Are you planning a trip to the Everglades from May thru Oct? If so this is a great page to share are years of experience on the best way to see this special and unique area. The Main question and concerns are the best tour times, heat, bugs, lighting, alligators, wildlife, where to eat, stay and play.
Heat: It gets very hot with over 90 percent humidity now through Sept. Doing things early especially kayaking, hiking, or biking is key. Just remember sunrise and sunset is like rush hour traffic for the bugs.
Mid-Day to Afternoon Storms: As the heat builds so do the storms and possible lighting storms. Motor Boat Eco Tours and Airboats move faster and can run away from storms quicker than us kayakers. If you can't make it until mid-day or afternoon try a motorized active such as motor boat eco tours or airboat tours. Not only can they run away from storms but also provideds a great wind breeze during the hot times and can feel 15 to 20 degrees cold when moving.
Bugs: People hear of the horror story of the Everglades and its bugs. Sometimes it is that bad but the outfitters we suggest will let you know. Right now the bugs are less then we have seen in years. Light long sleeve pants, and shirts are great for the bugs and the sun exposer. Dont forget your hat, natural bug spray(repel lemon eucalyptus) and deet just in case. If the outfitters say it is bad you can always get bug mask at amazon for a couple of dollars, usually it isn't like that.
Alligators: To be honest the alligator viewing is the best in the winter months as the water is lower and they don't move around as much, plus it is colder in the winter and they need more sun for longer periods. More water during the summer rains means they have access to other areas and don't stay in one place. With that said there are still plenty around on the canal next to the main road. There are still some on the kayak tours.
Is it crowded? In the summer it is not crowded, the river and boats have less people and its the time to see florida without the traffic, crowds, and long line for food.
Things to do in the Everglades
3 hour mangrove tunnel tour (full days are too much for most people because of the hea, plus a full day runs your risk of potential storms the longer you stay out, 3 hour is perfect!)
2 or 3 Hour 10,000 island motor boat tour This is a great way to see the 10,000 island part of the Everglades National Park with a small 6 passenger boat searching for dolphins, sea turtles, jumping fish, isolated sandy beaches and much more.
Airboat Tour Sit back, relax and enjoy the everglades grassland area with a breeze.
Smallwood Store: This is a great place to watch an afternoon rain storm after your morning tour and check out one of Florida's most important pieces of history, the famous Smallwood Store. (This is where we leave from the motor boat tours)
Everglades City Musuem A great place to check out the history of Everglades city and enjoy some free air conditioning.
Ride a bike in the morning or at sunset from Everglades City to Chokoloskee and Back. This is an 6 mile bike ride total and has some great views of chokoloskee bay and you can stop and check out the smallwood store on chokoloskee. Make sure you check out Barron river road for awesome views of the Barron River. Heading to Miami or don't mind driving? Bring your own bike or rent one at Shark Valley and paddled amongst the Gators and the Grasses (45 minutes from Everglades city)
Hike the Boardwalks?
Do a Swamp Hike and search for blooming orchids.