Spring is the perfect time to visit St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. Why? Between March and May, the daytime temperatures sit comfortably in the 70s and 80s and the Florida humidity levels are hardly a bother. And, there are fewer crowds which also means lower hotel and airfare rates, less time standing in lines, and more time doing what you want.
To take advantage of this springtime bliss, we suggest you plan a day trip to the one-of-a-kind St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. This famous park is located on Anastasia Island in close proximity to several other must-see St. Augustine landmarks, such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum and, of course, the beach. Opened in 1893, the park is one of the oldest continuously running attractions in the state of Florida, yet it’s constantly keeping guests entertained with exciting developments and creative new exhibits.
Alligators and Crocodiles
If you want to get up close and personal with massive, scaly alligators and crocodiles, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park does not disappoint. Tiptoe across the boardwalk as dozens of reptiles swim just feet below you in the Alligator Swamp. Visit the Oasis of the Nile exhibit to experience an Egyptian-themed habitat with other-worldly “Gaboon Vipers,” and several spectacular Nile gators. Or get an up-close look at Maximo, a stunning 1,250 pound saltwater crocodile which can be seen via an underwater viewing area.
Birds, Bullfrogs, Boas – Oh my!
There are over 800 alligators and dozens of different species represented at the park, but there is a wide variety of other wildlife to see as well. The park is home to monkeys, lizards, snakes, owls, turtles, and more. The Python Cave houses an enormous 21-foot python that is worth seeing with your own eyes. The Rookery is the place to find a rainbow of native birds from herons and parrots to hornbills and storks. Spring is birding season, which is just another reason to check out this signature landmark before summer. During the earlier part of the year, the trees are full of birds, happily chirping and cooing, and it’s likely you’ll spot a nest with a baby hatchling or two.
Exhibits and Adventures
Guests don’t have to travel far for a host of hands-on learning opportunities, interactive exhibits, and wildlife shows for all ages. The “Rainforest Review” showcases the personable parrots and introduces guests to other rainforest residents like the expressive Madagascar lemur. There are various chances throughout the day to touch and feed the alligators and learn more about their diet, habitat, and history. At the “Scales and Tails” Reptile Show, you can even hold a snake!
Before you call it a day, you’ll want to experience the Zip Line, a speeding adventure through the zoo and over the live exhibits. Those feeling adventurous can take a leap and also try the “Python Challenge,” a 40-foot free fall with a reassuringly soft landing. Don’t wait until summer to visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park – adventure is calling!
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