U.S. National Park Series (3) – Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is one of the three national parks in Florida. It’s famous for its wetlands, American crocodiles, and mosquitoes (haha, kidding; but there are a lot of mosquitoes in Everglades for sure. Do bring insect repellents if you plan to go there.) 

Everglades has several different entrances. We went there from the Homestead entrance and drove all the way to the Flamingo visitor center, which is 38 miles away. If you choose the same route, you can hike some trails on your way to Flamingo, and from Flamingo you can choose to take different boat tours. 

When to Visit
The park is open 365 days a year but I may avoid going there in summer, which is the wet season in Everglades. First, it’s hot! Second, facilities may have restricted hours or closed in summer. Winter is the dry season in Everglades and it’s a good time to go visit. Most facilities are open and you can enjoy a full range of tours and programs. 

How to Get There

I went from the main entrance which is located in Homestead and is car accessible. If you are coming from Miami, you drive pass Miami a bit and then turn right to follow the Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park. 

What to Do There

What is nice about going to Everglades from this entrance is that you can visit the Ernest Coe Visitor Center. The rangers will based on your time recommend the popular walking trails you shouldn’t miss. We followed the rangers’ suggestions to hike the two most popular trails: 

Royal Palm Trail

This is a trail famous for birds and American crocodiles. A picture is better than thousands words. So here you go. 

Mahogany Hammock Trail

Driving south from the Royal Palm Trail, there is almost one trail every 5 miles. We didn’t have enough time so we went for another recommended trail by the ranger – the Mahogany Hammock Trail. It’s supposed to be famous for different kinds of plants. Be aware! Many mosquitoes here! I saw a lot of different plants but…didn’t remember a single name. 

Flamingo Bay Area Boat Tour

At Flamingo, you can book boat tours and rent kayaks or canoes. There are boat tours taking you to backcountry or to the flamingo bay area. 

Depending on your interest, you can choose either tour to enjoy different views. I chose the bay area, which was nice and cool. 

We also saw sea birds catching fish during our tour.

 (Did you see the fish the seabird caught?)

But, if you want to see more alligators, you may want to choose the backcountry one.

Personally, I don’t think Everglades national park has a high rank on my U.S. national park list, but if you have time to visit south Florida it doesn’t hurt to pay a visit there.

Thank you for your reading!