Southwest Florida has so many great attributes: sunshine, beaches, award-winning food, high-end shopping,... But one thing it has that no one else has is the Everglades. The River of Grass that brings people from far and wide to experience a wilderness unlike any other. What makes it so different? It's diverse, largely untouched, and unknown.
1. By Boat
Air boat that is! Air boat tours offer you a very unique look at the Everglades, as the boat glides over the shallow water of the marshy habitats. You get a view of the vast land above and below you that is so much different from a regular boat or kayak. You kind of need to see it to believe it, and it's an experience unlike any other so we definitely recommend it.
2. Kayak Tours
For those adventurous types, we recommend taking a kayak tour. They really allow you to get up close and personal with the mangrove ecosystems where you'll find beautiful wading birds and so many kinds of fish. Kayaks also give you a little more control over your own path, though you should still follow your guide!
3. Walking Tours
Take a walking tour of the wetland and upland habitats to truly experience the diversity of the Floridian ecotones. The difference in a few inches of standing water can yield an entirely different habitat from one spot to the next, each one with it's own dominant and flourishing plants and animals.
4. By Another Boat
This time, we're talking motor boat. Hop aboard a boat and take an eco-tour of the coastal regions of Collier County. Learn about the unique sea creatures and coastal plants that inhabit our slice of the gulf. See the Ten Thousand Islands that make up the mouth of the Everglades! And Marco Island, the largest of the Ten Thousand Islands, happens to have some great places to stop for a bite and a breathtaking view (just saying).
Collier County happens to have a few great museums that we recommend you check out. One of them is the Museum of the Everglades. Visit any one of them to learn more about wild Florida and how Naples developed into the thriving city it is today.
Let us know what you thought of your experience in the Floridian wilderness! And if you have an adventurous way to explore Florida that you'd like us to share, email Kate at Kate@paradisecoast.tv any time!