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Going to the Everglades from Bonita Beach

Old Nov 7th, 2012, 05:48 PM
  #1  
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Going to the Everglades from Bonita Beach

We have never seen any of the Everglades, and would like to drive over from Bonita Beach. Is there a certain entrance we should take and also would an airboat ride be our best bet? Please give us any ideas of what to do or not to do. We would have about half a day to devote to it. Thanks!
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 02:55 AM
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You can't do it in half a day. Sorry. If you leave BB by 8 and have lunch somewhere along 41 near the park, you can be home between 5 and 6 (estimate). It is at least a two hour drive to Shark Valley, the nearest entry to the park, so you have at least four hours on the road, probably more coming home. You really should stop in Everglades City and Chokoluskee, and you will want to drive slowly to watch the alligators along the highway near the Turner River. It is a longish day.
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 06:12 AM
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I did the trip to Shark Valley from Ft. Myers, and the drive was not too bad and the tour in Shark Valley was neat. Another time we did the park service boat tour from Everglades City through the mangroves which was also very interesting.

Both are well worth the driving time.
emalloy is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2012, 06:44 AM
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OK, say we do allow a whole day, what would be a great itinerary from Bonita Beach?
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Bonita Beach to US 41, US 41 to Shark Valley.

On the way, take the turnoff for Everglades City and Chokoluskee. You could take the boat tour into the Ten Thousand Islands from the far end of Everglades City, but its criminal history is more interesting. At the end of the road, Chokoluskee Store is a museum of local history. Go back to US 41.

Between the US 41 junction and Shark Valley, you will see the smallest Post Office in the US, and you will see a ton of alligators where you cross the Turner River. You can park at the crossing, but you will see alligators pretty much everywhere in the ditches along the highway. The birds in this area are pretty fantastic as well.

If you go on to Shark Valley, take the tour that emalloy mentions in the National Park, or take one of the airboat tours there. I am pretty sure I remember a couple of Seminole restaurants thereabouts if you didn't eat lunch in Everglades City or Chokoluskee.
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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And whatever you do, stop at the Big Cypress Gallery just west of the little post office. Owner/photographer Clyde Butcher is the Ansel Adams of the Everglades and you'll be amazed at his huge and spectacular photographs. It's also FREE. The best 10 or 15 minutes of your entire day!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Ooops. Just EAST of Ochopee Post Office, I mean. It will be on the right and is hard to miss.
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