Monday, January 15, 2018

What to do in the Everglades with Children

Well, we survived our first Camping trip with the girls

After a cup of coffee and some lunch at a nearby Burger King, we headed home. 
We'd been home for roughly 5-minutes before my husband announces that 
we are going to the Everglades! 

So, we packed a lunch box, grabbed some water and headed over to the Everglades National Park. Back in May, when we visited Shark Valley, we became pass holders for the Everglades National Park, but due to Hurricane Irma, we hadn't had an opportunity to go visit. 

The Ernest F. Coe visitor center is located all the way down in Florida City, and can be accessed by taking the Florida Turnpike south until it merges with US 1. Once it merges with US 1 turn right onto Palm Drive (344th street) and follow the signs to the park.  


Address:40001 State Road 9336, Homestead FL, 33034 
Contact Number: 305-242-7700 

Once you arrive at the Visitor Center, be sure to take your time walking through the exhibits as there are special collections that rotate and other educational opportunities! You will also want to get your Visitor Center Stamp and talk to the Park Ranger about becoming a Jr. Ranger


We asked the Park Ranger to recommend a couple of trails for our family to explore, and then headed out for an adventure! 

Since we were arriving at the park in the late afternoon, the park ranger recommended two trails for our family to explore, both trails were paved and had plenty of animals for the girls to see. 

The first trail we explore was the Gumbo Limbo  Trail. This trail was a little less than a mile and completely paved, perfect for even the smallest of travelers. We didn't see very many animals on this trail, but it was full of beautiful trees, and the girls really enjoyed it! 

What is a Gumbo Limbo? 
A tree! 

Native to South Florida, this tree is known as the "tourist" tree because of its red bark that can appear to look like peeled sun-burned skin. 

The second trail we explored was the Anhinga Trail.  Located right next to the Gumbo Limbo Trail, this short trail was a combination of both boardwalk and pavement. While exploring this trail, we got face-to-face with an Alligator and even got the chance to see some baby gators. 



Another fun thing to do is the FREE trolley ride, every weekend until April 29 in 2018 you can ride a trolley. The city of Homestead has created a program to offer free public transportation to Everglades and Biscayne national parks with its "Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks".  This is the first of it's kind, and a great way to see National parks in one day! 


For More Information Call: (305)224-4457


Food is limited in the Everglades National Park, and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, and if your kids are anything like mine, they are going to build up a pretty big appetite so you might want to pack some extra snacks.  ;-)  
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The Florida Everglades covers over 1.5 million acres of land and stretches over 3 counties. These parks are certainly ones you will want to explore again and again! 

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