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The Best Time to Visit the Everglades in 2023

The Best Time to Visit the Everglades in 2023

Mention of the Everglades conjures up images of the swamp, alligators, and some of the most beautiful wetlands in the United States. But there’s so much more to this vast natural area than its reputation would suggest!

The Everglades is the place to go if you want to get in touch with nature and explore one of the rarest landscapes in the continental United States.

There’s a lot to see and do in the Everglades, from wildlife viewing to hiking and canoeing the marshes and swamps. It’s worth noting that the time of year you visit will significantly impact the type of experience you have.

Knowing the best time to visit the Everglades will ensure you experience the best this area has to offer! We’ll cover everything you need to know about the seasonal differences in the Everglades and how you can maximize your visit to this incredible location.

Why You Should Visit the Everglades

Herd of alligators gather on the shore of the swamp to show why you should visit the Everglades

Simon Dux Media/Shutterstock

Whether you’re an adventurous nature lover, an avid photographer, or just looking for a relaxing trip away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you’ll find that the Everglades has what you’re looking for.

You can take incredible pictures in the wetlands and spot rare animals in their natural habitat. You’ll see an amazing range of wildlife here, from alligators and pelicans to snakes and the occasional panther! 

An excursion to the Everglades offers a vast array of unique experiences. Take a captivating boat tour or thrilling nature walk. Trek out to one of the breathtaking wildlife spotting areas.

More adventurous visitors can even explore the area’s numerous waterways by fan boat, kayak, or canoe for an unforgettable experience.

One of the highlights of any trip to the Everglades is seeing the rare wildlife that calls these wetlands home. While visiting, you can spot turtles, pythons, river otters, and hundreds of species of birds.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable holiday focused on exploring the best mother nature offers, there’s no better place than The Everglades.

Overall Best Time to Visit the Everglades

Cypress trees in the swamps show the best time to visit the Everglades

Anthony Ricci/Shutterstock

People visit the Everglades year-round. However, if you want the best experience possible, you should visit in March or October.

During March and October, the weather is pleasant but not too hot. The highs reach the mid-80s and the lows are in the 60s. That’s far better than the mid-90s in June and July!

Visiting the Everglades when the temperatures are cooler is a huge advantage. Most of the activities require you to hike or paddle around the wetlands.

That can be almost unbearable with high temperatures. You’ll still sweat in March and October, but you won’t have to worry about heat stroke and dehydration constantly.

In addition to more reasonable temperatures, there are smaller crowds visiting during March and October. Small crowds mean you have a more private experience while exploring the wetlands.

You’ll also be more likely to see wildlife during March and October. The crowds in June, July, and December scare away many of the animals.

If you visit in March and October, you’re also more likely to see dolphins and manatees. Migratory birds are more active during these months, making them much easier to spot. You may even see some newborn chicks in March!

One of the dangers of visiting during October is that it’s hurricane season. Hurricane season lasts from August to September.

If a hurricane is forecasted to land during your visit, you should consider rescheduling or canceling your trip. You should also invest in travel insurance if traveling during this time.

Cheapest Time to Visit the Everglades

Kayakers in the distance on Nine Mile Pond in the national park showing the cheapest time to visit the Everglades

Francisco Blanco/Shutterstock

If you want to save money on your trip, we recommend visiting the Everglades during the winter low season from January through March.

January, February, and March are the low season in the Everglades. There are fewer tourists and accommodations are cheaper at this time of year. Booking a cheap hotel can make your trip much more affordable! 

Another advantage of visiting between January and March are the fun spring festivals.

One of the best is the famous Everglades Seafood Festival, which kicks off in February. At the Everglades Seafood Festival, you can eat fresh seafood, enjoy live music, and ride carnival rides.

Another benefit to visiting during this time of the year is the lower temperatures. The average high in January and February is 75 – this is the coolest it gets all year long. Paddling your sea kayak is relaxing at this temperature.

If you time your vacation right, you can get a great deal on accommodations, enjoy great festivals, and experience great weather while still saving money.

Least Busy Time to Visit the Everglades

Great heron standing by water with water lilies growing on a nice day during the least busy time to visit the Everglades

Rosanne de Vries/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit the Everglades is from August to September. During this time of year, the temperatures reach the mid-90s and it rains daily. 

Few people visit the Everglades during this time of year for a good reason. The combination of high temperatures and rain don’t make for the best trip, but if you prepare, it won’t be all bad. 

Going out and exploring the wetlands in a canoe or kayak is doable during this time. Just make sure you wear a hat, sunscreen, and bug spray! Staying hydrated is key and packing rain gear is essential. 

If you visit during this time of year, you can find shelter from the heat by checking out the visitor centers or museums. You’ll learn a lot more about this unique habitat and all the wildlife and plants that call it home! 

Worst Time to Visit the Everglades

People take an airboat ride through the swamps to show the worst time to visit the Everglades

Airboat tour at the National Park Everglades in Miami, Florida on November 1, 2019/Mirigrina/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit the Everglades is June through September. Temperatures are hot, it’s wet and humid, and lots of people are visiting the park. 

During this time of year, the temperatures reach the mid-90s during the day. That alone can be tough to deal with, but the humidity makes it feel like it is well over 100 degrees.

If that wasn’t bad enough, you must constantly contend with rain. That can mess with your plans to spend time in the great outdoors, but you can always hang out indoors until the rain clears up. Storms usually don’t last long here. 

Planning your excursions for the early morning or late afternoon is generally the more excellent part of the day if you visit during the summer. For the most part, you’ll want to avoid it if you can. 

Things to Consider

Now that you know the best time to visit the Everglades for your trip goals (best overall, cheapest, least busy) and the worst time to go, what else should you know?

These are some of the crucial things to consider while visiting the Everglades:

  • Transportation. The best way to reach the Everglades is by car. The Everglades are expansive and it isn’t easy to see everything if you depend on public transit. It’s a good idea to rent a boat or go on a boat tour while you’re there. Boats are the best way to see the wildest parts of the wetlands!
  • Accommodations. There’s a wide range of accommodation options available near and in the Everglades, including hotels, hostels, camping sites, and rental homes. You should make your reservation in advance to ensure that you can stay in your preferred location.
  • Restaurants. Many good Everglades restaurants serve various styles, from local cuisine to international dishes. You can also bring your supplies and eat in the bush to really become one with nature.
  • Air travel. The closest airport to the Everglades is Miami International Airport. There are other nearby airports in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
  • Packing. To make the most of your trip to the Everglades, you should pack comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities. Bring bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, and a first aid kit. You should also bring a camera to document your travel experiences.

Activities to Consider in the Everglades

There are tons of things to do in the Everglades, but what belongs on your must-do list?

Here are some of our recommendations for the best activities to experience while on your visit:

  • Take an airboat ride and explore the wetlands
  • Get on a sea kayak and look for manatees in the mangrove forests
  • Go on a dolphin tour
  • Go fishing or spot wildlife in the water 
  • Walk along the different boardwalks
  • Try alligator meat at a nearby restaurant
  • Relax on the beach at Marco Island
  • Take a boat tour of the Ten Thousand Islands

Attractions to Consider in the Everglades

Now that you know about the crucial considerations while visiting the Everglades, here are some of the most popular attractions you can check out on your vacation!

Frequently Asked Questions

Entrance sign to Everglades National Park for a frequently asked questions section on the best time to visit the Everglades

Nick Fox/Shutterstock

Want to learn more about the best time to visit the Everglades? These are some of the commonly asked questions and answers about the Everglades. 

How many days do you need to see the Everglades?

It depends on the type of experience you want to have in the Everglades. For a quick visit, you might be able to see some of the highlights in a day or two, but to explore the region and get to know it well, you may need several days or even longer.

What are the best ways to see the Everglades?

There are many ways to explore the Everglades, including by boat, foot, car, or air. The best way to see the Everglades is on a jet boat or a sea kayak. These two options allow you to get up close and personal with the wildlife.

When can you see alligators in the Everglades?

Alligators can be found in the Everglades year-round, but you're most likely to see them during the warmer months of spring and summer.

It's best to be cautious and keep a safe distance from alligators, as they can be unpredictable and dangerous. Each year there are several alligator attacks, usually because someone tries to feed them.

What's the most beautiful part of the Everglades?

The most beautiful parts of the Everglades are the coastal areas and mangrove forests. The lakes, rivers, and swamps are also lovely. Depending on your preferences, you can explore these areas on foot or by boat.

What's the best part of the Everglades to visit?

The best parts of the Everglades include Shark Valley, Anhinga Trail, Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, Royal Palm Visitor Center, and HM69 Nike Missile Base.

Is October a good time to visit the Everglades?

October is a great time to visit the Everglades. The weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it a comfortable time to explore the region. It can also be a perfect month for wildlife viewing.

What are the Everglades like in December?

December is the coolest month in the Everglades, but it's still a mild temperature. There's also a low chance of rain. The weather conditions are excellent, but the crowds are heavy.

Many people visit the Everglades over the holiday season, which can become unbearably busy. Many tours sell out, and you may have to wait in line to visit locations like the visitor's center and some nature walks.

When is the wet season in the Everglades?

The wet season in the Everglades is typically from June to October, with some variation based on weather conditions and other factors. It rains on about 50% of the days during the rainy season.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit the Everglades?

The best time to visit the Everglades is March and October when the temperatures are more reasonable. During these months, you can maximize your enjoyment of the natural environment around you while also avoiding the crowds and high prices of peak tourist season.

January through March in general see cheaper prices for accommodations and flights to the Everglades, making them the cheapest months to go.

To avoid crowds, try visiting from August to September. It’s hot, rainy, and humid, but September sees fewer visitors as kids return to school. 

June through August and sometimes early September can be the worst time to go due to the big summer crowds. It’s also the hottest time of year and you may see less wildlife due to the number of visitors in the park. 

No matter when you choose to go, you’re still going to have that incredible Everglades experience! Spot a gator, ride a fan boat, and get on the water in a canoe.

Whether you go during the best time to visit the Everglades or the worst, you’re sure to come home with lifelong memories.