10 Things to do in Everglades City FL – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to Everglades City, FL, a hidden gem in the heart of the Florida Everglades. This charming town offers a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventures, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. From thrilling airboat rides through the mangrove forests to peaceful kayaking excursions along the pristine waterways, there are endless things to do in Everglades City FL that cater to every type of adventurer. Join us as we explore the wonders of this enchanting paradise and discover why Everglades City should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Everglades National Park:

Essential Information

– Address: Everglades National Park, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034
– Opening Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
– Fee: $30 per vehicle for a 7-day pass
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, outdoor adventurers

Overview

Everglades National Park is a sprawling natural wonder in Florida, known for its unique ecosystem and diverse wildlife. Spanning over 1.5 million acres, the park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. From vast wetlands to lush forests, the park offers a glimpse into the beauty of the Everglades.

One of the main reasons why Everglades National Park is a must-see destination is its unparalleled biodiversity. Home to a wide array of plant and animal species, including alligators, manatees, and various bird species, the park provides a rare opportunity to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the chance to spot rare species such as the roseate spoonbill and the Everglades snail kite.

In addition to its wildlife, the park also boasts a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. From hiking and biking trails to boat tours and kayaking adventures, there are plenty of ways to explore the park and immerse yourself in its natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat in nature or an exciting outdoor adventure, Everglades National Park offers something for everyone.

Big Cypress National Preserve:

Essential Information

– Address: 33100 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee, FL 34141
– Opening Hours: Daily from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
– Fee: Entrance fee of $30 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, wildlife photographers

Overview

Big Cypress National Preserve is a captivating natural oasis in Everglades City, FL, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the diverse ecosystems of the Florida Everglades. With its vast swamplands, towering cypress trees, and abundant wildlife, this preserve is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The preserve is home to a variety of species, including alligators, panthers, and a wide array of birdlife, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

Visitors can embark on scenic drives, hiking trails, and airboat tours to immerse themselves in the beauty of the preserve and witness its rich biodiversity up close. The tranquil waters of the swamps provide a serene backdrop for kayaking and canoeing adventures, allowing visitors to connect with nature in a peaceful setting. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an exciting outdoor adventure, Big Cypress National Preserve offers something for everyone to enjoy in the heart of the Florida Everglades.

Shark Valley:

Essential Information

– Address: 36000 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33194
– Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: $30 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, wildlife lovers

Overview

Shark Valley in Everglades City, FL, is a must-see destination for those seeking an authentic Everglades experience. The vast expanse of the sawgrass prairies and the abundance of wildlife make it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike. As you embark on the 15-mile loop trail, you’ll encounter a variety of bird species, alligators basking in the sun, and perhaps even a glimpse of the elusive Florida panther. The observation tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, allowing visitors to appreciate the sheer beauty and diversity of the Everglades ecosystem. Whether you’re a seasoned nature lover or a first-time visitor, Shark Valley promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Florida wilderness.

Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge:

Essential Information

– Address: Everglades City, FL
– Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

The Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Everglades City, FL, is a must-see destination for those seeking a true escape into the natural beauty of Florida’s wilderness. Spanning over 35,000 acres, this refuge is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. With its diverse ecosystems of mangrove forests, marshes, and coastal habitats, the refuge offers a unique opportunity to witness a wide array of bird species, including herons, egrets, and ospreys in their natural habitat.

Visitors can explore the refuge through various hiking trails and waterways, providing a chance to observe the rich biodiversity that thrives in this pristine environment. Whether you’re a seasoned bird watcher or simply looking to reconnect with nature, the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge offers a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Don’t miss the chance to experience the raw beauty of Florida’s wilderness at this hidden gem in Everglades City.

Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery:

Essential Information

– Address: 52388 Tamiami Trail, Ochopee, FL 34141
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, photography lovers

Overview

Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery in Everglades City, FL, is a must-see destination for those seeking a deeper connection with the natural beauty of the Florida Everglades. Renowned for his stunning black-and-white landscape photography, Clyde Butcher captures the raw and untamed essence of the Everglades in a way that truly resonates with visitors. The gallery showcases Butcher’s iconic large-format prints, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the vast and awe-inspiring landscapes of the region.

Stepping into Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery is like stepping into a visual love letter to the Everglades. The striking contrast and intricate details in Butcher’s photographs transport viewers to the heart of the wilderness, where every shadow and reflection tells a story of the unique ecosystem. Whether you’re a seasoned nature enthusiast or simply appreciate the art of photography, a visit to Clyde Butcher’s gallery is sure to leave you inspired and in awe of the natural world around us.

Everglades City Airboat Tours:

Essential Information

– Address: Everglades City, FL
– Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
– Fee: $40 per person
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers

Overview

Everglades City Airboat Tours offer an exhilarating experience for those looking to explore the unique ecosystem of the Everglades in Florida. The tours provide a thrilling ride through the marshlands, giving visitors a close-up look at the diverse wildlife that call this area home. From alligators basking in the sun to colorful bird species soaring above, the airboat tours offer a chance to witness nature in its raw beauty.

The knowledgeable guides share insights about the ecosystem, pointing out interesting facts about the flora and fauna that thrive in this wetland habitat. Visitors can also learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect this delicate environment. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking an adventure, Everglades City Airboat Tours offer a memorable experience that showcases the natural wonders of the Everglades.

Museum of the Everglades:

Essential Information

– Address: 105 W Broadway Ave, Everglades City, FL 34139
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
– Fee: $5 for adults, $3 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History buffs, families, nature enthusiasts

Overview

The Museum of the Everglades in Everglades City, Florida, stands as a testament to the rich history and unique ecosystem of the region. This hidden gem offers visitors a glimpse into the past, showcasing the intertwined stories of the pioneers who settled in the area and the natural wonders of the Everglades. Through engaging exhibits and interactive displays, visitors can explore the impact of early settlers, the development of the area, and the importance of preserving this delicate ecosystem.

A visit to the Museum of the Everglades is a must for those seeking a deeper understanding of Florida’s history and natural heritage. From the informative displays detailing the challenges faced by early settlers to the captivating artifacts that bring the past to life, this museum offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of Everglades City. Whether you’re a history buff intrigued by the stories of the past or a nature enthusiast eager to learn about the unique ecosystem of the Everglades, this museum provides a fascinating and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 101 W Broadway Ave, Everglades City, FL 34139
– Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, history buffs, families

Overview

The Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in Everglades City, FL, stands as a gateway to the unique wonders of the Everglades. This must-see attraction offers a wealth of information and resources for visitors eager to explore the natural beauty and rich history of the region. From interactive exhibits showcasing the diverse ecosystem of the Everglades to informative displays on the area’s cultural heritage, the Visitor Center provides a comprehensive introduction to this iconic destination.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast keen on spotting wildlife in its natural habitat or a history buff intrigued by the stories of the early settlers in the Everglades, this Visitor Center caters to a wide range of interests. Families will also find plenty to enjoy, with engaging activities for children that educate and entertain. With its convenient location and free admission, the Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is the perfect starting point for an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Everglades.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 137 Coastline Dr, Copeland, FL 34137
– Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
– Fee: $3 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, outdoor adventurers

Overview

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in Everglades City, FL, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its vast expanse of untouched wilderness, this park offers a unique opportunity to experience the raw beauty of Florida’s natural landscape. As you wander through the ancient cypress trees and sawgrass marshes, you’ll be surrounded by a symphony of bird calls and the gentle rustling of wildlife. The park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, with over 100 species of birds calling it home. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an outdoor adventure, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is a must-see destination for anyone looking to connect with nature in its purest form.

Gulf Coast Visitor Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 815 Oyster Bar Lane, Everglades City, FL 34139
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM daily
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, families

Overview

The Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City, FL, serves as a gateway to the stunning wilderness of the Everglades National Park. This must-see attraction provides visitors with a wealth of information about the unique ecosystem of the region. From educational exhibits to ranger-led programs, the center offers a comprehensive introduction to the diverse flora and fauna that call the Everglades home.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center is the opportunity to embark on a boat tour through the mangrove forests and coastal waters of the park. These tours offer a chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including alligators, manatees, and a myriad of bird species. For nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, this experience is truly unparalleled.

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or a family looking for a fun and educational day out, the Gulf Coast Visitor Center is sure to impress. With its informative exhibits, knowledgeable staff, and access to the natural wonders of the Everglades, this attraction is a must-visit for anyone seeking to explore the beauty of South Florida’s wilderness.

Food and Cuisine

Stone Crab Claws

Why is it so special:

Stone Crab Claws are a delicacy in Everglades City due to their sweet and succulent meat. These claws are unique as only the claws are harvested, ensuring sustainability of the species. The meat is best enjoyed fresh and is often served chilled with a side of tangy mustard sauce.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic experience, head to a local seafood shack like Triad Seafood Market & Cafe or City Seafood. For a more upscale setting, visit the Oyster House Restaurant known for their perfectly prepared Stone Crab Claws.

Gator Tail Bites

Why is it so special:

Gator Tail Bites are a popular dish in Everglades City, offering a unique taste of the local wildlife. The meat is tender and mild, often compared to chicken or fish. It is typically breaded and fried to perfection, creating a crispy exterior with a juicy interior.

Where to Try It:

To sample this local delicacy, visit the famous Camellia Street Grill or the Everglades Seafood Depot. These establishments are known for their expert preparation of Gator Tail Bites.

Key Lime Pie

Why is it so special:

Key Lime Pie is a classic dessert that originated in Florida, making it a must-try in Everglades City. This pie features a tangy and creamy filling made from Key lime juice, nestled in a buttery graham cracker crust. It strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart flavors.

Where to Try It:

Indulge in a slice of Key Lime Pie at the Island Cafe or the Havana Cafe of the Everglades. These local eateries are known for their delectable Key Lime Pie that captures the essence of Florida’s culinary heritage.

Events and Festivals

Everglades Seafood Festival

The Everglades Seafood Festival is a highly anticipated event that celebrates the local seafood industry in Everglades City. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes, live music, arts and crafts vendors, and fun activities for the whole family. This festival usually takes place in February and is a great opportunity to experience the unique culture and flavors of the Everglades region.

Everglades City Independence Day Celebration

The Everglades City Independence Day Celebration is a festive event that takes place on the 4th of July each year. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display over the water, live music, food vendors, and a sense of community spirit as locals and tourists come together to celebrate America’s independence. This event is a great way to experience the patriotic spirit of Everglades City.

Everglades City Seafood Festival

The Everglades City Seafood Festival is another popular event that showcases the delicious seafood offerings of the region. Visitors can sample a wide variety of seafood dishes, enjoy live entertainment, browse through arts and crafts vendors, and participate in fun activities. This festival usually takes place in February and is a must-visit for seafood lovers looking to experience the best of Everglades City’s culinary scene.

Interesting Facts

– Everglades City is the western gateway to the Everglades National Park, the largest tropical wilderness of any kind in the United States.
– The city is known as the Stone Crab Capital of the World, hosting an annual Stone Crab Festival celebrating this local delicacy.
– Everglades City is the only city in Collier County that is not on the mainland, accessible only by boat, air, or driving through the Everglades.

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