Trip Planning

Great Places to See Alligators

For those looking to see alligators, check out Jeff Crider's tips on where to go!

Americans are fascinated with North American predator species, whether it’s grizzly bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes out West, or alligators across the Southeast.

Alligators are particularly captivating because of their size and frightening dinosaur-like appearance, with male adults growing up to 11 feet or more in length and weighing nearly 1,000 pounds. They typically inhabit freshwater swamps, bayous and marshes. While they inhabit the entire Southeast from Texas to the Carolinas, the greatest numbers of alligators can be found in Louisiana and Florida.

While people often take airboat tours to see alligators in the wild, alligators can also be seen from trails and roadways in national parks and wildlife preserves throughout the Southeast, which also has a large number of aquariums and other facilities where alligators can be viewed in captivity. Here’s a sampling of popular alligator viewing locations across the Southeast with nearby campgrounds that can be used as base camps along the way.


Alligators can be seen in many areas of Florida. Following are recommendations on great places to see alligators in each region of the state.

Northwest Florida

Gator Beach in Destin

Nearby campgrounds include Camping on the Gulf in Miramar Beach and Destin West RV Resort in Fort Walton Beach.

Edward Ball Wakulla State Park

Nearby campgrounds include Carabelle Beach RV Resort in Carabelle and Tallahassee RV Park in Tallahassee.

Northeast Florida

St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Nearby campgrounds include North Beach Camp Resort in St. Augustine; St. Augustine Beach KOA in St. Augustine and

Sun Outdoors St. Augustine.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Jungle Adventures.

Nearby campgrounds include Indian River RV Park in Titusville and The Great Outdoors RV Resort in Titusville.

Greater Orlando

Lake Kissimmee State Park and Gatorland.

Nearby campgrounds include:

Encore Tropical Palms RV Resort in Kissimmee

Orlando / Kissimmee KOA Holiday in Kissimmee

Stage Stop Campground in Winter Garden

Thousand Trails Orlando in Clermont

Greater Tampa

Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center in Madeira Beach, Florida Aquarium in Tampa, and Hillsborough River State Park.

Nearby campgrounds include:

Bay Bayou RV Resort in Tampa

Fisherman's Cove RV Resort in Palmetto

Sun RV Communities Tampa East in Dover

The Tides RV Resort in Palmetto

Greater Sarasota

Myakka River State Park

Nearby campgrounds include Linger Lodge RV Park in Bradenton and Sun Outdoors Sarasota in Sarasota.

Lake Okeechobee Area


Nearby campgrounds include Okeechobee KOA Resort in Okeechobee and Silver Palms RV Resort in Okeechobee.

Southern Florida

Big Cypress National Preserve

Nearby campgrounds include Davie / Ft. Lauderdale KOA Holiday in Davie and Yacht Haven Park & Marina in Ft. Lauderdale.

Everglades National Park

Nearby campgrounds include Palm Garden RV Park in Homestead and Sun Outdoors Key Largo in Key Largo


Horton Pond at Jekyll Island

Nearby campgrounds include Jekyll Island Campground.

Okefenokee Swamp

Nearby campgrounds include Okefenokee Pasttimes Cabins and Campground in Folkston and Shady Grove RV Park in Waycross.


Caddo Lake

Several campgrounds located on both the Louisiana and Texas shores of Caddo Lake.

Creole Nature Trail in Lake Charles

Nearby campgrounds include Osprey Lakes RV Park in St. Charles.

Cypress Island Natural Preserve at Lake Martin

Nearby campgrounds include Lafayette KOA Holiday in Scott

Golden Ranch Farms in Gheens

Nearby campgrounds include J's Place RV Park in Paradis.

South Carolina

Hilton Head Island: This island has numerous locations to see alligators. Several companies, including H20 Sports, also offer boat tours to see alligators and other wildlife.

Nearby campgrounds include Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort on Hilton Head Islandand Hilton Head National RV Resort in Bluffton.

Lake Marion

Nearby campgrounds include Taylor's Landing and Campground in Eutawville.

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.