Welcome to the land of the alligators! I went to Mississippi for the first time recently and made it my mission to see an alligator in real life!
While there are many places to catch a glimpse of these prehistoric creatures, Cypress Swamp is by far the best place to see them.
I’d recommend booking this guided Cypress Swamp tour where an expert guide will show you around the swamp and educate you on the animals that live there!
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with other top spots to see alligators in Mississippi, so keep reading to discover more!
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Are There Alligators In Mississippi?
There are alligators all over Mississippi however the majority of them can be found in the southern two thirds of the state.
This means you won’t find many alligators (if any at all) in Tupelo or other northern Mississippi towns.
Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks estimates that there are between 32,000 and 38,000 alligators in Mississippi.
The alligators found in Mississippi are American alligators which are native to the Southeastern United States.
Best Places To See Alligators In Mississippi
Below I have listed the best places to see alligators in Mississippi including the exact spots and locations you should visit.
1. Cypress Swamp
I found that by far the best place to see alligators in Mississippi is at Cypress Swamp in Canton.
Cypress Swamp is a stunning natural wonder that offers visitors a glimpse into a truly unique ecosystem.
The swamp is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, which are one of the main attractions for visitors.
The alligators that live in Cypress Swamp are known for their impressive size and strength and can often be seen basking in the sun on the banks of the swamp.
I’d recommend joining this guided tour of the swamp to learn more about the alligators and their habitat. This is the tour that I personally did and I really enjoyed it!
I saw around 10 alligators as we wandered around the swamp on foot. The guides were super knowledgable and I learned a ton about both the area and the alligators! I highly recommend it.
2. Moss Point
Moss Point is a small city located on the southeastern coast of Mississippi.
They have alligators at Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours. This ranch features over 150-acres of swampland perfect for the large population of alligators that call this place home.
The Gulf Coast Gator Ranch currently has around 70 alligators and they describe themselves as a sanctuary for alligators.
You’re able to go to the ranch and see the alligators in their native habitat which is what I did!
I saw a ton of alligators and thought the park was well maintained and I loved that the alligators had so much room to roam around freely.
The ranch also features a walking bridge that crosses a couple of acres of enclosed space allowing you to get an incredible birds-eye view of the alligators.
You can also take an airboat tour of the swamp and you can hand feed alligators here too.
Address: Gulf Coast Gator Ranch, 10300 Hwy 90, Moss Point, MS 39562
Winter Opening Times: (November 1st – February 28th): 8am to 4pm
Summer Opening Times: (March 1st – October 31st): 8am to 6pm
Check out the alligators at Gulf Coast Gator Ranch in the video below:
3. Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge
This 48,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge, located in Starkville, is filled with hiking trails and woodlands where you’ll find a wide variety of wildlife.
It has many large lakes that serve as a refuge for all kinds of animals including alligators.
Visitors are welcome here everyday and are able to stroll through the lush green woodlands to spot a variety of animals including deer, skunks, raccoons, birds and more.
Alligators are often seen at the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in the waters of the lakes.
Keep your eyes peeled on the water and you might just spot an alligator. You might even spot one eating a fish!
The alligators can also often be seen lounging around along the banks of the lakes.
The best time of year to see alligators in Mississippi is in spring and fall.
Address: Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, 13723 Bluff Lake Road, Brooksville, Mississippi 39739
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, sunrise to sunset
Check out the huge alligator spotted at the refuge in the video below:
4. Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Gulf Islands National Seashore is located in the Davis Bayous area in Ocean Springs right on Mississippi’s southern coast.
This area covers over 400-acres and is a preserved habitat where you’ll find beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, piers and more.
Head over to the ‘gator pond’, as it is known by locals, to see the alligators! When it’s warm, you’ll often see the alligators resting on the bank of the pond.
I visited on a really hot day in the summer and, let me tell you, this place was swarming with alligators!
On colder days, they usually stay in the water but you may still see their head bobbing in and out of the water every now and again.
You’ll see a variety of other animals at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs such as lizards, snakes, turtles, raccoons, birds and much more.
To find the gator pond, turn right onto Robert McGhee Road from Park Road. The gator pond is located 0.3 miles down the road on the right.
Address: 3500 Park Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 6am to 10pm
5. Pascagoula River
The Pascagoula River is around 80 miles long and flows through southeastern Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Pascagoula River has a very large alligator population with estimates ranging from 7,500 to 12,500 alligators – this represents 25% of Mississippi’s total alligator population.
The best way to see alligators in this river is by getting out onto the water with a boat tour.
Lots of companies offer boat tours which will take you out into the river for a chance of spotting amazing wildlife including alligators.
6. Jackson Zoo
The Jackson Zoo currently has around 250 animals representing over 120 different species.
It gives the public the chance to see and study wildlife from the region and from all around the world.
The Jackson Zoo does have alligators in one of their exhibits. The zoo also runs a ‘Gator Feeding’ session every Sunday at 1:30pm where you can watch the alligators being fed.
Address: 2918 W Capitol St, Jackson, MS 39209
Opening Hours: For the current opening hours, check the Jackson Zoo website.
7. Hattiesburg Zoo
Hattiesburg Zoo, located within Kamper Park in Hattiesburg, is a small 12-acre zoo that is home to a variety of animals from all around the world including alligators.
Address: 107 S 17th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm
Check out the alligators of Hattiesburg Zoo in the video below:
Whilst it’s definitely not the best place to spot alligators, there have been some reports of alligators in Laurel.
The alligators here can often be found in small lagoons, ponds and swamps.
Did you know you can also see alligators in Louisiana?
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post on where to see alligators in Mississippi.
Alligators are an integral part of Mississippi’s unique ecosystem,and there are many places throughout the state where you can observe these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.
From the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch to the Cypress Swamp, Mississippi offers visitors a chance to experience the majesty of these prehistoric reptiles up close.