Living in South Florida, I have easy access to one of the most fascinating ecosystem in the United States.
A short drive from my home and about an hour drive from Miami International (MIA) or Ft. Lauderdale Airport (FLL), Everglades Holiday Park offers a quick affordable way to explore a bit of natural Florida.
I have a sense they think they own the place.
Holiday Park seems to be a “mom and pop” run operation and is often not very busy. This usually gives you an opportunity to stroll the grounds, relax or have some real alligator tidbits before you board your tour.
A bit noisy, so bring ear plugs if you are noise sensitive or request a front seat. However, I think this is a part of the fun on an airboat ride.
A few minutes from the dock and we are in the natural part of the Everglades.
The waters are calm and at some spots seem impassable blocked by tall sawgrass. With a vibrating thunder the V8’s comes to life and our impassable path gently disappears beneath us.
Hold onto to your hats, you are gliding and sliding across the Everglades at 40-50 miles per hour!
With a stem growth limit of 6 to 8 feet, it is reasonable to assume this is the depth of the Everglades in areas where it is covered by lily pads.
Water depths in the canals can reach up to 80 feet.
Mention the Everglades and for most alligators are the first animal that comes to mind. However, the Everglades is also scattered with other wildlife including a wide diversity of birds.
A place few would not be dying to visit is what is known as “Buzzard Island”. From an alive and safe distance we observe the local residents in action.
So far no alligators are spotted although the Everglades reportedly have over one million of them. Our tour guide has a good feeling we will see one before the tour is over but this is not Disneyland.
“I see you, but you can’t see me.”
I pity the fool that comes by at dinner time unaware of her presence.
Everglades Holiday Park is located at the intersection of Griffin Road and US27 both of which have convenient exits from Interstate 75 (Griffin Rd I-75S/US-27) and the Florida Turnpike (US27) .
The park charges about $24 per adult with a 10% AAA or online coupon discount. Motorcycle riders get a 2 for 1 discount.
Want to spend more than a few hours in the Everglades?
Everglades Holiday Park also offers tent and RV overnight camping and fishing boat rentals are available.