The River of Grass

A journey through the Everglades. Called "pa-hay-okee" ("grassy water") by the Seminoles, the Everglades is a wide expanse of mostly sawgrass, hammock-peppered land that extends from Lake Okeechobee in the north to Florida Bay in the south.


The River of Grass

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

Within Everglades National Park, which encompasses about one-seventh of the Everglades area, or 1.5 million acres, visitors can get a glimpse of one of the earth’s most unique ecosystems. With both freshwater and salt-water habitats, the park’s is rich with of wildlife diversity. During a visit to the Everglades, be prepared to come across everything from marsh rabbits and alligators to ancient mahogany trees. There are over 125 species of fish, 300 species of birds, and more than 1,000 species of plants. Offshore species include the endangered West Indian manatee, as well as playful bottlenose dolphins. A tour of all park areas is a must (covered seperately) as is a sunset in the park.${QuickSuggestions} The best time to visit the Everglades is late November through mid-April. The worse time is summer, when it rains almost daily, from light showers to torrential downpours. After a camera, the most important thing I recommend to bring is a serious bug repellent. The bugs are awful during the period outside of November through April. Due to the insects, I also recommend long pants even in the summer, much better than shorts. It isn't a good idea to wear open toe shoes. Temperatures usually don't drop below the 50s, even during the winter and the summer months will find the temperature over 90 and very humid. Headcover is very important also. Drinking water and snacks are a good idea also.${BestWay} The park is reached from Naples from the west, Miami from the east and the Fla Keys from the south. The park has a tram ride in one section. Car tours are a great way to get a start. Biking, canoeing, airboating and kayaking will get you to the 'heart' of the park.

Everglades City Rod & Gun Lodge

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

Located in Everglade City near the western edge of the Everglades National Park. The Lodge is known for its celebrated accommodations — particularly among savvy fishermen. The Rod and Gun Club is an authentic 1864 hunting and fishing club with rooms named after famous guests, including John Wayne. This antique-filled lodge includes a massive, red cypress-paneled lobby, as well as eight rooms. There are also cottages, a screened-in pool, and complete docking facilities. I have never stayed but several friends swear by it!
Everglades City Rod & Gun Lodge
200 Riverside Drive
Everglades National Park, Florida
(941) 695-2101

Everglades City Rod and Gun Lodge

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

The massive native cypress-paneled dining hall, with fish trophies hung on the walls, and the airy veranda set an elegant scene for the mostly well-to-do types who stay at the lodge or use it as a base camp for charter expeditions. The menu is seafood-dominated and features local dishes like frog legs and stone crab claws. Prices are a bit pricey but are an excellent value.
Everglades City Rod and Gun Lodge
200 Riverside Drive
Everglades National Park, Florida
(941) 695-2101

Everglades Alligator Farm

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

This is a real working alligator farm. This farm located at the edge of the Everglades started in 1982 as a simple airboat ride attraction, and has since evolved into the home of more than 3,000 alligators and reptiles that people love to visit today.

Located right on the edge of Everglades National Park, the farm offers tours and wildlife shows to those who want to experience the famous wetlands. In 1985, the State of Florida permitted commercial farming of alligators and Mr. Hudson opened the first such farm in Dade County. Commercial farming was correctly seen as a way to insure the preservation of this reptile, which had once been placed on the endangered species list by the Federal Government. The reptile is one of the few animals to be removed from the endangered species list. In fact, Florida now allows controlled alligator hunts just to keep the population under control.

Everglades Alligator Farm
40351 Southwest 192nd Avenue
Everglades National Park, Florida, 33034
(305) 247-2628

Miccosukee Indian Gaming

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

This very popular resort casino perched on the outskirts of the Florida Everglades is open 24 hours to accommodate anyone for any game at any time. The resort boasts several bars, 34 poker tables, bingo halls, a gift shop, live entertainment and even a child care facility. You join tourist, locals and retirees inside this vast resort for your chance to win the big one. This place is so popular that it keeps growing and growing. The actual hotel is a modern Las Vegas style highrise hotel.

Located within the resort, you will find the Cypress Lounge. Here’s the place to catch free pay-per-view boxing or take a spin on the dance floor with the top tunes being played by a DJ. On another night, catch a concert at the resort’s 2,000-seat Sports and Entertainment Dome. The entertainment here has been tailored to be varied throughout the year.

Miccosukee Indian Gaming
500 SW 177th Avenue
Everglades National Park, Florida, 33194
(305) 222-4600

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

In the Seminole language, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki means to learn and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is perfect to do so. It includes 5,000 square foot exhibit hall that consists of artifacts and cultural displays unique to the Florida Seminole. The exhibits depict the lives of the Seminoles in south Florida during the late 1800s. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is located on a beautiful 60-acre cypress dome in the Big Cypress Swamp.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
6300 Stirling Road
Everglades National Park, Florida, 33440
(800) 683-7800

Anhinga Trail

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

This 20-minute trail is a perfect place to see alligators, wood storks and purple gallinules. The sightings of the majestic great blue herons, snowy egrets and brightly colored roseate spoonbills make this a birdwatchers and photographers “must”. There are plenty. From an elevated boardwalk you’re about as close, and as safe, as you can get to these creatures in the wild. Stop farther down the road at the Gumbo Limbo Trail which runs through a tropical jungle of banyans, orchids, ferns & gumbo limbo trees.
Anhinga Trail
40001 State Road 9336
Everglades National Park, Florida, 33034
(305) 242-7700

Westlake in Everglades Shark Valley area

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

The Everglades is full of unique ecosystems that can't be found outside of South Florida. One of these being Westlake. Westlake is the site where salt water from different tidal estuaries mixes with the fresh water of the Everglades, creating an unusual mangrove of salt-resistant trees and extensive amounts of marine life. The trees provide nutrients galore for all of the water creatures, which have rightly turned Westlake into a breeding haven for shrimp, tarpon, oysters, and other small animals.

This area is usually being studied by scientists and students, in order to get a good look at how the food chain works. Westlake is a almost a science class in progress. Westlake may be a well-kept natural habitat, but it will still send you home pretty wet and tired. The wet and damp mangroves can be explored via overhead boardwalks, but be prepared to get a bit wet anyway.


Shark Valley - Everglades Natl Park

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

I’m not exactly sure where the name Shark Valley comes from because there are no valleys to be found nearby and no sharks have been spotted here in over a million years. Regardless of the meaning of the name, this area remains one of the Everglades' most picturesque areas. The 15-mile loop that travels almost 8 miles into the Everglade marshes passes along several hardwood islands, many, many acres of sawgrass, and more frequent alligator sightings. Visitors can travel the path by way of a two-hour tram tour, three-hour leisurely bike tour, or on foot.

There's an observation tower a few miles into the trail that makes a great stopping point for snacks or picnics, and educational plaques can be found all along the trail to help you recognize the surrounding wonders.


Pa-hay-okee Overlook --- Shark Valley

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by AnaMH on November 3, 2000

If you want to get a real sense of what the Florida Everglades are, take a trip to the Pa- hay-okee Overlook. The meaning of Pa-hay-okee in the Seminole language is “grassy waters” and this trip will certainly show you the grassy river that is the Everglades. The Pa-hay-okee Overlook features a short boardwalk and an observation tower that gives you an expansive view of the Everglades. Be sure to bring your camera because you're likely to come across some snapshots you won't want to miss.

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j3112-Everglades_National_Park-The_River_of_Grass.html

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