I'd love to do a houseboat rental sometime, but for now it is too expensive.
As of June 2006 the Flamingo Marina website says: Houseboat Rentals: Closed indefinitely. No date for resumption of services. This is due to Katrina and Wilma in the fall of 2005
Houseboat availability varies seasonally. Boating experience is helpful but not mandatory. An in-depth operating orientation will be provided to every Captain, prior to departure. All boat operators must be at least 21 years old. Houseboats are for backcountry use only, Whitewater Bay, Shark River, and Joe River. No houseboats are allowed in the Florida Bay, Tarpon Bay, North of Oyster Bay, or West of Ponce De Leon Bay.."
Unique Quality: Boat features include aluminum pontoon boat with 100 hp outboard, VHF marine radio, 12 volt electric system, propane stove/oven and refrigerator/ freezer, sleeps 8, full bathroom with shower, propane grill, 120 gallons water, top speed of 6 knots. Actual fuel used (gasoline and diesel) for all houseboats is the responsibility of the renter, along with any damages or missing items. NO AIR CONDITIONING!!! Everything operates on a 12-volt battery (with solar panels) or is propane operated
Pontoon Boat Rates (sleeps 8)
November - April: 2 nights are $475.00. Add $160.00 for each additional night. 7th night is free.
May - October: 2 nights are $340.00. Add $115.00 for each additional night. 7th night is free.
Catamaran Hull with a 115hp outboard, VHF marine radio, 12 volt electric system, 80 gallon fuel tank, hour meter, 4 foot safety compartments, exclusive 3 deck construction, no seam fiberglass sundeck roof, Armstrong vinyl floor covering, decorator window valances, custom hide-a-bed sofa, 100 gallon toilet holding tank, residential size shower, dinette table and 4 chairs, air condition, R-19 ceiling installation, 4K Onan diesel/generator, double bunk beds, compass, hydraulic steering, automatic battery charger, smoke and CO detectors, nonskid fiberglass deck, deck edge bumper, 64" front door projection, pleated fabric blinds, step flush toilet, 100 gallon fresh water storage, 3 burner gas stove, double-door frost free refrigeratgor/freezer, dual fire extinguishers, boarding ladder, commercial storm door on front, sliding glass door on stern, micro-wave, sleeps 6 and rod holders.
Catamaran Rates (sleeps 6):
November to April: 2 nights are $575.00. Add $200.00 for each additional night. 7th night free.
May to October: 2 nights are $525.00. Add $175.00 for each additional night. 7th night free.
Closed indefinitely due to Hurricane Wilma c June 2006
Flamingo is at the end of the road when you come into the park from Homestead. It is on the north shore of Florida Bay. The only "in-the-park" accommodations in Everglades National Park other than campgrounds are at the Flamingo Lodge. There are 74 lodge rooms, and 24 cottages. (Houseboat rentals are also available, plus there is a campground which has showers but no electrical hookups).
We stayed at the Lodge because we did not want to have to drive 70 miles back and forth each day. Houseboat rentals would have been too expensive unless we could have shared the cost with our daughter's family. I made the reservation on the internet.
When we entered the park, we dallied so long at the Royal Palms center, that it was quite late before we got to Flamingo. I was glad to read that the front desk was open 24 hours a day, in the peak (winter) season. We didn't need the guest laundry facilities and did not look at them.
The Lodge has filled in their pool, which means that in spite of the fact that it is surrounded by water, there is no place in Flamingo to swim.
Unique Quality: Our room had two double beds, telephones (they say there is voice mail but the connections are not good for email), air conditioning, private bath and maid service. All non-local calls (i.e. anything outside of the park) are charged a percentage in addition to a per call fee. So even if you use an 800# for internet, there will be a per call fee..
Each room has a walk-out window which faces east. If you get up early enough you can see the sunrise from the waters edge in front of the unit. This will also mean that the morning sun will heat up the rooms in the summer.
Although the dry season (winter) will have less of a mosquito problem., there will be mosquitos at dusk. In the summer there will be a much greater mosquito problem.
Directions: State Route 9336 (left at "Robert is Here Fruit Stand" will be on the corner, right at Detention Center). Follow 9336 for five (5) miles to the park entrance. Flamingo is 38 miles within Everglades National Park
Note: Discontinued Services at Flamingo Lodge & Marina (from damages caused by hurricanes in the fall of 2005) are listed below:
Overnight Lodge & Cottage Accommodations
Restaurant/Buttonwood Café and Lounges. It is recommended that you visit the Everglades National Park Website at nps.gov/ever or the National Park Service Planning Website at parkplanning.nps.gov for updates. At this time there are no accommodations besides campgrounds within the park. Lodging is available in communities that border the park. You may want to contact the local chamber of commences for Homestead, and Florida City, which are the closest communities to the main drive of the park, therefore the most convenient if you plan to spend a number of days exploring the Everglades. Miami can also be used, although this is a considerably longer drive.
Flamingo Lodge, which is at the end of the main park road, is the only lodge within the park boundaries. It is open year-round and has 103 rooms, and 24 cottages with kitchen facilities. Whether you stay in the lodge, a cottage, or the suite, you will find beautiful views of Florida Bay. The rooms have a comfortable, rustic atmosphere. The front desk is open 24 hours a day, peak season where you may find complimentary fresh gourmet coffee. All rooms and cottages include two double beds, telephones with voice mail, air conditioning, private bath, maid service, and 24-hour swimming pool privileges. Also available is a limited number of roll-away beds and cribs.
The restaurant and café are open during the winter season only.
Unique Quality: At the lodge you will find laundry facilities, houseboat rentals, meeting facilities for up to 100, a small camping store, rental canoes, skiffs, kayaks, fishing equipment, a swimming pool, naturalist-guided boat tours, and the Everglades gifts and souvenir shop.
The photo is of an Osprey chick that was being raised in a nest that was built next to the spinning anemometer of a weather instrument located on a pole next to the Flamingo Visitor center.
Directions: Flamingo is 38 miles inside the park from the Main Entrance to Everglades National Park.
201 West Broadway, Everglades City, Florida, 34139, United States
Everglades National Park Main Road, Florida, United States
200 Riverside Drive, Box 190, Everglades City, Florida, 34139, United States
1 Flamingo Lodge Highway, Everglades National Park
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Address: 1 Flamingo Lodge Highway, Everglades National Park,