Shark Valley Visitor Center, Everglades National Park

4.4
#1 of 132 in Trails in Florida
Must see · Wildlife Area · Valley
Shark Valley Visitor Center offers an opportunity to explore America's marshlands using a paved road, a limestone trail, and a boardwalk. Take a self-guided tour through the sawgrass slough and tropical hardwood forests. As a part of Everglades National Park, the 24 km (15 mi) trail winds through alligator territory and is also home to turtles, deer, and other wildlife. Halfway along the path, climb the observation tower to view the valley's panorama. You'll find bicycles for rent and tram tours available at the site as well. Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Everglades National Park fast, fun, and easy.
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Shark Valley Visitor Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,092 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I’m not sure who makes the rules here but I’m sure they are the town elders from Footloose. Bikes are fine to use but anything is forbidden. My girlfriend and I wanted to use our scooters and we...  more »
  • Shark Valley has a paved trail that goes straight out along a canal, stops at an observation tower, and then winds back to the visitors center. You can take a tram tour on the trail, or you can rent....  more »
  • This is just so cool! We saw so many alligators and birds, it was stunning. The bike ride was long, but worth every peddle! It's a truly beautiful place.  more »
Google
  • I can absolutely recommend going there. This might be one of the rare spots without an "alligator show". Alligators and also crocodiles can be seen in their natural habit. You can either take a trolley or do the bike tour. I was there in December with family. We saw several alligators laying around right next to us and one crocodile. No need to be scared though ;) Definitely do a guided tour to get some insights.
  • This is the place to go. I dont really understand the fascination with wrestling live alligators for show or putting on tourist tours for people to mistreat wildlife. Going to this place made me appreciate nature and give the animals the respect they deserved. The bike rides are easy and there are no hills, but be prepared for the heat and exposure! We were, but we only planned to bike out for 20 minutes and then come back so we could catch a tram tour. I'm not very active and I hate over working myself but this was perfect and we got to see the entire park area without overheating. The rangers and tour guides are kind and very helpful. Make sure to bring cash to either donate or use in the shops. This place deserves every penny because it goes back to helping the center stay awesome. Thanks for the great vacation experience! TL;DR - Great "tourist" attraction without getting scammed into a tourist trap. Very environmentally and wildlife friendly.
  • I love this place. The 15 mile bike ride is a lot to handle in the sun, so go early or go late but never in the middle of the day. The earlier you go, the more chances to see gators. The price has certainly increased over the years. I don’t remember spending $30 per car to get in. But it goes to a good cause and the experience is worth it.
  • What a fantastic place to see the nature and beauty of the Everglades. My wife and I come every year during the spring with our bikes. We enjoyed taking pictures of all the many animals including alligators, birds, turtles, and occasional snakes. We even saw a deer there many years ago. Biking to the observation tower is definitely well worth it. It’s a bit long but the view is spectacular.
  • In times of the year other than summer this place is magical. You can walk within 15 feet of the alligators and they couldn't care less. The amount of birds are breathtaking in the winter due to migration, and the types of wading birds in particular are breathtaking and photographic. This is a wonderful experience for all ages. However, in the summer, sometimes I will see no Wildlife at all. They seem to be hiding in the shade and cooling off during the steamy days. Others May get lucky and see some Wildlife. But the winter is remarkable. If it is your first visit I highly recommend the tram tour. It is extremely educational and you will get much more out of your visit then just going on your own or with a bicycle.

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