Florida Getaways of the Day
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Fakahatchee Strand: Discover the Everglades( J. Pat Carter / Associated Press / February 20, 2008 )
There are 315 ghost orchids scattered across the Fakahatchee's 85,000 acres. However, the odds of spotting one aren't good. They don't bloom until summer, and without their white flowers they're likely to blend into the swamp's lush shades of green and brown.
Nevertheless, the Everglades park offers Saturday tours during Florida's November to April dry season, when the orchids are easier to find.
The park lies about 70 miles west of Miami, across the Miccosukee Indian Reservation and a five-mile stretch of road marked with "panther crossing" signs and a roadside stand called the " Skunk Ape Research Headquarters," the local equivalent of Big Foot hunters. The straight shot across the Tamiami Trail only seems flat; the road is gradually sloping toward sea level.