You don’t need a reason to visit Pascagoula’s Gulf Coast Gator Ranch and Airboat Tours! The Pandemic has wreaked havoc on all of our lives and has affected our lifestyles in various ways. As anyone would know, being cooped up in a house with three pre-schoolers is something to make anyone want to say “see you later, alligator,” and that’s exactly what we did! We needed to get out and take part in an outdoor excursion unique and thrilling.
I’ve got it! Oh Snap! Visit Pascagoula’s Gulf Coast Gator Ranch and have a blast!
Getting Ready for Gators
I’d heard about the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Airboat Swamp Tours in Pascagoula through the travel resource Coastal MS, and it looked like a chompin’ good time. I knew that “the ‘Goula” was known for its beautiful waterways and fishing, but I was determined to check out the more dark and swampy waters. So I called on the excursion to get the deets. They were so kind as to break down their list of precautionary measures. Being that the ranch is mostly outdoors, the main measure is wearing a mask inside the gift shop entry. And after speaking with Curtis, I felt confident that we would enjoy a safe and socially distanced experience at the farm.
My friends over at Coastal MS set us up, and I had the opportunity to speak with the owner. As an owner of a small business myself, I always appreciate moments to connect with another person providing a service to the community.
Upon first audible sound, I knew I was calling the right place. Curtis’s accent was on point and spoken with the distinct southern drawl of a Cajun from down the bayou. I immediately felt right at home with him. It’s something about that sound in his voice and his candor that let me know that we were in the hands of a gator expert. He shared that he was originally from LA and that the business had be passed down from his father. Even better! Who doesn’t love to support a home-town legacy? I was sold!
Curtis suggested that we plan to come early for the tour and boat ride. One, the earlier the better in terms of heat. Also, the gators are much more active earlier in the morning. So we planned to arrive around 9am.
Chomp Chomp Gator Ranch
The ladies in the gift shop warmly greeted us when we arrived at the gator ranch. They offered us the opportunity to purchase gator food by the cup to “activate” the gators. The shop sold cold beverages and other tchotchkes and gator paraphernalia.
We purchased about 5 cups of gator food, which is reminiscent of giant sized dog food pellets. Next we headed out to feed the gators along the fenced in trail and boardwalk. Afterwards, we’d head over to the airboat ramp to begin our tour.
The Pascagoula bayou houses hundreds of gators, and they were actively floating around near the fence. It was an amazing up-close-and-personal experience. As a bystander, you’re literally feet away from the gators as you feed them through the safety of the fence’s barrier.
If you haven’t had the chance to feed a gator before, it’s definitely bucket list worthy! It’s really exhilarating to toss a snack to a gator and watch them stealthily make it over to their victual and devour it. Watching their movements, they truly are agile creatures. The guide shared that gators can run up to 35 mph on land! So I wouldn’t try to outrun one if I were you! But for sure, feeding the gators was one of the most interesting elements of the Gator Farm excursion. And it’s safe to do with children and allows them an opportunity to take part in the cool and exhilarating act. So for us, it was a plus.
Wind in Your H(air) Boat Ride
After feeding the gators in the bayou, we took a walk along the boardwalk to the airboat ramp. There we were greeted by the funniest and most charismatic tour guide ever who took us on a thrilling airboat ride through the brackish waters of the MS Sound. The first part of the ride was quite peaceful as our guide showed us his “pet” gators that he recognized and called each by name. Most came up for snacks as they were fed their favorites, jumbo marshmallows! The kids got a kick out of that!
Once through the ‘Goula’s swampy paths and into the open water, it was showtime. That airboat whizzed through those bushes like nobody’s business! The (not so) wet, yet wild ride tossed and turned us for a fun adventure for about 15-20 minutes, and then we headed back to the dock.
The tour provides headphones for kids to wear to protect their ears from the noise of the airboat.
Plan Your Pascagoula Gator Excursion
Pascagoula’s Gator Ranch is the perfect size for a morning or afternoon of fun. It’s not gigantic, but being out in the heat, it’s just large enough to get a great experience with the gators and the boat ride. Our entire visit at the ranch was just under two hours long, which is perfect for an outing with the kids.
If you are headed to Coastal Mississippi or passing through the ‘Goula to sit a spell, you should absolutely plan a stop over at the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch. It’s a quick an easy excursion that both kids and adults will enjoy. Be sure to wear comfortable, casual clothing, tennis shoes and t-shirts, because you are outdoors and in the elements. I definitely recommend wearing a hat as well, but you may remove it for the airboat tour because mine flew off during the ride!
After You Visit the Ranch
Later gators! Oh snap! Let me know when you plan to visit the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch! And remember to tell them Kerri sent ya!
Pro Tip: If you’ve worked up an appetite for a little brunch after watching those gators chompin’, head over to Biloxi for some great victuals at Brick & Spoon!
Or if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, head on over to my blog, detailing our dining experience at The Sugar Factory at Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Leave us a comment and let us know when you plan to visit!