Wrestle an Alligator in the Everglades
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While visiting what Forbes Magazine named "America’s Cleanest City" in 2008, be sure to check out the art deco buildings at South Beach, take a day trip to the Conch Republic and search for alligators in the Everglades on an airboat.
In the 1930’s South Beach experienced an architectural revolution which introduced Art Deco, Streamline Moderne and Nautical Moderne architecture to the area
The Florida Keys are an archipelago of 1700 islands beginning at the tip of the Florida peninsula 15 miles south of Miami. Many residents of Key West were immigrants from the Bahamas known as Conchs and in the 20th century, many of Key West’s residents began to refer to themselves as Conchs.
On April 23rd 1982, in response to the United States Border Patrol inspection point set up on the highway leading to Key West looking for illegal drugs and immigrants, the city mockingly declared itself independent of the United States in an effort to lift the roadblock which they claimed was hurting tourism in the area.
They called themselves the Conch Republic and immediately declared war against the United States by breaking a loaf of stale bread over the head of a man dressed in a US naval uniform then quickly surrendered and applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid – how brilliant
The event generated plenty of publicity for their plight and the roadblocks were lifted soon afterward. Tourism also boomed as a result spurring the city to celebrate their “independence every April 23rd.
While visiting the southernmost point of the United States (only 90 miles from Cuba) be sure to check out the butterfly sanctuary, Hemmingway House and the Southernmost Point Monument.
Air Boat Alligator Tour
Named for the blades of sawgrass that seem to go on forever, the Everglades are a subtropical wetland starting in Orlando, with the Kissimee River which discharges into the vast yet shallow Lake Okeechobee forming a slow moving river 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long flowing southward across a limestone shelf to Florida Bay.
Since 1882, around 1,400 miles of canals, levees and water control devices were constructed to divert the water to the cities and portions of the Everglades were transformed into farmland to grow primarily sugarcane
Since the water is shallow, air-boats are used to transport tourists through the swampy river to view the abundance of wildlife including birds, turtles and alligators.
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