If you've never seen a gator while visiting Texas, then you haven’t truly been to the Lone Star State. At Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, Texas, some 40 miles south of downtown Houston, visitors can observe alligators up-close in the wild — really, really close.
The 4,897-acre park has approximately 25 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails that wind through a diverse range of ecosystems: coastal prairie, bottomland forest and wetlands. Look out for waterfowl, armadillos, turtles, snakes and, of course, alligators. It’s an immersive experience; there are no fences or barriers between you and the gators. So, if one is sunning itself in the middle of the path — well, you just may want to find a different route.
The gators here tend to be docile, embodying what seems to be a “don’t bother me and I won’t bother you” mentality. However, it would be wise to take note of the “Know Your Alligator Etiquette” rules found on park maps and posted throughout the park. In particular, one great rule to remember: Don’t go in the water.