The swamps, hardwood hammocks, and slow-moving streams, creeks, and rivers of the Glades spread out for miles, so trying to see all of it is a challenge. The 1.5 million acres of Everglades National Park makes it one of Florida ’s largest natural attractions, but also one of its least accessible.
From Naples: Taking the Tamiami Trail southwest from Naples brings you to Everglades City  (37 miles from Naples), home to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center (State Rd. 29, 239/695-3311, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily). This is the best starting point to explore the southern and western edges of Everglades National Park, including Flamingo and the Ten Thousand Islands.
From Miami: I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike will bring you to the eastern access points near Homestead (35 miles from Miami). The Ernest Coe Visitor Center (40001 State Rd. 9336, Homestead, 305/242-7700, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $10 per vehicle, $5 for pedestrians/cyclists) is at the main entrance to the park and is therefore the most popular of all the visitors centers. If you’ve never been to the Glades, this is an ideal place to let a park ranger give you tips on navigating the park, as well as orienting yourself. The admission fee you pay here grants you entrance to any part of Everglades National Park, so from this point you’re free to wander.
Once inside Everglades National Park, the only real way to get around by car is on the Tamiami Trail or Alligator Alley. There are a handful of smaller access roads, and the visitors centers throughout the park are easily accessible, but most of the park’s interior can be reached only by boat.