A Park that is mostly Water?
Whether you arrive by ferry, cruise ship, plane or car, Miami, Florida is huge seaport and vibrant city with nearby Miami Beach. Just to the South of Miami is the tropical Biscayne National Park. The largest mangrove forest in the United States is here. The park consists of 173,000 acres, 95% of which are under water. The water itself is remarkable in its many shades of blue. The coral reefs here are teeming with marine life from manatees to sea turtles. Several islands, or keys, are here and the most visited are Adams Key, Boca Chita Key and Eliott key. Facilities include boat docking facilities and moorings on the reefs.
What to visit?
All visitors should start at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center 9 miles East of Homestead. Colorful coral reefs are just offshore here in the Park. The coral reefs are also home to many shipwrecks available for snorkeling or dive visits. The park maintains mooring bouys at dive sites. Ranger led canoe and kayak trips are also available. The Islands contain a privately built lighthouse on Boca Chita Key also available for tours.
How to get around?Tours are available from the main park Visitor Center. Ranger led canoe and kayak trips are also available. Private sail and motor boat tours are arranged through the Park Visitor Center. You are also welcome to visit in your own boat.
Where to stay?
For camping Several islands, or keys, are here and two are available for camping: Boca Chita Key and Eliott key. Facilities include boat docking facilities. Camping is available for tent only. Campers as well as visitors to the keys are advised to be prepared for mosquitoes and noseeums in the warmer months.
Where to Eat?
This is a bring your own food type of Park. Homestead offers a variety of restaurants and supermarkets. Water is only available at Elliott Key and at the Visitor Center.
How to get to the Park?
Access: If you arrive by car. The most direct route is off of US Route 1 in Homestead. Take SW 328th Street 9 miles to the end at Biscayne Bay. By Boat, the Intracoastal Waterway goes right through the center of the Park in Biscayne Bay.