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Driving to the Everglades from Miami

July 06, 2006 By Gus in Miami: Travel News  | 3 Comments

ABOVE: An afternoon ride down US-41.

Michelle and I spent the 4th of July visiting the Florida Everglades. We had been hearing rumors of a $10 airboat ride and wanted to see for ourselves if it was true.

The drive was fun and we snapped some pics of our trip along the way.

It’s funny, even though the Everglades are only 25 miles from Miami Beach, and you can drive there and back in 75 minutes, going there was like taking a road trip.

Driving down US-41 is like stepping back in time, seeing what Florida was like 50 years ago. There are not so many places nearby that can give you this feeling.

I’m sure part of it has to do with driving onto an Indian Reservation.

But driving into the Florida Everglades also conjures up memories from the movie “Porkey’s” when the boys venture across the county line into Porkey’s County.

Whatever the reason, a drive from Miami to the Everglads should not be missed. Here is how to get there…

Directions from Miami:
Take 836 West to the FLORIDA TURNPIKE SOUTH. As you merge onto the FLORIDA TURNPIKE, immediately exit SW 8th ST. (US-41 West). Pay the 25 cent toll, and continue driving West on SW 8th ST. for 5.5 miles.

You will know that you are close, when you cross the KROME AVE. intersection and see Miccosukee Casino on your right.

For the next 16 miles just relax and enjoy the sceneary as you drive past some of Florida’s classic Everglades airboat rides (pics) and roadside attractions (pics).

For me, the lure of these places has much to do with their billboards and exotic signage. Keep your eyes open for names like: Everglades Safari, Coopertown, Indian Village, and Gator Park. They will all try and tempt you.

If you do make your way out here, don’t miss the opportunity to hop on an airboat and get out into the middle of the swamp. This region of South Florida is beautiful to see and get close to.

It was interesting to learn how diverse each different area of the region is from one another.

We also learned most of the Everglades is actually not a swap, but a slow moving river that empties into the Florida Bay.

Most of the animals in the region are nocturnal, and use the shallow waterways as a means to navigate during the night. Ahh, that’s a Disney Pixar movie for sure. I predict it opening in the summer of 2011.

We did find the $10 airboat ride, but Michelle planned ahead and purchased $16 Gator Park tickets instead. Gator Park’s 40 minute airboat tour and 30 minute wildlife show were worth it.

Side notes:
If you need to buy anything for the trip, after you exit the TURNPIKE, the 2 mile stretch along SW 8th ST.  is a good time to stop. You can find a Publix, CVS, Big K-Mart, U.S. Post Office, Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell.

We chose to eat on the way back. We had a good early dinner at Bonefish Grill for under $50. I was happy to see a $14 NY steak on the menu; that right there is reason enough to make the drive.

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News,

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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3 Comments on

"Driving to the Everglades from Miami"

fkolbow says:

hey ive got a question. the tour you took - is it possible to take it with a small motor scooter since i wont be able to rent a car or are there any highways to i wouldnt be able to pass ?thanks a lot

Posted on 06/10/2011 at 6:38 AM

Gus Moore says:

HI fkbow,

Yes, it’s totally possible to ride your scooter from Miami to the Everglades… You’d take SW 8th Street West for about 35 miles. By scooter, the ride would take about 3 hours from the beach. The only part of the trip I would consider a little dangerous is the stretch of highway, when you past Krome Avenue.

A few years back, my friend, Scott, rode his scooter from Miami to Los Angeles. The first day of his journey was spent leaving Miami and driving across the Everglades . Check out they video -

I should also mention, since writing this post in 2006, we started our own tour company and offer bus tours to the Everglades, twice a day. You can learn more us at

Starting the company had a lot to do with writing this article.

Thank you for asking a question.


Posted on 06/10/2011 at 9:21 AM

fkolbow says:

thank you very much for the fast reply. anyways is it even allowed to drive with a small motor scooter on the highway? i want to take a trip to the gulfvisitors center and its 86 miles away ,would it still only take like 3 or 4 hrs ? is there any route without using the highway ?

Posted on 06/10/2011 at 10:33 AM

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