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How to Get From Miami to Everglades National Park

Updated: October 1, 2023
 By Nichole

The Everglades are one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world and are within driving distance of Miami.

If you’re considering a visit, this post covers how to get there, park entry fees, and tips on the best time to visit.

How to Get From Miami to Everglades National Park

Given the relatively short distance between the two places, an Everglades day trip from Miami is more than possible -- it’s a great idea!

It’s about 42 miles to Everglades National Park from Miami. The exact distance depends on your starting point. 

The drive can be as little as an hour, but again this depends on your starting point and how much traffic there is. 

Give yourself 90 minutes at a minimum and more if you want to stop along the way.

There are three entrances to Everglades National Park. The two entrances closest to Miami are the Homestead entrance and the Shark Valley entrance.

Everglades National Park Directions from Miami

Using the Shark Valley entrance:

The Shark Valley entrance is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 pm. The Shark Valley Visitor Center is open daily 9 am to 5 pm.

The park is open 24 hours, but vehicles do not have access after 6 pm.

The entrance fee is collected at the gate. Read about entrance fees below.

Driving directions:

  • Take the Florida Turnpike going west (FL-836 W).
  • Get off at Exit 25A onto U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail / SW 8th St).
  • Drive 25 miles west to Shark Valley Loop Road.

Use this Google Maps link for exact directions to the Shark Valley entrance from your departure point. 

If using GPS, punch in this address: 36000 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33194.

Note that there is a small toll for using the Florida Turnpike. Find out how much using the SunPass Toll Calculator.

Using the Homestead entrance

The Homestead entrance is open 24 hours a day. The entrance fee is collected here. Read about entrance fees below.

The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm (April through mid-December) and 8 am to 5 pm.

Driving directions:

  • Take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it merges with U.S. 1 at Florida City. 
  • Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St).
  • Follow the signs to the park.

Use this Google Maps link for exact directions to the Homestead entrance from your departure point.

If using GPS, punch in this address: 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034.

Note that there is a small toll for using the Florida Turnpike. Find out how much using the SunPass Toll Calculator.

Everglades National Park Entrance Fees

The fee for an entry pass is $30 per car. 

Your pass is good for 7 consecutive days from the day of purchase so you can exit and re-enter the park as many times as you would like within that period.

You can pay the fee at the entrance to the park (credit/debit cards only) or save time and purchase a digital entrance pass in advance. 

Purchase your Everglades National Park Site Pass here.

It is free to enter the park on these days:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • First Day of National Park Week
  • Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • National Public Lands Day
  • Veterans Day

Consult a calendar to see what date these holidays fall on as they differ year by year.

Best Time to Visit the Everglades

The best time to visit the Everglades is from early December to April.

This is the dry season when temperatures are comfortable, you’ll have a better chance of spotting wildlife and there will be way fewer mosquitoes!

One downside of visiting in the dry season is that the weekends can be quite busy. 

Even if traffic is good, there may be congestion at the entrance and it can be difficult or impossible to find a parking spot. 

If possible, plan your day trip for a weekday and arrive before 10 am. If you must come on the weekend, arrive as early as possible.

Though the park is open 24 hours a day every day of the year, you shouldn’t go in the middle of the night to get a parking spot!

But you can go early in the morning. 

Two things to keep in mind if you plan to leave at the crack of dawn:

Be sure to purchase your entry pass in advance as the visitor center doesn't open until 9 am.

Have your route through the Everglades planned in advance. 

Visiting the Everglades on Your Own or With a Tour From Miami?

A visit to the Everglades from Miami on your own rather than going on a tour that departs from Miami isn't necessarily less expensive (see the cost comparison below).

It may not be as satisfying as taking a guided tour with round-trip transportation from Miami.

The Everglades are best experienced on a tour where a knowledgeable guide will point out animals along the way. 

Guides also tell you about the unique ecosystem of the Everglades. Some tours include live animal shows and the chance to hold a baby alligator.

Guided tours take care of the driving and entry fees so you can sit back and relax.

You get priority entrance so you don't have to wait in line with other cars to enter the park.

You also won’t have to worry about finding a parking spot which can be very difficult. 

Having someone else deal with these things means your time and energy are devoted to one thing only: getting close to the incredible animals and nature of the Everglades.

Comparison of costs:

The cost for two people to drive from Miami to the Homestead entrance is $20 round-trip (gas and tolls) plus the entry fee of $30. 

That’s $50 total. If you divide by two, that’s $25 per person. 

This does not include any tour of the park other than a self-guided tour in your car or on foot. 

Add on the cost per person for the least expensive Everglades tour (either airboat or tram) that you take once inside the park and you are looking at a total of $55 per person.

For the same $55 per person, you could take this Everglades Airboat, Wildlife Show, with Roundtrip Bus from Miami

This includes:

  • Transportation from Miami
  • A live guide
  • Entry fees
  • Priority entry to Everglades Park
  • A 45-minute airboat ride
  • A wildlife show with animal experts
  • Souvenir photo with a baby alligator

For the same price, you get a lot more for your money when you take a guided tour from Miami. 

Our post, 5 Ways to Tour the Everglades from Miami, can help you decide if taking a tour is the best way for you to enjoy the Everglades.

Hotels Near Everglades National Park

There are quite a few hotels near both the Homestead and Shark Valley entrances. 

If you plan to stay overnight, especially in the busy season, be sure to book in advance to guarantee you have a room for the night.

Note that there is nowhere to stay overnight in Everglades National Park unless you camp. 

Hotels near the Homestead entrance

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Homestead Miami South 
  • Courtyard by Marriott Miami Homestead 
  • Hilton Garden Inn Homestead
  • Travelodge by Wyndham Florida City/Homestead/Everglades 
  • Super 8 by Wyndham Florida City/Homestead/Everglades 

Hotels near the Shark Valley entrance

  • Hilton Miami Dadeland 
  • The Palms Inn & Suites Miami, Kendall, FL 
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Miami Kendall, an IHG Hotel 
  • TownePlace Suites Miami Kendall West 
  • Best Western Plus Kendall Hotel & Suites 

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About The Author


Nichole's love for Miami began when she chose the Magic City as her future home, after living overseas in Singapore. She cannot get enough the city's food scene, culture and 'multiple boroughs,' each unique in their own way. She is an avid worldwide traveler and thrives on learning about new cultures in each place her feet land. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2017, first as a part of administration and then later as a writer. She's a chiropractor and yoga teacher with a full-time business in Miami. Her motto is "Peace, Love, & Travel.”
Updated: October 1st, 2023
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