You need a boat to see most of Biscayne National Park, east of Homestead. About 95 percent of its 172,971 acres are underwater. Fortunately, if you don’t have a boat, there are a variety of experiences available to visitors including snorkeling outings and boat tours to islands.
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.
Robert Is Here, just outside Everglades National Park, is a must-stop for my family on the basis of its fresh-fruit milkshakes alone. But we also love the menangerie out back, the exotic tropical fruits there for the tasting and the overall ambiance.
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, a historic village of shops and restaurants, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon rolls and the fall season are both back; Knaus Berry Farms reopened Oct. 25. This 50-year-old institution south of Miami has generations of devoted fans. It’s a good stop for an Everglades trip or a day exploring the Redland.
Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade counties are one big sprawling city. Yet there are waterways everywhere and a few great places to kayak or canoe. You just have to know where to go.
The historic Nike missile site in Everglades National Park is a well-preserved relic of the 1960s Cold War. See a restored Nike Hercules missile during the winter season.
Biscayne National Park is 95% underwater. Boat trips to shipwrecks, reefs and islands are the best way to see this park. The shipwreck snorkel tour often goes to the wreck of the Mandalay, which has a fascinating story.
Florida has a surprisingly rich history of rodeos in its small towns, and the one is Homestead is special. It’s the first rodeo of the year where professional cowboys can earn points.
Since Hurricane Wilma destroyed lodging in Flamingo in 2005, the only way to stay overnight in Everglades National Park has been to camp. At last, new lodging has opened at Flamingo — 20 eco-tents, a cross beween a tent and a cabin, with beds and linens but using a central bath facility.
Stopping at Alabama Jack’s, a fish shack and dive bar on a remote road between Homestead and Key Largo, has been the classic way to start a Keys trip for decades. We revisited the open-air waterfront spot recently, and we’re happy to say: It’s as shabby and atmospheric as ever.
The free trolley from Homestead to Everglades National Park & Biscayne National Park runs every winter weekend. Riders enter free, saving the $30 admission.
There are many reasons to visit the Redland, the rural area between Miami and Everglades National Park. But if you like orchids, here’s the best reason: Excellent free tours of the private gardens at R F Fuchs Orchids.
Our Everglades National Park paddle on the Coot Bay/Mud Lake trail offered two hours of gorgeous scenery through magical mangrove tunnels. It also required about two hours of hard paddling against the wind.
Kayaks and canoes are one of the best ways to surround yourself in the Everglades. Here’s a guide to the trails in the national park.