If you’re looking to add a little action and excitement to your Myrtle Beach vacation, Alligator Adventures at Barefoot Landing could be just the right destination for you. With 200 different species of animals, including over 1,000 American alligators and the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, this 15-acre park has much to offer guests. Both educational and entertaining, you’ll find out plenty of interesting facts about the incredible animals located at this wild and wonderful attraction.
What Makes This Park Unique
This park is a dream location for anyone who has a fascination with alligators and other crocodilian reptiles. Many of the American alligators found at the park are located in a serene lagoon habitat. You can view them as they swim, crawl, sunbathe, and interact with one another in a natural looking environment. You’ll be able to walk through the park viewing them in close proximity from the safety of well-positioned boardwalks that cross over the top of the lagoon. Other alligator species are placed in display exhibits with labels explaining which species they belong to along with some key information about each species.
Albino Alligators: Ghosts of the Swamp
One of the most interesting as well as most rare types of alligators featured at the park are the albino alligators. These are simply American alligators that lack the normal pigmentation in their skin. A fine selection of these elusive creatures is on display in a cave exhibit that’s ideal for protecting their sensitive, pale skin from the sun. Though in the wild these strikingly beautiful alligators rarely reach adulthood because their lack of camouflage renders them easy prey, here at Alligator Adventures they can thrive in safety. These “ghosts of the swamp,” as they were known in bayou lore, were thought to bring good luck to any who had the privilege of looking them in the eye. Here at the park, you have a pretty good chance of being able to do just that as you get up close to these fascinating reptiles.
More Than Alligators
Though the alligators that give the park its name are certainly a star attraction, there’s much more to this nature park than just alligators. As one of the world’s largest premier reptile facilities, the park boasts some of the most rare and exotic reptiles found anywhere in the world. There are numerous snakes on display, including some incredibly large and highly venomous varieties. One of the most impressive exhibits houses Utan, the 20-foot long crocodile, whose powerful jaws are strong enough to crush concrete. He is a mixed-breed croc, half Siamese and half Saltwater crocodile. This is a hybrid species that does not occur naturally in the wild. He’s often seen with his mouth slightly open, which may take some visitors by surprise. There’s no need for any alarm at this open-mouthed posture, however. It is simply a position crocodiles commonly use to regulate their body temperature. You’ll be able to tell whether Utan wants to warm up or cool off based on whether or not he is facing or turned away from the sun. Whether it’s feeding time for Utan or he’s just soaking in the sun’s rays, you’ll likely be awe-struck by his immense size.
Aside from reptiles, there are plenty of other fascinating species of animals you will be able to view at Alligator Adventures. These would include Siberian tigers, wolves, exotic birds, bobcats, large Galapagos tortoises, beavers, bats, and three different species of lemurs. One of the most unforgettable parts of the park is the nursery and rehabilitation area where you can view young or fragile animals who are receiving special attention. The animals housed throughout the park are kept in clean, well-regulated environments by knowledgeable zoo-keepers. They appear to be well fed and well taken care of by dedicated staff members. The overall look of the park is so lush and reflective of a wild natural environment that you’ll forget you’re just moments away from a busy North Myrtle Beach shopping district.
One of the most exciting parts of your visit to the park could be the live animal shows. These demonstrations and interactive activities allow you to get a closer look at the animals while they’re in action. You may even get the opportunity to touch or hold one of these amazing creatures under the close supervision of a trained staff member.
Alligator Feeding Time Sessions
Though these alligators are fed meat that is prepared for them by the zookeepers, it’s still exciting to watch them enthusiastically go after their dinners. At feeding time, you’ll see a whole other side to the park’s often relaxed alligators. They’ll jump straight up out of the water and snap their jaws together, chomping down their food with gusto. It’s truly an impressive sight to behold. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and receive accurate answers from alligator specialists with inside knowledge about their nature and habits. These demonstrations are held from the middle of April through the middle of October, during the time of the year when alligators normally feed.
Alligator Handling and Informative Sessions
Though alligators generally don’t feed during the cooler months of the year, you’ll still have an opportunity to check out some of their interesting features up close as well as learn some cool facts you may not have previously known about these fascinating reptiles by going to an alligator handling session. Under close supervision from a trained alligator lecturer, you’ll be allowed to touch an alligator. You can even get your picture taken with a small alligator if you so desire.
Live Snake Handling Sessions
Inside the Alligator Adventure amphitheater you can find out all sorts of captivating tidbits of information about the various snakes found at the park’s reptile house. Some of your misconceptions about snakes may be challenged, while you can learn a valuable lesson about how to distinguish venomous from nonvenomous snakes. If you’re willing, you may even be chosen to be one of the fortunate audience members to have the opportunity to hold a snake. You may even get to wear a snake on your head like a hat!
From the well-maintained facilities to the informative and entertaining shows, to the refreshing snack bar and great gift shop, Alligator Adventure at Barefoot Landing has something for everyone. The park is conveniently located within close proximity to popular shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, as well as nearby some of North Myrtle Beach area’s hotels and motels. Alligator Adventure is truly a one-of-a-kind facility filled with fun and excitement for the whole family.
What: Alligator Adventure
Where: 4604 Hwy 17 S, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Cost: Adults aged 13-61 $19.99, Senior Citizens aged 62+ $17.99, Military members $16.99, Children aged 4-12 $14.99, and Children aged three and under free. Annual passes are also available for the amazingly low price of $49.99 for adults and $37.99 for ages 4-12. (Prices do not include tax).
Discounts: There is also currently a special available. When you purchase one ticket, you can receive a second-day pass that is good for any day within seven days of your purchase. With all there is to see and do at this wildlife wonderland, that second-day pass could come in very handy.