Everglades

Loop Road: Storied road through Everglades is full of wildlife

Loop Road: Storied road through Everglades is full of wildlife

Loop Road is famous for being a wild place. (That once applied to the people as well as the animals.) It’s a gravel road off the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades. If you’re not in a hurry, it’s a rewarding place to explore.

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery has an inviting outdoor area for trying the wines and beers.

A day exploring the Redland: Agriculture and rustic charm thrive near Miami

The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, free tours of a spectacular orchid grower’s estate, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.

At Shark Valley in early January, this pair were so close, you had to walk to the other side of the paved path to avoid crowding them. (Never crowd a Mama Gator!) There were six oher young gators in the grass around Big Mama.

Shark Valley at Everglades National Park: Great bike trail; terrific wildlife

This entrance to Everglades National Park has one trail, but it’s so special that Shark Valley is hard to top. It’s an especially great place to bicycle.

Kayakers at Collier-Seminole State Park near Naples

Kayak trails in Everglades National Park: The best way to experience it

Kayaks and canoes are one of the best ways to surround yourself in the Everglades. Here’s a guide to the trails in the national park.

Everglades kayak trail: Halfway Creek off Tamiami Trail is all about the plants

Everglades kayak trail: Halfway Creek off Tamiami Trail is all about the plants

Halfway Creek is a well-marked kayak trail just off the Tamiami Trail. It’s good for short or long paddles, taking you to a wild green world thick with airplants.

Mangrove tunnel that connects Coot Bay to Mud Lake is among best scenery on this kayak or canoe paddle in Everglades National Park.

Canoe or kayak Everglades National Park: Coot Bay and Mud Lake trail

Our Everglades National Park paddle on the Coot Bay/Mud Lake trail offered two hours of gorgeous scenery through magical mangrove tunnels. It also required about two hours of hard paddling against the wind.

In the winter, visitors have no trouble seeing dozens   of alligators up close. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Shark Valley: South Florida’s best bike trail is an Everglades adventure

Everglades National Park is vast and there are many deep-into-the-wild places to explore. But one of my favorite Everglades experiences is Shark Valley off the Tamiami Trail west of Miami. The 15-mile loop path is the best traffic-free scenic bicycle trail in South Florida.

The view from the water (Photo by Constance Mier)

Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee: Everglades icon still owned by original family

Smallwood Store is an exceptional slice of Florida history at an end-of-the-road site overlooking Chokoloskee Bay near Everglades City.

Robert Is Here bursts with flowers, fruits, colors and fun.

Robert Is Here: Get a key lime milk shake on your way to Everglades

HOMESTEAD — Robert Is Here, just outside Everglades National Park, is a must-stop for my family on the basis of its Key Lime milkshakes alone. But we also love the menangerie out back, the exotic tropical fruits there for the tasting and the overall ambiance.

Sandbar off Jewel Key (Photo by Angie Chestnut)

Ten Thousand Islands: Ride the tide through Indian Key Pass

EVERGLADES CITY — Whitewater paddling in the Everglades? Well, almost. The tides move in and out of the Ten Thousand Islands so quickly, the water rushes and ripples through the passes, so you need to catch the current going in the right direction if you want to make headway.

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