Spring Break Road Trip: Everglades National Park
By Space Coast Daily // February 2, 2022
Are you trying to decide where to go on Spring Break? We have a destination that we think you’ll love. Rent an RV and drive 3.5 hours south on I-95 and the Florida Turnpike and you’ll arrive at the awe-inspiring Everglades National Park.
Located in South Florida, Everglades National Park is home to pine flatwoods, sawgrass marshes, and coastal mangroves. Wildlife abounds throughout the park. Being the largest tropical wilderness in the country, it is home to exotic animals like Florida panthers, manatees, and alligators.
Everglades National Park is America’s third largest national park spanning 1.5 million acres. The park was created in the 1970’s to protect the fragile ecosystem. Apart from being a national park, it also serves as a World Heritage Site for UNESCO, and is also a Wetland of Importance for Ramsar Convention.
First Things First—Book an RV
Renting an RV in the Space Coast is easy. There are ample rental companies and peer-to-peer websites to choose from. We suggest doing a Google search to find them.
However, before you start comparison shopping, you should check motorhome rental prices from a trusted source. After checking RV availability and then making your reservation, you’ll have some time to look forward to your road trip.
Things to See and Do at the Park
When we talk about Everglades National Park, there are so many things to see and do! From the wildlife to the beautiful scenery, there’s no shortage of natural wonder for you to explore. You may plan to engage in popular activities like hiking, kayaking, and fishing.
There are several tours you can go on, if you like a group setting. Also, you can paddle or hike on your own on the many miles of waterways and trails.
When to visit Everglades National Park
The scenery is beautiful all year round. However, certain times of year are better to visit as a result of the weather. There are two main seasons in this park; wet and dry season. The best time to visit is December – April, in the dry season. Later on in the year is wet season. Then it rains a lot and the summer is extremely hot and humid.
Where RVs Can Stay Nearby
Long Pine Key is an RV campground located in Homestead, Florida. It is the campground located nearest the Everglades National Park entrance. Many campsites have full hook-ups. Also, you’ll find two campsites that are RV accessible. They both have a maximum RV length of 35 feet. Both sites accommodate wheelchairs in restrooms.
Free amenities include hot showers, potable water, and dump stations. Seasonally you may attend ranger-led programs in the spacious amphitheater.
Back country camping is available and many people live by it. Just know you can only access most of these campsites by hiking or via a paddling trail. This is truly wilderness camping.
How to Get Around in an RV
Much like any park in the country, the accessible roads are limited, and so it would take some alternative means to access them. However, all four main attractions and visitor’s centers can be fully accessed in an RV. You could also utilize a boat, tram tours and even a bike to get around the park.
Driving In and Around Everglades National Park
From Homestead, Florida the Ingraham Highway southwest reaches the park’s Homestead entrance near the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. Here you can watch a short film and buy souvenirs. Florida State Road 9336, also known as The Old Ingraham Highway joins the Main Park Road at the southern tip of the park. The roads have numerous pull-outs and parking areas for your enjoyment.
The Royal Palm Information Station is a great stop to see a few alligators, and get additional information about the park if you didn’t stop at Ernest F. Coe. To continue the journey, at approximately 38 miles on Ingraham Highway, you will reach the Flamingo Visitor Center at the southern tip of the park.
If you want to visit the northern section of the park, follow the Tamiami Trail, also known as Highway 41. Along this route, stop at the Shark Valley Entrance Station and Visitor Center.
Exiting Highway 41 on the County Road 29 and heading south to the Everglades City has proven to be the fastest way to reach the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. This is usually a convenient stop for visitors that are coming down from Fort Myers, Naples, or other locations on the west coast of Florida.
After your RV road trip to Everglades National Park, you will have experienced some of the best nature has to offer. Safe travels back to the Space Coast. Cherish the memories until your next time out!