Are There Alligators in St. Augustine?

The short answer is alligators are everywhere in Florida, but chances are you won’t see one in St. Augustine.

At one point and time, the American Alligator was almost extinct. Now they can be found in golf course lakes and along river beds all over the state. It is their perfect habitat, but on a typical vacation to St. Augustine, you will most likely have to go looking to find them.

Where To Find Gators in the Ancient City

If you polled people from across the world on what defines Florida, there may be a few answers. But you would eventually come across a distinct theme.

You might get replies about the broad and beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, acclaimed theme parks, and intense heat waves, but there is no denying that the state is the land of the gator.

It is fitting that these ancient dinosaurs of the water lived around The Ancient City. For the most part, alligators will hide away during the day and come out in the evening to silently hunt much smaller prey than you.

You won’t likely see one near manmade structures, though it is possible. Keep a distance and you’ll be fine, alligators typically want nothing to do with humans and we are of no interest to them. Dangerous incidents between humans and alligators are very rare.

Overall, you don’t have to go far to see a gator. St. Augustine and Florida are filled with great spots to see them in a safe setting – or even in the wild.

Stay Local with the Alligator Farm

There are easy ways to see gators right in the ancient city. The famous Alligator Farm is one of the longest consecutively-running attractions in St. Augustine, and there’s a good reason for this. Ever since it sprouted up, the Alligator Farm has cherished, collected, and displayed a range of wildlife, particularly gators.

The farm showcases a local-only area, with local reptiles and rare species you can’t find anywhere else. The Albino Alligator exhibit displays all-white gators- a rarity in the wild. You can stop by and say high to Maximo in the pool. He is known to do a few tricks if you can get to his show.

One of the more popular activities at the Alligator Farm is ziplining. Take a fun run over the zoo. Don’t look down – you are bound to see some gators below you. Though a lot can be said about the gator-themed attraction, just know one thing. You can see a wild array of special gators in a safe setting.

The Ocean Gallery - Alligators Swamp

Gators in the Wild in St. Augustine

What about gators in the wild? You don’t have to look too far. Scan any large lake in the St. Augustine region or even the St. Johns River and you are bound to eventually see a log-like shape floating in the middle during the day. Gators may also cover themselves in mud and hang up by the banks in an attempt to cool off.

The St. Johns River and Doctors Lake are known for their substantial alligator populations. One top park in St. Augustine with the potential of a gator sighting is Anastasia State Park.

Guana State Park is another prime location. This vast nature preserve features an enormous population of them right north of St. Augustine, along with diverse outdoor activities ranging from birding and wildlife viewing trails, hiking and biking, fishing, paddling and horseback riding.

Safety Tips

It is worth noting that most gators in these parks have been relocated to less popular spaces and areas. If there are known gators in any lake or body of water, there is likely to be signed postage. Obey all signage and do not let children or pets near lake and pond edges in areas with known alligators and keep pets on a leash.

When in doubt, treat any body of water as though an alligator would be found there. The easiest way to avoid them is to stay on walking trails and keep to popular areas. Again, the chances of a dangerous encounter are very rare.

Stay at the Ocean Gallery Resort In St. Augustine

Florida could be called the land of the gator, but we like to call it the land of fun. Our vacation rentals (no gators around) feature many activities, stunning beach views, and acclaimed local restaurants within a short drive or walking distance.