Everglades with Toddler

Old May 6th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Everglades with Toddler

Will be in Florida this week and would love to visit the Everglades.. I will be traveling with my two year old. Any opions? Will I be able to enjoy the park with him. Also do you know if mosquito season has started yet, he is very allergic to bug bites. Thanks in advance.. Maybe I should wait until I have a chance to go without him.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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There are many board walk walkways in the park. The best, easiest and most likely somewhat free of mosquitoes would be Royal Palm. Its a few miles after the visitors center and the first one you come to. The 'skeeters' can get bad once you get further south where their is brackish water.

Shark Valley off US-41 has a tram ride you can take. I would say this would be the easiest for you with a two year old.



If going to the main part of the Everglades NP stop at "Robert is Here", and have a milkshake and get some fruit for the trip.

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Old May 6th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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You would probably be very smart to either wait until you can go without him or until he's older. He may get tired and cranky before you really have a chance to see the place. He may even outgrow his allergic reactions to bug bites.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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I would agree with Redrock that Shark Valleymight be the easiest with a child, since the tram will take you throughout the Evergades with very little need for much walking. We did it this past February and really enjoyed it. And it is a fairly easy drive from the Miami area.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Thanks for all of your helpful responses. I think the tram sounds like something he would enjoy. Also the boardwalk sounds like fun.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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Tram ride: 2 hours long/15 miles, open air tram. Not sure that's a great idea if he's very allergic to bug bites, because in May you're going to have bugs and there's no way to turn back once the tram gets going unless you want to walk.

You can still go to Shark Valley and walk a short distance on the tram road and see lots of wildlife. Also, just a bit west of Shark Valley is Big Cypress National Preserve, and the visitor center has a short elevated boardwalk above a canal with plenty of alligators. That sounds more doable than the tram ride to me, especially given the season (it's forecasted to be in the upper 80s this week).
Old May 7th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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The mosquito season coincides with rainy season and yes, it is here.

I do not advise anyone to go to the Everglades this time of year without wearing a hazmat suit.
Old May 7th, 2007, 08:50 AM
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You can take your stroller on the boardwalk at Royal Palm (Anhinga Trail). It's a 1/2 mile walk and so may be easier than being 1 hour into a 2 hour tram ride with a cranky child. Put long sleeves and pants on him to help avoid bites. There's no food service in this part of the Everglades so take snacks.
Here are the directions from Miami.
Take the turnpike to Florida City. The turnpike ends at a traffic light (large Shell gas station on far right corner). Turn right there and follow the road to the National Park entrance. (Ernest Coe center on the park website). Go to the visitor center for an overview of the Everglades. Then back on road for 5 min to the Royal Palm Visitor Center. This is the Anhinga Trail, a 1/2 mile boardwalk through a sawgrass marsh. You will see lots of alligators, birds and fish. Perhaps you'll even see one of the Anhingas (a bird) eat one of the fish! They have a ranger led tour at 10:00 (usually, be sure to check this). Finish the trail and head back to Florida City. Going or coming, take a break at Robert is Here. It's a fruit stand you pass along the way to the park. Famous for fresh fruit milkshakes (strawberry Key Lime is my favorite).
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