We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

Nevada
Level Contributor
43 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

Hi

I will be in the Miami area for the first time in May.

I only have one day, and I am hoping to spend it at Everglades National Park.

It looks to me that it would be easier and faster to get the Everglades National Park from the Fort Lauderdale airport then the Miami airport.

I am looking to spend the most time possible in the park. Also it is much cheaper to fly into Ft Lauderdale.

I am flying from Reno-Tahoe area to Miami to catch a flight to Argentina from Miami airport.

As I am flying a day early so I don't have to worry about missing my Argentina flight, I want to fly into Ft Lauderdale, rent a car, and stay at a cheaper Ft Lauderdale airport hotel off of priceline or hotwire.

The next day I hope to drive early to Everglades National Park to spend the day, then return the car to the Miami airport about 5:00 PM for my 9:00 PM flight to Argentina.

On the return home I would leave from the Miami airport because it would be much more convenient not to change airports and I will be in a hurry to get home, as my son graduates from college the next day!

Does this sound like a workable plan?

Thanks

Miami, FL
Destination Expert
for Miami, Miami Beach
Level Contributor
2,710 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

The plan is perfectly workable, but I don't see how you would conclude that FLL to Everglades Nat Park would be faster than from MIA. It's about 30 miles further and through some of the heaviest traffic in South Florida.

Nevada
Level Contributor
43 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

Oh oh

Then that would have really been a mistake!

I live in a rural area and hate driving in traffic. That's one of the reasons I choose to spend my day out of the city, the other being that I live in the high desert and have never seen anything even close to what the Everglades offer.

Thanks for your input...and back to planning for me!

KP

South Florida...
Destination Expert
for Miami, Key Largo
Level Contributor
3,723 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

I would book a hotel in Florida City - there are several inexpensive hotels there. Then get up and head into the Everglades first thing in the morning.

Here's an idea of what you can do there.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143024-i1654-k351…

Miami, FL
Destination Expert
for Miami, Miami Beach
Level Contributor
2,710 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

The Everglades is about as different from high desert as the planet has to offer.

Florida
Level Contributor
72 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

You do not have to stay or go aaaaaaaall the way south to Florida City. Please. There is nothing there. All they have are run down hotels/motels.

I have been to different parts of the Everglades. I've done as south as Flamingo (which is dead and completely infestated with mosquitos that look like moths) and as north as Billy Swamp Safaris (much more recommended).

I would go westward on the Tamiami Trail (aka. SW 8 street). Try going to Shark Valley. http://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com/. You can take a tram tour, bike ride through the 'glades, go up the observatory tower, etc.

Also, there are a bunch of airboat rides that take you through the everglades for awesome pictures at unreachable areas around Sharkvalley on Tamiami Trail.

When you are done just drive east on Tamiami Trail. I recommend staying close to the airport since you have to take another flight. All you would need is the rental car for 1 day. Airport hotels have shuttle services to and from the airport. Check out Hilton Aiport, Sofitel, and the Hampton Inn. They are all pretty much next to each other.

Again...do not go south to Florida City. Its not worth it.

South Florida...
Destination Expert
for Miami, Key Largo
Level Contributor
3,723 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

I agree that FC is not the most exciting of places - but it is a great spot to start an Everglades adventure. Chchuflee and I will disagree about this part of the Everglades, I guess. I spent 6 hours there the other day and could have spent a great many more. Heading all the way to Flamingo gives you 2 options to explore by boat plus canoes or kayaks. Lots of ecosystems to explore on the way back including mahogany hammocks (little forest), cypress trees, sawgrass prairie, etc. If you want an airboat ride, that's available outside the park boundaries at everglades.com.

The trip west to Shark Valley, etc. is also interesting but I think you spend more time driving, less "in" the Everglades.

Florida
Level Contributor
72 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

It may be more convenient for keymom, coming from the Keys (even further south), to go to the Florida City part of the Everglades because of its closer proximity. Florida City is about the last city before Key Largo. But trust me. Driving from MIA aaaaaaall the way to FC and theeeeeen turning towards Flamingo is a heck of a farther and longer drive than down Tamiami Trail. You'll get to the action sooner. The ride on Tamiami, once you pass the Miccosukee Resort, is a nice one and there are a couple of Gator Farms, Miccosukee and Tribal reserves on the way. At Flamingo and to Flamingo, its a ghost town. All you see are the giant mosquitoes and vultures lurking. Its eery.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

Hi, nvkay -- if you haven't already done so, look at these videos of the various visitor centers in the Everglades. www.nps.gov/ever/photosmultimedia/sites.htm

I think they are helpful in deciding which parts you would like to visit. Best!

Nevada
Level Contributor
43 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

I would have been very disappointed in my visit as I was getting the Everglades “alligator alley” mixed up with the park. So many thanks, I appreciate all of you steering me in the right direction!

I had a lot of fun viewing the videos.

I found both areas fascinating and it’s going to be hard to choose. I would love to rent a bike at Shark’s Valley, and wouldn’t it be cool to kayak at Flamingo?

You guys are so helpful!

KP

Edited: 28 April 2010, 07:32
Miami, FL
Level Contributor
1,940 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Looking to spend the most time possible at Everglades

I'm going to go with Cuchuflee on this one, mostly because I think you want max time in the Glades. After a short drive from the airport, you will exit Turnpike to Tamiami Trail, a brief 15 minute drive on the Trail, suddenly you find yourself out of the city and into Sawgrass, I think for your purpose that might be much more enjoyable than fighting through Miami Suburbia to get to Flamingo.

I know you are used to heat in Nevada, but its different here, very humid. Please bring LOTS of water and LOTS of sunscreen/insect repellent.

My last outing to Shark Valley, a storm came through it was really eerie, we were biking into it, when all of a sudden we couldn't see the path ahead. It was raining, the storm formed what looked like a wall of water ahead. It was soooo cool. Also since the storm cooled the day off there were DOZENS of gators basking on the bike path, we were within four feet of them at some parts to keep going down the trail.

Whatever you choose I hope you have a great time, please visit this forum again and let us know how it went.