The sunshine state is filled with outstanding national parks for you to visit. Whether you want to see wildlife in action, check out ancient forests, or relax on a beach, there’s a park for everyone!
Biscayne – Just off the coast of Miami, Biscayne is a haven for stunning water and coral reefs. You’ll be able to take in wildlife and 10,000 years of human history at once. This area is known for the many pirate shipwrecks that fill the water. If you choose to go for a dive or snorkel make sure to take a guided tour of the Maritime Heritage Trail. The trail is occupied by six shipwrecks, some of the most notable ones including Alicia and Lugano. If underwater exploration isn’t your thing try kayaking or fishing.
Cape Canaveral – This barrier reef island is home to more than just miles of protected coastline. Located right by the Kennedy Space Center, Canaveral is the perfect place to view a space shuttle launch into the atmosphere. Along the 58,000 acres of beach, you can check out a variety of animals and plants including sea turtles, Florida Scrub Jay, Manatees, and the red mangrove trees. Additionally, there are hiking trails and various ranger-led events to attend.
Dry Tortugas – Located in the Florida Keys (70 miles west of Key West), Dry Tortugas is a popular destination for those willing to take a boat ride. Seven small islands populate the 100-square mile park, but the islands in total only make up about 1% of the entire park. While visiting take some time at Fort Jefferson to learn about its key role in protecting U.S. trade routes and supplying aid to passing ships.
Big Cypress – This diverse landscape is home to many types of wildlife in its diverse ecosystem including the Florida Panther. Take a swamp tour lead by a ranger and learn more about the park’s history or kayak through the vast wetlands. There are plenty of opportunities to experience Big Cypress at night as well. There are eight campgrounds situated throughout the park, making it a perfect place for taking in the luminescent night sky.
Everglades – Known as the largest subtropical wilderness in the entire United States, you can’t visit Florida without checking out the Everglades. Over the 1.5 million acres of wetland you’ll discover a variety of flora and fauna. Hike, boat, and camp your way through the area and discover cool landmarks along the way like the Shark Valley observation tower. From the top of the tower, you’ll have a spectacular view of the Everglades.