Are you looking for a thrilling heart pumping way to see the Florida Everglades? Then an Airboat ride in Everglades is the way to go. Zip through the water taking quick turns and floating over the swamp grasses. Not only is it exciting it’s also the best way to see alligators in Florida. Find out why our favorite airboat ride is Corrie Billie’s Airboat rides and why you’ll love it too. When your done with your ride head to Everglade City Florida for some great food and entertainment. Plan a fun and memorable family day out with an Airboat ride and visit to Everglade City.
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Corrie Billie’s Airboat Ride
If you are staying in Naples Florida or Marco Island Corrie Billie’s is the closest Airboat ride location. It’s only about a half hour drive away which makes it a great side trip from Naples and Marco Island. Even though it’s close you’ll feel like your hundreds of miles away when you are in their 200 acre private preserve.
You will arrive at a small parking lot and will need to head into the shop to check in. Before you go into the shop take a look in the small waterway by the cars for alligators. We saw several before we even went on the boat ride. Inside the shop you will find a bathroom and small things to purchase besides the reservation desk. I highly recommend you make reservations especially in season as they book up quickly.
Each passenger will be given a set of headphone to wear for the ride. In the boat there are no seat belts but even when we were going fast we felt safe in the boat. The boats also have cushions for your comfort.
Your guide for the ride is a local Floridian with lots of knowledge about the wildlife and plants in the area. You will make several stops where you take your headphones off and the driver tells you about the area and what to look for in the preserve. Our guide was great at answering all of our question.
Beside the speed and joy of riding the boat most passengers want to see some wildlife. You are pretty much guaranteed to see tons of bird species while you are out there. The tricky one to see is alligators. The guides usually have an idea of where to look for the gators especially later in the day when they have taken more groups out to look. We got luck and saw a couple. The guide threw out some Marshmallows and one swam right up to our boat. It was scary and thrilling all at once. Our kids loved it! Don’t worry we were totally safe in the boat.
If you don’t get to see gators on your ride don’t worry all passengers get a chance to hold a live baby alligator after the ride. If you don’t want to hold one you can also just pet it to see how the skin feels. This was another area our kids really enjoyed.
Why we choose Corrie Billie’s Airboat Rides
With so many airboat rides in the Everglades here’s why choose Corrie Billie’s Airboat Rides.
- Their boats can hold up to 10 people most other companies only hold 6 passengers. If you have a large group this boat is a good option so you can go on the ride together.
- A private 200 Acre private preserve means you won’t see other boat companies coming through and scarring off the wildlife.
- The option to hold an Alligator. We figured if we didn’t see an alligators on the airboat ride at least the kids would get to hold one.
- We liked that they have headphone included. This may be true for the other companies too but I wasn’t quite sure.
- It was similarly priced to the other airboat companies.
Slight downsides for the Corrie Bille’s Airboat Rides
- Some of the other airboat companies include an animal sanctuary in the ticket price which we thought the kids would have enjoyed.
- It would have been nice if their headphones had a two way radio so you could talk to the guide while the boat was going. This wasn’t really a big deal but was offered on another boat company.
Overall the Corrie Bille’s Airboat Ride was a great experience for our whole family. Our group ranged in age from seven to 50 years old and all enjoyed it. Even the teenagers had a blast. If your in the southwest Florida area I would definitely add this to your must do list.
Address: 20610 TAMIAMI TRAIL EAST NAPLES, FL 34114
Link to Corrie Billie’s Airboat Rides
Here are a few things we took on our airboat ride. I highly recommend the fanny pack as there is no where to put a purse or backpack on the boat ride. It was perfect to quickly get out my phone for pictures when the boat stopped.
Everglade City FL
If you want to make your airboat ride into a full day trip from Naples, Marco Island or Miami then consider visiting Everglade City FL too. In Everglade City you’ll find a small town with a great history and several fun things to do. Check out a few of them below.
Museum of the Everglades
This cute and free Museum is a great way for you to learn the history of the area from early Native American times to the present. At the Museum of the Everglades you will see several exhibits and a video about the area. Plan to spend around 15-30 minutes visiting.
Address: 105 W. Broadway, Everglade City Fl
Gulf Coast Visitor Center
Gulf Coast Visitor Center is part of the Everglades National Parks system. Unfortunately the building was wiped out in the last hurricane and currently it’s a large trailer instead of a building. You can still find some small displays about the Everglades waterways inside. Plus there are rangers to answer any of your questions. Outside you will find several boat launches and picnic tables. This would be a great spot to have a picnic lunch and watch the boats head into the everglades. There are also restroom facilities at this stop.
Address: 815 Oyster Bar Lane, Everglades City, FL
Ted Smallwood Store
Located in the 10,000 Island’s Chokoloskee Island it is considered one of the last great frontiers in Florida. Ted Smallwoods Store was the first trading posts in the area and was established in 1906. The trading post was located in a remote and isolated area where they traded furs, farm goods, food and other survival items. Step into this historically preserved store and learn the history of the Native Americans in the area and the white settlers. Find out how they were able to survive in this desolate frontier.
To get to Ted Smallwoods’s store you need to drive over a land bridge from Everglade City to Chokoloskee Island. Here you will find Ted Smallwoods store located in a beautiful waterfront spot. This really was a fascinating stop and I would highly recommend it. Even the kids enjoyed see how people use to live in the area, especially the Smallwood children. There is a fee of $5.00 per person to enter.
Address: 360 Mamie St., Chokoloskee FL
Triad Seafood Market & Cafe
By now you’ll be hungry and looking for a fun lunch spot in Everglade City. I suggest you check out a local favorite Triad Seafood Market & Cafe. It’s a no frills place with picnic bench tables looking right over the water and great seafood. This local cafe offers fresh catch and local delicacies. We tried and enjoyed conch, softshell blue crab sandwiches, Claim Strips, and Alligator (tastes like chicken). In season they also have all you can eat Stone Crab. Kids meals are on the menu too.
Best part of this restaurant though was seeing dolphins swim by while we ate. It was for sure a highlight of the day.
Address: 401 School Drive, Everglade City
What Else to See in Southwest Florida
Big Cypress National Preserve
If you missed out on alligators and want to see some more great wildlife and nature head to Big Cypress National Preserve. It’s located on Tamiami Trail near the entrance to Everglade City. Here you will find cool boardwalks to view the diverse mix of pines, hardwoods, mangrove forest and prairie. It’s also the best place in southwest Florida we have found to see alligators. We saw some at almost every stop along the national preserve. Find out where to stop and what to see in my Big Cypress National Preserve Guide.
Naples & Marco Island
Looking for more fun things to do in Southwest Florida. Visit the beautiful beaches and family activities in Naples and Marco Island. In Naples you’ll find a cool Children’s Museum, Zoo, fun restaurants and great shops. While in Marco Island you’ll get a more laid back beach vibe with small restaurants and beautiful Tigertail beach. Learn more in my Family Guides to Naples and Marco Island.
So are you ready for your Airboat ride and visit to Everglade City? Our family did an airboat ride, Everglade city and Big Cypress National Preserve in one day and it was a blast. I think your family will love it too. It’s a perfect day trip from Marco Island and Naples. Do you have any questions?Please leave them in the comments I love to hear from my readers.
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