Alligators are common in Florida and it is one of the things that come to mind when people think of the state. There are close to 1.3 million of these reptiles in the state but that has not always the case. Crocodiles and alligators were on the brink of extinction a few years back but aggressive conservation efforts helped stop the decline. At present, it is easy to spot these reptiles sunning themselves on golf courses, wildlife parks, rivers, and freshwater lakes. Here are some of our top recommendations of the locations where you can safely see crocodiles/alligators near Miami Beach.
Naples Zoo – Caribbean Gardens
Naples Zoo is found inside the beautiful Caribbean Gardens. It is located on Goodlette-Frank Road and visitors get to see alligators when they visit the Alligator Bay. The bay is surrounded by tropical plants that provide the perfect setting for the alligators to relax. Training sessions happen every day and visitors get to watch the zookeepers interacting with the gators. They also answer questions from the visitors and this makes a visit to Naples Zoo the perfect family outing for the kids to learn more about the reptiles and other wildlife.
Everglades Alligator Farm
This is the oldest alligator farm in the region and this makes it the perfect spot to view and learn about alligators. Experts at the farm hold live demonstrations when explaining about the alligators at the farm. The live feeding demonstration is another attraction at the farm as it provides you with the chance to witness the alligators eating their prey. Bring your camera to take pictures of the alligators in their natural habitat.
Cockscrew Swamp Sanctuary
The Cockscrew Swamp Sanctuary is another location that we highly recommend if you want to see alligators. Visitors get to explore a 2-mile loop within the sanctuary in search of crocodiles and other wildlife that are found in Florida. It is not a guarantee that you will see them but on most occasions, visitors get to see one or even a bunch of alligators. The tours are guided and this way, visitors get to learn a lot about the different animals found in the sanctuary.
Shark Valley is located within Everglades National Park and it has lots of alligators for you to see. You can spot them moving in the rivers or out in the grass as they enjoy the sunshine. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture up-close shots of the alligators in their natural habitat. Other than seeing and learning about alligators, a visit to Shark Valley allows you to learn about other wildlife found within the park like the white heron.
Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf
The Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf is a great place to take your kids for them to learn about one of the popular creatures in Florida. 20 to 30 juvenile crocodiles are found in a swamp within the establishment making it the best educational center for the little ones to learn about crocodiles and their habitat. Visitors also get the chance to feed the alligators using bamboo fishing poles.
Best Places Where to Wakeboard near Miami Beach
Miami Beach is an ideal location for water sports activities. Its majestic blue waters are a sight to behold and this is sure to get you in the mood for some water sports action. Wakeboarding emerged long after waterskiing and other water sports but it has taken the industry by storm. Locals and visitors can’t get enough of it and if you are within the region and are looking to ride a wakeboard, we present to you the best wakeboard locations near Miami Beach.
- Miami Watersports Paradise
Miami Watersports Paradise was founded in 2012 by Celine and Franck who are qualified wakeboard coaches. They have a nice training program and excellent watersports equipment making them one of the best wakeboard schools in the region. They have qualified trainers as part of their team and this will make it easy for you to master the tricks of the sport and ride like a pro. Other than wakeboarding, Miami Watersports Paradise also offers Tubing, wake surf, and waterskiing.
- Gator Bait Wakeboard School Miami
The Gator Bait Wakeboard School is located on the Key Biscayne area and it has all the facilities that are required for wakeboarding. Members of the school get to use Hyperlite wakeboards, Wetsuits, and O’Neill Life vests that make it easy to understand the lessons and have a good time. They offer wakeboarding, wake surfing waterskiing, and wake skating behind their new Super Air Nautique G25 that was launched in 2018. The school has a proper wakeboarding curriculum and this makes it the perfect establishment to improve your riding skills. They have 3 riding locations that are used alternatively depending on the direction of the wind so as to ensure that riders wakeboard in the best conditions.
- Miami Watersports Complex
The Miami Watersports complex is another great location to consider if you are looking for a place to wakeboard near Miami Beach. It contains a 90-acre fresh water facility located in Amelia Earhart Park. They offer riding lessons to those who are trying the sport out for the first time as well as expert wakeboarders who are looking to boost their riding skills. MWC has 2 full-sized cable systems that have been designed in the latest technology to make it easy for riders to have a good time. They also have all the gear that you will need to make your wakeboard excursions a success.
- Miami Wake Academy
The Miami Wake Academy is located at the Key Biscayne area which is one of the best locations for watersports. The academy is small in size and this makes it ideal for those who desire a personal and immersive wakeboarding experience. You are assured of spectacular views as you ride your wakeboard and this is another reason to join the academy.
- Peconic Watersports Miami
The Peconic Watersports Miami is located in Coconut Groove. They offer watersports riding lessons and charters on their Nautique wakeboard boat that was launched in 2016. Other than wakeboarding, the other water sports that are offered at the facility include waterskiing, tubing, and wake surfing. They offer wakeboarding lessons to beginners and experienced riders.
The holidays are in full swing at this time of the year and to celebrate the season, there are a lot of fun-filled family events to look forward to. Decembers in South Beach are not that cold like in other locations and this presents you with the chance to enjoy yourself outdoors. With the perfect mix of culture, art, and nature, South Beach stands out as the perfect destination for your winter gateway and in this article, we will highlight some of the best holiday attractions and events to look forward to in South Beach in December 2019.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Santa’s Enchanted Forest enters its final months and this presents you with one more chance to visit the park if you have not done so already. The theme park is open to all and this makes it a great outing for the whole family. Bring the kids over and let them enjoy the gigantic Christmas tree that will be on display at the park. There will be fancy rides for all to enjoy and speed cars to race. You can get day passes or seasonal tickets for the event.
Art Basel: Dec 3 – 8
Every year at the start of December, the city transforms into an art hub thanks to the Art Basel event that brings together thousands of art dealers, artists, collectors, and enthusiasts. This year’s event is expected to draw 70,000+ participants from different parts of the world to celebrate the diversity of art in Miami. Leading galleries from across the globe have signed up to display their works and you can expect to see paintings, installations, films, and photographs of the highest quality at the event.
Orange Bowl: Dec 30
The Orange Bowl tournament is one of the most anticipated sporting events in South Beach. The best of college football talent will meet off in the playoffs and this promises to be a great night for fans of the sport. This year’s event marks 83 years since the Orange Bowl committee was set up to boost tourism in the region through an annual football competition. The event will be held at the Hard Rock Stadium from 8 pm.
Madonna Madame X Tour: Dec 19
Madonna returns to the city she calls home on Dec 19 for the Madonna Madame X tour. This is her 14th studio album and it is a collection of 15 songs that celebrate her association with Latin music having spent past few years living in Lisbon, Portugal. The event will take place at the Fillmore Miami Beach and this is your chance to meet one of the greatest pop stars of our time.
New Year’s Eve: Dec 31
New Year’s Eve in South Beach is special in that, they don’t drop a giant ball as other cities do. Instead, they hoist a giant LED to the sky and start a fireworks display when it gets to the top of a building. The ball is timed to reach the top of the building at midnight and this year’s celebrations will take Intercontinental hotel on Bayfront Park.