There are so many things to do in the Everglades that you won’t have a dull moment, not even for a minute.
You won’t run out of things to do in the Everglades, that’s why it’s a must-see when visiting Florida. Everglades National Park has a unique ecosystem and is one of the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the US. It’s a whopping 1.5 million acres of mangrove forests, saw grass marshes, and hardwood hammocks dominated by wetlands. This unique wetland is also teeming with wildlife, some of which are endangered and unique to the Everglades ecosystem.
Best time to visit the Everglades
The best time to visit the Everglades is from December to April. During the dry season, the humidity is much lower. There’s also less chance of you getting stuck in a downpour and a little less mud than usual. You’ll also have a lot fewer bugs to contend with.
Where to Stay in the Everglades
The Everglades cover a lot of areas, and there are great places you can stay when visiting. You can stay in cities like Miami, Orlando and even Everglades City and easily make day trips into the Park. If you are the adventurous type, then the Everglades campgrounds will be a perfect choice. You can also check out these cool cabins nearby.
Everglades Bike Trails
Biking in Shark Valley is one of the most popular things to do in the Everglades. This popular trail is 15 miles of paved fun that the whole family can enjoy. You’ll make your way through the sawgrass, tropical hardwoods and deep, black water. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen, and you can stop at some great viewpoints on the way.
Rowdy Bend Trail
If you’re looking for something shorter but less kempt than Shark Valley, Rowdy Bend Trail is perfect for you. The 2.6-mile path takes you through an overgrown roadbed, past shady buttonwoods and out to open coastal prairie. Combine this route with the Snake Bight Trail for a more challenging ride.
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Hiking in the Everglades
The Anhinga Trail
This half-mile trail is probably one of the most popular things to do in the Everglades. The family-friendly path takes you past a canal with the perfect views. Make sure to take your time as you may see some unique wildlife on your way. The trail should take you 45 minutes or less.
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Gumbo Limbo Trail
Besides having a really catchy name, the Gumbo Limbo Trail is a spectacular 0.5-mile route that leads you under an incredible canopy of trees. It’s great for bird spotting, and you’re sure to come across some other wildlife too.
Snake Bight Trail
The Snake Bight Trail is 3.6 miles long with no elevation. It’s an easy enough path but isn’t maintained and can get pretty overgrown. The trail comes to a wide-open area where you’ll see wading birds and other amazing wildlife. This hike is one of the best things to do in the Everglades, but be sure to bring your bug spray along.
Long Pine Key Trail
For those hikers that prefer a little more of a challenge, the Long Pine Key Trail is ideal. The route is a total of 15.5 miles with no elevation. It’s well-maintained and offers excellent opportunities to see the natural diversity of the Everglades. This route is perfect for cycling too.
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Kayaking in the Everglades
The Noble Hammock Trail
This 1.9-mile route is one of the best things to do in the Everglades. The out and back path is excellent for all levels of kayaker. You’ll make your way through twisting mangroves that add to the exciting experience.
The 9 Mile Pond
This 5-mile route offers you stunning views of natural landscapes and mangrove islands. Besides being unbelievably charming, this trail is perfect for beginners. Make sure to be mindful of alligators, you may find a few on your way.
Sand-fly Loop Trail
Take this spectacular route and explore the best of Ten Thousand Islands. It’s probably one of the most scenic trails you can take in the Everglades. This saltwater kayaking experience even allows you to cross over the open water, perfect for the adventurer.
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Everglade Boat Tours
Boating in Chokoloskee Bay
Chokoloskee Bay is about 10 miles long and is situated on Florida’s southernmost Gulf Coast. There is plenty of unique wildlife to be discovered here, from marine life to beautiful birds. You’ll find that one of the best ways to explore this stunning area is with a boat tour. There are plenty of things to do in this part of the Everglades, including this great tour.
Explore in an Airboat
Airboats are a staple in the Everglades and one of the most popular activities. It’s a great way to explore the waterways and learn more about the marine and birdlife in the area. You’ll also get to see some American alligators on the way. There are several great tours you can take.
Ten Thousand Islands
This is one of the most scenic parts of the Everglades and is packed full of things to do. There are plenty of ways to explore the area, including some really great boating adventures. And for something more relaxing, why not try out a fishing cruise while you’re there.
For something completely different from your normal boating adventures, you should try a pole boating tour. This is one of the more unique things to do in the Everglades and won’t be as noisy as motorboats and airboats.
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Other Things to do in the Everglades
Whether you’re an avid paddle boarder or just starting, this is one thing you have to try out in the Everglades. The calm waters and great scenic areas are perfect for this activity. And you may even discover a curious friend or two in the water.
With an array of spectacular birds such as the Roseate Spoonbill, and of course Flamingo’s, bird watching is one of the best things to do in the Everglades. Make a stop at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center or the Flamingo Visitor Centre for information before heading out.
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If you’re heading out to the Ten Thousand Islands, you can always try out shelling. There are plenty of small islands to stop at, each with beautiful shells to discover. And if you aren’t keen on going on your own, then go with a guide on this tour.
Where to Stay
You’ll find plenty of choices of where to stay in the Everglades. If you’re looking for luxury, check out the Vacation Village at Weston, featuring an outdoor pool and daily activities.
Or consider staying at an Airbnb (my favourite choice for stays of two or more nights). You’ll find everything like this gorgeous Waterfront Luxury Cabin with its stunning views or this cabin which has an outdoor swimming pool.
Be sure to check out all our recommended Airbnbs in the Everglades here.