Comprising a whopping 1.5 million acres (608,000 hectares) on the southern tip of Florida, Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the US, a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. It’s an absolute maze of wetlands, swamps, coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes, pine flatwoods, and slow-moving rivers that crawl to the sea.
And it’s home to a lot of wildlife. On just a 2-hour tour, you might catch sight of manatees, alligators, dolphins, sea turtles, herons, egrets, storks, pelicans, ibises, bald eagles, ospreys, and roseate spoonbills. Bring your wildlife checklist, bring your camera, bring your bug spray, bring your sense of wonder and focus.
Responsible tip: “Always properly "check-in" if the wetland you’re visiting is a wetland management area or refuge that requires visitors to sign-in,” says Hillman. “This is so the agency can maintain visitor logs—and for your safety.”