#289: Ride an Airboat

Airboat tour

Airboat tour

LOCATION: Wild Bill’s Tours. Invernese, FL.

This post is part of my Orlando Birthday Trip Series.

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When I think of Florida I think of amusement parks, gators and swamps. It was a given that an airboat tour was in order for this trip. It amuses me that I had yet to even do this before seeing that I used to live in Florida at a young age, and even did the Orlando vacation trip in 2006. Swamps must not have been on my mind at that time I guess. I’m not even sure if I knew what airboats really were until recently though. On the drive to Boston, Troy and I drove a good portion of the way behind a truck hauling an airboat. Where they were going up north is beyond me, but it put this thought in our head that we just had to ride one. Considering we were going to be in the Invernese area after the manatee swim I decided upon this company. Wild Bill’s was a small place with one or two airboats. October must have been their off season time because Troy and I were the only ones there. We were told that we had to have a group of 4 to go, otherwise we would have to wait 2 hours to see if the next group had enough. After wishing and hoping that more people would show, they didn’t. So, knowing we had an ice bar to get to in Orlando that evening, I made the decision to pay for the other two spots on the boat. Private tour for us!!!

The boats

The boats

They gave us big earphones to protect us from the extremely loud sound of the fan and away we went; just Troy, me and the guy running the boat. At first, we leisurely boated across large amounts of saw grass that covered the water. There were mangroves in some parts of the area too. I wanted to see an alligator, but during that time the gators swam closer to the bottom of the water to cool off.

Airboat tour

Airboat tour

No gators for me to see on the tour. Since we weren’t seeing much, the guide decided to take us on a fast whirlwind coaster type ride. Twists and turns and braking really fast was a lot of fun. I think it made it even more fun knowing that we were the only people weighing the boat down. Overall, the experience was really fun! Maybe not twice the fun since I paid for two other slots, but fun nonetheless.

* Thank you Troy for accompanying me on this adventure.

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: I thought it was a lot of fun to ride an airboat. They definitely feel much different than being on a regular boat, so it is an experience everyone should try.

HOW TO DO THIS: The Florida area has tons of airboat tours. I picked Wild Bill’s because they have an hour ride for the same price as some 30 minute rides. Wild Bill’s is $45 for a 1 hour tour and they have a $10 off coupon on their website.

http://www.wildbillsairboattour.com/

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