The Everglades is a subtropical wetland that extends from the Kissimmee and Orlando area and runs south through the state into Lake Okeechobee and continues south and drains into the Florida Bay. It is approximately 15,000 years old and dates back to when the Paleo-Indians such as the Tequesta and Calusa lived in the southern half of Florida.
It is also a unique ecosystem and there is nothing else on earth like it, its size varies depending on who you ask, but generally the Everglades goes from the south side of Lake Okeechobee south to Florida Bay is approximately 4000 square miles. But, it originally extended to the Orlando area which now has mostly become civilized and farmed. The Everglades is so large that it creates its own weather from evaporation and heat that replenishes itself.
The Everglades is home to over 375 species of birds of which 150 are considered to be rare. Most of the birds we see on airboat trip in the Everglades are different species of Herons Egret, Curlew, Roseate Spoonbill and Black neck Stilt.
The Everglades also provides drinking water for all of South Florida so take that in! It is full of sloughs and marshes as well as Hardwood Hammocks and Pinelands that supports life such as deer, black bear, wild pig, bobcat and panthers.
So, you can imagine through all of the years and rich history the Everglades has from importing various goods through Florida.
Florida has seen its share of rum running in its past. It is also called bootlegging; it was a popular activity during Prohibition and was done to avoid the law and also taxation. Additionally, rum running became very popular for the same reasons that bootlegging did. Although the terms bootlegging and rum running are used interchangeably, this is incorrect as bootlegging refers to smuggling over land whereas rum running typically occurred on the Florida Straits known as the Gulf-stream off the Florida coast. Miami river was used to bring rum into Miami and then run into the Everglades, hidden and then shipped to the north, some names were Capone and others.
Another aspect is the fact that the term “bootlegging” was believed to have originated several decades before rum running when Civil War soldiers would sneak liquor into their camps by concealing the bottles inside of their boots or down the legs of their pants, hence the name of the practice. Conversely, the term “rum running” was born during Prohibition during the 1920’s and early 1930’s. During this period in history, ships would head out from the Island of Bimini nearby and would transport rum to the numerous Florida speakeasies along the coastal areas.
One of the most famous rum runners was a captain by the name of Bill McCoy who began smuggling rum from Bahamas and especially Bimini into southern Florida. It didn’t take long for the US Coast Guard to realize what he was doing so he would meet smaller boats about 3 miles offshore in order to transfer the rum. This 3-mile limit was based on the US jurisdiction over foreign waters and was soon called the “Rum Line” while the vessels lined up to take the product from McCoy were referred to as “Rum Row.”
Picture to the left are rumrunners in the New River in Fort Lauderdale
One of the most notable pieces of evidence of the rum running era is a ship called the Sapona. It had a concrete hull and ran aground during a 1926 hurricane near Bimini, and the remnants of the ship are still visible today above the water line. It is a popular scuba diving site as well as a navigational landmark for numerous boating enthusiasts. Additionally, the US Army used it as a bombing target practice site during the Second World War and most of the original concrete hull is no longer visible as a result. Scuba divers have oftentimes found empty rum bottles at the dive site as well.
Juan Ponce de Leóns arrival in 1513 in Miamis' Biscayne Bay was the birth of South Florida but people really started settling and evolving South Florida in the early 1800s. People that lived were farmers, fisherman, hunters that made a living along the coast as well as the Everglades. Many people farmed the Everglades back then and still to this day.
Picture was taken in early 1917 of farmers in the southern Everglades that were draining the swamp in order to Farm
Authentic Everglades Adventures!
Our private tours are the real thing! Enjoy taking back trails out into "The River of Grass"!
Ride the Airboat trails like a glades-man! All tours take back trails out into the Everglades also known as the "River of Grass". See gators, birds, sometimes otters, iguanas, other four-legged critters, flowers, camps and the beautiful ecosystem, the Everglades.
A lot of the trails were made back in the 60s and 70s, some made by me. Being in the Everglades I will take you to the places where I find things to show you. All tours are narrated! We will have good conversations and I will answer all questions you have.
- All tours are different I never go to the same places on every trip, it's just not good for the animals.
- Depending on the time of year most trips can start at 8 am, summer and fall I prefer to start early this way you get to see as much as possible!
- Winter trips will normally start at 9 am.
- Sunset and sunrise trips are available.
Sometimes It's Just Better To Start Early!!
Often called fan boat tours in the 1960s, guys have old aircraft engines with wooden propellers has evolved into high tech carbon fiber blades with lighter materials that take you through the "river of grass" through intricate trails that have been cut out over the years. We specialize in giving you a private airboat ride along with a whole lot of fun, a little education about the everglades and the fragile ecosystem that supplies South Florida's delicate water supply. There are several airboat tour agencies in Broward County.
I am the closest to Downtown Fort Lauderdale only a 25 minute drive away. On a typical 2-hour Everglades tour expect to see plenty of alligators, birds and turtles. We service Boca to West Palm Beach and along the Fort Lauderdale beaches. Fort Lauderdale Airboat Tours The Everglades in Broward County is a short 25-minute drive away from the center of Fort Lauderdale. It's definitely worth the trip! Treat yourself to an adventure airboat tour in the Everglades and its majestic nature with the best airboat tour company out there - Everglades Airboat Tours!