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The name Immokalee is Miccosukee for “Your Home” and that says all you need to know about the welcome you will receive in this picturesque town of 24,000 inhabitants. It is also home to the Seminole Tribe’s Immokalee Reservation, and the town is full of reminders of Florida’s rich cultural heritage.
A haven for Nature Lovers
Being just 40 miles from the Everglades, Immokalee has plenty that will appeal to nature lovers. The 1,500 acre Lake Trafford lies just to the west of town, and in the latter part of the 20th century was a toxic hazard. An extensive regeneration program has restored it to its natural health, and the lake is now restocked with freshwater fish. They, in turn have attracted birdlife such as egrets and bald eagles back to its banks. Alligator tours depart regularly from the marina.
Try Your Luck at The Casino
These days, most gamblers seem to play casino games from their phones and laptops, but if you’ve been keeping abreast of the news, you will know that the topic of online gambling in Florida is a complex one. Not that the residents and visitors in Immokalee mind. The reservation is home to one of just six casinos in Southern Florida, and it is an impressive sight, covering 76,000 square feet. There are 1,300 slot games plus popular table games that include poker, blackjack, pai gow and others. The casino also hosts a wide range of events including regular concerts, car shows and firework displays.
Visit the Playground of Power
If you love motorsport, the Immokalee Regional Raceway is an experience you will never forget. The venue has been hosting every type of automotive racing since the 1960s. And when we say every type, that’s really what we mean. Dragsters, stock cars, classics and home-made specimens that defy description – they are all here and their owners are brought together by a common passion for all things automotive.
Step Back in Time at the Pioneer Museum
We touched on Immokalee’s rich and diverse cultural heritage earlier. Nowhere is that better displayed than at the Roberts’ family homestead, home to the Pioneer Museum. The family is descended from Robert Roberts, a cattleman who arrived from Wauchula more than 100 years ago. A 15 acre area of the homestead has been preserved just as it was with the original ranch house, bunk house and other buildings. With living history enactments and a host of exhibits, there’s a lot to see so set aside at least half a day for the visit.