You can get gator tail and swamp cabbage at this festival. But the real reason to go is to revel in a last corner of small town America in Florida — beauty pageants, high school bands, armadillo races and a rodeo.
This Punta Gorda creek should be better known. Its tree canopy and unspoiled Old Florida feel offer kayakers natural beauty and wildlife, all in an easy, accessible day paddle.
Telegraph Creek, a tributary of the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers, is all the things I love about kayaking destinations – out-of-the-way, uncrowded, scenic, full of wildlife. You may even see llamas, as the river winds past a farm that raises exotic animals! Good news: The best launch site just reopened to the public.
Smallwood Store is an exceptional slice of Florida history at an end-of-the-road site overlooking Chokoloskee Bay near Everglades City.
A scenic road through Everglades National Park also brings you past a cute little roadside stop: the smallest post office in the US. In an era where post offices are being closed to save money, this little outpost dating to 1953 is a survivor.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, an Audubon Society preserve, takes you on a hike via boardwalk with good wildlife viewing and exquisite scenery.
Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.
The Everglades Seafood Festival in Everglades City marks its 50th year in 2020 with fresh local seafood, country music, carnival rides, arts and crafts. Admission is free.