Over 95 percent of this national park is underwater, but don’t worry, there’s plenty to see both above and below sea level at Biscayne National Park. The best way to explore the 172,000 acres is by boat, but not all of the 44 islands are accessible to visitors.
On land, you can see that the island has a deep history—humans discovered the park about 10,000 years ago. Take a walk around the mangrove shore for some fantastic photo ops, plus bird and butterfly watching. Then board a boat to really explore. Snorkel or dive along the world’s third-longest living coral reef, or take a ranger-guided snorkel trip to select sites on the Maritime Heritage Trail. The trail mainly attracts scuba divers, who can do a self-guided tour of the area’s six different shipwrecks.
Where is it? Near Homestead, Florida. Fly to Key West International Airport (check prices).
Where to Stay? There’s plenty of camping, and you won’t have to fight for space, but you will have to pay a fee. You can take a boat from the park’s visitor center to Elliott Key for around $50, and that island has showers and toilets. Bring your own tent.
What Else Should I Know? You can take private boat tours or ranger-guided canoe and kayak trips, but you should definitely book any outing well ahead of time.
Who’s it For? Divers, snorkelers, boaters.
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