The Alligator Farm zoological park in St. Augustine hosted my family the first afternoon of our vacation and we absolutely loved it! Collectively, we ranked the Alligator Farm the #1 attraction in the whole St. Augustine area. Do not let the name fool you; this park has much more than just alligators, including a wide 7 acre menagerie of birds, mammals, and reptiles.
Founded in 1893, the Alligator Farm is one of the oldest zoos in the country. Each part of the park is broken into categories based on the type of species or continent they are found on. One of their premier exhibits houses all 23 species of crocodiles from 4 different continents. It is said to be the only facility in the world that offers that extensive of a collection of crocodiles. Wildlife shows, including alligator feedings at the lagoon, are offered throughout the day. It was cool watching the hundreds of gators gathering and crawling on top of each other trying to get the food, which happened to be rats.
During our visit, we saw albino alligators, lemurs, caiman turtles, Galapagos tortoises, and dozens of exotic and amazing birds. The Komodo Dragon exhibit was one of my favorites, featuring the world’s largest living lizard whose saliva alone is fatal. Another fun exhibit was the upscale museum devoted to Gomek, 18 feet long, 2,000 pound crocodile that was found in Papua New Guinea and his remains donated to the park upon his death.
The Native Bird Rookery has gorgeous egrets, ibis, spoonbills, and wood storks nesting in the oak trees around the Alligator Swamp. There were hundreds of them and they made for gorgeous pictures. There are also many small indoor places to visit that showcase reptiles, snakes, fish, and fossils.
My favorite things at the park were the small, fluffy monkeys and the colorful hornbills. Wow, were they brilliantly colored! A fun activity the park offers that we did not try was the Climb, Clip, Zip! aerial course that allows you to zip-line through the trees, above the animals, and around the park. Toucan Tina’s snack bar offers a wide variety of snacks and drinks plus photos can be taken with animals or reptiles at the Jungle Photo Hut.
The Alligator Farm is located at 999 Anastasia Blvd and opens daily at 9AM. It is exceptionally clean and easy to navigate. If you had to choose only one activity to pay for in St. Augustine, I recommend it be this one.
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