Florida’s Everglades National Park in South Florida was dedicated in 1947 and now encompasses 1.5 million acres, including the largest legislated wilderness area east of the Rocky Mountains. Even casual day visitors have numerous opportunities to see wild creatures in this vast region, designated a World Heritage Site and Wetland of International Importance. Bird watching opportunities are outstanding.
Visitors can bring or rent small boats, canoes, kayaks and bikes to explore different areas of the park, and can hike on designated trails. Rangers present free daytime and evening programs, primarily from mid-December through March. Bring binoculars, water, insect repellant, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Start your visit at one of the park’s four visitor centers for suggestions on how to plan your time. Fees: Entrance, $10 per vehicle for seven days; Wilderness Permit, currently $10 plus $2 per person, per day (permit increases were proposed in March 2013). www.nps.gov/ever