Just outside of the bright lights and big city of Miami and the myriad of attractions in Fort Lauderdale sits the Everglades. If you’ve had your fill of amusement parks, sun, and sand, the Everglades offers travelers something decidedly different and there is more to do than you might imagine. So, let’s unpack the 5 Best Things to Do in The Florida Everglades.
#1 Sawgrass Recreation Park
Located on N Hwy 27 in Weston, Florida, Sawgrass Recreation Park offers a different kind of recreation than you may be accustomed to. Originally a fishing camp, the park has transformed over the last 30 years into one of the more popular destinations in South Florida.
Here you can mine for gems at the Sawgrass Mining Co or get in some fishing and camping at the park. The park offers airboat rides day or night and private tours as well as group adventures. The park is open from 10 AM to 4 PM daily. The Airboat Adventure with Sanctuary admission runs $26.95 for adults. It’s $16.95 for children ages 4 to 12 and children 3 and younger get in for free.
#2 Chokoloskee Bay
Chokoloskee Bay is about 10 miles (16.1k) long and tucked between the southwest coast of Florida near Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands. It’s a maze of mangrove-covered islands that are protected by Everglades National Park.
This protected and relatively unchanging area of the Everglades is full of wildlife and natural beauty. The calm waters in the Bay make this the perfect place to kayak, canoe, or fish. Equipment rentals and fishing charters can be acquired in Everglades City as well as the town of Chokoloskee – a bit further south.
#3 Shark Valley
Located on 8th St in Miami, Shark Valley is a geological depression at the head of the Shark River Slough. Open from 8:30 AM to 6 PM daily, Shark Valley features a Visitor Center with educational displays and informational brochures. There’s also a park video and an underwater camera.
Take a tram tour where you can spot wildlife such as turtles, gators, and regional birds. The entrance fee is $30 per vehicle.
#4 Long Pine Key
Long Pine Key features over 22 miles (35 km) of connecting trails and is the perfect spot for camping. It’s located near several points of interest such as the Anhinga Trail and the Shark Valley Visitor Center. Long Pine Key also boasts incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
Aside from being a perfect and quiet place for camping, the area offers miles of hiking trails and a beautiful lake surrounded by pine Rockland Forest. Notably, the campground area has four restrooms available for use.
#5 Royal Palm State Park
Royal Palm State Park is a totally stunning spot to visit when in the Everglades. The park, Florida’s first state park, is located in Miami-Dade County and is part of the Florida Everglades National Park. Here lies some of the most popular hiking trails in the Everglades.
The Anhinga Trail and Gumbo Limbo Trail are two great places to start. Also, notably just outside of the park is the Everglades Alligator Farm featuring epic airboat rides as well as the nearby Schnebly Redland’s Winery offering wine tastings.
Be sure to check out the 5 Best Helicopter Tours in Miami (Here) and stay up to speed on all the hot spots and sweet destinations in Florida.
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