• Spot alligators at Audubon Corkscrew Sanctuary
    Spot alligators at Audubon Corkscrew Sanctuary
  • See alligators at the Naples Zoo
    See alligators at the Naples Zoo
  • Baby alligators at Conservancy of Southwest Florida
    Baby alligators at Conservancy of Southwest Florida
  • Naples zookeeper talks about alligators
    Naples zookeeper talks about alligators
  • Alligators at Everglades Wonder Gardens
    Alligators at Everglades Wonder Gardens
  • Golf with alligators at Smugglers Cove
    Golf with alligators at Smugglers Cove
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When visitors think of Florida, they naturally think of alligators.

Florida has an estimated 1.3 million alligators living in lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps in all 67 counties of the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

There are many opportunities to view alligators in a safe environment in Southwest Florida. Here are some of our recommendations where you can safely see the reptile.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

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Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is located off Goodlette-Frank Road. Visitors can view alligators in Alligator Bay. Surrounding the waters of Alligator Bay are many tropical plants that lay among the alligators swimming and bathing. Lauren Kummer via Wochit

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is located off Goodlette-Frank Road. Visitors can view alligators in Alligator Bay. Surrounding the waters of Alligator Bay are many tropical plants that lay among the alligators swimming and bathing. The Alligator Bay training session happens every day where visitors can watch as zookeepers interact with the gators. Zookeepers also answer questions from visitors during the training session. (1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples, FL, 34102 | 239-262-5409 www.napleszoo.org)

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Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is located off Goodlette-Frank Road. Visitors can view alligators in Alligator Bay. Surrounding the waters of Alligator Bay are many tropical plants that lay among the alligators swimming and bathing. Lauren Kummer via Wochit

Everglades Alligator Farm

According to their website, Everglades Alligator Farm is the oldest alligator farm in South Florida. At the alligator farm, visitors can see a live alligator show and an alligator feeding demonstration. Experts handle live alligators while educating guests on their existence. If you happen to be there during alligator feeding, you will also learn and see how gators eat their prey. (40351 SW 192 Avenue, Homestead, FL, 33034 | 305-248-9711 www.everglades.com)

Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

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At Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, visitors can walk around a 2-mile loop in search of alligators and other Florida wildlife. Lauren Kummer via Wochit

At Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, visitors can walk around a 2-mile loop in search of alligators and other Florida wildlife. Although seeing an alligator is not guaranteed, the sanctuary said it is extremely common to see one or many of them. If you opt for a shorter walk, there is also a 1-mile loop that visitors can take to see alligators. Visitors may even take a guided tour to learn facts about the native creatures and other native plants and animals, like bald cypress trees or gopher tortoises. (375 Sanctuary Road West, Naples, FL, 34120 | 239-348-9151 corkscrew.audubon.org)

Shark Valley

Shark Valley is located in Everglades National Park off U.S. 41. Alligators are the largest creatures living within the Everglades, according to their website.  It is easy to spot gators laying along the rivers in the grass at Shark Valley. Don't forget to bring your camera because you will be able to get close up shots of gators in their natural habitat. You can also take a tram tour or bicycle tour to learn historical facts about alligators and other Florida wildlife like the Great White Heron. (36000 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33194 | 305-221-8455 www.sharkvalleytramtours.com)

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

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Located in Fort Myers Beach, Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf is a place to take kids to play while also getting a chance to see one of Florida's most popular creatures. In the middle of the mini golf course is an area that contains about 20 to 30 juvenile alligators, according to their website. Lauren Kummer via Wochit

Located in Fort Myers Beach, Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf is a place to take kids to play while also getting a chance to see one of Florida's most popular creatures. In the middle of the mini golf course is an area that contains about 20 to 30 juvenile alligators, according to their website. This area is an educational center for kids and adults to learn about these amazing creatures and their habits. Visitors also have the opportunity to feed alligators with old fashioned bamboo fishing poles. (17450 San Carlos Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL, 33931 | 239-466-5855 www.smugglersgolf.com)

Big Cypress National Preserve

Depending on the time of year, it is very likely for visitors to see alligators at Big Cypress National Preserve from any of the four boardwalks -- but it is not guaranteed. All boardwalks take about five minutes which makes it easy to walk across the boardwalk.  You can also stop by both visitors located on each side of the preserve to get general information about wildlife. (33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL, 34141 | 239-695-4758 www.nps.gov)

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Shell Factory and Nature Park

The 4.5-acre Shell Factory and Nature Park is located off U.S. 41. Visitors can see alligators through their "Gator Slough" exhibit. You can watch alligators swim in the water or sunbathe on land. Don't worry about getting too close because the area is enclosed for your safety. Visitors can also see other wildlife exhibits in the nature center like lemurs, raccoons and a zebra. (2787 North Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, FL, 33903 | 239-995-2141 www.shellfactory.com)

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

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In the nature center of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, visitors can see alligators up close. The Dalton Discovery Center allows guests to walk through dry uplands and watch baby American alligators as they swim in their tank. They currently have three baby American alligators named Peanut, Butter and Jelly. Lauren Kummer via Wochit

In the nature center of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, visitors can see alligators up close. The Dalton Discovery Center allows guests to walk through dry uplands and watch baby American alligators as they swim in their tank. They currently have three baby American alligators named Peanut, Butter and Jelly. Visitors can get close to the alligators because there is only a glass tank separating them. The conservancy also has information on alligators including how they live. (1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples, FL, 34102 | 239-262-0304 www.conservancy.org)

Everglades Wonder Gardens

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Everglades Wonder Gardens is home to one of Florida's oldest creatures. It has 38 alligators in two enclosed areas for visitors to see. Lauren Kummer via Wochit

Everglades Wonder Gardens is home to one of Florida's oldest creatures. It has 38 alligators in two enclosed areas for visitors to see. If you're there on a Saturday you may even experience the alligator fishing event where alligators can be fed by visitors. The two areas are connected and there is a boardwalk for visitors to step out on so they can get a closer look at the gators. Among the alligators, you can also see other wildlife like flamingos and iguanas. (27180 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs, FL, 34135 | 239-992-2591 www.evergladeswondergardens.com)

Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours

Experience the alligator park as well as a live alligator show at Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours. Visitors can watch a professional handler show off the beauty of the alligator, express their knowledge and entertain you with skills like holding an alligator's mouth open during a live show. After the show, visitors can hug a juvenile alligator. Make sure to bring your camera because a picture with an alligator is something you want to capture. (32330 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, 34141 | 239-695-2781 www.wootenseverglades.com)

Everglades National Park

There are more than 200,000 alligators in the Everglades so there is a good chance you'll see a few during your visit. Everglades National Park offers guests the ability to see the American alligator as a baby and an adult. According to their website, no other animal is more closely identified to the Everglades than the American alligator. The Everglades spans more than 1.5 million acres reaching from Miami to Everglades City or Homestead. There are four visitor centers at this park including Shark Valley and Ernest Coe. (4001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL, 33034 | 305-242-7700 www.nps.gov)

Let us know where you've seen alligators. You can share your pictures and experiences to our Facebook page.

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