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Chocoloskee and Around

Updated: Oct 26, 2023


Chocolooskee is the Northern Gateway to Everglades National Park and the Start/End Point for many kayaking trips up and down the Everglades. If you are coming here by car, you will arrive via State Road 29 which runs through Everglades City.


The folk in Chocoloskee are a little weird. When I was walking around, I ran into an old lady who said she'd lived in the island for many years, but she was still seen as an outsider, and the little kids in the area said she was a witch, who would lay a curse on me.


It's probably best not to ask or talk with locals about politics. In 2016 when I passed through, there were several Trump flags and signs, and he hadn't even won new Hampshire yet.


Arrival by Kayak:

Arriving from Pavillion Key is tricky. You will paddle through a labyrinth of mangrove islands with little bays and channels that can have you going around in circles. Keep a keen eye for the channel markers or, if the tide is rising, follow the way of the water and you will emerge in somewhere in Chocoloskee Bay from where the town will be clearly visible.


If you are paddling from Everglades City, then you shouldn't have any issues.


Landing Points:

I've Identified a few places where it will be relatively easy to land with your kayak. you will however, either need a cart, or someone to help you carry it to where your going.


Arriving from the south, there is a small rocky boat ramp hidden in the under grove which you can land and make your way into town. take the first left turn onto Calusa Dr. See the aerial photo below:

South Boat Ramp

On the west side there are several small beaches and grassy areas where you can pull in and get organized before heading off somewhere


West landing Spot

On the east side close to the highway there's a boat ramp, but its also where everybody seems to go to put their boat on the water, so it might get a little busy...


Chocoloskee Boat Ramp


Accommodation:

While there are campsites on the island, during my three visits I have stayed at the Parkway Hotel & Marina. Rooms are comfortable showers are clean, prices are reasonable (or at least they were, before inflation), you can keep your kayak right in front of your room, and is out of sight from the main road.


Parkway Hotel and Marina - Chocoloskee - Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak

Food:

There are no supermarkets on the island and convenience stores are few and small. If you need to stock up, it's best to do so in Everglades City.


The HavAnnA Cafe is a pleasant spot to sit outside in a courtyard and have a hot meal, (in fact, it seems to be the only restaurant in town). They have the usual Cuban stuff; plantains, rice, beans, and a great variety of sea food dishes. Their French fries, however, were mushy. Occasionally there might be live music. If you enjoy having both your ears and your food soaked with salsa, then this is the place to be.


Havanna Cafe - Chocoloskee

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