Alligators are amazing reptiles that continue to fascinate and terrify all who encounter them.
And while seeing alligators at the zoo or in a YouTube video being wrestled by a shirtless “tamer” with a missing finger is fun, they are not the kind of animal you want to run into while on vacation.
But you may be surprised to know alligators aren’t just secluded to the swamps of Louisiana or Florida – in fact, alligators have been found further up the east coast and are known to occupy multiple states.
So on your next vacation, here are some areas you will need to keep an eye out for our scaly friends.
There have been alligator sightings along the east coast of southern Virginia like the Great Dismal Swamp that borders North Carolina.
While alligators are not native to Virginia and are rarely sighted, they have been migrating closer to the border – within 20 miles of the Virginia/North Carolina state line, according to virgniaplaces.org.
Tourists may be visiting Virginia for more than just our great historical sites sooner than we think.
The Carolinas have definitely made a name for themselves with their famous beaches and barbecue, but they’re also home to the American alligator.
East of Robeson County and in freshwater areas groups of these up-to-15ft. reptiles can be spotted.
But don’t panic just yet. Since alligators stay near freshwater sources, the famous Great Smoky Mountains is far enough away to have a safe and relaxing vacation that gets even better when the sun goes down.
If the alligator has made its way to North Carolina, then finding them in South Carolina isn’t too surprising.
There are more wetlands and marshy regions in South Carolina compared to its northern neighbor, so your chances of seeing this prehistoric creature goes up.
Charleston, South Carolina is a great spot to take the whole family to experience its beaches and beautiful Victorian architecture, but there’s a chance you’ll cross paths with an alligator headed to a nearby lake or pond too.
Finding alligators in Florida is not surprising considering a giant alligator walking across a golf course while a white-gloved golfer waits patiently to sink hole 9 can make the headlines any day of the week.
Maybe it’s the fear of coming face-to-face with an alligator that has Biden trying to ban US citizens from traveling to Florida?
But, less known is that Biden’s second most-feared state – Texas – is also home to the scaly monsters.
Down by the Rio Grande there are likely alligators trying to avoid you just as much as you want to avoid them.
Running into them isn’t likely on most tourist routes, but if you’re the “take the path less traveled” type, then you’d better stay alert – you don’t want to tempt any creature that can eat 37 pounds of meat in one sitting.
This list may deter you from enjoying these southeast coastal states – or it may inspire you to book a trip for some alligator action and adventure. Either way, knowing where alligators may pop up will help you choose the right vacation for you and your family.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)