Southern Florida is an absolute beauty. The pristine beaches and the calm waves and the friendly people give a profound connection to the divine. The Gulf of Mexico is a sheet of blue sprinkled with diamonds blown by the subtropical winds that warms the very soul. And every late afternoon, Mother Nature paints the sunset is of fiery red orange and indigo, an always existentially romantic way to end the day. The swamps are teaming with wildlife, all diverse in their species and colors, every single one important to the larger picture of the eco-system. If you are looking for a place to chill and relax and just forget all the worries in life, then whether it’s the calm rivers and waterways or the grand beaches, there’s always something here for you in the Paradise Coast. So let’s look at some of the things you can do.

1. Kayaking

This is one of the best things you can do in Southwestern Florida. Places in Marco Island and Everglades have waterways that maze through rivers then lead out into the open sea. There are water trails for beginners, amateurs and seasoned kayakers alike and there is always something amazing to be seen. Take for instance the manatees that frolic around the freshwater shallows or some of the dolphins that play around the open sea.

2. Fishing

Since we’re in the topic of water activities, we might as well mention one of the many reasons why people come to this beautiful region and that is sport fishing. Anglers from all over the country join fishing clubs or rent out a charter that takes them to the gulf. Fish can be caught here all year round that can be added to your list of accomplishments. Common snook, grouper and the gigantic tarpon can be caught using your skills as an angler.

3. Hiking and Trailwalking

There are thick woods, marshes and swamps all over southwest Florida particularly in Corkscrew Camp Sanctuary and the Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples, Florida just to mention a few. You can see ancient trees and thick vines all over that take you almost to another planet as well as marsh deer, alligators and an assortment of birds. In Big Cypress National Preserve, it is said that there lives the rarest orchid in the world the Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii).

4. Biking

Southwest Florida has a generally fair weather all year round and when the sun is out, it’s always a good time for biking. There are roads particularly near the Tamiami trail where it’s biker friendly. There is a section there which is generally not very busy and so many animals can be found there, including alligators that’s from a nearby river. You don’t have to worry too much though because these reptiles are so used to people, they only attack when provoked.

5. Airboat Tours

If you happened to be in the Everglades, chances are you’ve come upon hearing about the River of Grass. This is a vast stretch of swamps that’s covered in tall grass. And the grasses are so tall and thick, you’d never suspect there’s water in some areas. But it doesn’t mean its not navigable. Meet the Airboat, a large flat vessel with even larger propellers at the back designed specifically to cut through this otherwise impassable terrain.

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