My third time in the Everglades but my first time at this park; the grounds are nicer compared to others and there is a full size restaurant. Ample parking and space to walk around a bit before the airboat ride. The airboat ride itself was pretty uneventful with only one stop (other parks had 2-3) and the best part was the actual fast ride through the glades which lasts about 3 minutes, before you slow down and "cruise". Our guide was funny and knowledgeable and able to answer our questions. We didn't see much wildlife, but of course there's no guarantee that you will. Apparently the winter months are better for viewing, since it's the dry season and water levels are lower. (Dec. - April). Overall an OK experience, but although I didn't keep time, it seemed that the airboat ride was a bit short. For best wildlife viewing, I would recommend Shark Valley, just down the road and then you can do an airboat ride in any park, just for the ride's sake. Take some extra time to get there, because there is major road work going on right now well into December
We made a day of the Everglades and what really worked for us was the following:
1. Start with Shark Valley to see Alligators and birds (it's also the furthest point on Rt 41
2. Back track and do any airboat ride along the way (on the south side of the road)
3. Continue back tracking then take the 997 south to Florida city, then the 9336 to "Royal Palms Visitor Center" to do the Anhinga trail. It's a bit of a drive but really worth it! Nice boardwalk, wheel chair accessible and a good short family walking trail on a boardwalk. Lots of birds, alligators and flora etc.
That would make it a full day and worth the drive to the Everglades (1 hr from Miami, 1 1/2 hrs from Ft. Lauderdale)
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