Visiting the Everglades Safari Park
Known as the “River of Grass,” the Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness area in the United States. Located in Southern Florida, the Everglades are a great place for those looking to enjoy wildlife, experience nature, and stand in awe at some of Mother Earth’s finest creatures. The Everglades Safari Park located just 40 minutes outside of Miami is a great place to get an introduction to the Florida everglades or as a great addition to your trip to the Everglades.
The Everglades water system begins up near Orlando with the Kissimmee River draining into Lake Okeechobee. Water leaving the lake forms the Everglades River, which is 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long. The Everglades extend down into Florida Bay at the Southern end of the state. The river is typically between 4-5 feet deep, and is 9ft. at its deepest.
Visitors to the Everglades can enjoy many activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, tram rides, bike rides, ranger guided tours and ranger programs, and airboat tours. The Everglades Safari Park offers a combination of these, with airboat tours, wildlife viewing, a live alligator show, and jungle trail boardwalk.
About the Everglades Safari Park
The Everglades Safari Park is located about a 40 minute drive from downtown Miami, making for the perfect day trip for families, couples, or singles visiting Miami. The Everglades Safari Park sits within Everglades National Park and offers visitors the chance to head out on the Everglades River to catch unique views of Florida’s most unique landscape, spot wild life, and make memories!
The Everglades Safari Park is a great introduction to Everglades National Park or a great addition to your visit to the park. The park offers airboat tours of the Everglades, a live gator show, delicious eats, and plenty of nature to explore and enjoy by foot. Before heading out for your visit, discover everything you need to know to make your trip perfect!
The Everglades Safari Park is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Airboat tours run every 20-30 minutes. The last airboat tour runs at 4pm.
How To Get There
With its close proximity to the big cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the park is a great day trip for families visiting the area.
The Everglades Safari Park can be reached from Miami with a 40 minute drive. You will want to take interstate 95 South down to SR-836 (Dolphin Expressway) west. From there continue until you reach Florida’s Turnpike (SR-821). Continue on the turnpike to exit 25 (SW 8th Street). Continue on SW 8th Street for about 15 miles and you will reach the Everglades Safari Park.
The park can be reached from Fort Lauderdale with approx. an hour long drive. You will take Interstate 595 west to Florida’s Turnpike. Then take the turnpike to exit 25 and continue until you reach the Everglades Safari Park.
What To Bring
When visiting Everglades Safari Park, it is important to keep in mind that the Everglades are a swamp/marsh and you will be exposed to the hot summer sun. So you won’t want to forget the:
- Bug spray
Things to Do at the Everglades Safari Park
Soar through the mangroves on an airboat ride
The airboat rides are the best way to experience the marshes/mangroves of the Everglades Safari Park. It is also a great way to get a chance at spotting some of the famous Everglades alligators. There are three options for the airboat rides at Everglades Safari Park.
The most popular and least expensive option is the 30-40 min. public airboat ride. The public tour includes the airboat ride, alligator show, nature trail, and access to park exhibits. The airboat ride takes you out on the Everglades river, through the marshes, past the mangroves, and gives you the chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including alligators, a variety of bird species, turtles, snakes, and more! Cost for this tour is $27 per person.
There are also two private tour options. The first is a 40 minute Private National Park Eco-Adventure Airboat Tour and includes the airboat ride, Alligator Show, and access to the nature trails and other park exhibits. The second is similar, but is a 60 minute tour instead of a 40 minute tour. The 40 minute tour is $255 per person and the 60 minute tour is $305 per person.
Go for a stroll along the winding Jungle Trail boardwalk
The Jungle Trail is a boardwalk that takes you through part of the Everglades by foot, giving you stunning views of the plant life and the chance to spot more wildlife along the way! Be sure to stay on the path as wildlife, including alligators, are seen throughout the area.
Enjoy a live alligator show
Included with the airboat ride you will be able to enjoy a live alligator show, where you can get up close views of these majestic creatures and learn about their lives, habitat, and life cycle. At the end of the show you will get the chance to take a photo with a baby alligator for a small fee (but visitors are no longer able to hold the baby alligator).
Try some gator bites at the Safari Café
The Safari Café is a small café at the Everglades Safari Park that makes for a quick and convenient lunch stop when visiting the park. For those wanting to try something new (or maybe not so new for you), the café does offer some different alligator meat options, including alligator bites.
They also offer some more traditional foods that might better fit the demands of your picky eater children, such as sandwiches, mac and cheese, and fries. Next door to the café you will also find a small gift shop if you’re looking for something to take home with you.
Spot Some Wildlife
There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife at the park. Be on the look-out as you enjoy the airboat ride. This is your best chance to spot the Everglades alligators along with a variety of other wildlife species, including owls, herons, cormorants, roseate spoonbills, pelicans, Florida gars, banded water snakes, white tailed deer, Florida panthers (rare), and otters.
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