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For those yearning to swap the beach for a brush with the wild, a day trip to the Everglades from Fort Lauderdale is an exhilarating alternative. Known as Florida’s ‘River of Grass,’ the Everglades National Park stretches across 1.5 million acres and is celebrated for its rich biodiversity, earning it UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This vast, slow-moving river ecosystem offers a unique blend of tropical and subtropical habitats teeming with wildlife.
Getting to the Everglades from Fort Lauderdale
There are three primary gateways into the Everglades: the Homestead entrance, Shark Valley, and the Gulf Coast entrance. Each is an accessible journey from Fort Lauderdale, taking about 1.5 to 2 hours by car. Given the impact of Hurricane Irma, it’s wise to check the park’s current conditions and open areas before visiting.
Everglades Day Trip Essentials
Everglades Hiking Adventures
The Anhinga Trail is a must-visit for hikers, offering a window into the world of alligators, herons, and other native species. This family-friendly path is short and well-maintained, perfect for a leisurely exploration of Florida’s wetlands.
Refresh and Refuel
After a day of exploration, treat yourself to a fruit smoothie at the beloved Robert is Here fruit stand in Homestead or indulge in a cinnamon roll at Knaus Farms, a local institution since 1956 known for its delectable baked goods.
Everglades Boating and Biking
For a quintessential Everglades experience, hop on an airboat tour. These thrilling rides offer a chance to see the park’s wildlife up close while zipping through the marshes.
Paddle the Waterways
At Flamingo, rent a kayak or canoe to explore the serene waterways of the Everglades. This area provides a peaceful setting to observe the park’s unique ecosystem, with opportunities to spot manatees and crocodiles.
Bike Through Shark Valley
Biking in Shark Valley offers a different perspective of the Everglades, with a flat, easy trail suitable for all ages. Cycling here is not only a great way to see the landscape but also an opportunity to encounter wildlife, including the park’s famous alligators.
A day trip to the Everglades from Fort Lauderdale presents a memorable adventure into one of the world’s most unique natural environments. Whether by foot, boat, or bike, the Everglades promises an experience filled with discovery and awe, making it a perfect complement to the beach-centric Florida getaway.