Into the Wild
Miami’s dazzlingly built environment makes it easy to forget that the city lies just thirty-five miles from Everglades National Park (nps.gov/ever). The third largest national park in the lower forty-eight states, the Everglades encompasses one and a half million acres, a vast subtropical wilderness of mangrove forests, hardwood hammocks, shallow flats, cypress groves and sawgrass marshes. It harbors more than three hundred species of birds, along with copious aquatic life including alligators and manatees, and more than one thousand species of plants. Most visitors tour the Everglades by car, opting for the eighty-mile round-trip drive from Royal Palm Visitor Center to Flamingo, on Florida Bay.
Miami is also blessed with proximity to the prime fishing grounds of the Gulf Stream. A host of charter services offer half- and full-day sport-fishing excursions, supplying all the bait and tackle—and even hauling in your catch, should you happen to hook a hefty marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo, snapper or kingfish. One convenient option is Sea Cross (seacrossfishingmiami.com), a charter service that docks at Bayside Marina, minutes from downtown Miami.