Tour Everglades National Park from Naples
It’s hard to run out of things to do in Naples. From kayak tours to window shopping on Fifth Avenue South, a visit to Naples promises action-packed days (or, if you prefer, quiet afternoons with your toes in the sand).
But if you find yourself in need of some new scenery, head down the coast to Everglades National Park, a large wetlands preserve with walking trails, wildlife watching, kayaking, camping, and more. This national park is a must-visit destination in southern Florida with hundreds of animal species like manatees and turtles.
It takes just under an hour to drive to the park from Naples, making it an ideal day trip destination that will have you back in the city in time for your evening plans.
Getting to Everglades National Park from Naples
Everglades National Park conveniently has three entrances in three different cities! If you’re coming from Naples, enter the park at the Everglades City Entrance. Just 35 miles from Naples, this entrance is home to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, where you can get more information about the park and help with getting around or planning your activities for the day.
Directions: Take U.S. 1 east for about 35 miles. Then turn right on State Road 29 and continue to Everglades City. From there, follow signs to the park. Search Gulf Coast Visitor Center in your GPS or maps app for additional directions.
Entrance Fees: Purchase a vehicle pass for $30 or an individual pass for $15. Both are good for seven days.
When you reach Everglades City, be sure to stop for a quick look around! Known as the gateway to the Everglades, the city is a charming destination with great stone crab restaurants, museums, and parks. Plus, there are a variety of tours from Everglades City to make your planning even easier.
If you don’t have a car, getting to the park can be somewhat tricky since public transportation from Naples is a bit lacking. Rideshare services like Uber will cost you around $50 each way.
The Best Everglades Tours & Activities Near Naples
Kayak Tours & Rentals
Some of the most popular Everglades activities near Naples are water sports like kayaking and canoeing. That’s because Naples is located near the incredible Ten Thousand Islands, a chain of mangrove islands off the coast of southwest Florida.
Part of the Ten Thousand Islands is located within Everglades National Park. This natural attraction is one of the most visited in all of southern Florida, especially for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.
Almost all of the islands are uninhabited, offering incredible opportunities for wildlife sightings and remote adventures like camping or multi-day kayak and canoe trips. In the Ten Thousand Islands, you’ll find easy kayaking routes for beginners as well as more advanced trip options.
Join a kayak tour led by master naturalists and keep an eye out for wading birds, sea turtles, and dolphins. Launch from Chokoloskee Island and paddle to a Calusa Indian shell mound or see endangered roseate spoonbills.
If you choose to stay a bit closer to Naples, the city’s backwaters and beachfront paddling spots are well worth exploring. Navigate narrow channels and estuaries and look for birds in Rookery Bay, one of 29 protected reserves in the country. You’ll quickly see what makes this ecosystem so special as you paddle among seagrasses, mangroves, and ospreys.
The best part of paddling near Naples is how accessible it is. You can opt for a guided tour to help you get your bearings, or go exploring on your own with a kayak rental! If you plan on doing the latter, be sure to check out our Everglades kayak guide for tips and places to visit.
To cover more ground and enjoy a guided excursion through the Everglades, you can’t miss the chance to take an airboat tour. Airboats are flat-bottomed vessels with a large, aircraft-type propeller that operates above the waterline. Since the waterways of the Everglades are so shallow, this type of boat allows captains to navigate deep into the tight mangrove channels where boats with more traditional hulls and propellers cannot go.
The other benefit of touring Everglades National Park by airboat is speed. Airboats can go as fast as 60 miles per hour! They’re certainly an exciting way to get around as you discover tropical islands and vegetation while looking for alligators.
The Everglades are a bucket-list destination for many anglers, offering both freshwater and saltwater fishing! Most of the accessible fishing near Naples is found within the Ten Thousand Islands, where you can catch species like snapper, grouper, redfish, snook, catfish, and even various species of shark!
Other Everglades fishing spots are closer to the Miami side of the park, so if you’re hoping to stick close to Naples, opt for a fishing charter in the Ten Thousand Islands. The many backcountry channels and bays offer remote fishing spots that you just won’t find in other Florida fishing destinations.
Travel tip: Look for charters that avoid populated areas like Marco Island in favor of more remote locations where you’ll have a better chance of catching fish.
There are so many other outdoor activities to enjoy in Everglades National Park, like hiking, biking, picnicking, and ranger programs. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center closest to Naples even offers ranger-led astronomy programs! Whether you’re a Naples local looking to explore your own backyard or a visitor to southern Florida, there’s no time like the present to start planning your Everglades National Park day trip from the city.