The best of southern Florida ?
January 28, 2017 8:39 PM   Subscribe

I'll be spending the next week in Naples, Florida with access to a car and a lot of down time. I plan on driving to Miami and the Everglades. Does anyone have specific recommendations for places to see within an hour drive of Naples, or en route to Miami or the Everglades? Snowflakes inside.

Specifically looking for hikes/walks/beautiful nature. I don't need any beach recommendations as I have my favorites already (stump pass!). I haven't ventured far out of Englewood or Naples and I'd love recommendations of beautiful places to walk.
posted by pintapicasso to Travel & Transportation around Florida (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
See if you can find a swamp walk with Clyde Butcher, or at least visit his Everglades gallery.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 6:05 AM on January 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have you been to Sanibel and Captiva? Check out the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Rent a kayak and paddle around. Also check out state parks, I've been to several Florida state parks and they've all been wonderful.
posted by mareli at 6:43 AM on January 29, 2017

Oh, and be sure to get a tour by canoe or kayak in the Everglades. And here's a kayak tour place in Naples that looks good, tours led by Florida Master Naturalists. When I lived in Florida a few years ago I did most of the Master Naturalist program and it was wonderful Anyone who has a certificate from it is likely to be a fine guide. I wouldn't hesitate to ask them for recommendations for the Everglades.
posted by mareli at 6:50 AM on January 29, 2017

Avoid Alligator Alley (which is faster, but boring). Take Route 41. It's a longer ride, but it winds through the Everglades and is far more interesting. Stop at Clyde Butcher's gallery, it's great.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:23 AM on January 29, 2017

The Koreshan State Historic Site is a little bit north of there- it's the site of an attempted utopian community from the turn of the last century. Very pretty, and I thought it was pretty interesting. These people sounded kinda fun! Seconding Ding Darling, too- they used to have crocodiles and alligators.
posted by JulesER at 10:58 AM on January 29, 2017

Corkscrew Swamp sanctuary north of Naples is lovely for seeing all kinds of wildlife. The guides / volunteers along the way are full of knowledge and always pointing out things and animals I would not have seen.

Off 41 Shark Valley in Everglades National Park is memorable for the number and proximity of alligators.
posted by RoadScholar at 4:44 PM on January 29, 2017

We were on a plane to Miami once and I read about this place in the NYT, back when there were actual paper newspapers. It was surprisingly cool for a fruit stand and we didn't regret the detour on our way to the Everglades. We don't get much tropical fruit in Minnesota. I'm not sure what is available this time of year, but I bet it's still worth the time.

I feel a little like Charlie Brown pointing out a duckie and a horsey in the clouds while Linus is pointing out the Apostles, but I guess it's an additive process.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 10:33 PM on January 29, 2017

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