Alligator & Wildlife Discover Center in Madeira Beach

Working to get back into adventure form! Has been a busy 2 weeks as we adjust to Colt’s school schedule, transition back to the NE area of St. Pete & catch up on home maintenance after being away this summer. Now slowly resuming what makes our family the happiest, experiences/adventures. First on the list was to see alligators in Madeira Beach!

You know we love the beach atmosphere (not ‘laying out’ in our case, simply the beach vibe), so when we find an experience on the beach side, it’s a combo that makes for a great day! Lunch with a Gulf view, a beachside band, maybe body board, AND THEN tackle a nearby adventure.

On Saturday we visited the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center in Madeira Beach and we were surprised for two reasons:

1. It’s on the 2nd floor of John’s Pass. We expected to park at a nature’esque facility.

2. Once you enter, you have no idea you’re in John’s Pass. They’ve done a great job, making it one of our favorite animal adventures yet. Upon entering the doors from bustling John’s Pass, Chevy Chase popped in my head “If I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now!”.

Education is Key at the Wildlife Discovery Center

The Discovery Center cares for animals that wouldn’t survive in the wild. These are primarily exotic pets that have been surrendered for various reasons & now dependent on humans for most everything. This creates an opportunity for us to learn about the 180+ animals. As Managing Partner, Sonny Flynn, said in this Fox13 interview: “Education is key. The more you know, the more you take with you, the more our ecosystem is going to be safe.”

The staff was excellent, always available for questions! For up-close learning, you can even hold some of the animals. There’s an additional charge for these experiences, ranging from $5 (many of them) to $156 for a VIP gator experience. In the middle are the sloth encounters at $25-$75. Teachers can also book field trips. Either virtual, onsite, or Sonny’s team can come to you!


M-Sat: 11am-7pm
Sun: 12-6pm


Ages 3-12: $8
13-59: $12
60+: $10

Google Reviews: 1370 reviews with a 4.6/5 average

Address: 12973 Village Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL

Phone: 727-329-8751

I’m a Madeira Beach Realtor with a focus on the beaches and waterfront, though I would love to assist on any property in the Tampa Bay Area! I started LovingStPete on Facebook and Instagram to help clients and others learn about our area. It’s now followed by over 15 thousand people! If you have any real estate questions, simply contact me. My past includes developing a vacation rental advertising company, which I ran for a decade, and then sold to HomeAway/VRBO.