Florida is known for being a great vacation destination for families. Seaworld, Disney World, and the Universal Theme Park are all well known family vacation spots. But you might not know that Florida also has some great family camping, all over the state, with lots of fun things to see and do that don’t cost a fortune, like camping in Everglades National Park.
Everglades National Park is the best subtropical wilderness reserve in the US. You can see all kinds of wildlife in the park including American crocodile, Florida panther, and West Indian manatees. The park covers more than a million acres, so plan on spending at least a week there if you can so that you can really get the full experience that the Park has to offer.
Kayaking and canoeing, along with fishing, are the major water activities the park has to offer. You can explore Florida Bay, Whitewater Bay, and the Ten Thousand Islands by kayak or canoe, and you can fish there too. There is no better way to explore the Everglades with the kids than by kayak or canoe, they will love it.
Hiking is also great for families in the Everglades National Park. Trails are clearly marked and most trails are smooth, suitable for bicycles or foot traffic, and easy enough that even small children can walk then without getting exhausted. Ask at the park visitors centers for maps of hiking trails.
Camping in the park can be done at one of three sites that are adjacent to the park. These sites are $14 per night and have limited amenities but do have bathrooms and showers. Fires are permitted in fire grates. There is a $10 charge per vehicle to enter the park, and that admission ticket is good for 7 days.
There are various guided tours that you can go on in the park or you can take a map and strike out on your own. Most families prefer to do a mixture of guided tours, such as the Shark Bay tour, and individual explorations throughout the park.
Unless you are an experienced camper, you should avoid the wet season, May through November. Temperatures reach average highs of 90° F, with humidity over 90%, and a heat index of over 100 F. Afternoon thunderstorms can be expected daily with heavy rainfalls, making conditions very difficult. However, it also means the park is nearly empty with great opportunities for solitude. There are fewer park services available these months.
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