Do you have a craving for some fresh seafood? If dipping fresh lobster and crab legs in melted butter sound tasty, then the Everglades Seafood Festival should be on your list of things to do.
The next Everglades Seafood festival will be held on February 17, 18, & 19 of 2023.
Crowds have been enjoying the Everglades Seafood Festival since 1970. The location is certainly off the beaten path, but the friendly atmosphere and delicious food is the perfect reason to make the drive.
Where is the Everglades City Seafood Festival?
The festival takes place during February in the small fishing town of Everglades City, Florida. It's a historic city that rests on the Chokoloskee Bay which is nestled between the mainland and Ten Thousand Islands.
It's a beautiful drive getting there, whether you are coming from the east or west coast of Florida. Wetlands line each side of the road and you will experience Florida's outdoor beauty. Part of the adventure is driving there!
It's about a 45-minute drive if you are coming from downtown Naples and over an hour if coming from Miami.
What to do at the Everglades Seafood Festival?
This festival is known for its great music and of course seafood.
The seafood options range from lobster tails, crab legs, steamed shrimp, steamed mussels, seafood paella, crawfish, shrimp ceviche, and oysters. Plus much more! If you don't enjoy seafood, don't worry, there are plenty of food options for everyone.
Eating is not the only thing to do at the festival. There are various vendors that range from clothing, accessories, shoes, crafts, artwork, and food.
During our recent visit, there was a small carnival set up that had game booths, rides, slides, and food. There was not an entrance fee for this area but you had to pay for tickets or a wristband to ride the rides.
What to know before you go to the Everglades Seafood Festival
Navigating the food options can be cumbersome depending on the crowd level.
So follow these tips:
If you are traveling with small children, have someone wait with the kids while someone else gets the food. Meaning it may be difficult to navigate the crowds by the food area if you are pushing a stroller.
Know that the fresh seafood options are mostly under the large open-aired structure. There are various food vendors so find something you want to eat and jump in line. Seafood prices range from $20 for steamed shrimp (with sides) and $25 for a lobster tail (with sides).
There is no entrance fee to the Everglades City Seafood Festival.
There are plenty of parking options along the main road (Collier Ave). Various parking lots were roped off with parking attendants directing traffic and collecting money (bring cash for parking).
Restrooms: There are porta-potties set up with handwashing stations.
Bring foldable chairs so that you can sit and enjoy the music.
There is limited shade in front of the stage so bring a hat and glasses if you are going midday.
Tips for traveling with kids
To burn off energy, there is a playground next to the food area.
There is a small children's carnival set up so you might want to bring extra money if you plan on riding rides.
Bring water and sunscreen because it can be really warm in February.
Pack snacks for the drive home because the main road can get backed up when leaving Everglades City. However, this depends on what time you leave the festival.
There is more to do near Everglades City than just the seafood festival. If you are making a full day trip out of it, then consider visiting a few of the Florida State Parks that are nearby.
For additional information regarding food, music, activities, etc., visit the Everglades City Seafood Festival's official website.
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Hello! I'm Tiffany, a creative travel writer, mother to three awesome kids, and Floridian. We like to visit beautiful Florida beaches, Florida State Parks, and of course Disney! I like to write about our travel adventures and provide tips to other families traveling or relocating to the Sunshine State.