Alligators, snakes, rare birds and Native American exoticism are all trademarks of Florida’s tourism industry. Guided boat tours are one of the popular ways visitors have been exposed to all of these elements at once. For over a century, knowledgeable and witty tour guides have maneuvered their tourist-filled boats around some of Florida’s most picturesque rivers and springs, including Wakulla Springs, Homosassa Springs, Rainbow Springs, and Silver Springs. More than a recitation of facts, the information dispensed by these guides is often like a stage performance, including jokes, stories, and proverbs, not to mention the charisma of the guide himself or herself. In a number of cases, tour guiding has become a family affair, with one generation of guides’ stories and traditions being passed down to the next.
Podcast: Wakulla Springs Boat Tours
Interview with Wakulla Springs glass-bottom boat driver Luke Smith - T83-141 - T83-142
Silver Springs boat drivers Willie Marsh and William Crowell - C84-8 - C84-9
Skipper Lockett at 1956 Florida Folk Festival - T77-41
Interviews with Homosassa Springs tour boat drivers - C81-34 - C81-35
Belle of Suwannee boat tour - S2043