How to Find Alligators at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

When we decided to visit Florida, my son had his heart set on seeing an alligator. I researched local alligator farms but wanted him to see one (or many) in their natural habitat. With that in mind, we decided to visit Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Not only did we get to see multiple alligators, we saw tons of wildlife during our drive-thru trip.

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset every day. We took the 7-mile driving tour of Black Point Wildlife Drive. You can drive at your own pace and stop on the side of the road to get a closer look at something extraordinary. Other visitors are happy to move around you, and we didn’t feel rushed the entire time.

While we were on the hunt for alligators, the bird watching was epic too. To date, 357 species have been identified on the refuge. We saw tons of beautiful species, and I wish we knew how to identify more of them before we went. We’ll do our research for when we visit next year.

We didn’t bring our fishing gear this time, but we will pack everything for our next visit. You can Fish, Crab, Clam, Oyster, and Shrimp in the Indian River Lagoon, Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River Lagoon, Mosquito Control Impoundments and Interior Freshwater Lakes except for the restricted areas of the Kennedy Space Center. Remember, the refuge closes for rocket launches.

The Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is a great way to spend a couple of hours with your family. Your kids will love spotting wildlife from the car window, or you can join a ranger on one of the guided hikes too. Add this to your Space Coast itinerary.

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