Everglades National Park Guide for a Memorable Trip to South Florida
Everglades National Park ranks among the largest national parks in the U.S. It encompasses 1.5 million acres of wetlands and includes a large selection of south Florida. Therefore, planning is a must because there is so much to do and see. For some insider tips or if planning a road trip soon, read this quick Everglades National Park guide. Nature is calling.
Everglades National Park Guide: Important Info and Tips
Getting to the Park
This park has different entrance points in south Florida, but they are not connected. Guests will find them as north as Everglades City near Marco Island, and as far as Homestead, which is south of Miami. The route depends on the closest location. View maps and navigation info.
Visitors should have reliable vehicles to explore the park due to long distances and no public transportation. For convenience, stay near one of the access points and commute to and from the park.
Everglades National Park has two distinct seasons: one dry, one wet. Dry season runs from November to March, and draws a large selection of wildlife. Wet season occurs from April to November, and provides fewer crowds due to rain and lack of programs. Dry season will be busiest. For the most accurate info, plan activities in advance and wear appropriate apparel and footwear.
Things to Do
Once visitors arrive, they find a large selection of outdoor activities on and off the water. On land, visitors enjoy bird-watching, hiking and wildlife photography. For added adventure, try boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.
One of the best ways to explore is by booking a tour with an Everglades National Park guide. Many boat captains and park rangers host narrated tours for small groups. In addition, other tour operators include Shark Valley Tram Tours, airboat rides and swamp tours.
Guided fishing trips also rank among a local favorite. The park offers a top place for freshwater and saltwater sport fishing. While fishing, anglers may catch tarpon, redfish, grouper and bass, to name a few.
Popular Places and Natural Sites
Those short on time can still explore the Everglades by visiting some top attractions. These range in ability but welcome all ages to explore some of Florida’s most remote spots.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: Walk the 2.1-mile boardwalk through the swamp and look for trees as tall as 135 feet high and native wildlife.
Big Cypress National Preserve: Come here to see alligators. This spot offers canoeing and kayaking options, as well as a 25-mile loop road that ventures deep into the Everglades. Part of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve.
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve: One of the largest state parks in Florida. Offers four areas with hiking, East River, Jones Grade Lakes and Janes Memorial Scenic Drive. Visitors will find biking, hiking and lots of photo ops.
Everglades National Park Guide to Safety Procedures
The Everglades region offers a variety of climates and terrain, so it’s important to stay safe at all times. Visitors should note: In the summer, the area is hot and humid, which can be a difficult climate to breathe.
Those exploring without guides should study local terrain, length of trails, approximate completion times and weather. While planning, pack plenty of water, insect repellent, sunscreen and appropriate outdoor attire. Ideas include slip-resistant shoes, a hat, sunglasses, rain poncho and an extra pair of clothes for emergencies.
Those traveling with children should always supervise them, especially near water and wildlife. Visitors with pets should consider boarding them for the day or leaving them at home. Most trails do not allow pets, and pets should not be left in the car due to high temperatures. In addition, exercise caution with alligators, crocodiles, vultures and poisonous plants. View all safety rules.
Accommodations Near Everglades National Park
Due to the size of the park, there are several award-winning destinations near Everglades National Park. On the west side, guests can book a vacation rental in Marco Island, which encompasses some of the park itself. Other amenities include picture-perfect beaches and golf courses. To the north of Marco Island, these Naples vacation homes offer easy access to shopping and more golf courses. While traveling, don’t forget to stop at local restaurants for fresh seafood.
Need more travel ideas? Learn about other destinations and attractions in Florida.