By Bonnie Gross, FloridaRambler (Jan. 23,2013) - I’ve been visiting Everglades National Park for 35 years and until recently, I had never experienced one of its unique sights – the historic Nike base whose mission was to be ready to fire a nuclear missile in the next 15 minutes.
The Nike base hidden deep within the park has only been open to the public for a few years. Just three months ago, as part of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the park unveiled an actual Nike Hercules missile that was carefully restored by students from Baker Aviation.
For lovers of history, folks who remember the Cold War or aviation fans, the Nike missile base tour is a fascinating trip back in time.
Through April 15, the 90-minute tour is given every day at 11 a.m. (To keep the site secure, you must visit on a tour.) You don’t need reservations; just meet at the Daniel Beard Center, a few miles down the road that takes you to Royal Palm.
Note: The Florida Rambler is run by veteran Florida journalists who enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, camping and touring the state. They report on historic places to go, things to do and places to stay during your travels. The opinions expressed are strictly their own.