Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 18, 2018

The Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park  tourism destinations

In our armchair travels, we just started exploring the U.S. state of Florida. So before we take a look at some cities we begin at the southern tip of the state and will explore the amazing Everglades National Park. 

ever leather turtle

 The Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetland preserve on the southern tip of Florida. It consists of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes, and pine flat woods. Hundreds of different animal species make their home here among them the endangered leatherback turtle,

ever florida panther

Florida panther,

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and West Indian manatee. There are many unusual things to see here so take the time to explore when you visit.

ever coral 2

Coral Castle, an inscription on the quarried wall reads “You will be seeing unusual accomplishment”. The legend states that a Latvian man got snubbed at the altar and decided to travel to the U.S. and he settled in Florida. He then carved a monument to unrequited love under the cloak of darkness in the night.

This rock-walled compound has a throne room, a sundial, a stone stockade, a telescope trained on Polaris and a revolving boulder gate. It was all built by a short man named Edward Leedskalnins and all done without machinery. He built it all using pulleys, hand tools, and other devices. To finish his masterpiece it took him 28 years.

ever museum-of-the-everglades

Museum of the Everglades in Everglades City has found its home in the town’s former laundry house. Here you can find a collection of information on the settlement of the area from the early pioneers in the 1800s to the boom days of the 1920s and tragic moments from Hurricane Donna in 1960.

ever bridge

Tamiami Trail Bridge over the Caloosahatchee River

A man named Barron Collier who was the largest landowner in Florida in the early 20th century created the town from scratch. The town was meant to serve as the base for building the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades. The trail was completed in 1929. There are photos, models, and films that tell the story.

ever anhinga 4ever anhinga 3

To get an up-close view of alligators take the Anhinga Trail. You can see gators sunning on the shoreline. There are wading birds walking through the reeds.

ever royal palm

The trail is not a long one and begins at the Royal Palm Visitor Center. At the various overlooks at times you can see many alligators all piled together during the day. If you come back at night with a flashlight you can see the gators swimming along the waterways. The park offers ranger-led walks along the boardwalk at night.

ever shark

Shark Valley is located in the cypress and hardwood and riverine section of the Everglades. There is a 15-mile trail you can take to see small creeks, tropical forest and borrow pits which have become basking spots for gators, turtles, and birds. This is a great trail for bikes which can be rented at the entrance. If you prefer there is also a two-hour tram tour.

ever shark observation

Halfway along the trail is the 50ft-high Shark Valley Observation Tower offering fantastic views all around.

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At the entrance, you’ll find the easy Bobcat Boardwalk Trail that loops through a thick copse of tropical hardwoods.

Shark Valley – Everglades National Park, Fl | Warsh Gone Wild regarding Otter Cave Hammock Trail

The Otter Cave Trail leads over a limestone shelf that has holes in it from rainwater and animals have taken up residence here. Native Americans used to live on top of the shelf.

ever wilderness waterway 2

10,000 Islands one of the best ways to experience the Everglades is by paddling along the many waterways skirting the northwest part of the park. This consists of many tiny islands and a mangrove swamp long the southwestern-most border of Florida.

ever wilderness-waterway

The Wilderness Waterway is a 99-mile route between Everglades City and Flamingo and is the longest canoe trail in the area. Most of the islands have narrow beaches with white sand. If you like you can camp out here. If you are a good navigator it is not hard to get around the 1,000 islands. At the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, you can get nautical charts.

ever a museum

 

At the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum, you can learn about the Native Americans in Florida. You will get to know about Seminole life, history and about them today. The museum is located in a cypress dome cut through with an interpretive boardwalk. There are several dioramas with life-sized figures and some temporary exhibits. There is also an old-school living village and recreated ceremonial grounds.

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Big Cypress National Preserve is an area of protected mangrove islands, hardwood hammocks, orchid flowers, slash pine, prairies, and marshes. The area is filled with pond cypress trees. You can find information at the Oasis Visitor Center that has exhibits for children and a water-ditch usually full of alligators.

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Flamingo Visitor Center overlooks a marina and the water-filled wilderness beyond. You can choose to take a boat tour or hire a kayak or canoe. This is a great spot to see manatees, alligators, and the rare American crocodile. You can hike

ever flamingo coastal

along the Coastal Prairie Trail or the Bayshore Loop Trail.

ever flamingo eco

Birds and gators can be spotted along the trail circling the Eco Pond.

ever miss indian

Miccosukee Indian Village is an informative open-air museum about the Miccosukee Indian way of life. You can see traditional homes and dance and music performances. Visitors can get an airboat ride into a hammock-cum-village with raised chickee or wooden platforms built above the water huts. There is a crafts gift store and an on-site restaurant.

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Fruit and Spice Park is a public park on the edge of the Everglades. Many different tropical fruits grow here. The park is divided into continents like Asia. There are about 500 different types of fruit, spices, and nuts.

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Visitors cannot pick the fruit but can take that which has fallen down. Free samples are available at the gift shop. You can have a snack at the cafe or bring your own picnic. There are free narrated tram tours available.

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Schnebly Redland’s Winery is referred to as the southernmost winery in America. This is the place for wine made from different fruit such as mango, passion fruit, lychee, avocado, coconut and other flavors. Tastings are available. The back garden has a waterfall and a restaurant is on the premises.

ever smallwood

Smallwood Store sits on piers overlooking Chokoloskee Bay. This wooden building dates back to 1906. It was first opened by a pioneer named Ted Smallwood as a trading post, post office, and general store. Along the wooden shelves, you can see antiques and old artifacts. All along the waterfront are great views. Boat tours can be arranged.

ever preserve snake

The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve is home to a 20-mile by 5-mile estuarine wetland. The 2000 ft. boardwalk brings you into this amazing place where you can spot panthers in the black waters as well as blooming orchids, birds and reptiles.

ever outpost tiger 2

 

The Everglades Outpost gives a home to wild animals and cares for them. These animals have been seized from illegal traders or have been abused and neglected. Among the residents are a lemur, wolves, a black bear, a zebra, cobras, alligators and a pair of tigers. Your money goes to helping the outpost with its mission.

ever kirby bird

 

Kirby Storter Roadside Park has an elevated boardwalk that leads to an overlook from where you can see different birdlife like ibis and red-shouldered hawks as well as alligators.

 

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/everglades-national-park/attractions/a/poi-sig/361922

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Responses

  1. I’m from Florida. Thank you for taking me home 🙂 ❤

    • You’re welcome, Will. Florida is a great state to write about. I am returning to the states this summer and it looks like I might settle in Florida.

      • That’s great! I’m a Tampa Boy 😊

  2. Awesome pictures.

    • Cannot take credit for the photos Indira but it is a reward for me when I search for just the right photos and get some really good ones. Glad you enjoyed the tour.

  3. Beautiful. The only thing I’d decline was the nighttime boardwalk tour!

    • I tend to agree with you, Mike. You never know who or what lurks out there in the night.

  4. WOW!! Love these photos. When I was a kid, My parents and Grandparents took my sisters and I on an airboat ride through the Everglades.

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour. I love it when I can find just the right photos online to add to this blog. I think visiting the Everglades can be a refreshing change from all the usual and crowded tourist places, Crystal.


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