Whether it’s a school field trip through the trees, or a family boat ride around the keys, Biscayne National Park near Miami is a peaceful and secluded jewel of Florida that has something for everyone. Entrance to the park is complementary, allowing visitors to enjoy the park’s nature in exchange only for time & calories. Among common park-goers are bird watchers, couples of all ages, families, scuba divers, snorkelers, swimmers, fisherman, runners, yogis, meditators, & kite surfers. The park is so large that it’s no wonder why you need a map. A small & thorough museum begins the tour of the land where you’ll receive your guide of the entire park. The museum outlines the various species present in the area underwater, on land, & above. It is easily apparent birds flock to these areas, abundant with food as countless fish of endless flavors thrive under the surface at all times of the day, easily accessible due to calm, clear waters and bright skies. They don’t call Florida the “Sunshine State” for nothing.
Most of the park is made of water, so it’s a great place to explore by boat & to trade the Southern heat for a boating breeze. Rental boats in nearby marinas are available for skilled boaters, otherwise you can put your own boat in at a surrounding launch and enter the park by boat. Click here for more information on boating in Biscayne National Park, including boat rentals and safety information.
Biscayne Bay is a natural network of bodies of water ripe for exploration. Intersected by trees which are home to countless exotic species, it’s the perfect place to bird watch, meditate, go fishing, paddle board, kayak, start & finish a good book, or write your own! Biscayne Bay has something for everyone, so if sitting still is too slow a speed for you, boating, swimming, & snorkeling are popular activities, made particularly special because of the calm waters that are sheltered by the intricate labyrinth of mangroves. Both the roots and the branches set the skeleton for innumerable plant and animal homes.
The web of Mangrove trees aren’t just good for shelter; Mangroves and other surrounding plants prevent strong currents, contributing to the sheltered environment well-suited for creatures of all types and ages. Take a dip beneath the blue and you’ll find life everywhere. It seems not a crack or crevice is left untouched of life. Visit the underwater flora and fauna and you won’t wonder why so many have such an affinity to reefs. Every color of the rainbow presents itself. Every shade is highlighted by the rays of light that reflect over every cell of every being. Considering how many colors you’ll see; how many parrotfish you’ll encounter, your favorite color might change to all of them.
All this beauty is usually able to preserve itself quite well, unless too many carbon footprints get in the way. Therefore, it’s wise for humans to want to protect this ecosystem through knowledge. The visitor center explains the limited, yet crucial rules of the park. Among the most important: jet skis are prohibited, and it is highly discouraged to touch any coral or other animal life in the area to avoid risk to the ecosystem which is dependent upon both the coral reefs and the Mangrove trees.
Reefs and mangroves aren’t the only wonders of Biscayne Bay to explore. Shipwrecks dot the underwater landscape, allowing for yet another activity in which to immerse yourself. Promise you won’t fit everything into one visit. Did I mention this park is free?
Biscayne National Park waters are open every day, all day, all year (excluding the visitor centers on-site). Since the monument is located in a subtropical climate, temperatures usually don’t fluctuate more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit year round, with changes in humidity based on season. Winter is dry and mild in the high 60s, while Summer brings scattered afternoon thunderstorms, sticking to high 80s/low 90s. Plan your visit according to preference, keeping in mind June to November is hurricane season for the area.
173,000 acres of undeveloped and protected land guarantees the experience will bring you as close to Mother Nature as your heart desires. A serene spot to be one with nature and/or an exciting oasis for making waves, Biscayne Bay is a paradise riddled with countless things to do in and out of the water.