The Everglades is a nature reserve that extends across 1.5 million acres, and is comprised of tropical jungles, meadows and marshes. It is a national park, located 40 minutes from downtown Miami, that stretches across three counties (Monroe, Miami-Dade and Collier), and is inhabited by various species, such as American crocodiles, West Indian manatees and Florida panthers.
The park is open every day of the week, and offers a wide variety of activities that you can either do with excursion tours, or own your own. For those who have rented a car, there are three ways to enter the park: through the main entrance in Homestead, through the Shark Valley entrance in Miami, or through the Gulf Coast entrance in Everglades City. By boat, you can also enter the park through its coastal borders and waterways.
Main Entrance (40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034)
Visitors arriving from Miami or from the North should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) South until it ends and merges with the US1 in Florida City; turn right at the first light on Palm Drive (State Road 9336 / SW 344 St.), and follow the signs leading to the park.
Visitors who are driving North from the Florida Keys, should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs leading to the park.
Shark Valley entrance (36000 SW 8th Street. Miami, FL 33194)
This access to the park is located on Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail / SW 8th St.), Exit 25A, 25 miles west of the Florida Turnpike (from the North), and Exit 25 (from the South). Coming from the Naples area, take US41 (Tamiami Trail), approximately 70 miles east of Shark Valley.
Gulf Coast Entrance (815 Oyster Bar Lane. Everglades City, Florida 34139)
This access is located five miles South of Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) on State Highway 29, in Everglades City. From Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), take Exit 80 (State Road 29) South, and continue 20 miles to Everglades City. Once there, follow the signs leading to the park. The visitor center is on the right.
All entrances have a section for parking. The cost of entry per car is $10, and tours have extra costs..