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Archive for the Category "National Parks"

Romantic Getaways in Everglades National Park Mar 02

My wife and I have always enjoyed traveling to National Parks for vacations. We find that being so close to nature can be very romantic. There is nothing quite like taking in a scenic view together and just being in the moment. The first National Park that we ever vacationed to together was the Everglades National Park and it still brings wonderful memories to us today.

The Everglades National Park has two main entrances, one close to Naples and the other closer to Miami. We visited the eastern portion of the park that was closer to Miami and that will be the basis for this blog. If you are interested in other portions of the park, you will want to visit the Everglades National Park website. The best time of year to visit is from November to April to avoid the mosquitoes that overwhelm the park in Summer.

To get to the eastern portion of the park, you can fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale. You will travel to Homestead or Florida City which is just outside the park entrance. There are many mom & pop and chain hotels in these two cities if you are interested in staying close to but not inside the park.

Once you enter the park, we would suggest that you visit the Royal Palm visitor center. At the Royal Palm, you can access the Anhinga Trail boardwalk which is a must to get a good feeling for one of the types of ecosystems in the Everglades. You will also be very likely to see many different types of wildlife including birds as well as alligators congregating in watering holes along the boardwalk. Adjacent to the boardwalk, is the Gumbo Limbo trail which allows you to experience a stroll through a hardwood hammock.

The main park road from the park entrance to the Flamingo Visitor Center travels through eight distinct ecosystems. Some of the highlights of the drive include a dwarf cypress forest and multiple ponds filled with wading birds. There are multiple trails and boardwalks which allow you to visit these areas of the park where you can get out of the car and maybe share a romantic view in a secluded area with that special someone.

We stayed at the campground near the Flamingo Visitor Center which many campsites have views of the bay. My wife and I still fondly remember our campsite where we were able to setup a couple of chairs and watch the sunrise over the bay. After the sun came up, we then enjoyed eating breakfast while watching the many birds flying over the water. There are many hiking and nature trails for you and your sweetheart to find some scenic views and some quiet, romantic moments. At the end of the day, we enjoyed going for a moonlit walk along the bay and then enjoyed cuddling next to each other in our sleeping bags while looking up at the starry sky.

One of the highlights of our trip to the Everglades was a guided sunset cruise that we took from the Flamingo area. The sunset views over the bay were beautiful and we really enjoyed seeing all of the varied species of birds while learning a little about the wildlife and ecosystems found in the Everglades. It was very peaceful, romantic, and relaxing and is something that we would highly recommend doing.

The other highlight of our trip was when we rented a canoe in Flamingo. I had canoed several times before but my wife had never been in one. They gave us a quick instruction and we pushed off in the canoe. We passed alligators, birds, fish, and turtles along the way. We traveled under mangrove trees and saw various ecosystems during our trip. We were alone most of the time and just found ourselves enjoying the sounds and sights that nature provided us.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Everglades and hope that some of you couples who find being at one with nature romantic, consider traveling to the Everglades National Park.