Gators. If you love em, here’s where to go. Oh, and mosquitos. Did I mention the mosquitos? The first time I went to the everglades we drove in the the entrance station and they had a “mosquito” level chart, the way some parks have a fire danger chart. It was on “low”, the lowest on their scale. When we got to our campsite and set up, we were beseiged by more mosquitos than we had ever seen in our lives. So you have to wonder what it’s like down there when it is “high”. In any case, during the day, things die down considerably and you can really enjoy this park. There is tons to do here, with many different and distinct sections of the park, which comprises most of the southern tip of Florida.
The easiest to get to from I-95 is the Flamingo area. This area boasts a great auto tour, numerous pull offs with short interpretive trails, a modern campground, and a marina area with a lodge (note: lodge destroyed in 2005 by Katrina – not slated to be rebuilt) and boat concessions. We opted to take a narrated boat tour out into wilderness waterway, and it was well worth it – scenic and informative. They also rent houseboats here if you want to make a few days of it, which I’d really like to do someday. You can also, of course, bring your own trailerable motorboat, kayak, canoe, whatever you have. Much of the everglades is accessible via “land” but much is also out in the water. I’m thinking a canoe would be the best, because there are many “canoe trails” that look like they are tons of fun, and I would rather be in a canoe than a kayak with all those gators around. There are also tons of primitive campsites that you can only get to via small boat.
My favorite things to do here
- Boat Tours
Things I want to come back to do
- Canoe trails
- Third largest park in lower 48
- The Flamingo Lodge was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and is not scheduled to be replaced
National Park Service Website: http://www.nps.gov/ever/
NPS Map: http://home.nps.gov/applications/hafe/hfc/carto-detail.cfm?Alpha=ever