17 Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41 between Miami and Naples

April 2020 (Last updated in April 2022)

When we were planning a road trip through Florida, we learned that there were two different routes to choose from when going from Miami in the east to Naples in the west. One option was to drive the four-lane Interstate 75, also known as Alligator Alley. The name made us consider choosing this route, but after doing some research, we chose to cross the Everglades using the alternative, the Tamiami Trail. This road is also known as U.S. Highway 41 or U.S Route 41, and according to Google this is the more scenic route. After driving the Tamiami Trail we were very happy that we chose this route!

Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

There are many interesting attractions along the Tamiami Trail, and we stopped at as many of them as possible. However, despite starting relatively early, we didn’t manage to see all the places on our list in one day. We therefore drove back from Naples the next day to visit the remaining ones. For this reason, when you drive along U.S Highway 41, we don’t recommend trying to stop at all the places we mention below, but rather pick out the ones that appeal to you most. You will find our favorite attractions and stops along the Tamiami Trail at the bottom of this article.

Below is a list of attractions and places to stop, in the order that you would come across them on the way from Miami to Naples:

  1. ValuJet Flight 592 Memorial
  2. Shark Valley – Everglades National Park
  3. Miccosukee General Store & Gas Station
  4. Miccosukee Indian Village & Airboats
  5. Big Cypress Gallery
  6. Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center
  7. Kirby Storter Roadside Park and Kirby Storter Boardwalk
  8. H.P. Williams Roadside Park
  9. Turner River Road
  10. Skunk Ape Research Headquarters
  11. Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe
  12. Ochopee Post Office
  13. Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center
  14. Everglades City
  15. Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk
  16. Marsh Trail and Observation Tower in Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
  17. Collier-Seminole State Park
Map of 17 Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41 between Miami and Naples

Stop 1: ValuJet Flight 592 Memorial

ValuJet Flight 592 Memorial is, as you may have guessed, a memorial dedicated to ValuJet Flight 592, which crashed in the Everglades in May 1996. The memorial may be worth a short stop for aviation enthusiasts, but besides the monument there is not much to see here.

Valujet 592 memorial Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Google Maps

Stop 2: Shark Valley – Everglades National Park

Shark Valley is one of the gateways to Everglades National Park, and it’s a wonderful place to start roaming through the nature in the Everglades.

From the Shark Valley Visitor Center, there is a 15-mile paved loop that snakes through the national park. The loop is suitable for both walking and biking, and there is a bike rental facility onsite. It is also possible to do a guided tram tour which runs along the same 15-mile loop.

We rented bikes and our initial plan was to ride the entire loop. However, a very strong headwind made us turn back after just three miles. We still had a great ride, but we didn’t get to see the views from the 45-feet-high Shark Valley Observation Tower located approximately halfway through the loop.

Shark Valley Everglades National Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Bikes are rented out on a first come, first served basis. If bikes are not available, you can still have a great experience in the national park on foot. Most of our bird and animal sightings were within the first mile and a half, and many were within a very short distance from the visitor center.

Despite the strong winds that day, Shark Valley was one of our favorite stops along the Tamiami Trail. If you have an hour or two to spare, we highly recommend a visit here.

Alligator Shark Valley Everglades National Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price: 30 USD per vehicle, 25 USD per motorcycle, and 15 USD per pedestrian/cyclist. The entrance fee to Everglades National Park is valid for seven consecutive days starting from the day of purchase.
  • Price of bike rental: 22 USD per day.
  • Price of tram tour: 28 USD for adults, 22 USD for seniors, and 15 USD for children (aged 3-12). See the webpage of Shark Valley Everglades Tram Tours for up-to-date tram tour running hours.

Link to Shark Valley Visitor Center

Link to Shark Valley Everglades Tram Tours

Link to Google Maps

Stop 3: Miccosukee General Store & Gas Station

The Miccosukee General Store & Gas Station may not be worth a stop in itself, but if you need to refill your gas tank or replenish your snack stash, you can do it here.

Miccosukee General Store Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Google Maps

Stop 4: Miccosukee Indian Village & Airboats

The Miccosukee Indian Village provides insight into the history and culture of the Miccosukee tribe. The village has various exhibitions and demonstrations, as well as alligator shows. The Miccosukee tribe also offers airboat tours in the Everglades.

Miccosukke Village Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

We did not visit the village itself but did a 30-minute airboat tour. The tour itself was OK, but we were disappointed that we got so little information from the guide about the Miccosukee tribe and the area we were in. During the tour, we stopped at an ancient Indian camp, but since we weren’t told anything about it, it added very little to the experience. It is possible that our trip would have been far more interesting if we had had a different guide.

Airboat tour Everglades National Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
Alligator airboat tour Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price of entry to the village: 15 USD for adults, 8 USD for children (aged 6-12).
  • Price of airboat tour: 20 USD for adults and 12 USD for children (aged 6-12).

Link to Miccosukee Indian Village

Link to Miccosukee Airboats

Link to Google Maps 

Stop 5: Big Cypress Gallery

The Big Cypress Gallery is located right next to the Tamiami Trail and has exhibits of photos taken by the nature photographer Clyde Butcher. We were very impressed by the wonderful shots which were taken in the area. You can buy pictures and other souvenirs in the on-site gift shop.

Big cypress gallery Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Behind the gallery there is a short hiking trail, and we spotted an alligator in the pond next to the parking lot. The Big Cypress Gallery organizes guided walks and photo safaris in the swamps, and they also rent out cottages and bungalows.

Big cypress gallery Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price: Free entry.

Link to Big Cypress Gallery

Link to Google Maps

Stop 6: Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center

If you are short on time but want to catch a glimpse of alligators and peek into the Big Cypress National Preserve, we recommend a stop at the Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center.

Outside the visitor center, there is a boardwalk with views of a canal. This seemed to be a favorite hangout spot for the alligators, and we saw 10-15 of them literally next to the road.

The Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center offers daily ranger talks and guided tours. They also show films about the Big Cypress National Preserve in the small movie theater inside the center. Unfortunately, we missed the talks, but the movie that was played was both beautiful and engaging. The staff at the center were very welcoming and willingly answered any questions from visitors.

Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Centre Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price: Free entry.

Link to Big Oasis Visitor Center

Link to Google Maps

Stop 7: Kirby Storter Roadside Park and Kirby Storter Boardwalk

Kirby Storter Roadside Park is a picnic area with shaded tables and restrooms right next to the Tamiami Trail. We did not sit down for a picnic, but instead hiked the Kirby Storter Boardwalk which starts at the end of the parking lot.

The Kirby Storter Boardwalk is a one-mile round-trip boardwalk into the Big Cypress National Preserve. The first part of the walk was very peaceful and the only sound we heard was bird singing. After hiking for a while, we could hear the occasional truck rumbling in the distance, but the sawgrass prairie habitat and a lovely cypress swamp around us kept us feeling like we were in the wild. The boardwalk ended at a viewing platform overlooking a small pond, with a couple of benches were visitor can observe wildlife.

Kirby Storter Roadside Park and Boardwalk Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
Kirby Storter Roadside Park and Boardwalk Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Kirby Storter Roadside Park

Link to Google Maps

Stop 8: H.P. Williams Roadside Park

H.P. Williams Roadside Park is a picnic area with a boardwalk overlooking a cypress swamp and a waterway. We saw a couple of alligators and some turtles in the water, but we felt this stop was not one of the most interesting ones along U.S. Highway 41.

H.P. Williams Roadside Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
H.P.Williams Roadside Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to H.P. Williams Roadside Park

Link to Google Maps

Stop 9: Turner River Road

From H.P. Williams Roadside Park, it is possible to take a detour from the Tamiami Trail and drive the Turner River Road loop. We followed this road for a few miles before turning back. The road was not very exciting in our view, but it is possible that we would have had a better opinion if we had driven a little further along the loop. If you plan to drive the entire loop, you should be aware that it will take some time as the road is a gravel road.

Turner River Road Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Google Maps

Stop 10: Skunk Ape Research Headquarters

The Skunk Ape Research Headquarters was started by Dave Shealy and is a “research station” for Skunk Apes—smelly humanoid animals that purportedly inhabit Florida. At Skunk Ape Research Headquarters, visitors can learn about these elusive creatures, also called “swamp cabbage men,” as well as see alligators and snakes. The headquarters also has a gift shop and offers guided tours and camping opportunities.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to visit the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters, so we only stopped outside to take a picture.

Skunk Ape Research Headquarters Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Skunk Ape Research Headquarters

Link to Google Maps

Stop 11: Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe

Joanie’s Blue Crab Café is located in one of the oldest buildings in the Everglades and has crab cakes, alligator, and frog legs on the menu. We were excited to check out this iconic eatery and were therefore disappointed when we found the restaurant closed.

Joanies Blue Crab Cafe Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Update from 2022:

Since we loved exploring the attractions along the Tamiami Trail the first time we drove it, we decided to visit again when we went back to Florida in the spring of 2022. Fortunately, this time Joanie’s Blue Crab Café was open for business.

It’s hard to properly describe the ambiance at the restaurant, but we had a great time in the somewhat chaotic eatery. The interior design was eclectic to say the least, with decorations including everything from gators and owls to Christmas ornaments and sports gear. Not exactly stylish, but still incredibly charming. The service matched the decoration scheme — it was informal, yet genuinely friendly.

Interior Joanie's Blue Crab Cafe Tamiami Trail U.S Highway 41

We ordered grouper sandwiches and found them to be tasty. More memorable, however, was the slice of key lime pie we had for dessert. It is without a doubt the best key lime pie we have ever had!

Cheescake Food Joanie's Blue Crab Cafe Tamiami Trail U.S Highway 41

Link to Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe

Link to Google Maps

Stop 12: Ochopee Post Office

The Ochopee Post Office is the smallest post office building in the United States. It is open six days a week, and it really is possible to send postcards from there. The Ochopee Post Office is located right next to the road and is worth a stop even if you don’t have any mail to send.

Ochopee Post Office Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Google Maps

Stop 13: Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center

The Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center has exhibits, a gift shop, and restrooms. You can also get advice and tips on what to experience in the area from the helpful staff. Behind the visitor center, there is a boardwalk where you can catch a glimpse of wildlife. We did the short hike, but unfortunately didn’t see any animals.

Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center 17 Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center 17 Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price: Free entry.

Link to Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center

Link to Google Maps

Stop 14: Everglades City

Everglades City is a tiny town in the Everglades with approximately 400 residents. The “city” is not directly on the Tamiami Trail, but it’s only a short five-minute detour from U.S. Highway 41.

Everglades City has a unique feel to it, and we thought it was fun to take a drive through town.

Everglades City Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Google Maps

Stop 15: Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is 1.2 miles including the way back, and cuts into the Fakahatchee Beach Preserve State Park. The landscape, filled with cypress trees and royal palms, is stunning. At the end of the boardwalk, you can relax on a small viewing platform overlooking a pond.

Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

We loved this boardwalk, which took us through what we thought was the most beautiful landscape of the day. If you only have time to stop at one place along the Tamiami Trail, our recommendation would be to stop at this one.

Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price: There is no entry fee, but there is a donation box right by the entrance to the boardwalk with a sign stating that donations are appreciated.

Link to Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

Link to Google Maps

Stop 16: Marsh Trail and Observation Tower in Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The Marsh Trail is a 2.2-mile out and back trail into the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. After a few minutes’ walk, you’ll get to an observation tower with wonderful views. The observation tower has binoculars that allow you to take a closer look at the rich bird life in the refuge.

Observation Tower Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
Observation Tower Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

The views from the observation tower were in our opinion the best part of the Marsh Trail, and unless you want to get in some extra steps, you won’t miss much if you don’t hike any further. The observation tower was one of the most fascinating stops along the Tamiami Trail in our opinion, and it’s an absolute must-do for bird lovers.

Marsh Trail Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

Link to Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Link to Google Maps

Stop 17: Collier-Seminole State Park

For those wanting exercise, the Collier-Seminole State Park is well worth a stop. Here you can go hiking, biking, canoeing, and camping.

We walked the Royal Palm Hammock Trail which is a short 0.9-mile round-trip hike. Although Collier-Seminole State Park is not far from the Marsh Trail in the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the surroundings here are very different. The Royal Palm Hammock Trail passes through a varied landscape with dense vegetation consisting of 35 different species of trees. The signs in the park say that you should expect it to take approximately 45 minutes to complete the trail, but we finished it in about half that time.

In hindsight, we wish we had rented a canoe and explored Collier-Seminole State Park from the water, as the park looked like a great spot to go canoeing.

Collier-Seminole State Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
Collier Seminole State Park Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41
  • Price: 5 USD per vehicle and 2 USD for pedestrians/bicyclists.
  • Price for canoe/kayak rental: 50 USD half-day (four hours), 80 USD full-day (six hours), and 100 USD overnight (24 hours).

Link to Collier-Seminole State Park

Link to Google Maps

Our favorite attractions and stops along the Tamiami Trail

With so many different attractions along the Tamiami Trail, it can be hard to decide where to stop. We have therefore included a list of our favorites. No matter what you choose to do or where you choose to stop, you won’t regret spending some time in this amazing area.

  • Shark Valley – Everglades National Park
  • Big Cypress Gallery
  • Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center
  • Kirby Storter Boardwalk in Kirby Storter Roadside Park
  • Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk
  • Marsh Trail and Observation Tower in Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
*We drove the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41 in February 2020. None of the places we visited knew that they could be featured on our blog, and we did not receive any special discounts.

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