Great abundance of wildlife and getting around is easy
The Park is very hot in the summers, and at times mosquitoes and other insects can be bothersome.
An ecosystem in jeopardy
Want to see the true Everglades? Being a Florida native and making the trip several time cross state, I would recommend to travel the less travelled road, US 41 or Tamiami trail at least once...or twice even. Its a one lane highway through the thick of the Everglades National Park. Lots of good roadsides to stop at. For example, a hike through the...more
The Shark Valley area of the Everglades National Park features a beautiful 15-mile loop path - one of the best traffic-free bicycle trails in South Florida! You can walk it or bike it (bicycles are available for rent at the visitors center), or you can take a 2-hour guided tram tour. We opted to walk ~ 6 miles of the trail and saw LOTS of wildlife...more
Not too far from the building of the Royal Palm Visitor Center is this easy 800m walking trail where you can see all sorts of wildlife. We saw 3 alligators, a turtle and many kinds of birds, including anhingas, herons and egrets. There is a boardwalk that goes through the marsh. There is a park ranger leading a guided walk everyday. Check the...more
We were starving when we left the Shark Valley Park of the Everglades, and this place caught our eye. The building is shaped like a teepee, and it looked interesting. It took two passes to get a parking spot - it's a small parking lot, so that's not a surprise - and went inside. The inside is very "diner", which is OK. The prices were fair - I had...more
This was the only real restaurant in the park. It has been closed since the disastrous hurricane season of 2005 (Wilma and Katrina). There was no overnight lodging, houseboat rentals or dining services available in 2007—08 winter season.--------------------The restaurant overlooked Florida Bay, and one night we sat by the window and watched some...more
We were staying down in Flamingo, but I wanted to go to one of the ranger 'campfire' talks. The only problem was - the Flamingo talks were Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but we arrived on Monday and were leaving Friday morning. When I asked, the Flamingo Visitor's Center did not know what was going on at other site.
But I knew from the internet that there was also Starlight Talk (50 minutes) (Meet under the stars at the amphitheater located at the south end of Long Pine Key Campground. Check bulletin boards and visitor centers for the night’s topic. Flashlights recommended. Wheelchair accessible) on Thursday and Friday, so we went to the one on Thursday night which proved to be about the Florida Panther in the Everglades.
The ranger giving the talk explained to the people who came early about how she got to be a ranger. (She asked if we had any questions and that was one of them.) We weren't too bothered by mosquitoes as it had cooled off quite a bit.
The talk was at 7:30. She gave us a quiz with 16 questions which were designed to point out misconceptions about panthers. Bob thought all the questions were true, so he told me to put that. I thought some were false. He got 11 out of the 16 right, and I got 13 right.
We didn't sight a panther in person, so the pictures include a) warning sign b) statue in the visitor's center and c) stuffed one in an exhibit in the Big Cypress visitor's center.
Dress Code: You will need something to protect from either cold or mosquitos, and a flashlight to get back to your car or campsite after dark. [It is DARK at night in the Everglades.] Other than that, no one will care what you wear. (I'm a poet and don't know it but my feet are Longfellows)
There are three ways to get from the headquarters to the overlook. Walk, take the tram, or bike. It is a nice fairly flat, paved 15 mile (round trip) trail which serves for both the tram and the bike/hike trail. The first half of this trail was built in 1946 by Mobil Oil when they were exploring the possibilities of finding oil in the Everglades -...more
Though a car is the prime way to get around the park, one can also take the concessioner tram at Shark River. This is a 2 hour guided tour that allows visitors to see the park from the comfort of an open tram.The destination is a viewing tower from where various birds and alligators can be seen. After a visit at the tower, the tram transports...more
You will enjoy great shakes with unusual flavors, fresh homemade key lime pies, and among other things you may purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, jellies and preserves (many from his mother’s recipes), and a large variety of honeys. You can observe a working bee hive, and sample honeys that came from different flower sources. I was amazed at how...more
22 Reviews and Opinions
Make the stop at 'Robert is Here' fruit stand that you will drive by on your way to the park from US 1. Here you will find an array of exotic tropical fruits as I have never seen in the US. An added bonus is freshly made sugar cane juice.
There is a canoe trail which will take you across from Flamingo to the western end of the Everglades. It takes 7 days to do this trip in a canoe. Permits are reqired to camp in the back country.The National Park Service website says:"There are 47 designated wilderness campsites. They provide ample opportunities for solitude. The majority of the...more
the everglades is home to alligators and the florida crocodile. give these reptiles a wide bearth when watching or photographing them. alligators can run very fast for short distances so keep your distance when you encounter one on land. feeding alligators and crocodiles is illegal and if caught the fine is $5000.more
It's not that I don't recommend air boat tours, but just make sure you know what you're getting in the package! Our tour consisted of a brief drive out to a hammock island that natives traditionally lived on, where we were given about 10 minutes to walk around, followed by another brief drive back! If you're only looking for a thrill ride on an air...more
The airboat ride is available around the Everglades National Park. It is an extremely noisy machine that scare all the wildlife away. And it also does tremandous damage to the physical environment. See this article if you like to learn more. To truely enjoy nature, you can rent a canoe or kayak, or go on a boat tour at Flamingo.more
Our national parks are really a pretty good bargain. But there are some aspects that might not be as you would expect. The Flamingo Lodge has, for whatever reason, filled in the swimming pool. You could still see pictures of it on their website.Due to Hurricane Wilma in the fall of 2005, overnight Accommodations (Lodge & Cottages): Closed...more
there are several essentials that you should take with you on a visit to the everglades national park. if you plan to go all the way to flamingo besure you have a least a half of tank of gas the round trip is approximately 70 miles and there are no gas stations in the park. take sun screen for those with fare skin as the sunlight is very strong...more
Either bring firewood with you or purchase it outside the park gates (we were told there is a seller there). A number of people found themselves in the evening at the campground with nothing to make a fire with and were forced to use wood from the surrounding vegetation! We were pretty frustrated with this because the gate attendant never...more
If you want to go on a swamp walk, bring lace up shoes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy. I would also wear a hat with a brim, and to help ward off mosquitoes, I'd wear long pants at least at night. Early in the morning, you may need a jacket I concur completely with the park service recommendations that you bring plenty of sunscreen and...more
Not far from the Shark Valley visitor centre are several airboat operators. We chose Coopertown airboats and were very happy. The guide, Mark, did a great job, and at the end we got a chance to hold some of the smaller (2-3 ft.) alligators they have raised in captivity.We saw lots of alligators, blue heron, and great egrets on the trip, as well as...more
We spent three days in Big Cypress with our camper. On the first day we drove along US highway 41, stopped at the visitor center, then at Clyde Butcher’s Photography Studio. He is sometimes called the Ansal Adams of Florida. His black and white photographs of south Florida were beautiful. Stop by Big Cypress Gallery to enjoy his photography, or to...more
Everglades is a park that offers hiking, biking, canoeing, and fishing. You may rent bicycles at Shark Valley and Flamingo if you do not have your own bikes with you. If you would enjoy exploring the park's inland and coastal waterways, which often lead to remote spots, you may rent canoes, motorboats and slips at Flamingo. Navigational charts are...more
At almost 1.4 million acres, Everglades National Park is the third largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and is home to 36 rare and endangered species including the Florida Panther, the West Indian Manatee, and the American Crocodile. The...more
The Great Blue Heron breeds throughout much of the US around water, but it migrates south in the winter. It is really hard to mistake this bird for any other bird - for one thing it's way bigger than any other bird. The Great Blue Heron sometimes is white and is called the Great White Heron. But usually the big white birds are Great Egrets. The...more