everglades

Everglades Featured Destination:

Everglades National Park
Homestead, Florida

Just beyond Miami's beaches packed with pretty people, the Florida coastline turns mysteriously magical. Marshes and mangroves converge in nine distinct habitats, forming a home for a unique range of primordial creatures in Everglades National Park.

This rare assemblage of plants and animals in America's last subtropical wilderness is the reason to visit the Everglades. This is the best place to see environmentally threatened alligators and crocodiles as well as endangered manatees and Florida panthers in their natural habitat.

Alligators in the Everglades appeared to be unfazed by North America cameramen, swimming over their heads without so much as a second glance. You can watch them from above water while canoeing Nine Mile Pond or walking the trails in Shark Valley, also known as the "River of Grass," a 100-mile stretch of sawgrass marsh between Lake Okeechobee and the Gulf of Mexico.

Best Time to Visit:

You may want to visit during the Everglades in winter or early spring, when temperatures are cooler and there are fewer mosquitos. The water levels are lower and you'll have a better chance of spotting wildlife, including migratory birds. This is also the park's busiest season.

What to Do:

There are 1.5 million acres to explore in Everglades National Park and a multitude of ways to experience it, from hiking and canoeing to airboat rides and tram tours. But to take in the diversity of the place through the most diverse experiences, drive through the park from end to end, starting at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center and passing through a sea of sawgrass, saltwater mangroves and dense hardwood hammocks on the way to Flamingo Visitor Center. Plan to spend a few days camping, biking, hiking, fishing and canoeing to commune with this incredible ecosystem. Get Directions

Other Everglades Destinations:

  • Big Cypress National Preserve. The preserve covers over 729,000 acres of southwest Florida's freshwater swamp ecosystem, protecting wildlife such as egrets, herons, river otters, bobcats and the endangered Florida panther. Get Directions
  • Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Best explored by boat, the refuge, which is located between Everglades City and Marco Island, protects mangrove forests and a wide array of wildlife. Get Directions
  • Shark Valley "River of Grass". In this freshwater ecosystem of tree islands and sawgrass marsh, visitors can hike and bike along several trails. One of the highlights of the area is a 45 foot high observation tower deck, offering views of the surrounding wetlands. Get Directions
  • Lake Okeechobee. The largest lake in southeastern United States, Lake Okeechobee serves a vital role within the Everglades as a freshwater resource and is home to key flora and fauna within the South Florida ecosystem. Get Directions
  • Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area. Spanning 21,000 acres, the Chain of Lakes area forms the headwaters of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system. The wetlands are vital for wildlife in the region and offer excellent opportunities for bird watching. Get Directions

Explore the Everglades:

 

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