Drive to the Everglades

River of Grass

A drive to the Everglades is a short 45 minutes from Sea Mar Condo.  The Florida Everglades is one of the most extensive and complex wetland ecosystems in the world.  It is really a long, shallow river nearly 50 miles wide and more than 100 miles long.  Everglades National Park is sometimes described as the “River of Grass”.  It is home to a multitude of plants, animals, and birds that live in habitats not found anywhere else in North America. The Everglades is primarily a fresh-water ecosystem. It encompasses nearly 485,000 acres of the salty Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico.  The average depth in this area of the Everglades is only 4-5 feet. It is only 9 feet at its deepest point.  The bay is cut off from the ocean by sandbars, dense mangrove islands, and the Florida Keys. Therefore, it has limited water circulation.

Everglades City

Everglades City, the Gulf Coast Entrance to Everglades National Park, is a short 40 minutes drive from Marco Island.  From Everglades City, canoe and kayak tours take visitors close to manatee, dolphin, sea turtles, bald eagles, osprey, heron, egret and spoonbills.  Fishing tours, back country excursions and hiking through Big Cypress National Preserve are also popular for this area.

The Gulf Coast Visitors Center in Everglades City offers an exceptional 90 minute Ten Thousand Island Boat Tour. We did this tour last December and loved it. The boat is a large pontoon with comfortable seating. The tour is led by a park ranger and goes across Chokoloskee Bay, into Indian Key Pass and through the mangrove islands of Everglades National Park. Our tour was lucky and got to see the white pelicans that are seasonal visitors to this area. Boat tours can be scheduled by calling Everglades Florida Adventures at (855) 793-5542 or on sight at the Gulf Coast Visitors Center.

Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Everglades City

Everglades Florida Adventures, Everglades City (Boat Tour)

The thrill of riding through the shallow waters of Florida’s Everglades on an airboat is totally unique. Both kids and adults enjoy the ride at high speeds through the narrow channels between the mangroves.  It is both fun and educational with informative local guides. Tours also offer amazing scenery and close up encounters with alligators, turtles, raccoons, and many rare birds.

While in Everglades City, we highly recommend lunch or early dinner at City Seafood.

Read our complete article on Everglades National Park:

Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve

Florida Everglades

The Big Cypress bend boardwalk on US41 in Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve has a 2,500 foot long boardwalk leading to an elevated observation platform overlooking a gator hole. Fakahatchee is the largest sate park in Florida and offers lush vegetation and wildlife. The location is 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland, FL 34137. The park is an 1 hour 15 min drive from Marco Island. Contact number (239) 961-1925

Florida Everglades

The Everglades have a mysterious beauty of their own.