The historic fishing village (and notorious smuggler haven) of Everglades City showcases its catch every year at the annual Everglades Seafood Festival.
This free event in Florida’s Stone Crab Capitol packs ’em in for fresh seafood, country music, carnival rides, crafts booths — with an estimated 50,000 people expected to converge on this small town (population 500) for the three-day event.
2023 Entertainment Schedule: Will be updated when 2024 info is available
Friday – 5-10 pm
- 5 pm — Lost Rodea
- 6:15 pm — Radio Road Band
- 7:20 pm — Fireworks & National Anthem
- 7:30 pm — Lee Brovitz
- 9:00 pm — Winters Brothers Band
Saturday – 10 am – 10 pm
- 11:15 am — John Prestage
- 12:45 pm — Florida Straights
- 2:00 pm — Sam Lowe
- 3:30 pm — Rock Republic
- 5:00 pm — Charlie Pace
- 6:45 pm — Marshall Tucker Band
- 9:00 pm — Roxx Revolt and The Velvets
- 10:15-10:45 — Church
- 11:00 am — Jordan Guess
- 12:30 pm — Gator Nate
- 2:00 pm — Wes Shipp
- 3:30 pm — Whey Jennings
- 5:00 pm — Ward Davis
A note about credit cards: Accepted at most booths for food, but you’ll need cash to purchase beer tickets ($5).
Everglades City: Legendary wilderness outpost
Everglades City is an off-the-beaten-track pocket of Old Florida with many original buildings and a rich history steeped in the lore of pirates and smugglers, murder and mayhem, and some of the best fishing and freshest seafood anywhere in the state of Florida.
The old-fashioned neoclassical City Hall once served as Collier County’s main courthouse until the county’s population shifted north to Naples, 40 miles away.
Settled in the 1880s, Everglades City has retained its small-town charm, if not it’s legendary character — and characters.
The town’s first Seafood Festival was held in 1970 to raise money for playground equipment, and that charitable tradition is still alive and well with proceeds from the festival going to local causes and college scholarships for local students.
In addition to shiploads of fresh seafood served up by local fishermen and restaurants, this year’s festival will feature 100 arts and crafts booths, a carnival and continuous country music and bluegrass throughout the weekend.
Stay up to date on entertainment and daily events at the Everglades Seafood Festival Facebook page.
Getting to the Everglades Seafood Festival
Traffic can be tricky, so arrive early and bring your patience. Many avoid that problem by arriving on motorcycle. The community has long been a favorite group outing for motorcycle clubs throughout South Florida.
Parking is provided by local charities near the festival site.
Tamiami Trail makes a scenic route to Everglades City from Southeast Florida.
From the Gulf Coast, take I-75 south to Collier Boulevard (County Road 951), south to U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail), then east to State Road 29, which will take you south into Everglades City.
From the Atlantic Coast, take Alligator Alley (I-75) west to the State Road 29 exit, then straight south to Everglades City.
Hot tip: No pets, no coolers and be prepared to walk.
RV and/or tent camping:
- Collier Seminole State Park
- Chokoloskee Island Park
- Outdoor Resorts of Chokoluskee Island
- Big Cypress Preserve — 6 campgrounds
- Everglades Isle Luxury Motor Coach Resort – (239) 307-1064
- Outdoor Resorts (ORA) Motel & Marina, Chokoloskee – (239) 695-2881
- Trail Lakes Campground, Ochopee – 1-800-504-6554
- Ivey House Bed & Breakfast – (239) 695-3299
- Captain’s Table Resort – (239) 695-1011
- Everglades City Motel – (239) 695-4224
- River Wilderness Waterfront Cabins – (239) 695-4499
- Rod & Gun Lodge – (239) 695-2101
- Chokoloskee Island Park and Marina (Campground & Motel) – (239) 695-2414
- Port of the Islands Everglades Adventure Resort – (239) 394-3101
- Lodging options on Marco Island (30 miles)
Things to do and see near Everglades City:
- 5 ways to explore Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands
- Loop Road: Storied road through the Everglades
- Eating stone crabs in Everglades City
- Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery
- Ochopee Post Office
- Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe
- Big Cypress National Preserve
- Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk
- Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
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Veteran journalists who worked together at Fort Lauderdale’s SunSentinel newspaper, Bonnie and Bob founded FloridaRambler.com in 2010 to explore the natural, authentic Florida, writing about their natural interests in hiking, biking, paddling, RV and tent camping, wildlife, unique lodging, dining and historic places.