Miami: Side Trips

3. The Seminole Reservation at Big Cypress

florida side trips The Seminole Reservation at Big Cypress Billie Swamp Safari Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy
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You came all the way to Florida and you're not leaving until you see some gator wrasslin'. For that — and a number of other irresistible tourist activities — there is the Seminole Reservation at Big Cypress (Exit 49 from I-75, follow the signs), situated in the heart of the Everglades and just a 90-minute drive from Miami. Begin the adventure with a visit to Billie Swamp Safari, an outdoor attraction center where you can take an airboat ride, watch a guy put some WWE-worthy moves on an alligator and then retire to the safari's café for the region's finest gator nuggets — deep-fried and served with tartar sauce. On your way out of the reservation, pay a visit to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, which provides a well-presented history of Seminole culture. Beyond the building's back door is the best attraction in the area: an elevated boardwalk that travels a 1.5-mile loop through steaming cypress swamp. It's a perfect way to admire this remarkable wetland ecosystem without having to sink your boots into the muck.

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