If you have one day or its your first visit to the Everglades, this guide will help you see wildlife and experience the essence of Everglades National Park. We offer tips, too, for more in-depth Everglades experiences.
The Tamiami Trail, linking Miami and Florida’s west coast, gets you close to alligators, cypress swamps and Everglades scenery. It also offers outstanding stops along the way, particularly the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park.
The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, free tours of a spectacular orchid grower’s estate, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.
This entrance to Everglades National Park has one trail, but it’s so special that Shark Valley is hard to top. It’s an especially great place to bicycle. Flooding closed this section of the park from September until mid-December, and water levels are still high.
The free trolley from Homestead to Everglades National Park & Biscayne National Park runs every winter weekend. Riders enter free, saving the $25 admission.
In the middle of Everglades National Park is the best preserved Nike missile base in South Florida, a relic of the Cold War and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Today it reminds us of those days of John F. Kennedy, fallout shelters and Bob Dylan protest songs.
Stone crab season starts Oct. 15 and it has never been more critical for Everglades City, a small, isolated fishing village, where stone crabs are an important part of the economy. Everglades City was flooded with an 8-to-10-foot storm surge during Hurricane Irma and more than 100 homes in the town with a population just over 400 were destroyed.
The festival offers tradition — fry bread and alligator wrestling — but also celebrates the diversity of native cultures. Entertainers include the high energy Native Pride Dancers from Minnesota.
Vast and remote, the Ten Thousand Islands off Florida’s southwest coast seems challenging to visit, a labyrinth of twisting channels through thousands of remote mangrove islands.
I’ve paddled a lot of trails in the Everglades, but so far, the Turner River is my favorite. It goes from pristine cypress swamp, through mangrove tunnels to sawgrass marsh, and it teems with birds, gators and fish. It’s everything the Everglades offers in one trip.
The winter season is the best time to camp in Florida’s Everglades, and there are dozens of campground choices, from the front country to the backcountry. Here’s our guide.