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


April 2020

When we were planning our road trip through Florida last winter, 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.

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 in order to write this article. 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 Café
  12. Ochopee Post Office
  13. Big Cypress Swamp Welcome 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

  • ValuJet Flight 592 opening hours: The memorial is open all day.
  • Price: Free entry.

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

  • Shark Valley opening hours: 8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. daily.
  • Shark Valley Visitor Center opening hours: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. daily.
  • 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.
  • Opening hours for the bike rental: 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. daily. All bikes must be returned by 5:00 p.m.
  • Price of bike rental: 9 USD per hour.
  • Price of tram tour: 27 USD for adults, 21 USD for seniors, and 14 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

  • Miccosukee General Store opening hours: 7:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. daily.

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 and serves food in the Glades Eats restaurant.

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

Glades Eats Miccosukee Restaurant 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

  • Miccosukee Indian Village opening hours: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. daily.
  • 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; free for children aged 5 and under).
  • Glades Eats opening hours: 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. daily.

Link to Miccosukee Indian Village & Airboat Tours

Link to Glades Eats 

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

  • Big Cypress Gallery opening hours: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. daily.
  • 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

Alligator Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Centre Attractions and Places to Stop Along the Tamiami Trail/U.S. Highway 41

  • Big Cypress Visitor Center opening hours: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily (closed December 25).
  • 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. The Kirby Storter Boardwalk was another one of our favorite stops along the Tamiami Trail.

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

  • Kirby Storter Roadside Park and Kirby Storter Boardwalk opening hours: From what we can gather the roadside park and boardwalk is open all day.
  • Price: Free entry.

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

  • H.P Williams Roadside Park opening hours: From what we can gather the roadside park is open all day.
  • Price: Free entry.

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 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

  • Skunk Ape Research Headquarters opening hours: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. daily (closed on holidays).
  • Price: 15 USD for adults and 8 USD for children.

Link to Skunk Ape Research Headquarters

Link to Google Maps

Stop 11: Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe

Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe 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

  • Joanie’s Blue Crab opening hours: Joanie recommends that you call before you come for up-to-date opening hours (1-239-695-2682).

Link to Joanie’s Blue Crab

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

  • Ochopee Post Office opening hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Saturdays 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Closed on Sundays.

Link to Google Maps

Stop 13: Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center

It is perhaps most relevant to stop at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center if you are driving from the west, as it is located at the western entrance to the Big Cypress National Preserve. The center was closed when we arrived, but it has exhibits, a gift shop, and restrooms. You can also get advice and tips on what to experience in the area from the staff. Behind the visitor center, there is a boardwalk where you can view wildlife.

  • Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center opening hours: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily (closed December 25).
  • Price: Free entry.

Link to Big Cypress Swamp Welcome 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. It was also fun to see the biggest alligator of the day right next to the trail leading up to the boardwalk.

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

  • Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk opening hours: From what we can gather the boardwalk is open from 8:00 a.m.– 8:00 p.m. daily.
  • 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 some more exercise, you won’t miss much if you don’t go 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

  • Marsh Trail and Observation Tower in Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge opening hours: From what we can gather the trail and observation tower is open from sunrise–sunset daily.
  • Price: Free entry.

Link to Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Link to Google Maps

Stop 17: Collier-Seminole State Park

Collier-Seminole State Park is a Florida State Park where 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 rather than from land, 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

  • Collier-Seminole State Park opening hours: 8:00 a.m.–sunset daily.
  • Price: 5 USD per vehicle and 2 USD for pedestrians/bicyclists.
  • Price for canoe rental: 25 USD for up to 2 hours. 10 USD per additional hour. 40 USD ½ day, 60 USD full day, and 90 USD overnight (24 hours).

Link to Collier-Seminole State Park

Link to Google Maps

Here are our favorite attractions and stops along the Tamiami Trail:

  • 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

Tip: Flies, mosquitoes, and insects can be a real nuisance along several of the boardwalks and trails near the Tamiami Trail. Therefore, you may want to bring mosquito spray if you plan to do any of these hikes.

*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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