Best Place to See an Alligator - 2011
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Despite what seems like developers' best efforts, there are still a few great, open stretches of land in South Florida, and one of the true gems of southeast Palm Beach County is this expansive wildlife playground. In no other context but in referring to the Everglades could the word primordial become a cliché, but how else to sum up a flat, unpolished parkland where visitors are allowed to wander out into the marshes with nothing separating them from the cold reptilian clutches of a gator but their own wits and a good pair of running shoes? Nature is a fickle beast, and there's no guarantee you'll always spot a gator, but the chances are better than good. There are no tourist-trap bells and whistles, just a fascinating and (occasionally frighteningly) up-close look at the way our state looked before "progress" moved in.