Encompassing roughly 584,000 square miles at the southern tip of mainland Florida, Everglades National Park and adjacent Big Cypress Preserve protect a collage of habitats ranging from marine/estuarine to freshwater marsh to cypress forest to tropical hardwoods. Supporting all the habitats and the multitude of wild inhabitants--including wading birds, panthers, alligators, crocodiles, and manatees--is water, specifically a slow-moving river largely hidden by the sawgrass that gives rise to its common name: River of Grass. This landscape is vast, mysterious, and wild. So-called dry season, December through April, is the best time to visit; not only are temperatures more moderate and mosquitoes less prevalent, but also wildlife is more concentrated around small ponds and gator holes. Given its location near Miami to the east and Naples to the west, getting to Everglades is easy. Allotting adequate time to truly immerse oneself in the nuances of the area may be more difficult. And more rewarding.