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One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

My husband and I will be staying in Homestead over night near Thanksgiving, and we have just one day to visit Everglades NP on our way to the Keys. We want to see as much wildlife as possible in that one day, and I would like some advice on our plan. We will be visiting the Anhinga Trail at either sunrise or sunset that same day, but want to spend a good portion of the of the day paddling.

We need to rent a tandem kayak or a canoe, and since we’ll have a compact car, we won’t have a great way to transport it, so we would need to either have it transported for us by the tour company, or rent it at the location where we would start our paddle, so this may limit our options right off the bat.

Here are some questions and possibilities I’m considering:

1. Should we take a guided tour with a commercial kayak company (cost around $100-150 each person.) If you recommend this option, is there a particular company anyone has experience with?

2. Saltwater v. freshwater paddle?

Is there a good place to saltwater kayak near Flamingo? Thoughts on salt water paddle vs. fresh water paddle to see wildlife?

3. Rent a kayak at Flamingo and paddle Nine Mile Pond or Noble Hammock on our own? Is there much wildlife to see here? (This option is the most affordable, so I am strongly considering it, but I am willing to fork out for a guided tour, as long as it is one of quality.)

4. Drive to either Big Cypress or somewhere near Key Largo to kayak? I would prefer to stay within ENP, since we're spending the next day snorkeling at Key Largo.

5. Some other option?

I would really appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you in advance!!

Fort Lauderdale...
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for Fort Lauderdale, Miami
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1. Re: One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

IMO Big Cypress and Key Largo are both too far to transport the yak, so both are out in my book. Are you aware of the crazy deposit required to rent at Flamingo ? I'm checking with a friend who has been there many times for his input. Your choice of Anhinga is excellent.

Knoxville
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2. Re: One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

If you do choose to go to Big Cypress, they offer FREE ranger-led kayak tours! We LOVE going on these kayaking and/or hiking tours, and always feel bad when we pass the poor folks shelling out 100's of dolllars for the same thing!!! Look up Big Cypress ranger programs and you will find an assortment of options.

Naples, Florida
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3. Re: One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

Everglades Kayak Company offers fully outfitted and guided tours of the park! The tours range from 3-hours to 8-days, check it out at www.bookeo.com/evergladeskayakcompany.

Dayton, OH / Marco...
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for Marco Island, Everglades National Park, Goodland
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4. Re: One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

Consider the Gulf ....Chokoloskee, Florida ... has tours or you can put in and stay overnight at a number of small islands.

Naples, Florida
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5. Re: One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

This link works: www.floutdooradventures.com

6. Re: One day to kayak in Everglades National Park, but where?

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