Everglades National Park as a Florida mini-vacation is always a hit with those who are interested in a unique Florida nature experience.
Booking a tour will ensure you see what you want with a guide who is experienced. Here is a good selection of different tours you can take.
Located in south Florida, the Everglades National Park is easily accessible from both coasts of the state. This National Park extends from just south of Naples, near Everglades City, around the southern tip of Florida to Highway #1 which connects the Florida Keys to the mainland. The park encompasses almost all of the land at the southern end of the State of Florida with the exception of a strip of Atlantic Coast shoreline from Miami to Homestead and on to the Florida Keys.
If you are interested in seeing wild flowers and trees, then the park offers a wide variety of native species in a lush setting. There are numerous wild flowers including orchids. The broad range of trees that can be found include wild lemon and orange trees, as well as oak and rubber trees.
The wildlife is diverse and interesting. Here you can find not only alligators and deer, but also perhaps catch a glimpse of rare creatures such as the Florida crocodile, the manatee and the ever-elusive Florida panther. Some sources suggest that this is probably the only place that features both alligators and crocodiles co-existing in the same habitat.
Birds are a particular favorite of ours. A trip to Everglades National Park does not disappoint when it comes to providing a great bird watching venue.
Florida wading birds such as egrets, herons and wood storks abound in the many waterways. There are also many Red-shouldered hawks and ospreys as well as many other tropical birds. So make sure that you bring your binoculars and identification book.
We are avid viewers of nature shows on television and any chance we can get, to experience the wonders of nature first-hand is not ignored. I can tell you that as my wife reads this page, I am sure that she is planning a trip to Everglades National Park!
Abundant Marine Life
Everglades National Park received its designation as a national park in
1934. In 1976, the park became an International Biosphere Reserve. Three
years later it was
listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park received status as a
Wetland of International Importance in 1987.
But sadly, in 1993 it was placed on the list if World Heritage Sites that were considered to be in danger.
The Visitor Center located on the Gulf Coast side of the park is located 5 miles south of Highway 41 (also known as the Tamiami Trail) on State Road 29 in Everglades City. If you come to the area via I-75, State Road 29 is Exit 80.
The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is open every day of the year, without exception. It is your entrance to explore the Ten Thousand Islands. This is a vast region of mangrove islands and connecting waterways that extends to Flamingo on the Florida Bay (on the very southern tip of the State of Florida).
The Everglades and The Ten Thousand Islands
When you arrive at the Visitor Center, be prepared to spend to some time learning about the park before venturing further. At the Center there are a wide range of instructive tools to help make your visit an entertaining and educational experience. These include displays, brochures and orientation films.
Once you are ready to head into the park and explore, you can join a boat tour or rent a canoe. There are more than 150 miles of canoe and hiking trails and 47 wilderness campsites. (The noise in the background is my wife packing the gear in the car!) But do not rush into a wilderness camping experience without taking time to plan your trip carefully. The Park's website has a great Wilderness Trip Planner to help you prepare.
Just Sun bathing
Another word of advice, if you are planning a visit anytime between June
and October come prepared to cope with mosquitoes. This is the rainy
season in this part of Florida and we all know how rain and mosquitoes
(In reality there are usually mosquitoes all year, but there seem to be many more during the summer months.)
Also, you cannot make such a trip without first getting a permit. These are available at the Everglades National Park Visitor Center.
If you are planning to stay longer than a day, there are lodging facilities, stores and restaurants nearby. As well, the picturesque resort community of Naples is only a short distance away with a large choice.
Did you hear the sound of a car door closing and a motor starting? I guess I had better get going or Judy will be on her way without me!
Everglades National Park is only 2 hours & 9 minutes from our favorite Florida destination. No wonder we all Enjoy Englewood Florida!