The Everglades

  • Watchful Alligator

    Royal Palm Visitor Center

  • Anhinga and Little Blue Heron

    on the Anhinga Trail

  • Osprey

    Back from a successful fishing trip

  • Anhinga

    Drying its wings on the boardwalk

  • Nice day for a kayak trip

    Paddling through the mangroves

  • Baby 'gators

    seen from the trail at Shark Valley

  • Dolphin

    Jumping in the wake

  • Basking 'gators

    Don't fall in here!


Whilst the idea of visiting a large swamp on holiday may not seem at first appealing, the Everglades has a beguiling beauty . The Everglades is a vast area of wetlands at the southern tip of Florida. The National Park was formed in 1934 to protect the delicate ecosystem formed by water running through the low lying area from Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf.

You do not need to make much effort to find a peaceful spot, and the view of acres of wetlands spread in front of you disturbed only by the sounds of birds, the breeze and animals moving through the undergrowth is great food for the soul. There is also the attraction of being able to view some of the amazing creatures that live in the area such as alligators, manatee, dolphin, eagles, osprey and anhinga. If you are in any way interested in birds it is a fabulous place.

It is very easy to plan a trip to the Everglades as part of a Florida holiday as it is a short drive from Miami or the southerly resorts on the Gulf coast. It is also drivable from Orlando, but in my opinion it is not a feasible day trip. I would be minded to try and incorporate at least an overnight stop and ideally a couple of days.  The Everglades is also a great family destination. Many of the trails in the Park are short boardwalks suitable for buggies and toddlers. For older children there is the fun of being able to see alligators of all sizes in the wild, as well as the option of kayaking through the mangroves and dolphin spotting.

Twitter iconYou can fly straight into Miami’s International airport from London and Manchester. You can sometimes bag a bargain if you are willing to catch a connecting flight at one of the large US hubs.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both operate direct flights from the UK to Miami. If neither of these options appeal we like Expedia for a good listing of all the operators running flights.