Everglades City, Florida

Everglades City, Florida

Everglades City in Collier County is a tranquil sub-tropical paradise that has deliberately stayed unchanged from the early days of Florida’s development. Aptly called the Gateway to the ten thousand Islands, it is at one end of the Wilderness Waterway, the scenic Everglades backcountry route linking it to Flamingo. Locals prefer a slower pace of life: live closer to nature, enjoying and preserving the resources of the area. Visitors will never be short of ideas to explore the natural splendors of the surrounding Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Collier-Seminole State Park, and Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. You can rent canoes or kayaks for backwater and deep-water boat tours and excursions or take a guided paddling excursion.

A colorful welcome sign to the small rural city located in the Florida Everglades. Everglades City, FL on January 26, 2017. Photo credit: Fotoluminate LLC, Shutterstock.com, licensed.
A colorful welcome sign to the small rural city located in the Florida Everglades. Everglades City, FL on January 26, 2017. Photo credit: Fotoluminate LLC, Shutterstock.com, licensed.

About the Community

Early settlers were farmers who grew sugarcane, bananas, and vegetables. George T. Starter, the founder of the town-owned much of the surrounding land. He attracted visitors and sportsmen to the area when he started The Rod and Gun Club around his home. In 1923 Baron Collier made Everglades the headquarters for his Tamiami Trail road-building company and most of the high ground Everglades city is the result of Collier’s dredging operations. It expanded usable land from less than one hundred acres to six hundred and sixty acres and made the town an island, with the river on the west, a canal and lake on the east and north, and Chokoloskee Bay to the south.


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City Hall in Everglades City, Florida.
City Hall in Everglades City, Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

Collier’s planned community grew on this land to include a trolley, hospital and clinic, movie house, library, railroad depot, common garage for autos, and two hotels. By 1953, the town had grown large enough to take over its own municipal operations. Commercial fishing grew over the years to include shrimping, sponge fishing, and stone crabbing. Even today, the annual Seafood Festival is a big attraction with visitors. It even has a tiny airport, so you can fly in or book a floatplane tour to get a bird’s-eye view of the islands.

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Vicinity of Everglades City


Additional Details

The establishment of Everglades National Park and ecological conservation of the Big Cypress Swamp and the ten thousand Islands has given a boost to the economy of Everglades City through nature tourism, sport fishing, and commercial crabbing. Paddling in canoes from the Visitor Center of Everglades National Park, perched at the edge of the Chokoloskee Bay, is a popular activity. The Captain’s Table Hotel is located on the edge of the Everglades National Park and offers a variety of accommodations for all budgets. The location provides direct access to park activities as well as scenic and airboat rides.

Everglades National Park Gulf Coast entrance sign at the entrance to the park, as seen on July 27, 2019. Everglades City, Florida.
Everglades National Park Gulf Coast entrance sign at the entrance to the park, as seen on July 27, 2019. Everglades City, Florida. Photo credit: Jillian Cain Photography, Shutterstock.com, licensed.

Ivey House Bed & Breakfast offers rooms in a poolside Inn and the Lodge, which was a boarding house in the 1920s. It serves as an ideal base for canoeing through mangrove tunnels, shelling the sands on a quiet beach, or birding in the saw grass prairies. The Old Laundry, one of the original buildings of the town was restored to house a local Museum. Everglade has numerous restaurants for every taste but seafood is usually the natural choice.

Airboats ride the River near Everglades City, Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.
Airboats ride the River near Everglades City, Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

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