Sawgrass Recreation Park is only a 25-minute drive from downtown Fort Lauderdale, in the heart of the Florida Everglades.
Begin with a 30-minute airboat tour of the Everglades, and skim along the grassy water at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (64 kph) while learning about the area’s subtropical ecosystem from the experienced captain. Look for a variety of wildlife, like alligators, fish, turtles and wading birds.
After the airboat ride, check out the exhibits inside Sawgrass Recreation Park:
The Reptile Exhibit features dozens of species that are both native and exotic to Florida — from turtles, iguanas and snakes to Cannibal, an intimidating 1,000-pound (454-kg) alligator. The park’s handlers are always happy to talk about how these animals live and survive in the wild.
In the Glades Exhibit, learn about the history of the area and its conservation efforts in a video presentation. Then check out the African spur thigh tortoises, which range in size from 20 to over 100 pounds (9 to over 45 kg) each, plus rare gopher tortoises (which were rescued from a construction site), iguanas and colorful peacocks.
And finally, in the Exotic Wildlife exhibit, get a peek at the park's wild cats — panthers, leopards, bobcats, caracals, and more.