Everglades National Park

Overview

Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments. The park is known for its rich bird life, particularly large wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets. It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side. Everglades National Park has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.

Everglades National Park is open year-round, but other services and visitor centers have different seasons depending on weather. The Ernest Coe Visitor Center entrance is open 24 hours a day. Due to flooding, the Chekika entrance is closed May 1 through November 30 and open from December 1 through April 30. It is open from dawn to dusk otherwise. The Shark Valley entrance is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gulf Coast entrance is open 24 hours a day. Flamingo is the only visitor center not accessible from an outside entrance. It is 38 miles into the park from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The Everglades is mild and pleasant from December through April, though rare cold fronts may create near freezing conditions. Average temperatures in winter: High 77 F; Low 53 F. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures around 90 F and humidity over 90%. Afternoon thunderstorms are common and mosquitoes are abundant. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is June-November. Tropical storms or hurricanes may affect the area. Average Rainfall: 60 inches (152 cm) per year. The rainy season is June through October (mosquito season coincides with the rainy season).

Directions

Driving: 

Directions to the Ernest Coe Visitor Center 40001 State Rd. 9336, Homestead, FL 33034-6733

Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park.

Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.

Directions to the Flamingo Visitor Center: Flamingo, Florida

Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends, merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park.

Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.

The Flamingo Visitor Center lies roughly 38 miles south of the park entrance. Visitors should expect to drive about an hour before arriving at Flamingo.

Directions to Shark Valley Visitor Center: 36000 SW 8th St. Miami, FL 33194

Shark Valley Visitor Center is located on Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail / SW 8th St.) 25 miles west of the Florida Turnpike, exit 25A (from the north) and exit 25 (from the south).

From the Naples area, take U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) approximately 70 miles east to Shark Valley.

Directions to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center: 815 Oyster Bar Ln., Everglades City, FL 34139

The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is located 5 miles south of Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) on State Road 29, in Everglades City. From Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), take exit 80 (State Road 29) south and proceed 20 miles to Everglades City. Once in Everglades City, follow the signs to the park. The visitor center is on the right.

Directions to the Chekika Area of Everglades National Park: 24200 SW 160th Street, Miami, FL

Chekika is located about 36 miles from downtown Miami and 18 miles from Homestead, Florida. To get there, take the Dolphin Expressway (State Road 836) to the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) or the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike. Exit the Palmetto or the Turnpike at Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street), and go west to Krome Avenue (SW 177th Avenue). Turn left and go south about five miles to SW 168th Street. Turn right and go west about six miles to 237th Avenue. Turn right and go north about a mile. Turn left on168th Street, and you'll be facing west with the entrance to Chekika just ahead.

From the south, take the Turnpike to Eureka Drive (SW 18th Street), go west to Krome Avenue, and turn north to SW 168th Street - or take Krome Avenue due north from Homestead to SW 168th Street and follow directions above.

Due to seasonal flooding, Chekika is closed during the wet season. This popular part of the park is located in the East Everglades area and is open from dawn to dusk. There are no amenities so be sure to bring water and any food/snacks wanted for your trip.

Flying: 

The closest major airport to the park is Miami International Airport.

Public Transport: 

No public transportation into the park.