We all probably have a childhood memory of pretending to dig up some rare, imaginary dinosaur fossil in our back yard, or scrawling our own treasure map and hunting around the house for a bounty that was really just a stuffed animal. But now, those fantasies can be lived out as an adult and actually lead to something super exciting. On the Florida Fossil Expeditions river tours, you can mine for your own ancient fossils, shark teeth, and more!

Tour guides Mark and Marisa have had a passion for the ancient secrets of our world for, you could say, an Ice Age. And for a few days each week, they share their passion with guests who are just as curious as they are and take them on tours of the Peace River.

To give you an idea of just how bountiful this river is, a young boy on the tour even found the leg bone of a mammoth. Other finds include whale vertebrae, massive shark’s teeth, mastodon teeth, and mammoth molars.

On their website, they give overzealous hunters caution. “Trophy pieces” don’t immediately jump into your hands, and usually aren’t found on your first go. Fossil hunting takes a little bit of skill, a little bit of luck, and a lot of patience.

Tours run for about five hours, and they offer both walking and kayak tours.

The kayak tours are not offered as often as the walking ones.

You can keep whatever you find unless it’s totally new to science, in which case the tour managers ask that you donate it to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

Also, because Peace River is state-owned, any Native American artifacts found are not allowed to be collected.

The guides will show you where and how to look for the best treasures, and how to preserve your finds in the future. Kayak tours are $100 while walking tours are $75.

For more Florida adventures, check out this list of the best Orlando hiking trails, and these places in Florida that will make you feel like you're in Europe.

Florida Fossil Expeditions

Price: $75-$100

When: By reservation

Address: 213 Lincoln Ave., Lehigh Acres, FL

Why You Need To Go: Find once-in-a-lifetime treasures on these fossil hunting tours!

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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