Recently my fiance and I took an airboat ride at Tom & Jerry’s Airboat Rides in Lake Panasoffkee right off Highway 75 and it was such a great experience! I actually put off posting about a couple of other places because I couldn’t wait to share this one.
As you can see from the photo gallery and videos above it really is a beautiful experience as well as a fun one. The day we went was pretty overcast so while my photos may not be the brightest, it made the ride much more pleasant since it was in the middle of August. August in Florida can be a little overwhelming so we definitely had no complaints! While our day was overcast, I still recommend that you always have sun protection. If you are bothered by bugs, I also would recommend some sort of protection from those as well. Fortunately they don’t like my family very well but it is a lake and swamp and mosquitos and other bugs were definitely around. I also want to add a reminder to bring some fluids! Even if you are used to the heat and even on overcast days you can get dehydrated very quickly. There are restrooms in an outbuilding near their office so there is no need to stress about too many fluids.
The ride lasts about an hour, give or take a few minutes, and you do need to get there just a little bit early. Our Captain was very informative of things along the drive. I wasn’t aware that Lake Panasoffkee (or Lake Pan) was 1 mile wide and 3 miles long and has a population of roughly 7,000 alligators! He really did a good job of making us feel safe, while at the same time having a great experience. As a heads up, it is recommended that you tip your Captain so you might want to bring some extra cash with you.
We only saw a couple of baby alligators during our tour and one very large one jumping in before I got a chance to take a photo, but seeing that few alligators on one of these tours is rare. So if you are like me and just can’t get enough of these modern day dinosaurs I really don’t think you will be disappointed.
No matter how many you see on the ride though, when you get back you have the option to take a photo with a real live alligator! There is no extra charge for this, and the photo will be on your own camera or cell phone so make sure you have one with you. I was super excited to finally hold one. They have a few really tiny ones in the front office as well.
I have more footage from the day in our Instagram page. You can find it under the “Tom & Jerry” highlights
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