From beautiful birds and treacherous alligators to breathtaking beaches and gorgeous weather, Everglades National Park is an astonishing place. No matter your age, this park has something for everyone. If you’re looking to have the trip of a lifetime in your campervan, this park should be on your travel bucket list.
In this post, we’ll talk more about Everglades National Park, including where to stop on the drive, what to do within the park, and what makes this famous area a top-of-the-line travel destination.
About Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is one of the most unique places in the country. Covered by extraordinary wildlife and greenery in all directions, it’s a place unlike any other.
The park covers 1.5 million acres and is located just outside of Miami. It’s considered a tropical and subtropical habitat, providing a very diverse ecosystem. Everglades National Park has been established as an International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a World Heritage Site.
If you plan on visiting the park, it’s important to understand the different seasons, wet and dry. During the winter months, considered the dry season, the area experiences low humidity, mild temperatures, and decreased water levels. Due to these levels, wildlife tends to gather in specific areas of the park. These reasons make the dry season the busiest time of the year.
During the wet season, tourists can experience daytime temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit, including high humidity levels and increased precipitation.
Although the dry season may provide more activities and better weather, Everglades National Park can be enjoyed any time of the year!
Where to Stop Along the Way
The adventure doesn’t begin when you arrive at Everglades National Park—it starts on the drive over! Here are some sweet places to stop along the way:
As Everglades is found on the southern tip of Florida, there is tons of adventure to the north. Depending on where you’re coming from, try making a stop along the Appalachian Trail. This famous route cuts through parts of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Not only can you find several hiking options, but there are also many campgrounds to park your van. The Appalachian Trail provides some of the best views in the United States!
Cypress Breeze Farm
While you can ride a horse in many locations in the South, what better place than the beach? In Tampa Bay, this dream can come true. Cypress Breeze Farm offers guided horseback adventures, including epic rides along the shoreline.
North Alabama’s Little River Canyon
Looking to take a swim alongside magical waterfalls? If so, make a stop at Little River Canyon National Reserve in northern Alabama. While you’ll be mesmerized by the waterfalls, you can also hike, bike, and soak in the beauty in several other must-see areas.
Congaree National Park
Located in a floodplain near Columbia, this national park is known for its incredible trees. In fact, this expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood trees is the largest in the Southeast. Furthermore, the area features several other tree varieties, including cypress, elm, oak, and maple. Paddleboarding, hiking, and sightseeing are a few of the most beloved activities within the park.
Everglades National Park: Where Water and Wildlife Collide
Whether you stay for a few days or several, Everglades National Park has excitement for everyone. Here’s what you can expect in this one-of-a-kind destination:
Watching the world’s coolest birds is one of the park’s most enjoyable activities. In fact, you can find over 300 different bird species in the area! This list includes Bald Eagles, warblers, Barred Owls, Purple Gallinules, Wood Storks, Mangrove Cuckoos, and many many more. You can witness these majestic creatures anywhere within the park, but here are some notable bird-watching areas:
- Anhinga Trail
- Paurotis Pond
- Nine Mile Pond
- Snake Bight Trail
- Mrazek Pond
- Eco Pond
Bring your van to Everglades and experience some of the most gorgeous birds on the planet!
Aside from birds, Everglades is home to several other wildlife species, including giant alligators! Besides birds and gators, the park is home to frogs, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles. You might even see some turtles! Several kinds of snakes and even iguanas are also found within the park. Keep in mind that the dry season is the best time for wildlife viewing opportunities. To witness the gators, Shark Valley, Eco Pond, and the Anhinga Trail are some ideal locations.
Kayaking & Canoeing
If you’re into kayaking or canoeing, Everglades National Park is a dream come true. Nothing beats gliding silently along the water while soaking in the views and wildlife. You could travel along the Wilderness Waterway, which is a 99-mile long route that goes throughout the park. This trail takes 7-10 days to complete, but there are also several other shorter trails to enjoy. Some notable trails include Noble Hammock, Hell’s Bay, Bear Lake, and Sandfly Island Loop.
While the park has many hiking trails and walkways, much of Everglades is only accessible by water. This is why hopping on a boat is a perfect idea! Luckily, you can rent a boat yourself or go on an engaging guided tour. This is an ideal way to witness the scenery and get up and close to the park’s wildlife.
Biking around the park is a fantastic way to beat the traffic and soak in the views! Here are some of the top biking trails to check out:
- Shark Valley Bike Trail
- Snake Bight Trail
- Rowdy Bend Bike Trail
- Long Pine Key Bike Trail
Be sure to bring your bike along or grab a rental for a magical biking experience!
Hiking is another loved activity at Everglades National Park. There are trails through diverse habitats, providing perfect photo opts and breathtaking views. Make sure to plan for the mosquitos!
If you’re looking for a convenient place to park your van, the area has several options. The park offers wilderness camping and front country camping. You can even backpack to many campgrounds right on the beach! If you prefer an RV spot to hook up your ride, check out Flamingo campground and Long Pine Key campground.
To make this adventure one to remember, keep these tips in mind:
• Be respectful of bird nesting grounds and denning locations—you don’t want to disrupt any natural habitats
• Keep your space with wildlife—never get too close, and use binoculars when possible
• Pets must be kept at parking lots or campgrounds—they aren’t allowed in wilderness areas or on trails
• Always carry bug spray—mosquitoes and other insects are very common
• Park admission is FREE during winter weekends if you take the Homestead national parks trolley system
Here are some details on the park’s most notable attractions:
Bird Watching & Wildlife Viewing
Kayaking & Canoeing
Check out these off-the-beaten-path destinations in Everglades National Park:
• Hidden historical campsites—wooden camping docks only accessible by boat or canoe
• Bird watching along the Old Ingraham Highway
• Camping at Highland Beach
Buy Your Next Campervan Today!
Everglades National Park is an outdoor paradise. From witnessing massive alligators to peacefully kayaking through mangrove forests, this park is a magical place. If you’re looking to stay within the park and be close to the action, vancamping is a perfect idea.