Fodor's Expert Review Royal Palm Visitor Center
Ideal for when there's limited time to experience the Everglades, this small center with a bookstore and vending machines permits access to the popular, paved Anhinga Trail boardwalk, where in winter spotting alligators congregating in watering holes is virtually guaranteed. Neighboring Gumbo Limbo Trail takes you through a hardwood hammock. Combining these short strolls (½ mile or so) allows you to experience two Everglades ecosystems. Rangers conduct Anhinga Ambles in season (call ahead for times). A Glades Glimpse program takes place afternoons in season, as do starlight walks and bike tours. As always, arm yourself with insect repellent. If you have a mind for history, ask about narrated Nike missile site tours, stemming from the '60s-era Cuban missile crisis.