South Florida Vanlife, History & Nature

Permanent Vanlife is still about one year away, so I decided to get a feel for it, by planning multiple one-week trips in the van, throughout the US Southeast. This time I visit South Florida.

A much more detailed account of the trip can be found at

South Florida

Venice Boondocking

On this second day of this trip through South Florida, I wake up on the parking area of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Venice, with several other RV’s, neatly dispersed on the property.

Punta Gorda railroad Depot

I have love for old trainstations, but this 1928 Spanish Mission style train depot is better known for its segregated waiting rooms as an inescapable reminder of past wrongs.

Otter Mound Preserve

Otter Mound is a shell mound, a prehistoric refuse heap, consisting chiefly of the shells of edible mollusks intermingled with evidence of human occupancy.

Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

The 2,300ft (700m) wooden Big Cypress Bend boardwalk takes you into the heart of Fakahatchee Strand, the largest bald cypress and royal palm swamp in the world.

Ted Smallwood Store

Ted Smallwood arrived here in 1897 and became postmaster for this small community in 1906. In 1917, Smallwood built the general store, that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Kirby Sorter Roadside Park

Another roadside park with a nice boardwalk, that shows part of the Everglades ecosystem.

By nightfall I arrive at my boondocking spot, located at the end of the Florida trail. Located on an unpaved side road of the Tamiami trail, I can enjoy the clear dark night skies and sleep undisturbed at this southern tip of the Florida mainland.

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