It’s not every day I make it down south to the Everglades National Park. In fact, I probably haven’t been since a school fieldtrip circa 1996. As we grow older, we get so caught up in our regularly scheduled day to days that we forget about everything there is to do out there, including the 1.5 million-acre natural preserve in our own backyard.
So much like many of the other memorable events of my lifetime, this trip started with my friend suggesting we do something crazy. My friend Michelle found out about a trip to the Everglades being organized by @wanderwithgina – someone I thought she knew, but turns out she didn’t. We Venmo’d this person cash, agreed to meet up in a parking lot Saturday morning, jumped in a van with 10 strangers & headed to the swamp. Sounds like the start of a horror movie, right? Except it wasn’t. We had such a good time!
Gina was all about exploring national parks and getting away from our daily stresses to just be one with nature while enjoying the outdoors. We hit up four of the many trails the park has to offer: Anhinga Trail, Pahayokee Overlook, Mahogany Hammock, and Flamingo Trails, which I learned is the other most southern point of Florida. Who knew?! We saw a bunch of gators, wild birds, snakes, spiders, the works. It was nice to be out in the wilderness for a few hours with no wifi and no service. I’m a big fan of disconnecting every now and then.
#PROTIPS – Bug spray is a must.Wilderness bugs are no joke, although we were luky enough to be there while there was a “low mosquito” advisory. Also, sunscreen or an adventure hat because some of these trails offer zero shade. Lastly, alcohol in your water bottle is always a good idea, just don’t drop it into the lily pads.
Besides the walking trails, there are of course the air boat rides, canoe and kayak rentals (although idk how I feel about being that close to any gator), camping, etc. available to those interested in really getting down with nature. Outside of the park, there is also a place called Everglades Gator Grill where you can pretty much eat gator cooked any type of way. Gator bites, Gator burgers, Gator-kabobs, Gator gumbo, you get the jist. I didn’t get to go, but it’s got 4 stars on Yelp sooo put that on your list.
Speaking of food, on your way out of the Redlands you have.to.stop at Los Potosinos Taqueria. I knew I was in for a treat when the minute we hopped off the bus, I could hear Selena coming from the speakers. The place is basically a food truck parked in front of a family’s home where they make everything on the spot. They’ve got tons of authentic items on the menu & they all come with photos – a personal fave cause I like to know what I’m getting into before I order. We got tacos & tostadas and everything was legitttt. The perfect ending to a random Saturday adventure.
When was the last time you ventured out to the Evergaldes?