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Experience the Everglades this Winter in beautiful South Florida

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From air-boat tours through the swamp to high end shopping, here are the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale


By Pat King, Metro

The Everglades are one of Florida’s most prized and breathtaking treasures. Comprising 1.5 million acres of the state’s southern reaches, this lush swamp area is one of our country’s largest wildlife preserves.

The Sawgrass Recreation Park in Fort Lauderdale, founded in 1971 as a fishing camp, aims to educate all of its guests on the beauty and history behind this remarkable habitat known as the Florida Everglades.

Airboat adventures and boat rentals at Sawgrass Recreational Park


With wildlife exhibits and different touring options, including guided daytime and nighttime airboat rides through the area, owners Rick and Susan Soverns have created appealing Everglades experiences at the Sawgrass Recreation Park.

The quintessential Everglades experience – an airboat ride – is available at Sawgrass Recreation Park. With each ride fitting up to 25 passengers and lasting around 30 minutes, you’ll zip through the ‘Glades at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, with gators at all sides. If that isn’t enough, feel free to extend your trip and add your very own private catering service with delicious food provided by the park’s very own The Gator Grill.

Guests who prefer something more sedate can rent their own boats to venture off to fish and explore at their own pace. You can rent boats that hold up to four adults for either four hours ($59) or seven hours ($79). These rentals require a $200 redeemable deposit. Overnight stays in the camping area also are available.

Experience Fort Lauderdale

The Sky Deck at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Book a room at the Conrad hotel


If you're looking for an elegant place to stay not too far from the Everglades, book a room at the elegant Conrad Hotel, located right next to the beach in Fort Lauderdale. You’ll stay in style in one of the hotel’s 290 suite rooms with access to a 4,000-square-foot spa and full fitness center.

The Conrad also hosts breakfast, lunch and dinner at its two restaurants, Terra Mare and Cornucopia. Enjoy signature cocktails from the inventive mixologists at the Atlas Cocktail Lounge or simply enjoy a drink by the pool from Spinakker Pool Grill on the 6th floor’s elevated Sky Deck.

Spend a day shopping at the Sawgrass Mills Mall


If you need a break from the sun and relaxation, try a day of retail therapy at the Sawgrass Mills Mall. This huge shopping center, located on 440 acres off West Sunrise Boulevard, features stories and brands including American Signature Home, Bed Bath & Beyond, Brandsmart USA, Burlington Coat Factory, Gameworks, Marshall’s, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nike Factory Store, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Super Target, T.J. Maxx, Urban Planet, Off Broadway Shoes, Regal Cinema, Bloomingdale's Outlet, Forever 21, Century 21 Department Store, H&M, and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Make your plans to experience the Everglades near Fort Lauderdale today.

This article was written in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA.

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Travel - U.S. Daily News: Experience the Everglades this Winter in beautiful South Florida
Experience the Everglades this Winter in beautiful South Florida
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