Small is cute.
I’m not sure why. It must be part of our genetic makeup: It makes us love babies.
And because we love babies, we also love baby post offices — especially baby post offices sitting in the middle of the wide, wild Everglades.
Just such a place sits on the side of the road along Tamiami Trail (U.S. Highway 41) between Big Cypress National Preserve and the Gulf Coast section of Everglades National park, without a house in sight for miles.
The Ochopee Post Office is officially the smallest in the nation.Â In a building not much bigger than an outhouse, a single postal worker works every day, frequently selling postcards to tourists and answering questions from tour-bus riders.
In an era where hundreds of post offices have been closed to save money, this post office survives on more than cuteness. It does real work,Â handling the mail for more than 500 residents of the sparsely populated corner of Florida. (Everglades City is eight miles west.)
The post office hasn’t changed much in 50 years. In 1953, a fire destroyed the old post office/general store and a 7-foot-by-8-foot shed from a tomato farm was converted into the post office you see now. A historical marker tells the story.
The Ochopee Post Office is a five-minute stop on a very rewarding road across Florida. Connecting Miami and Naples, the Tamiami Trail is a two-lane highway that is far more scenic than Alligator Alley, which is 20 or 30 miles north.
Your visit to Everglades City area
We love visiting Everglades City. Itâ€™s a small fishing village with fresh seafood, historic buildings and access to many outdoors adventures.
- Everglades City is the base for many stone-crab fishermen, so itâ€™s a good place to indulge in the seasonal seafood. Hereâ€™sÂ where to eat stone crabs in Everglades CityÂ plus general background on the city.
- Visit one of our favorite, off-the-beaten-track stops,Â historicÂ Smallwood StoreÂ on Chokoloskee, just four miles away.
Kayak trails and boat trips
- Â One of the best kayak trails in the Everglades is nearby, the Turner River.
- A great saltwater kayak trail nearby, too: Sandfly Loop, which gives you a taste of the Ten Thousand Island.
- Halfway Creek is another kayak trail quite close to the Turner River. Itâ€™s where we kayaked the time water was too low in the Turner River.
- There are two goodÂ boat tours offered at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center.
Stops along Tamiami Trail
- Scenic drive across Florida via Tamiami Trail.
- Shark ValleyÂ area of Everglades National Park:Â Excellent trail for bicycling and wildlife viewing in Everglades National Park.
- Clyde Butcherâ€™s Big Cypress Gallery: Itâ€™s always a thrill to view his large-format black-and-white photos of Floridaâ€™s wilds.
- Big Cypress National Preserve
- Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk: This is a beautiful spot worth a short walk.
- Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Interesting Everglades City places to stay and eat: