Miami daytrip: A journey to the Everglades

by Paul Rubio on February 17, 2010

The Turner River in the Everglades National Park in Southern Florida

The Turner River in the Everglades National Park in Southern Florida

[Flickr/chaunceydavis818]

No trip to South Florida is complete without a journey to Everglades National Park. Miami’s beaches are great, but a mind-blowing experience with raw nature is well worth time away from the sand and surf. Just one hour from South Beach and Downtown Miami, the easiest and best access point of the Everglades, Shark Valley, provides an extraordinary opportunity to come face to face with wild, gargantuan alligators and interact with charismatic, wading birds and frivolous otters. It is possible to walk, bike or take a tram through the nine-mile nature loop (or just complete a small portion of it). Thanks to the concentration of water near the park entrance, the first mile of the trail is a photographer’s dream, revealing living images from the pages of National Geographic magazine. Warning: This is nature, not Disney. You will find yourself sometimes a few feet from feral 10-foot gators. So if the kids are unruly, leave them back at the hotel!

Unfortunately, there is no public transportation to and from the Everglades.  If you have a rental car, you are only 44 miles away from Shark Valley, coming from the Gansevoort South or most hotels in the vicinity. Entry is paid per vehicle ($10) not per person. Shark Valley Visitor Center – 36000 Southwest 8th Street, Miami

For those without cars or looking for an alternative experience, The Mandarin Oriental Miami offers full day trips from the hotel. Mandarin’s trip combines altruism with tourism.  A day trip includes a visit to Everglades National Park along with an afternoon of volunteering in the park through tree planting, recycling projects and weeding out exotic plants.

- Paul Rubio

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexia Mann February 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

The Everglades are the best break from south beach. I always tell my friends to try Shark Valley.

Will Smith February 18, 2010 at 12:07 am

I remember our group trip to the everglades! Miss you Paul, hope all is well! Well put by the way – you make South Florida sound amazing – I guess that’s why we live here!

magnus February 18, 2010 at 12:15 am

Great article Paul, makews me wanna go to Everglades and Florida//Magnus

jonathan pelletier February 18, 2010 at 12:17 am

Hey-This is GREAT! I never thought i would go to the Everglades. This is cool! Its not that far and i cannot wait to have a fun day trip over there!! Thanks, Paul!!

orlee February 18, 2010 at 8:01 am

I went to the everglades once with my parents, when I was little. It was interesting but I haven’t thought of returning until reading this article. I love nature and I didn’t realize it was so close and it sounds beautiful.

Stephen February 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Paul is such an asset to the travel industry. The things he discovers can be see by anyone or just lived through vicariously by those bound to their daily lives.

Gildas Dousset February 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Shark Valley is one of my favorite places in Florida, and thanks to you and your knowledge. Thank you Paul.

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