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Port of the Islands in the Everglades, Florida

Close to Everglades National Park, approximately 30 minutes from Naples, Ellen and Gary Eichler's company “Double R's” offers manatee eco tours. The 2.5-hour boat tour starts at Port of the Islands Marina, which was built in the 1950s. The tour follows the course of a channel through the Everglades until it reaches the "Ten Thousand Islands" and finally flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Loop Road in the  Everglades, Florida

Since we had already explored the Everglades National Park, we decided to get even closer to nature this time and took a detour via the infamous "Loop Road". Coming from Miami, the Loop Road branches off from Tamiami Trail (US 41) at the Forty Mile Bend/Tamiami Ranger Station and joins Tamiami Trail again at Monroe Station. 

Everglades Nationalpark

Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America and is part of the largest wetlands ecosystem in the United States. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, rare orchids, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments.

The park is known for its rich bird life, particularly large wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets. It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side. Everglades National Park has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. The western gateway to Everglades National Park is the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades .

Everglades National Park certainly is a highlight for every Florida vacation. In this section you will find the following reports:

Everglades City

Visiting Everglades City is like stepping into the Florida of days gone by. Surrounded by Everglades National Park, the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Picayune Strand State Forest, Collier-Seminole State Park and the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, this is a small town on the edge of the Florida wilderness. 

Everglades City Seafood Festival

Everglades City is known as the Stone Crab Capital of the World. Close to half a million pounds of stone crab claws are processed each season between October and May in Everglades City for shipment to other areas, for use in local seafood restaurants and for the annual Everglades City Seafood Festival, held every year during the first weekend in February. 

Shark Valley, Everglades

If you have always wanted to see an alligator, there's a good chance that you'll see one in Shark Valley in the Everglades National Park. The entrance of the well-maintained park is located at Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) between Naples and Miami, 17.7 miles west of Florida Highway 997 (Krome Ave). From the center of Miami, it is about a 35-mile drive to Shark Valley. 

Everglades: The Trails-from Homestead to Flamingo

The Ernest Coe Visitor Center is located at Homestead, right at the main entrance to the Everglades National Park. The Center's educational displays offer lots of useful information about the Everglades. Friendly park rangers hand out free park maps and provide descriptions of park trails.