Cost Effective Travel

Lesson 6: The Best National Parks In Florida

For an overview of some of the best Florida national parks, keep reading to discover information on facilities, location, and where to find more details.


Everglades National Parks


Out of all the Florida national parks, the Everglades is the largest and most popular. It is the biggest subtropical wilderness in the country and is home to hundreds of endangered and rare species of plant and animal life.


The Everglades are a designated World Heritage Site and considered to be a Wetland of International Importance. The park is open every day of the year and located at the southern tip of Florida. However, the main entrance is accessible from Florida City and open 24 hours every day.


The entry fee to the Everglades National Park is $10 for a vehicle and good for 7 days. However, an annual park pass can be purchased for $25 and is valid for up to twelve months. The camping fees start at $16 per night for campsites and drop to $10 per night for backcountry camping.


Big Cypress National Preserve


The Big Cypress National Preserve is just north of the Everglades National Park. Its fresh waters and swamp land support the numerous estuaries that run alongside Florida's southwest coastline. You can take guided tours through the National Preserve or take your own self-directed hike.


The preserve is open each day of the year, though the visitor center is closed on Christmas day. Before you go, remember that the rainy season (May to October) can dramatically increase water levels along with the number of mosquitoes in the area.


If you're headed in that direction during this time frame, pack extra-strength DEET bug spray along with long sleeve shirts and pants to protect against bites.


Canaveral National Seashore


The Canaveral National seashore is probably the most unique of all the Florida parks. It covers a barrier island that runs alongside the state's eastern coastline and offers visitors acres of pristine, untouched beaches and sand dunes.


The most popular attraction at Canaveral is its 24 miles of open and public beach access. The park is only open until 6:00 p.m. during the winter and 8:00 p.m. through the summer months. Park entrance fees begin at $3 per person. However, an annual park pass can be purchased for as little as $35.


For more helpful information on these or other Florida national parks, you can visit the National Park Service and their website for Florida at http://home.nps.gov/applications/parksearch/state.cfm?st=FL. On this page, you will find links to specifics on all the park options in Florida, including pricing, hours of operation, locations, and directions.

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