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A Burmese Python in Everglades National Park | Public Domain / Pixabay
A Burmese Python in Everglades National Park | Public Domain / Pixabay
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8 Things to Do in Everglades National Park in Miami, FL

Picture of Karina Castrillo
Updated: 27 April 2018
The Everglades National Park in the southern tip of Florida encompasses over 2,400 square miles of wetlands and is home to a unique ecosystem. Naturally there’s never a shortage of things to do in the expansive area. This is what you can’t miss while on a trip to the Everglades.

Take a tram tour through Shark Valley

The narrated tram tour takes visitors through a 15-minute loop through the grasslands for an educational tour of the area’s diverse animals and plants. The open-air tram easily accommodates families, but is often fully booked during high season of November through April so reservations are recommended. Visitors will also have access to the Shark Valley Observation Tower for panoramic views of the park.

Ride an airboat

The most popular way to sightsee in the park is no doubt a trip on an airboat. The boat with fan propeller rushes past the swamps for a thrilling adventure through the park’s murky waters home to the American alligator. An airboat captain gives riders a lesson in the vicinity’s wildlife.

Pet an alligator

Interested in petting an alligator? Alligator Farm is very much the closest you can get to these reptiles. The Everglades Alligator Farm contains more than 2,000 of these creatures, and gives visitors an alligator feeding demonstration. At the “Alligator Encounter,” visitors can hold a baby alligator, and feed alligators from a breeding pond for $69.50.

Visit the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation

Learn about the tribe’s indigenous culture with a visit to their reservation. Deep in the Everglades, the reservation is home to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum where visitors can explore 30,000 historic artifacts belonging to the tribe, and even see a real village where artisans work on basket-weaving and bead-working.

Go hiking

Hikers can meander through short interpretive trails that linger throughout the park for a chance to explore the area at their own pace. A few trails include the Anhinga Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, Mahogany Hammock Trail and Pinelands Trail which loops through a forest of pines and wildflowers.

Kayaking

Paddle through the marshes and open waters of the park either on a canoe or kayak. Visitors can bring their own or rent one from the Flamingo Marina or Gulf Coast Visitor Center. A few top locations to kayak or canoe through are the Nine Mile Pond, or Hell’s Bay, the latter slightly more challenging.

Birdwatching & wildlife viewing

The Everglades is home to manatees, deer, black bears, the Florida Panther and an array of bird species. Panthers may be harder to spot as they are nocturnal animals, but visitors can catch glimpses of many animals during any visit to the park. For birdwatching, the Nine Mile Pond and the Mrazek Pond is a nesting spot for wood storks, roseate spoonbills, snail kite, and ducks.

Stay the night

There are various locations for an camping at the park. Visitors may bring their RVs and park at the Flamingo Campground or Long Pine Key Campground, and there are numerous campsites to pitch a tent and stay the night. Visitors will have to pay a small fee at the fee station at the main park entrance in Homestead.