Where to stay near Everglades National Park, FL

You are currently viewing Where to stay near Everglades National Park, FL

Teeming with birds, lizards and alligators, Everglades is a unique natural treasure located in South Florida. To give this Mother Earth hotspot your full attention, check in at the only hotel inside Everglades National Park. Alternatively, if you want the best of both worlds, stay in one of the conveniently located gateway towns.

Disclosure: All listings are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more ›

Key takeaways

  • Flamingo Lodge is the only place to stay within Everglades National Park. This is an excellent isolated base for those who want to go all in on the Everglades experience.
  • Everglades City provides the most intimate lodging on the western side of the park. Consider the River Wilderness Waterfront Cabins for a unique gatorfront.
  • Westerly Miami neighborhoods put you closest to the popular Shark Valley Visitor Center, while Homestead & Florida City function as gateways to the vast southern portion of the Everglades.

Everglades National Park

When you dig into the options for where to stay near Everglades National Park, it’s important to realize how huge the wetland is. At over 1.5 million acres, the park covers a large part of South Florida.

Because Everglades National Park is such a USA giant, there are five visitor centers:

  • Gulf Coast (in Everglades City)
  • Shark Valley (west of Miami)
  • Ernest Coe (at Homestead/Florida City)
  • Royal Palm (4 miles past Ernest Coe)
  • Flamingo (38 miles past Ernest Coe)

Gulf Coast, located in Everglades City, is the only visitor center on the western side of the Everglades. Adjacent you find several airboat companies that happily take you into the Everglades’ depths.

Shark Valley, west of Miami, is home to a 15-mile (24 km) loop road that you can hike, bike or explore by tram. At its halfway point, Shark Valley Observation Tower provides unique wetland views. At Shark Valley, there’s also an impressive selection of airboat tours.

Ernest Coe, at Homestead/Florida City, is the southeastern Everglades entrance. Close by, the short but sweet Anhinga Trail appeals, and there’re many more exciting trails down the road towards the remote outpost Flamingo. Although the airboat operators are fewer in the south, you find great alternatives here too.

  • Distance: 0 mi
  • Driving time: 0 min
  • Pick Everglades NP for: In-park base.

Best hotels in Everglades NP

  • Flamingo Lodge – Eco-conscious Flamingo Lodge, built with shipping containers, offers the only accommodations inside Everglades National Park. Choose from modern one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites boasting soothing Florida Bay views.
Gator by the edge of the water in the Everglades
Join the gators in Everglades, Florida.

Everglades City

Right on the Everglades’ western border, Everglades City feels like no other town in Florida. Picture a sleepy town at the edge of civilization where everything orbits around — you guessed it, the Everglades.

Staying at a hotel in Everglades City, you have the Everglades vibe around 24/7. You might even spot alligators while recharging your batteries, especially if you stay at the River Wilderness Waterfront Cabins.

The proximity to the wilderness makes day trips into the park effortless. Get the latest info at Gulf Coast Visitor Center, join an airboat tour or paddle away into the maze of waterways and mangrove islands.

Capturing the scenery brilliantly, the 0.9-mile (1.4 km) Sandfly Island trail is a popular option for those who want to stretch their legs. However, keep in mind that you need to travel over water to get there; canoeing and kayaking are popular means of transportation.

  • Distance: 0 mi
  • Driving time: 0 min
  • Pick Everglades City for: Prime Gulf Coast access.
  • River Wilderness Waterfront Cabins – A unique place to stay in Everglades City, River Wilderness Waterfront Cabins makes you feel like you stay in the heart of Everglades National Park. Above all, its incredible waterfront view and outdoor swimming pool stand out; lounging by the water, you may even spot an alligator or two.
  • Everglades Adventures Hotel – At the northern end of Everglades City, you find Everglades Adventures Hotel. It’s a modern option for where to stay near Everglades National Park, boasting contemporary and spacious rooms.
  • Everglades City Motel – Everglades City Motel is the most classic Everglades National Park motel there is. If you don’t need anything fancy, it’s the perfect place to stay when visiting the Everglades. Sure, it’s not luxury accommodations, but it’s easy to appreciate the comfy rooms and handy location minutes from the park adventure.
Alligator swimming in the water in Everglades National Park, FL
Enjoy the wildlife but be sure to keep a safe distance.

Naples

Don’t want to sacrifice the finer things in life? Naples, west of the vast Everglades, boasts picturesque beaches, exclusive shopping and gourmet dining — here you can live your best Florida life.

It’s a 50-minute ride from hotels in Old Naples to Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City. However, at Naples’ eastern end, you find lodging within 20 minutes’ drive of the park adventure.

  • Distance: ≈ 15-37 mi / 24-60 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 20-50 min
  • Pick Naples for: Upscale living.
  • Port of the Islands – 52-room Port of the Islands has a Naples address but is located away from town, only a 20-minute ride from the visitor center in Everglades City. After a day out exploring the swamp, play a set of tennis, cool down in the swimming pool or rest your eyes on the boats docked in the marina.
  • Staybridge Suites – At Staybridge Suites, you base yourself between Everglades National Park and Old Naples. This is 30 miles (45 km) from Gulf Coast Visitor Center, and, for a day on the beach, 10 miles (16 km) from Naples Pier.
  • Cove Inn on Naples Bay – Old Naples feels a world away from Everglades National Park. From Naples Bay-facing Cove Inn, it’s a mile (1.6 km) to the beach and even shorter to famous Fifth Avenue South for shopping and dining.
The beautiful white-sand beach in Naples
Unfurl a towel on Naples Beach, FL.

Marco Island

Marco Island is just like Naples an appreciated Gulf Coast destination with beautiful beaches and hotels near Everglades National Park. The main difference? Marco Island is smaller and offers fewer things to do.

Find your inner peace as you enjoy the seemingly endless Marco Island shoreline. South Marco Beach and Tigertail Beach are both gorgeous options for uneventful days under the South Florida sun.

When it’s time to discover the Everglades, you easily get there. From the sugar-white beaches of Marco Island, it’s only a 40-minute ride to untamed Everglades National Park.

  • Distance: ≈ 31 mi / 50 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 40 min
  • Pick Marco Island for: Beachfront hotels.
  • JW Marriott – For luxury beachfront lodging near Everglades, JW Marriott ticks every box. Bed down steps from the wide beach, with all the amenities you need for the best of times, including 3 inviting outdoor pools. Who knew an Everglades stay could be so relaxing?
  • Hilton Beach Resort & Spa – Sitting along Marco Island’s beach strip, elegant Hilton Beach Resort & Spa puts you in the first row for beachy pleasures — and in the second row for the Everglades National Park (a 40-minute drive away).
Waves crashing in on Marco Island
Relax on Marco Island, FL.

Miami

With energy like few other cities in America, Miami is an undeniable option for where to stay near Everglades National Park. Stay in the Miami area, east of the Everglades, to brilliantly combine urban life with pure wilderness.

Most visitors opt for that famous coastline. In Miami Beach, surrounded by swaying palm trees and fancy cars, you can splash in the Atlantic Ocean all day long before letting the iconic nightlife scene of Ocean Drive wash over you.

But keep in mind that Shark Valley Visitor Center sits 40 miles (64 km) and roughly an hour west of Miami Beach. So for better Everglades access, scan Miami’s western neighborhoods for lodging instead.

  • Distance: ≈ 25-40 mi / 40-64 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 40-60 min
  • Pick Miami for: Hotels near Shark Valley.

Best hotels in Miami

  • TownePlace Suites Kendall – At Miami’s western end, TownePlace Suites is above all a top place to stay near Shark Valley Visitor Center. From the hotel, it’s just 25 miles (40 km) and 40 minutes to Shark Valley. If your ambitions also include Ernest Coe Visitor Center, it’s only a little longer to get there.
Beach in Miami backdropped by palm trees and high rises
Beach and city atmosphere in Miami.

Homestead & Florida City

Homestead and Florida City are humble cities. Yet, although they don’t boast the culture or nightlife of Miami, they are superbly positioned for the southern portion of Everglades National Park.

From this connected pair, it’s only 20 minutes by car to Ernest Coe Visitor Center. And even closer, you find airboat tours: Based south of Homestead & Florida City, Everglades Alligator Farm is ready to take you out on an epic ride.

Slightly past Ernest Coe, at Royal Palm Visitor Center, you find the 0.8-mile (1.3 km) Anhinga Trail. It might be a short pathway, but it’s a spot where alligators love to hang out — gator jackpot!

Another highlight here is the Gumbo Limbo Trail, offering a shaded walk through gumbo limbo forest. Keep your eyes open for more wildlife including alligators, turtles and colorful birds.

Then the Florida adventure continues deeper into Everglades. It’s 38 miles (61 km) from Ernest Coe Visitor Center to Flamingo, and along the road there’re many longer trails to explore.

Flamingo Visitor Center is located at road’s very end. Isolated from civilization, this outpost provides even more hiking opportunities and popular Everglades boat tours.

  • Distance: ≈ 10 mi / 16 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 20 min
  • Pick Homstead/FC for: Southern access.

Best hotels in Homstead & FC

  • Fairfield Inn Florida City – Sure, there are more exciting accommodations near Everglades National Park. But when it comes to Everglades access, this Marriott in Florida City delivers day in and day out. How about under 20 minutes to the Everglades fun?
An airboat ready for another tour of the Everglades
An airboat in Everglades ready for a new tour.

Upper Keys

Why not combine the laid-back, vacation-perfect atmosphere of the Florida Keys and the wilderness of the huge Everglades wetland?

In the Florida Keys, you above all find fantastic activities in and on the water. Boating, diving, snorkeling and fishing are popular things to do in the Keys, and a drive from Miami to Key West is truly spectacular.

From Key Largo, in the northern part of the Upper Keys, it’s 37 miles (60 km) to Ernest Coe Visitor Center. From the southern neighbor Islamorada, you need to add another 17 miles (27 km) to that.

  • Distance: 37 mi / 60 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 50 min
  • Pick Upper Keys for: That Florida Keys vibe.
  • Playa Largo Resort – You don’t need to go deep into the Keys to find some of its best resorts. At Playa Largo Resort & Spa, brimming with Florida Keys luxury, you stay less than an hour from the magic of Everglades.
  • Sunset Cove Resort – Check in at oceanfront Sunset Cove Resort to enjoy old school Florida Keys lodging that it’s hard not to love.
Blue water, white sand and green palm trees in Florida Keys
Recline in Florida Keys.

Headed for the Keys? Dive into our ultimate guide on where to stay in Florida Keys.

Tips for your Everglades stay

Now your ultimate Everglades stay is near. However, these tips can make your visit even better.

  • Pick an area – The options for where to stay near Everglades, such a vast natural treasure, might seem overwhelming. But rest assured that the Gulf Coast, Shark Valley, Ernest Coe and Flamingo areas all offer unique outdoor experiences.
  • Consider daytripping – Also intend to have a beachy stay? You can get from Florida’s inviting coastline to the Everglades in an hour or even less; that’s definitely within day trip territory.
  • Be sun smart – Make sure to protect yourself from the intense South Florida sun, surprising visitors year after year. This is valid even if you plan on visiting the Everglades in winter.
  • Beat the mozzies – Everglades National Park is not only a haven for alligators. Mosquitos also adore the wet and hot conditions of the huge wetland. Prepare like a pro with covering clothes, preferably loose long sleeves and pants, and repellant. Plan B: quickly run to the car and get back to your safe Everglades hotel.
  • Decide on airboating – Should you airboat or not airboat through the mighty Everglades? The answer is up to you, but if it’s a yes, book a ride in advance to avoid disappointment.
A passage in the mangrove of Everglades
Ready to visit the Everglades?

Discover more: Bookmark our ultimate guide to Florida.

Final words about where to stay near Everglades

Where to stay near Everglades National Park doesn’t have to be complicated. Stay inside the park or at a hotel in Everglades City, western Miami or Homestead/Florida City to be as close to the adventure as possible.

But if you rather prefer a traditional Florida vacation on the beach, you can easily day trip from beach gems including Marco Island, Naples, Miami Beach and even the Upper Keys.

Where to stay near Everglades FAQ

Where should I stay when visiting the Everglades?

You can stay inside Everglades National Park at Flamingo Lodge. For more amenities, consider the towns surrounding the park, providing all from low-key motels to luxury resorts.

What is the closest city to Everglades National Park?

Sitting right on the park’s western border, Everglades City is the town nearest Everglades National Park. Across the park, in the east, Miami and the Homstead & Florida City duo are the closest cities.

Which is the most unique places to stay in the Everglades?

Perched on the edge of alligator-frequented Lake Placid, the River Waterfront Cabins is one of the most unique places to stay in the Everglades area. After a beautiful day out in the wilderness, count alligators from the comfort of your very own screened-in porch.

Are there hotels near Shark Valley Visitor Center?

The hotels closest to Shark Valley Visitor Center are those in western Miami. From western Miami’s highly rated TownePlace Suites, it’s just a 40-minute drive to the visitor center, where airboat operators, hiking opportunities and, of course, Florida gators in masses await.

Which is the best luxury hotels near Everglades National Park?

From the beachfront location to its three pools and refreshing cocktails, Marco Island’s JW Marriott is a destination on its own. While it feels like a world away from the untamed Everglades, the luxury hotel puts you just a 40-minute drive from the adventure.

Related: Also check our comprehensive list of the best things to do in the United States. Do you think the Everglades is there?

Sign up for our newsletter to get monthly updates.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo
    Wesley

    Howdy. We are planning an Everglades trip and are really flexible this time out. Would you opt for the western or eastern side of the national park?

    1. Avatar photo
      Olof Arnberg

      Hi Wesley,

      Both sides has its pros. If you’re happy with an airboat ride or some paddling, the western side is excellent. If you prefer extensive hiking, the eastern side past Ernest Coe Visitor Center is excellent.

Leave a Reply