ROAD-TRIP FILES: The Florida Everglades
So you’ve packed your bags, the kids are in the car and you’re headed South to explore The Everglades. It’ll be a good trip, filled with traveling songs, family fun and if you’re lucky an Alligator or two. However, you quickly realize that asking Google to find ‘The Everglades’ isn’t going to work. Now what?
Let’s get the basics out of the way. The Everglades is a unique ecosystem found in South Florida (which is great because the weather is beautiful 360 days a year). As the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the country, the area is a nature lovers paradise! It has some of the most impressive flora and fauna in the world and is home to an unparalleled array of native animals.
In short, the Everglades is a large region of freshwater marsh that originally extended from Lake Okeechobee to the tip of Florida. It once covered more than 4,000 miles, but today covers less than half that distance.
Sounds great , right? When you consider that this natural beauty is teaming with Alligators, Snakes and a unique Mangrove Forest (just to name a few), is it any wonder why The Everglades is a popular tourist destination for thrill seekers and naturalists alike? There are of course a few ways you can explore The Everlades, but the safest way is right here at Gatorama.
What Happened To The Everglades?
In the 1880’s, decades before anyone realized how important the Everglades were to the region, the area was considered largely a nuisance. It was a swamp that needed to be drained to make way for land development. As a result, a series of canals were created. Native habitat was converted to agriculture or used for roads and buildings.
In the mid 1900’s, the government thought it was protecting the Everglades by constructing more canals and levees. However, changing the ebb and flow of the river damaged its natural systems and resulted in altered wildlife habitats.
How To Protect The Everglades?
Unfortunately, much of the damage done to the Everglades is irreparable. The change in the natural system of the ‘River of Grass’ meant that over 50% of the missing wetland caused numerous plants and animals to face virtual extinction. Wading bird populations (Great Egrets, Herons and Wood Storks) have been drastically impacted with existing numbers down nearly 90%. In addition, invasive species are more prevalent, thus increasing the loss of native plants and wildlife in the area. We consider Gatorama a unqiue opportunity to not only see Alligators and Crocodiles, but to witness first hand, these wading bird populations – an experience you may not get from a noisy airboat.
Experience The Everglades
The best way to Experience The Everglades is up close and personal. While airboat tours are a popular activity here in South Florida, the truth is that often their loud motors scare away the wildlife. Here at Gatorama, you get the convenience of a full array of amenities on a handicapped accessible covered boardwalk. This is a Florida Alligator Attraction you won’t want to miss. Only a short drive from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in the heart of Glades County, this 1957 roadside attraction is the Old Florida you’ve seen in postcards!
The good news is, your GPS knows exactly where Gatorama is (all the cool GPS’s do) – just type in “GATORAMA US HWY 27, PALMDALE, FLORIDA – and you’ll be on your way to adventure like on Gatorama can do!
While you’re driving, make sure to browse our Gatorventures and see who in your car is brave enough to take on Uncle Waders Catch A Gator Pond, our Big Bone Big Gator Fossil Dig and our Fast Hands No Hands Guest Feeding Experience.
As you work up your nerve, we will be here to answer any questions you may have, so give us a ring at 863-675-0623.