This week’s Florida spotlight is the Everglades National Park and is located only about an hour from Miami.
The Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, made up of 1.5 million acres with one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems today. Because of that, in 1934 the Congress named this beautiful habitat a National Park. Since then the park has held various significances such as an International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance and a World Heritage Site.
If you’re an environmentalist, or you just genuinely love animals and wild life, this is the place to visit. Annually at least one million people from all over the world visit the Everglades. There are three ways to enter the park: 1.) The Gulf Coast Visitor Center, south of Everglades City and closest to Naples; the Shark Valley area off of US 41; and last the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, which is the park’s main headquarters.
The Florida Everglades are home to five different habitats such as, the Hammock, Mangrove, Pineland, Sawgrass, and Slough. With endangered and rare animals like tree frogs, alligators, the American crocodile, manatee, Key deer, otters, and the Florida panther.
Right now, is the peak for tourist season because the water levels are lower and the animals gather together. The tropical climate needed for the Florida Everglades means that there are two primary seasons- wet and dry. Wet season consists of temperatures rising to 90°F and lasts from May through November. Dry season is during the months of December and April, lowering the humidity and temperatures ranging from 53°F to 77°F.
There are various exciting activities one can do at the Everglades. For instance, tours are available at the park and you choose to explore the park by boat, bicycle or on foot. You can walk on the Anhinga Trail to see turtles, herons and alligators. Climb to the top of Shark Valley’s observation tower standing 65 feet tall in the air, to experience a beautiful birds eye view of the glades.
Also, there’s camping sites available for travelers and tourists. The most popular campground is Long Pine Key and is located a few miles away from the park’s main entrance.
The Everglades National Park is a great adventurous place to visit this summer for couples, families, and travelers!