The Everglades Beckons With a Lot of Nature and Little Costs

Posted February 2, 2010 by Kate Hamman

Everglades As the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., and home to a range of rare and endangered species, the Everglades National Park is well worth preserving. Come to Florida's Paradise Coast to experience the local flora and fauna without spending a fortune. Take a guided kayak tour through remote areas of the park, dine on all-organic dishes at a hip cafe, and stay in a lodge located smack dab in the middle of the swamp.

Everglades Area Tours: Among its several different tour options, Everglades Area Tours offers a kayak eco-tour where you can learn about the untouched ecosystem as you drift along at your own pace. Over the course of four hours, you may encounter manatees, sea turtles, ospreys, bald eagles, and dolphins. Tours cost $129 per adult, and kids under 12 are half price. If you'd rather head out on your own and save some cash, you can stop by the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at the entrance to the Everglades National Park in Everglades City, and explore on foot for as little as $5.

Food & Thought Organic Market & Restaurant: As a 100 percent organic restaurant, Food & Thought makes it easy to feel good about what you're eating. Come have an all-fruit smoothie as you watch the chefs prepare your honey orange salmon in the open kitchen. The menu changes daily, but you will always find a fish, fowl, or vegetarian dish available. The Naples restaurant also serves sandwiches, wraps, baked treats, salads, and soups. Entrees cost $6.95.

The Ivey House Bed & Breakfast: Located in Everglades City, the Ivey House brings nature to your doorstep. The B&B is surrounded by several scenic parks, including the Everglades National Park. You can choose from the inn, lodge, or private cottage to make your stay truly your own, and rent canoes or kayaks directly from the hotel for exploring the area's lush ecosystems. Lodge rooms start at $70 per night, and include a continental breakfast.

To search for flights and compare prices to Miami, which is home to the Everglades’ nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Josh Roberts)

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