Fakahatchee Strand Preserve

Top choice in Everglades National Park

The Fakahatchee Strand, besides having a fantastic name, also houses a 20-mile by 5-mile estuarine wetland that looks like something from the beginning of time. A 2000ft boardwalk traverses this wet and wild wonderland, where panthers still stalk their prey amid the black waters. While it’s unlikely you’ll spot any panthers, there’s a great chance you'll see a large variety of blooming orchids, bird life and reptiles ranging in size from tiny skinks to grinning alligators.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Everglades National Park attractions

1. Ochopee

6.08 MILES

Drive to the hamlet of Ochopee (population about four)…no…wait…turn around, you missed it! Then pull over and break out the cameras: Ochopee’s claim to…

2. Museum of the Everglades

6.72 MILES

For a break from the outdoors, don't miss this small museum run by volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge on the region's history. Located in the town…

3. Skunk Ape Research Headquarters


This only-in-Florida roadside attraction is dedicated to tracking down southeastern USA’s version of Bigfoot, the eponymous Skunk Ape (a large gorilla-man…

4. 10,000 Islands

9.45 MILES

One of the best ways to experience the serenity of the Everglades – somehow desolate yet lush, tropical and forbidding – is by paddling the network of…

5. Smallwood Store

9.93 MILES

Perched on piers overlooking Chokoloskee Bay, this wooden building dates back to 1906, when a pioneer by the name of Ted Smallwood opened his rustic…

6. Kirby Storter Roadside Park

13.9 MILES

Though short in size (1 mile total out and back) this elevated boardwalk leads to a lovely overlook where you can often see a variety of birdlife (ibis…

7. Big Cypress National Preserve

15.23 MILES

The 1139-sq-mile Big Cypress Preserve (named for the size of the park, not its trees) is the result of a compromise between environmentalists, cattle…