Labor Day weekend is right around the corner and it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors in Southwest Florida. Here are some of our favorite ideas.
1. Ride Off the Beaten Path
First on our list, jump into an orange Jeep with an experienced guide and explore miles of nature preserve in the backyard of Ave Maria. Orange Jeep Tours is a 90 minute, open-air adventure through thousands of acres of untouched terrain. Test your skills at spotting a range of native wildlife such as American alligator, Whitetail deer, Osceola turkey, Florida Red-Bellied turtle, and a large variety of bird species. Click here for a special discount.
2. Embark on a water journey
Get a chance to get up close to see manatees, alligators, dolphins, turtles, as well as many species of rare and endangered tropical birds with Double R’s Fishing and Tour Co. This is a 2.5 hour manatee viewing eco tour, the only local eco tour that starts in the heart of the Everglades, located in South Florida’s largest herd of manatees.
3. Get in touch with your wild side
If you like to travel by foot, take a 2.25 mile board walk through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, around a marsh and finally into the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America at the Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. These impressive trees, relatives of the redwood, tower 130 feet into the sky and have a girth of 25 feet. Their massive branches are draped with mosses, lichens, bromeliads and ferns. The forest is also home to alligators, otters, white-tailed deer, red-bellied turtles, and a wide variety of birds.
4. Play with Furry Friends
Interact with the friendly animals at Shy Wolf Sanctuary, whom provides a permanent home to over 60 captive-bred or rescued exotic animals every year for Cougars, numerous Wolves and Wolf-Dogs several exotic species of fox from as far South as Brazil and as far North as the Arctic Circle and West as North Africa. The wolves and other resident animals are housed on a 2.5 acre property in Naples, FL and are supported by over 30 active volunteers. Experience the fun all while getting educated about the wolves.
5. Celebrate 100 years with the National Park Service
On August 25th, 2016, the National Park Service turned 100! Discover the rich culture and the stories of the western everglades with Big Cypress Nature Preserve. It measures 729,000 acres, combining a mix of pines, hardwoods, prairies and mangrove forests along with a variety of wildlife including White-tailed deer and Florida panther.