Tour Everglades National Park by Boat at
Smallwood Store Boat Tour
We are a 6th generation Florida family owned business offering guided Everglades boat tours, located on the southernmost tip of Chokoloskee Island, 3 miles south of Everglades City. You will begin your Everglades National Park boat ride at the Smallwood Store Museum on one of our comfortable shaded 6 passenger boats with quiet engines, allowing you to see the Everglades as it is naturally, with no interruptions to the wildlife’s daily routine. We see a variety of birds, manatees, gators, dolphin and much more. Our boats are USCG Approved with first aide and safety equipment on board.
Included in the price of your Everglades boat tour is a visit to the Smallwood Store Museum. At the Historic Smallwood Store you will learn the story of the pioneers who tamed this vast wilderness also known as “Florida’s Last Frontier”. Human Habitation of Chokoloskee Island began approximately 2,000 years ago when a mound dwelling people began altering the landscape with mounds and canals. Subsequent influxes of Native Americans expanded the mounds and they fished, hunted and farmed the rich fertile soil. Moving south from conflict in North Florida and Georgia, the Seminole Indians were the last native peoples to make the Everglades their home. White settlements in the Chokoloskee Bay Area began near the end of the 19th century. Plume, hide and fur hunters as well as archaeologist were the first to visit. They were quickly followed by families who combined seasonal hunting, fishing and farming to make a living like their native predecessors.
Settlement brought a need for goods and mail and that need was met by the Smallwood Store. Established in 1906 by Ted Smallwood, this Trading Post served a remote and isolated area buying hides, furs, and farm produce in exchange for providing the goods required to survive. Ted Smallwood’s Store was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, it remained opened until 1982. When the doors were shut, 90% of the original goods remained in the store. In 1990 Ted’s granddaughter reopened the store as a museum and today it serves as a time capsule of Florida pioneer history. The center section of the building remains as Ted would have known it. The hide room has been turned into exhibit space, telling the history of Southwest Florida’s pioneers.
Tigertail Gift Shop
Located inside the Smallwood Store, the Tigertail Gift Shop was named after “Chief Charlie Tigertail” of the Seminole Tribe and a good friend of Mr. Smallwood’s. You will find books & DVD’s related to Florida History, authentic Seminole crafts & carvings, artwork & photography from local artist, alligator heads, t-shirts and much more.