North West| North Central | North East | Central East | Central | Central West | South East | South West | Florida Keys

Orlando | Miami | Key West | Tampa | Naples | Fort Lauderdale | Daytona Beach | St Augustine | Tallahassee | Jacksonville | Pensacola

Walt Disney World | Universal Studios | Sea World Orlando | Busch Gardens | Kennedy Space Center | Everglades | Other Parks

imageHome Page



imageTours & Activities

imageCar Rentals

imageTravel Insurance


imageVacation Packages


imageGolf Vacations

imageFishing Locations

imageTop Rated Beaches

imageSports Events

imageScenic Drives


imageCity & Region Maps

imageHoliday Dates

imageVacation Articles

imageVacation Videos

imageFlorida Vacation Links

Florida Everglades image

Many people think of the Florida Everglades as a huge swamp of stagnant water that is home to all sorts of nasty creatures.... thanks to the images that Hollywood has given us over the years.

The Everglades is in fact a vast ecosystem that consists of a shallow, slow moving river, up to 40 miles (64 km) wide and seldom more than waist deep. Think of shallow streams of water grass bounded by mangroves, teeming with wildlife and a perfect habitat for creatures that prefer a solitary existence with plenty of natural cover.

The water is the heart of this wilderness, and the rise and fall in water levels determines the life cycle of the native plants and wildlife.

The park is affected by surrounding areas and is at the mercy of poor environmental controls and management if that should occur upstream. 

In recent times, environmentalists have succeeded in getting legislation enacted to clean up the pollution that has traditionally been a by product of heavy industry.

While there has been a significant decrease in the native wildlife in the southern states (and elsewhere), the Everglades remains one of the few places where numerous endangered species can still be seen in their natural habitat. These include the swallowtail butterfly, Florida panther, American alligator, manatee, leatherback turtle and the southern bald eagle.

First-time visitors will probably get the most enjoyment and appreciation of the park from an airboat.  These craft aren't allowed in the heart of the park but operate on the fringes, taking visitors past countless birds, alligators, crocodiles, deer, and raccoons.

However, for the visitor who is serious about getting the maximum enjoyment from their visit, then a canoe is the best way to see the Everglades. For a different perspective, there a many trails that allow visitors to get  far closer to the unique habitat and its creatures.

The trails are excellent for biking and being quite flat, walking the trails is not arduous, but the trails are quite long, with the popular Shark Valley being 13 miles (21km). Be prepared to take the time on the trails to appreciate what the Everglades has to offer.  Bicycling or taking a guided tram tour are excellent ways to see the park's highlights. 

imageFlorida Everglades Highlights

Shark Valley is a 13-mile paved road through the park and provides a fine introduction to the park.  To see a greater assortment of plant and animal life,  enter the park through the main entrance, collect a trail map and spend at least a day exploring from there.

The Anhinga and Gumbo Limbo trails are highly recommended to first-time visitors. They both start 3 miles (5km) from the main entrance and are each a half-mile (800 m) round trip. Gumbo Limbo Trail has an emphasis on the flora as it passes through growths of gumbo limbo trees, royal palms, ferns and orchids.  

The popular Anhinga Trail passes through an area with more water and wildlife than most parts of the Everglades. Alligators, river otters, lizards, turtles, egrets, herons and other animals abound, making this one of the top trails for wildlife viewing. 

Visitors should try and include the 7pm program in their visit. This talk and slide show is presented by one of the park's rangers at the Long Pine Key Amphitheater. It gives a detailed introduction to the park's history, its resources and the wildlife.

imageFlorida Everglades - Getting There

Miami and Fort Lauderdale on the eastern side, and Fort Myers on the western side, are the closest cities serviced by international airports. Access to the park is via personal vehicle or tour operator transport. The park may be explored by personal vehicle, commercial tour bus, bicycle, motor boat, or canoe. There is NO public transportation in the park.

imageShare Your Everglades Vacation Experiences (Facebook Login required)

About us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms And Conditions