Everglades City is an old Florida town that was originally founded in the early 1900s. It sits on the Barron River and is considered "The Gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands". This town was developed by a man named Barron Collier, who used this town to house workers that assisted him on his many projects in the area. One of his most known projects was the Tamiami Trail, which still exists and is in use to this day. This town continued to grow and thrive until the Great Depression and World War II in which it became worn down and was almost abandoned.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Florida became a trading ground for large amounts of marijuana. Air craft's would drop bundles of this product into the nearby mangroves where it would be picked up and distributed by locals. This operation eventually died down as Reagan's War on Drugs eventually took hold and put a stop to the trade in the late 1980s. Since then, the town has decreased in population and now stands at around 600 people, which occasionally varies from time to time.
Although this town remains ramshackled and lightly populated, a rich history still exists and there is plenty of adventure to be had. With access to the Barron River, Mangrove Coast, and so many other Waterways, there are several companies that offer guided boat tours. These tours include a view of the abundant wildlife that exists here as well as the beautiful scenery that thrives in this warm, tropical area. There are also several locations in which to rent kayaks, canoes and other watercraft to explore the mangrove coast and other surrounding areas on your own.
Everglades is also home to the annual Seafood Festival. With over 370,000 pounds of crab being brought in from the Barron River, this is one of the most anticipated, and tastiest, events of the year. Other fresh fish are captured and cooked for this event and it offers amazing seafood delicacies unlike those found anywhere else. This event takes place on the first of February and people come from far and wide to be a part of this special day.
Fishing is also a big event here and people come from far and wide to try their hand at the many tropical waterways that exist. There are many fishing and charter tours offered that provide a full southwestern fishing experience, which means you not only get to taste the fish but you also get to catch them! Here in Everglade City, they also offer unique dishes such as fried alligator tail, frog legs, and other foreign dishes that you will come to love.
Although this town may seem small and off the radar, the history that exists in this small community can still be seen and experienced today. With all the outdoor adventure this place has to offer, it will attract thrill-seekers and outdoorsmen from far and wide. So next time you are traveling through the area, consider making a stop and spending a day at the Gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands.
If you think Everglades City is cool, make sure you check out some of the other really neat attractions in the area. Boca Grande would be an excellent choice.
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