Image Map

Top Add

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Florida Alligator Tourism

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love getting way too close to alligators.   The state of Florida offers plenty of fun for those who love putting their hands all over gators, like this legitmate business, that sells alligator hugs out of the back of a van in the middle of the everglades.

Sadly, there was no one around when I stopped by, but their promotional material was very intriguing.

Now, hugging alligators may not be on everyone's bucket list.  There are plenty less extreme options for those who want the true Gator experience of the sunshine state.

I would recommend stopping and paying homage to the three largest Alligator sculptures in the world. 

This first is the smallest, but is perhaps the most iconic.  This Giant Gator head was formerly the entrance to Gatorland in Orlando, FL, perhaps the country's best known Alligator based attraction.  When the main building burned down it damaged the head, but they were able to restore it.  Sadly, it no longer functions as the entrance, but it still lends itself to a classic tourist photo op.

And of course any Gator lover would be satisfied with a stop a Gatorland, where you can witness the pinnacle of Gator Tourist: Alligator Wrestling.

The second largest Gator is just a short drive away in Kissimee, FL, sitting outside a closed down Alligator attraction.

Its a little rough, but still an impressive sight as it hoists a real jeep in its mouth.  No longer associated with a tourist attraction, it now serves as a mascot to a sketchy motel.

For the king of kings you must head down to further south to Christmas, FL and witness the greatness that is Swampy, the world's largest (fake) alligator.

 His head serves as the entrance to the "Jungle Adventure" roadside zoo.

Gators are always a great way to draw in tourist, for example I stopped at a roadside fruit stand just because of this sign.

For some reason a 13 foot gator just doesn't look as big close up.

That may not be that impressive, but I did spend money on this.

So I guess they won.

I did however, find this awesome upright taxidermied Gator at another roadside fruit/firework stand.

Of course any true Florida tourist wants to take a piece of Florida home with them.  This of course means taking a piece of an alligator home with them.

The souvenir that everyone needs is a genuine gator head.  Which are sold at about every store in Florida.

Play us out singing Gator.......

 The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to e-mail me at
and check out my Flickr Photostream