Gators stretch in the sun as boaters approach, or swim up to welcome visitors to their home, Blue Elbow Swamp. Tourists who spend the night in Port Arthur have a short drive to Airboat Rides Inc., where Capt. Lee Gomez reports gator sightings on nearly all his outings.
Dodge marsh grasses as the guide silently glides toward a baby reptile eying passengers and feel the mist as the boat hits the Sabine River at 50 miles an hour. Gomez stops the motor for frequent nature and history lessons through the cypress swamp. Feeling brave? Gomez packs flash lights for night tours.
Tours from the dock in Orange pass through swamps where the Atapaka Native American tribe lived, past the old Orange Navy Base and offers glimpses of birds, turtles and flora. He’ll snap your group’s photo if you smile and say “Gator bait!”
Port Arthur offers bird watching, natural shores of Sea Rim State Park and indoor history at Museum of the Gulf Coast.