Ernest Coe Visitor Center, Everglades
Miami, FL, USA
The Ernest Coe Visitor Center is the main visitor center at the beginning of the eastern side of Everglades National Park. Here you can get your bearings on the park and find out about the other visitor centers and trails that you can explore on the scenic drive through the Everglades to the endpoint of Flamingo.
There are plenty of interactive exhibits that kids love. Kids can pick up a telephone and then press a button to listen to the differing opinions of farmers, residents, and environmentalists on the topic of the water debate in the Everglades. My four-year-old loved this one! Another area has buttons kids can press to listen to the sounds of different animals that are prevalent in the Everglades. The baby alligator sound is so cute! There are plenty of models of habitats that you will see in the Everglades. Out back you can walk on a wooden platform over the water and take in the view of water and grasses. The water is so clear!
The gift shop has a nice assortment of nature-themed toys. If you don't have mosquito repellent, get it now- you will need it!
We rushed through the visitor center eager to get to the "real thing," but you should take your time looking at the interesting exhibits because there's always the possibility that you won't see much wildlife at the actual trails.
A good trail to explore is the Anhinga Trail, where you often see alligators.
For a cool book about the Everglades, for older kids, check out Gatorlands- it enriched our travels!
Miami-Dade Venom Response team from Swamp Wars TV show on Animal Planet, parked outside the visitor center!
The walkway into the visitor center.
Exhibit on animals that take refuge in gator holes: Wood Stork, Snowy Egret, Green-backed Heron, Great Blue Heron, and Red-bellied Slider Turtle.
Covered balcony over the clear water.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Ernest Coe Visitor Center is located inside Everglades National Park at 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, call (305) 242-7700.
From the Florida Turnpike, take Hwy 821 toward Homestead. After 46 miles, the freeway ends and you take the U.S. Hwy 1 exit. Turn right on 344th Street/ E. Palm Dr. After 1 1/2 miles, turn left at the Robert is Here Stand and then after 2 miles, turn right on State Road 9336. There are plenty of signs to Everglades National Park so it won't be a problem finding it.
It costs $10 per car to enter the park.
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