few miles from a NASA launch site. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and nearby Kennedy Space Center are home to wild gators that sunbathe by trails and roads. Take a wildlife driving tour to see gators and dozens of species of wild birds from the comfort (and safety) of your car.

Home to over a dozen lakes as well as springs and rivers, Ocala National Forest is a treasure trove of alligator habitats. Located in Central Florida, it's an expansive park with campsites geared toward more-experienced hikers and campers. Take a day trip into the forest unless you're used to staying in isolated, primitive areas.

Everglades National ParkEverglades National Park

Due to the subtropical climate, Everglades National Park is an excellent place to spot gators year-round. Gators love warm weather and warm water, and they can frequently be found lounging alongside the boardwalk of the popular Anhinga Trail. Less than a mile long, this boardwalk trail is family-friendly and big on wildlife. Stay and play in Miami, and take a day trip out into the Everglades for gators galore.

Myakka River State Park

Just outside of Sarasota, Myakka River State Park wows visitors with untouched Florida landscape. A kayaker's paradise, it is a beautiful place to see alligators in the wild. While you're there, do not miss the canopy walkway, where a massive tower gives visitors a birds-eye view of the park.

Going to the Keys...

by Q2

I can recommend Marathon Key which is at the foot of the 7 mile bridge before you get to Key West.
There are really great places here, and many family hotels check out web sites, and Arthur Frommer's book on Florida which will give you great advise on types of places he recommends.
I flew from Miami to Key West, and then rented a car,then flew back.
I stayed at several Keys but can really recommend Marathon Key because it is so special, and especially that 7-mile bridge, a real wonder of engineering to see and enjoy.
Check out Pigeon Key for historical overview of how the keys were build

More than One Million Birds Died During Deepwater Horizon Disaster  — Audubon Magazine
It killed wildlife, tainted fisheries, and damaged coastal ecosystems from marshes in Louisiana to beaches in Florida.

Avalon Travel Publishing Watch It Made in the U.S.A.: A Visitor's Guide to the Best Factory Tours and Company Museums
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Where are some cheap resorts in the Florida/Alabama panhandle area?

With family activities near by, for a family reunion event

There are two areas in the Florida Panhandle that you'll find cheap resorts. The first is Pensacola Beach. It is a smaller area so the prices are reasonable and there is still enough activities to keep the family busy. You can find more about their hotels and resorts on . Another option that is still affordable but will have much more to do is Panama City Beach. They have built a ton of hotels and condos the past few years so the rates have gone down and the quality has gone up. You can visit for more info and hotels. Hope this helps!

Is there a clothing optional resort in the upper panhandle of Florida?

We are going on vacation and have an extra day to spend and I wanted to bring my other half to clothing optional resort for a day but we are only going into the upper panhandle... anyone know of one?

Map of clothing optional or nude resorts in Florida is here:

Naturist Resort near Pensacola might need your needs.

in mind though, this is a nudist resort, not a clothing optional one. If it's your significant other's first time - it might be a bit much.

I've never been to Riviera before, although I have been to Caliente in Tampa. While I realize that's not panhandle - I'd also point out that resort is indeed clothing optional (vice nude), it's also quite well done - many naturist clubs can be a bit rustic.

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