Biscayne National Park consists of 95% water. The 5% which is dry land is mostly on islands which are inaccessible by car (they actually are the northernmost of the Florida Keys). There is a small sliver of the park which is on the mainland, which is the only place you can actually visit the park if you do not have a boat.
Biscayne is located just south of Miami, so in theory, it is very easy to visit. It is about 40 minutes south of downtown Miami and just a 15-minute drive from the city of Homestead. The visitor center is easily accessible and it is not far from Everglades National Park as well.
However, even though the visitor’s center is easy to visit, the rest of the park is inaccessible without a boat, as it is mostly water. Also, there is currently no company with a concession to run boat tours in the park, so you would have to arrange transportation privately.
Given its aquatic nature, it was also a challenging park to photograph. Ideally, I would have taken underwater shots, but it was possible given my normal travel camera setup.
Things to Do: Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park has plenty to offer the tourists who visit the park (whether local residents or international tourists). First and foremost, there are guided tours available throughout the park. The Biscayne National Park Institute hosts most of these tours, which combines the learning experience with some fun recreational activities. Among the tour options include the opportunity to snorkel at the colorful reefs, explore the Jones Lagoon, and sail the beautiful Biscayne Bay. Since these tours mostly have limited slots available, advanced reservations are recommended to ensure that you can get on them when you arrive. In addition to the Biscayne National Park Institute, there are also tour companies that offer other types of tours in the park.
If you are the adventurous type, you will find loads of other things to do in the park such as the following:
- Snorkeling and Diving
- Wildlife Watching
Know Before You Go
When visiting any national park in the US, it is important to be aware of your surroundings for your own safety (and for the preservation of natural resources). Always check for any current alerts on the park that might coincide with your visit. There are also many who have died from boating accidents in the park. Therefore, it is important to know the basic boating rules and never go without an expert to guide you.
There are no entrance fees in the park. Therefore, anyone can go at any time they want. Meanwhile, all of the park premises and waters are open for 24 hours a day, all throughout the year. The main visitor center, which is the Dante Fascell Visitor Center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. It is closed during Christmas Day.