Thanks to the limited points of access available to enter the Everglades, this vast park can be neatly, though superficially, explored in two days.
If you’re camping, plan on staying at Monument Lake Campground, which is about halfway between Miami and Naples. This will allow you to spend the two halves of your first day exploring sites on either side: Everglades City and Chokoloskee to the east, Shark Valley Visitor Center and Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery to the west.
If you’re not camping, try and book the cottage at Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery or get a room in Everglades City at Ivey House, a great lodge-style hotel that can also help arrange canoe/kayak rentals.
The next day, wake up early and head to the southern area of Everglades National Park near Florida City. Book a room in Homestead and plan on spending the entire day taking in the park’s vast wilderness, whether by hiking along popular trails like the easily accessible Anhinga Trail and Gumbo Limbo Trail, or exploring the 16-mile Turner River Loop bike trail.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Florida Road Trip.