My dad and I continued our adventures in Orlando with an incredible swamp airboat tour and an unreal swamp food feast in Florida! Come along with us as we go on an airboat swamp tour in nearby St. Cloud and dine on some exotic Floridian food afterward!
We started off about 45 minutes south of downtown Orlando at Wild Willy’s Airboat Tours on Lake Tohopekaliga (also known as Lake Toho) in St. Cloud, Florida, an area that is known for its bass fishing, birdwatching, and wetland wildlife, including alligators, otters, deer, turtles, snakes, turkeys, raccoons, and more. This area is a part of the Everglades, a massive swamp that takes up much of the southern half of Florida.
We donned our headphones (airboats are VERY noisy) and set off across the lake! Very early on, we spotted some small turtles and alligators that fled quickly, but we later saw an American bald eagle and a 10 or 11-foot-long alligator.
Our tour guide, Brandon, told us that the larger gators are harder to find because they’ve learned to avoid the sound of the airboat, but the smaller alligators don’t know this yet, so they tend to be easier to find. There are cows here as well, but they’re safe from the alligators because they’re so big. We saw a few more larger gators and more birds as well before we returned back to the shop.
Back at the shop, Brandon let me and my dad hold a young alligator named Sergio, who was farmed here and can’t be released out into the wild because he wouldn’t survive out there.
From there, we requested an Uber to take us to The Catfish Place, a restaurant 15 minutes away in Apopka. It has been open since 1973. The Catfish Place serves up fried versions of a lot of the animals we saw on our airboat tour! We couldn’t wait to have our swamp food feast in Florida, especially since we skipped breakfast!
We started off with some coleslaw and salted crackers. It was really light and I loved the cabbage in it. It was a perfect marriage and it was one of my favorite coleslaws of all-time.
Next, we ordered the Florida Cracker Special, which consists of fried alligator tail, fried turtle, fried frog legs, and fried catfish, along with puppies and fried snapper. We also had Tiger Sauce, melted butter, and locally-produced honey on the side. It was a full-on fried Floridian feast!
I went for the fried turtle first and had it with the Tiger Sauce. I couldn’t believe it was turtle! It was incredible! The turtle meat was very tender, even more tender than chicken. I’d stayed away from it until now because I’m a big turtle lover. Next up was the fried alligator with tartar sauce. Unlike other gators I’ve had, this was perfectly cooked and wasn’t too thick or rubbery.
The hush puppies were incredible with the local honey, and the fried catfish was perfection with the tartar sauce. Fried fish with tartar sauce is a match made in heaven! Then we went with the fried snapper, which I loved with the melted butter. It was outstanding!
Finally, we dug into the fried frog legs, which were amazing on their own and were like a more delicate version of chicken. But the tartar sauce took them to a whole new level! This exotic swamp food feast in Florida was out of this world!
I hope you guys loved this video of our airboat swamp tour and exotic swamp food feast in Florida! If you did, please give it a thumbs up and leave me a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travel/food adventures!