The Everglades, Marco Island & Naples, Fla.
Unless you live under a rock somewhere far, far away from America, you know the obvious reasons for visiting the Everglades. Let’s face it … no matter if your 14 or 40, alligators are just cool. Who doesn’t want to sit in a wobbling canoe and watch the world’s last remaining dinosaurs thrash around in a swamp?
However, there’s much more to see and do in this coastal, protected wetland beyond outrageous reptile encounters. The Everglades are comprised of literally thousands of islands and an almost equal number of tour companies, with packages ranging from peaceful walking tours to bicycle rides beneath the cypress canopies to backcountry, multi-day fishing excursions. Abutting the national preserve, stay along the white sand beaches of Marco Island and Naples, where you can pamper all five senses with elegant restaurants, renowned spas, luxury accommodations and couture shopping experiences.
HINT: August and September are the wet season for the Everglades. While you should prepare for extra mosquitoes, afternoon thunderstorms and 100-percent humidity 100 percent of the time, you will likely also find a more personal connection to the swamp. There’s the beauty of solitude in the low tourist season, and the added bonus of lower tour rates.