Bright and early, up for breakfast at the hotel then headed down to Black Hammock off of Fish Camp road for the Airboat Tour of the wildlife in Lake Jessup. I was a bit nervous last time I was on an airboat was back in middle school for a class field trip, but I was quickly over that as our captain Bo took us on a ride to remember, and I was able to grab some pretty awesome shots.

Lake Jesup is in a pretty ideal location, 20 min from Orlando and around 45 min from Disney World hotels. It is also home to a pretty impressive number of gators (apart from Lake Okeechobee), you can thank Walt Disney for that.

When Disney World was first starting out the gators were actually on the endangered species list so killing them was (thankfully) illegal so Disney had to transport every single gator that was found and they were transferred to Lake Jesup and other surrounding lakes.

Sadly, no gators were spotted amongst the 100-year-old cypress trees, bird sanctuaries and the occasional cow in the water but on the upside, we had the chance to hold a baby gator up close and personal, he was adorable but pretty sure that would be a no on the pet list.

The wild life out here is breathtaking:

Recent storms flooded their pasture but these cows adapt

Other Highlights from Black Hammock:

What to know before you go:

This place is VERY kid friendly and educational. A picture with a baby gator is free if you purchased an airboat tour. It….is…worth…it!

Arrive 30min-1 hr early before your reservation, no worries if you do get there early as there is plenty of things to check out while you are there.

They have a bird sanctuary and a full-service restaurant so you can grab a bit to eat before you are ready to board.


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