The eastern edge of Naples butts up against the Everglades. Everything you think you know about the Everglades—that it's hot, swampy, buggy and snaky—is true. But it’s also one of the most amazing natural areas on the planet. Environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who successfully galvanized politicians to protect the Glades almost single-handedly, called it the River of Grass. It’s not all swamp; there are also dry areas (hammocks) that are home to dozens of plants and animals found nowhere else. The Spike Jonze movie "Adaptation" featured the real-life adventures of “orchid thief” John Laroche, who was arrested for removing painfully rare ghost orchids from the nearby Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. You can tour Big Cypress National Preserve in a (gator-proof and nicely air conditioned) bus or get a little closer on a high-speed airboat ride or try one of the slower and more intimate jungle cruises through Everglades National Park. Tours also include stops at a museum before returning to Naples. If your entire knowledge of the Everglades is limited to what you’ve seen on the new A&E show "The Glades," this is a good way to find out why Florida conservationists are so passionate about preserving it from the encroachment of subdivisions and foreign invaders like melaleuca and giant anacondas.