Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Everglades City, Florida

usbackroads destination--Everglades City, Florida

After a couple of weeks in Florida it was getting a little suffocating with all the other humans.  I started looking for a place away from the crowds of humanity.  There  on the northwest side of the Everglades National Park was a small town all by its lonesome surrounded by an actual natural landscape!

The name was enough to get my attention.  A small town with city at the end of its name.  Out on the backroads that usually means a pretty good story associated with that particular town.  See our previous blog posting on: What's in a Name??

Out west, all small towns with big aspirations always included the term "city" in their name.  I suppose, they just thought they would grow into the name.  In most cases, it never happened but the names linger on maps.  Always go explore a small town with city in the name.  It will be a interesting place.  Everglades City proves the theory.

Here is the history of Everglades City from the turn of the century:  History of Everglades City.  But Everglades City's recent past is even interesting:  High Times in Everglade City.

The town even has a roundabout around the microwave tower in the middle of town.  If your looking for fancy homes and cars Everglades City is probably not your type of place.  But it is changing. There is evidence that people with money are starting to discover this little town.

I must say that one of the highlights of Florida was the local food.  Particularly, the seafood.  So if your willing to try local food in its "native" setting you might enjoy the dinning scene in Everglades City.  

This is the Triad Seafood Market and Cafe from the front.  Here is the link to the web site: Triad Restaurant.

And their dinning room from the street.

Not sure what went through the screen.  It is handy to have a screened it dinning room with the bugs!!  So dinner time in Everglades City ends a little after sunset.  Oh, very good food.  Stone Crab is just as good as that fancy Northwest and Alaskan crabs!  The local grouper fish sandwich was outstanding.

We also had dinner at the Camillia Restaurant.  A bit more upscale than the Triad, but without that fancy, screened it dinning room.  That does make a difference.  Be sure your done eating before dark and when the no-see-ums come out. Good food.

There was also this place that looked interesting, but we ended up running out of time.  Lots of little, interesting places to explore in Everglades City and environs.  Particularly, for those of us that are NOT into shopping!

As noted in the previous posting Everglades City is getting into eco-tourism.  Fortunately, it is still fairly low key.  People recommended doing an air boat tour.  Loud, fast, and exciting.  I dropped out at loud.  Do take advantage of the setting in the Everglades  There are also some interpretive trips on charter boats that are quiet and require little physical exertion.

For our canoe trip the Park Service did ask about canoeing experience.  Everybody in the group did have pretty good experience, except for several kids.  They fortunately, had the physical strength to overcome the lack of canoeing knowledge.  It was fairly windy on our four hour excursion in the bay.  The "kids" did manage to flip the canoe, but everybody was fine and most of the bay water is shallow enough that you can stand in it.  

It is a fun trip.  Don't lie about your canoeing experience IF it is windy.  In windy weather, I would be willing to cancel the canoe trip.  The Park Service came close to doing that.  It is one thing to suck it up and work through it when your in your twenties and getting paid.  In your sixties, in retirement, it is strictly about the enjoyment not the challenge.

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