Big Cypress National Preserve offers excellent Everglades experiences. It’s adjacent to the famous national park, is free and has some spectacular scenery.
Flamingo is a long way from the entrance to Everglades National Park, but we love it for the wildlife — manatees, crocodiles and an osprey nest right in the marina. Kayaking into Florida Bay is a splendid way to see the many birds and spectacular scenery. Our guide provides tips for hiking too.
Cape Sable is 11 miles from Flamingo, the end of the road in Everglades National Park. It’s a wild and wonderful destination for a canoe/kayak camping adventure.
NEWS ALERT: Shark Valley has reopened after flooding kept it closed since November. 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.
The free trolley from Homestead to Everglades National Park & Biscayne National Park runs every winter weekend. Riders enter free, saving the $30 admission.
Backcountry camping permits can now be reserved online. Meantime, Veterans and Gold Star Families no longer have to pay entrance fees to national parks.
Explore dozens of islands in Florida waters where you can enjoy soft breezes, gentle surf and soaring birds while camping under the stars. (You’ll need a boat, canoe or a kayak.)
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.
Several national parks in Florida are hidden treasures. In honor of National Public Lands Day Sept. 26, when national parks are free, here’s a guide to Florida’s national parks, from the famous to the obscure.
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.