Recently I posted about Death Valley being a reasonably inexpensive and convenient escape destination for those snowbound in the western U.S. For those of you on the east coast, let me offer up an alternative in the mid-80’s F range.

Southern Florida is home to a World Heritage Site of subtropical wilderness that is accessible by hiking trails, canoe trips or airboat rides. This threatened wetland sanctuary or “river of grass” is a birder’s paradise with over 350 species, including snowy egrets, ospreys, spoonbills, and great blue herons.

There are three main entry points to the Everglades: to the east is the park headquarters south of Miami, Homestead and Florida City; the Shark Valley area is in the northern section by the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41); and to the west is the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, near Everglades City and Naples. Day trips to the park are within easy reach of these cities, although photographic opportunities and bird activity are best seen at sunrise and sunset.

And finally, here’s another dry, warm location to consider – especially for those of you in the midwest and south – Big Bend National Park in Texas. Here you can raft the Rio Grande and hike the desert-like Chisos Mountains. Then feast on BBQ! There are also natural hot springs to relax in after a day of adventure where you can ponder all the cold weather you are missing back home. Sounds good to me.