Located less than two hours drive from The Chesterfield Palm Beach, the Everglades National Park offers a fascinating mosaic of diverse habitats, from vast pine forests to enormous wetlands. A must-visit for nature lovers, the national park is home to a variety of rare species including manatees, American crocodiles, alligators and the elusive Florida panther. It’s also the largest subtropical wilderness in the US as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a look at our Everglades guide for the ideal Florida adventure.
Located at the north entrance to the park, Shark Valley offers a great starting point for any Everglades guide. Explore the 15-mile Shark Valley loop by foot, bike or tram with an expert-led tour and learn about the local environment and wildlife that calls the park home. Walk up the winding path to the observation tower, which boasts panoramic views of the park as well as great potential to spot turtles, alligators and wading birds from above.
Main Park Road
A drive along the Main Park Road to Flamingo should include lots of stops to make the most of the magnificent changing landscape of the Everglades (beware of animals crossing the road!). Explore the sawgrass marshes and swampland by foot on the Anhinga Trail, where budding biologists will be able to spot a variety of local wildlife including fish, alligators and birds.
Campers can spend a night at Long Pine Key Campground (closed during the summer months), where pine trees and lakes offer an idyllic place to pitch your tent. Continue to the Pahayokee Trail for scenic views over the wetland prairies and the Shark River Slough, before walking the rickety wooden bridge to the Mahogany Hammock through dense green undergrowth, exotic plats and towering Mahogany trees (the largest living Mahogany tree in the US is located here). When you reach Flamingo, take in the magnificent views of the Florida Bay over the costal prairie, before renting a canoe or taking a boat trip out to spot manatees in the harbour.
Stretching all the way from Flamingo to Everglades City, the Wilderness Waterway is a 99-mile stretch of mangrove-lined creeks, rivers and lagoons. Serious adventurers can explore the waterways by kayak, or if you’re feeling a little less daring, opt for a guided boat tour of the area.
Everglades City is a tiny fishing town developed in the late 19th century and is a perfect example of Old Florida charm. The Everglades Seafood Festival attracts over 50,000 visitors in the first week of February, offering a charming mix of seafood, music and local crafts. To avoid the crowds, skip the festival and visit off-peak for a more relaxed introduction the area, its famous seafood shacks and sleepy restaurants. Feast on lobster, crab and alligator in an old train depot at Everglades Seafood Depot, or try the deep-fried oysters at the Oyster House Restaurant.
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