Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
For a look at how Florida
's mysterious interior landscapes would have appeared to its original inhabitants, a visit to this 13,000-acre ancient forest, owned and operated by the National Audubon Society, is a must. An elevated boardwalk just over two miles long plunges you deep into an everglades ecosystem dominated by huge cypress trees, alligator holes where the reptiles hunt, and seasonal ponds where colorful birds forage in the waters. The forest here is the largest remaining old growth bald cypress forest in the world and home to such animals as otters, white-tailed deer, and red-bellied turtles. Special morning walks for birders are offered as well as free guided tours along the boardwalk. In June and July, when the rare ghost orchid is in bloom in the tree tops, telescopes set up along the boardwalk bring the tiny blooms into view.