A funky little town all its own, Everglades City is the optimal place to start a day full of unexpected adventures. One of the largest wetlands in the world, the Everglades is full of mangrove forests and rare species such as Florida panthers, manatees, and American crocodiles. This is one of the special places in the United States where nature reigns supreme and the best way to understand this swampy world is by airboat.
Instead of turning back toward Marco Island when you leave, head slightly farther east toward Miami. You’ll feel like Gulliver when you pass the Ochopee Post Office,
the smallest in the United States. It measures 56 square feet and is how more than 900 rural residents of the Everglades region send and receive mail. A minute down the road is the massive “COLD BEER” sign out front of Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe.
Inside, you’ll find walls overflowing with Southwest Florida trinkets and fridges full of beer for patrons to help themselves to on the honor system. On the menu, fried green tomatoes, gator bites, frog legs, and of course fried blue crab are all prepared with love.
Now that you’ve refueled with the finest Everglades grub and cold beer, you're ready to absorb Everglades mythology at the Skunk Ape Headquarters.
What’s a Skunk Ape? According to local legends that date thousands of years, the Skunk Ape is a Bigfoot-like creature, akin to a man covered in fur walking on two legs. Dave Shealy’s Skunk Ape Headquarters offers souvenirs, eerie details on the legend, and live animals including a 25-foot python named Goldie. You can also book pole boat tours, rent kayaks, and camp in the surrounding nature.