Everglades City in the Florida Everglades
Everglades City wasn’t always called Everglades City. It was originally just Everglade but after the Everglade National Park and Wildlife Refuge were established, the name was changed to Everglades City. It calls itself the “Gateway to the 10,000 Islands” and that is basically exactly what it is.
Everglades City is THE place to rent canoes or kayaks, hire a guide for a guided paddling excursion, or find a comfortable room from which to launch your explorations of Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, and Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. There is even a little bitty airport where you can take off and land a small plane or book a float plane tour.
The name, “Everglade” was given to the settlement by Bembery Storter when the US Postal Service refused the name “Chokoloskee”. Mr. Storter and his family were very prominent in the area and responsible for the development of tourism. The Rod and Gun Club was built on some of his land...he owned a lot of land.
Then Baron Collier arrived in 1923. Baron Collier is mostly responsible for Everglades City as we know it today. He purchased most of the land in and around Everglade and within five years had changed a sleepy little farming community into an industrial center that had paved roads, a railroad, a bank, a telephone, sawmills, a boatyard, churches, a school, workers' barracks and mess halls. It was a huge change.
Then with the establishment of the Everglades National Park, Everglades City again had to look to nature for its sustenance and reverted to tourism, sport fishing, and commercial crabbing as its income structure. Everglades National Park was formally dedicated in Everglades City on December 6, 1947.
There are a great many tourist attraction in Everglades City that can be enjoyed by visitors. Some of them are:
Everglade Area Tours: There are guided boat tours to the 10,000 Islands. There are also guided kayak fishing tours to the Everglades National Park back country. You might enjoy a canoe trip through mangrove tunnels or take a guided bicycle tour through old-growth cypress hammocks. You can take guided fishing trips to catch tarpon and snook or hike into the prairies, wetlands and sloughs to find rare orchids. There are guided birding tours that you might enjoy or you can see the whole area from the air in a float plane.
Because of Everglades City’s central location to major metropolitan areas like Naples, Marco Island, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach (all are within two hours), you can visit Everglades city for a few hours or a few days or even longer. You can take one day paddling trips or extended trips to the 10,000 islands from Everglades City.
When you visit Everglades City you will want to bring along at least four things; bug repellent (it IS wetlands and there are plenty of ‘noseeums’ around), sunscreen (even in mid winter), a good camera and a sense of adventure because you will certainly have adventure!