Top 6 Things to do in the Everglades | 2019
A visit to the Everglades is a life changing experience. The area covers over 2,400 square feet in the southernmost part of Florida, and is the home to a very unique ecosystem. While it is wetlands, there are still a multitude of things to do in the area that will assist in getting you the most out of your Everglades experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a tourist or a local- these Everglades experiences are bound to be life changing and educational.
The following is a list of the top six things to do in the Everglades for the best experience:
- Everglades Tour at Sawgrass Recreation Park. Take an airboat ride through the Everglades and see nature at it’s finest: untouched and undisturbed. Your captain is knowledgeable and will be able to show you vegetation, animals, and explain how everything in the Everglades works as a cohesive unit. You will see breathtaking scenery, and get up close and personal with some scary creatures! Alligators will be lurking in the waters, and you may even get a glimpse of a panther along the shoreline. Keeping your eyes peeled is key on this fun adventure! There are multiple times available throughout the day for airboat rides, and you can even book a private event if you prefer- Make it a party! Reservations are encouraged, but you can also just head down for public events. When you get back to the park, grab a bite to eat and check out their zoo for more animal sightings.
- Shark Valley Tram Tour: Take a quick fifteen minute tour on a tram through the grasslands of the Everglades to see it’s diverse animals and various plants. It is open air, and can easily hold a family. It is narrated, educational, and usually booked! Reservations are recommended. After the tour, take a jaunt to the Shark Valley Observation Tower to see the park from a panoramic view!
- Anhinga Trail Tour: Get an up close view of the birds that make their home in the Everglades on the most premier wetland trails of the National Park Service. A walk off the trail usually takes about forty five minutes and is around .8 miles. The boardwalk curves around Taylor Slough, which is one of the onle waterways that keep their water year round- making it an ideal spot for a glimpse of wildlife. You may see alligators, turtles, anhingas, herons, egrets, and many additional types of birds. They animals seen along the boardwalk are somewhat used to visitors, so they are less likely to flee when they see you approaching. The beautiful sawgrass prairies and pond apples are also big hits along those that wander the trail!
- Flamingo Visitor Center Tours: Flamingo is a favorite among boaters, and offers a marina shop, rentals of canoes, kayaks, and skiff, and even has fuel for those who need it. They have guided boat tours that go out every thirty minutes that are given by park trained professionals. You can even camp or rent a houseboat! The tours are only given during the cooler months, but there are also a great amount of hiking and canoe trails for those that want the adventure of exploring the area on their own to spot wildlife. This is the best spot to try to catch sight of a manatee in the wild.
- Tamiami Trail Tours: The Tamiami Trail is just as diverse as the Everglades themselves. Riding along the Tamiami trail, spectators will enjoy the sights of the various landscapes of the Everglades. They will encounter everything from pinelands all the way to sawgrass marshes, and may even catch a quick glimpse of an alligator in one of the roadside canals. Waterbirds are plentiful all along the route. Watch out for the Skunk Ape- the Everglades take on Bigfoot!
- Ten Thousand Island Guided Tour: Learn about the people indigenous to the Everglades, known as the Calusa. They were there long before anyone else stepped foot there, and this tour will get you started with learning all about them. The best month to take part is March, as there are a multitude of free events and activities. The Calusa Heritage trail is open year round, but March is when you will truly get the most out of it!
While these six items may seem like a lot to pack into your vacation, they are great experiences that you won’t want to miss out on. From the adventure of the air boat ride, all the way to learning about the people of the Everglades, these six excursions will give you the most knowledge and best experiences that you will get in the area. Leave with new found knowledge, and experiences to last a lifetime!