Florida Getaways of the Day
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Ochopee: The world's smallest post office( PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM DORSEY (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED) )
Only three people pick up their mail at a post office in the Everglades that's barely bigger than the stamps it sells.
U.S. Postal Service worker Dana Mitchell spends most of her days taking pictures for busloads of foreign tourists in front of what is called the nation's tiniest post office, an 8-by-10 foot lick of a building that used to be a tomato farm irrigation shed. There's only room for Mitchell and one customer. Tourists who stop to take a look, sometimes busloads full, are surprised to find a postal worker inside.
"Most people don't think there's anybody in here. They think it's just a sightseeing place," Mitchell said.
Then they line up, sometimes 70 at a time in the relentless South Florida sun, to buy postcards depicting the post office -- three for $1.00 -- or to purchase insect and spider stamps.
"We've seen 300 [tourists] a day. Usually, it's nonstop," Mitchell said during a lull after an afternoon thunderstorm. "I don't mind. That's what we're here for."
-- KARIN MEADOWS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
FYI: Located 30 miles east of Naples, 70 west of Miami on the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) in Big Cypress National Preserve. 38000 E. Tamiami Trl. Ochopee, FL 34141
On the web, read more about the Ochopee Post office at com.miami.edu/parks/ochopee