We recently had some family visiting so we were out on the tourist track taking them around to see local sites and attractions. One that we’ve done in the past ourselves was the Jungle Queen riverboat adventure. Located just across the southern point of Fort Lauderdale beach on the Intracoastal side, this attraction has been operating since 1935 and you can see lots of interesting pictures of how it first stared off as a small booth at the beach at their box office. Today they offer 90-minute sight seeing cruises, a 3-hour afternoon cruise with an alligator show at their private island, and even dinner cruises.
We had found a groupon for the three hour sightseeing and island stop adventure, and took our guests on that. Jungle Queen has an arrangement with the Hotel Del Mar for parking where you only pay 7$ for the parking if on the cruise. Cheaper than the regular parking meters and the parking is close to the venue. Be sure to get to the box office an hour or so before your departure time, as the boat starts loading up and you want to get a good seat by the sides to enjoy the views. We only wish they would put up some kind of awning to provide some shade for those lining up for boarding.
Most of the cruise highlights the houses of the rich and famous along the canals heading towards the island around Fort Lauderdale and Marina Mile. The animated tour is a mix of history, gossip and cheesy jokes to keep it light.
After an hour, the island stop allows you to see a number of caged monkeys and exotic birds (we were told these are rescued), and an alligator show. There are some concessions on the island for fast food and souvenirs. The cruise back was mostly to music, but again a good way to see the lineup of impressive houses and even more impressive yachts.
A touristy way to spend an afternoon!