Our adventures in Florida continue in this second post talking about the three national parks we were able to visit. While my first post highlighted our day at Dry Tortugas National Park, this post will combine our time in both the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
Having never been to the Everglades, I’ve wanted to visit this national park for years! Only having a day to explore, we chose to enter through the Homestead entrance, and take the scenic drive to Flamingo. We stopped along the way to take a few of the popular hikes, Anhinga Trail and the Pahayokee Overlook Trail, whereupon we found out why it might not be the best time to visit the Everglades in July, as a result of being practically carried away by mosquitoes and melting in the humidity! Unfortunately, due to the heat animal sightings were at a minimum, since they were all being smart and hiding from the sweltering sun. Upon arriving in Flamingo, we were a bit underwhelmed by the ghost town vibes that we were getting, which makes sense based on the time of the year that we were visiting. In a last ditch effort to see wildlife, we decided to take the backwater boat tour located in the Flamingo Marina, where we learned all about the mangrove trees, general wildlife facts, and arguably most fascinating, the highly toxic manchineel trees that could potentially kill you from just inhaling smoke from the burning plant. With respect to wildlife, on our tour we were able to see a massive banana spider, as well as a dolphin and its baby playing along the mangroves. You can see two photos below of the pair playing around the boat. We also managed to spot a little 1.5 foot crocodile swimming for cover in the mangroves. Overall, we enjoyed the Everglades, however would like to adventure back during the winter months and kayak through the mangroves. We also stopped by delicious Robert is Here Fruit Stand and Farm for smoothies based on my brother’s glowing recommendation! We loved it so much we ended up going there a total of three mornings.
Luke and I headed to Biscayne National Park the morning of Kayla’s wedding. Unfortunately we didn’t have sufficient time to truly enjoy this beautiful park, which would require you much get out onto the water to properly explore. We were able to wander down a boardwalk and around the waterfront. In the bottom photo, if you look really close, you can see Miami’s skyline in the distance. We would love to come back to Biscayne National Park again to adventure further, specifically take one of the snorkeling tours!