Gaze at gators in America’s largest blackwater swamp

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Illustration by Katie Carey

Paddle South Georgia’s otherworldly Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, where lily pads dapple mirror-like water, alligators bask in the sun, and ancient, Spanish moss–draped cypress trees provide shade. Adventurous types can pitch a tent on a platform in the swampy 402,000-acre refuge. Prefer more solid ground? Head to the cabins at the adjacent Stephen C. Foster State Park, and bring a telescope—it was recently designated one of the best stargazing spots in the world.

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