Babcock Ranch is a fabulous side trip to take from Naples, Florida. Plan on an 1 and ¼ hours from downtown Naples to reach this destination in Punta Gorda, Florida. Babcock is a “working ranch” with many operations and it is one of the largest cattle ranches in Florida. But for visitors, the Ranch offers a delightful adventure tour that you will long remember. You will experience a 90-minute Swamp Buggy tour with a professional tour guide who will introduce you to four distinctly different ecosystems. Additionally, you will be surprised at the abundance of wildlife that you may spot along the route. Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, wild pigs, wild alligators and birds such as wood-storks, herons, egrets, cranes, eagles, and hawks. On the Second Saturday of every Month, weather permitting, Babcock Ranch offers a Photography Tour. This tour is for 2-1/2 hours through the different Eco Systems and the working cattle ranch. The tour stops along the way so that you can get off the buggy for your photography. Reservations are a must to ensure a seat on the buggy.
New this year, Babcock Ranch is offering an annual “Phantom of the Swamp” adventure from 4 pm until sunset at the end of October. On this tour will enjoys the sights and sounds the swamp during twilight. The tour includes food, crafts, and real-life cowboys. And, you will enjoy the legend of the Phantom of the Swamp. Of course, the tour was our favorite, however, at the entrance area you will find an interesting small museum including Florida history as well as history of Babcock ranch. There are several other exhibits for your enjoyment including a snake exhibit! There is also a gift shop and a lunch room. The Gator Shack is in a screened-in building and daily, the cooks prepare delicious food at a reasonable price. We highly recommend their lunches.
Their gift shop, The Country Store, has many inviting and exciting items that you will want to take with you to remember your wonderful day on the ranch. So, come prepared to enjoy the day. You will find it interesting and rewarding! The Eco-Tour, 1-1/2 hours is $19.95 plus tax for adults (ages 13 plus); seniors $18.95 plus tax (65 years plus) and children $12.95 plus tax (3-12 years) and two and under are free. Open daily from 9 am to 3 pm, hours are subject to change so call for specific hours and tour times. Mid-December through mid-April the ranch is open seven days a week; mid-April through December, the ranch is open Tuesday through Saturday, however August and September they are also closed on Tuesday.
So, come prepared to enjoy the day. You will find it interesting and rewarding! Call in advance and make reservations.
Babcock Wilderness Adventures
8000 State Road 31
Punta Gorda, Florida 33982