Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Exploring the Florida Everglades


This week I'd like to take you on an adventure into The Florida Everglades.  Florida Everglades National Park covers quiet a large area in Southern Florida.  I visited an area about an hour west of Miami.


I highly recommend you take a tour when you get there.  We picked an air boat tour.  This way you can get into area's that you might not normally be able to get into in a regular boat.  Additionally, you don't have to worry about hurting any of the wildlife because the boat just sort of floats above the water!


At first I wasn't sure if we would see any alligators.  But as we were driving to the park, I saw so many alligators in peoples backyards that I figured we were bound to see at least one.  But lucky for us, we saw lots, they were everywhere.


The thing about the everglades is it the terrain can change in an instant.  One minute you can be surrounded by tree's, shrubs and millions of lily pads, the next you can be right out in the open or near little island pockets. It's actually quite beautifully diverse.


If you take the tour, they'll tell you all about the area and the wildlife.  We learned that the swamps are home to far more wildlife than just alligators.


You may have to look close, but perched in the tree is a huge lizard!


The area is also home to wild boars, deer, Florida panther, snakes, turtles, toads and so many more.  Although I didn't see any of those on my trip! Darn it!


After the air boat tour we hung out in the park area for a while.  It was neat, there was the opportunity to try alligator, and visit different live exhibits and shows.


These next few pictures were taken inside the park-like zoo.


And if you're lucky, you can even get a chance to hold a few of them. If your wondering why I am holding $5, well the guy who was doing this was basically charging a $5 tip, I figured why not.


We learned that this is one place in the world were both Alligators and Crocodiles exist together!  They let me hold this little guy, I think he was a 2 year old.  But thankfully the mouth was taped shut!  They are actually quite a bit more smooth than you would think.


One of the great parts about visiting the National Park portion and going on a tour. You can see a few of the animals that you might not have seen while out in the swamps and Cyprus tree's. (I would not want to get caught behind that fence that is for sure, LOL)


I don't know why so many gators come up to the fences, but if I am going to guess it's probably because people feed them. If not that, maybe they are hoping a stupid tourist will come too close?


I guarantee you'll love your trip to the Everglades if you take it!  It was well worth it. I was only able to spend a day there, but if you have more time there is lots more to see and do!



IF YOU GO:

*  I recommend taking a tour, its the safest and best way to insure you will see wildlife.  Not to mention you won't have to worry about getting lost in the vast swamps, or eaten by the local wildlife:)
*  There is a $10 entrance fee into the park.
*  I recommend bring bug repellent!  There are mosquitoes but also chiggers.
*  You can see a lot in a day, but you might enjoy spending a few days there!
*  There are campgrounds, hiking and boating available in different areas.



18 comments :

  1. I had the opportunity to pet a (small) alligator once and I was also surprised at how smooth they are. I was expecting a very scaly feeling... and the mouth was also taped shut.

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  2. That's so crazy the alligators hang out in backyards - Lol - i would totes freak if I saw one in my backyard. The most exotic we get in WI are squirrels and bunnies. Sounds like a super interesting place to visit though!

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  3. Hey it's my state! I'm totally jealous by the way...I went to Miami last December and saw NO gators. I always like to look for the fat ones. Those are my favorite. You got some great shots! I hope you tried the gator tail too- it's pretty good when cooked right!

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  4. We just visited the Everglades over Christmas break. It was pretty freaky seeing all the gators!

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  5. I grew up in Florida, but never did this! So sad :-( Hopefully we be able to go sometime!

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  6. Ooh I don't think I would be holding one! Those are great photos looks like a fun day. My husband and son did a tour there last year while my daughter and I hit the beach :)

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  7. Tricia MissSippiPiddlinMarch 8, 2017 at 6:24 PM

    This trip looks to be right up my alley! Oh and not to mention riding on an airboat is on my bucket list! We could make the trip in the RV too!

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  8. We went to Florida last summer, and traveled between Marco Island and Miami. We fell so much in love with the area that we would LOVE to move south when my husband returns from his deployment!!!!

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  9. I was the same way, I was not expecting them to be so smooth. Granted I've felt alligator boots before and they were soft I guess I should have just figured from that, LOL

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  10. Ya it was funny as we were driving on the tour bus into the park we passed so many homes and gators just hanging out in their backyards. The tour guide said, it's normal for them and they just co-exist. Granted they said they probably lose a dog or car from time to time, LOL

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  11. As we were heading down the freeway from Miami into the Everglades that particular day they were everywhere just on peoples lawns as we drove past. But yeah, I didn't think I would get to see one close up, but was pleasantly surprised we had good luck that day.
    I did not try gator tail, I was so hungry that day (just came off a cruise and hadn't had a meal since breakfast) I was afraid of ordering it in case I didn't like it... Definitely regret I didn't!

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  12. Oh how fun, I bet that was a nice time of year in Florida! Ya those gators are pretty cool to see!

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  13. I imagine not all area's have them. But maybe one day you can go for a visit and get a chance to see them!

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  14. They are so smooth and almost soft in a way they are uniquely different to hold than you'd think.

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  15. Hey we passed so many RV parks, and I believe there was camping right in the National Park too. You could totally take the RV and make the trip someday! I liked the airboat ride. At first I thought we were hurting the gators as we rode over the top of them, but nope.

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  16. I've never been to Marco Island, I'll have to add that to my list for next time I visit!
    It really is a beautiful area, I guess that is why so many people retire and move to Miami, LOL

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  17. Ahh! My brother and I were somewhat close to this and wanted to go, but we only had a half day and unreliable transportation, so it unfortunately didn't end up happening. :[ I'd love to take a trip there someday!

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  18. I have been to Florida several times but never to the Everglades. Your travel posts are always so interesting and informative. Thank you !

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