Biscayne National Park Travel Guide

  • Biscayne National Park
    Biscayne National Park
    by TravellerMel
  • Biscayne National Park
    Biscayne National Park
    by TravellerMel
  • Biscayne National Park
    Biscayne National Park
    by TravellerMel

Biscayne National Park Things to Do

  • Dante Fascell Visitors Center

    Start your trip at the Dante Fascell Visitors Center where you can get a brochure and map of the area, obtain information to enhance your enjoyment of the park, and pay your entrance fee and fees for the boat tours and other activities. They have some nice sculptures of fish on display.

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  • Biscayne National Park

    Unlike many units of the National Park system which can be fully experienced by car or on foot, Biscayne National Park requires some planning to make the most of a visit. With 95% of its 172,000 acres covered by water, going out on a boat is the best way to really experience the park, and will require at least half a day. The rangers at the...

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  • The Keys

    There are boat tours to several of the keys including Elliot Key. These tours give you an interesting glimpse into the history of the area. Elliot Key and Boca Chita Key have campgrounds; but only Elliot Key has drinkable water. The weather was not conducive to taking a boat tour when I visited.

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  • Mangrove Islands

    You cannot see the keys from the visitors center but you can see several mangrove islands. These islands offer a view to a unique environment and are accessible only by boat. Maybe you can see one of those Mangrove Water Snakes.

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  • Sponges

    One of the rangers gave an interesting and informative briefing about sponge fishing and the types of sponges found in the area. Sponge fishing was very big in this area in the early 1900s. This one is called a Tube Sponge.

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  • Watch Some Films

    There is a theater where they show a couple of different films depicting the history of the area and the attractions of the park.

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  • Beware the Exotics

    There are also a variety of exotics or non-native animals and plants that have invaded the area. These “exotics” frequently push out native species, so every effort is made to keep them under control. You can help by only using native plants in your gardens and making sure you can handle any animals you buy as pets.

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  • Sea Grass Wildlife

    There is a nice display in the museum showing the wildlife found in the Sea Grass Areas, like the Plumed Worm and the Spotted Trunkfish.

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  • Outer Reef Dwellers

    There is a nice display in the museum showing the wildlife found on the Outer Reefs, like the Brain Coral and the Coney Fish.

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  • Mangrove Island Wildlife

    There is a nice display in the museum showing the wildlife found on the Mangrove Islands. Nice Mangrove Water Snake.

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  • Among the Corals

    There is a nice display showing the wildlife found among the corals. Including the Queen Angelfish and the Great barracuda.

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  • Wildlife Displays

    The museum has several displays showing the wildlife from the area both in general and specific areas of the park.

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  • Museum

    Most national parks have a museum. They range from a few displays to really nice, well thought out displays. The one in the Dante Fascell Visitors Center is better than most.

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  • Putter Around by Boat

    My husband doesn't putter - he drives a speedy power boat. But whatever kind of boat you use, that's what you need to really see this park. There's only a small fraction of it available from land.

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  • Visitor's Center

    Most of the park is only visible if you have water access, but there is a visitor's center, which I visited in order to get my National Park passport stamped. Biscayne National Park does not have an entrance feeThe water portion of Biscayne National Park is open 24 hours a day. Adams Key (accessible only by boat) is a day use area only.Convoy...

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  • See the visitor center and walk along...

    If nothing else, you can stop in at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Convoy Point. This is open year round from 9-5. They have vending machines, restrooms, and a small set of exhibits which gives you and idea of the wildlife and plant life in the Bay. Picnic areas and a boat launch are also available. You also have the opportunity to sign up for...

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  • Mangrove shore walk

    This is mainland Biscayne Bay National Park's only trail. It is a short excursion of maybe a quarter of a mile which leads past the mangrove shoreline and the dock to the bird observation area. From that point, you will need a boat to go any further.

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  • Bird observation area

    At the end of the mainland's only brief trail, you'll find the bird observation area. There are hundreds of species of birds in the area, most of whom are dependent upon "fishing" for their sustinence. This area is protected from boats and people and the signs warn you to go no farther from this point. But here you can observe the birds feeding...

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  • Barrier Islands

    Boca Chita and Elliott Key are two small islands located in Biscayne National Park. The islands are reachable by boat only. There are several hiking trails on the islands as well as campsites. These islands are the northernmost portion of the Keys. Due to their remote location, they remain unspoiled and unchanged, with the exception of the...

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  • Boating

    The only way to really see Biscayne National Park is by boat. The outer islands of Boca Chita and Elliott Key, the coral reefs and the mangrove shoreline all require a boat for access. Boat rentals and boat tours are available from the park's concessionaire.

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  • Kayaking

    You won't find any hiking in this park, but there are other recreational opportunities. Kayaks are available for rent from the visitor's center concessionaire. On a day when the ocean is calm, this can be a great way to set off and explore Elliot Key or Boca Chita Key located just off the coast.

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Biscayne National Park Transportation

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Excursion Boats

    by Basaic Written Apr 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Available Boat Tours include: Island Tours; Glass Bottom Boat Tours; and Snorkel Tours and snorkel tours. Prices are $20 to $99.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Family Travel

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Biscayne National Park Local Customs

  • National Park Service Video Tape

    We looked at the informational video tape, which was more about the politics of the park than about the park itself, and the lady at the center gave me a National Parks calendar.

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  • Dante Fascell

    Dante Fascell was a well respected Congressman who represented the State of Florida by serving in the House of Representatives for over 20 years. Although he was mostly known for his foreign policy and work on that area, Dante Fascell made great strides to improve the community of South Florida. Mr Fascell is honored throughout the state by having...

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  • Biscayne National Park Hotels

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Biscayne National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Warning Signs

    Please obey all warning signs; they are there for your safety and to preserve the park for the enjoyment of future generations. Stay out of restricted areas and only fish in designated areas.

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  • Boating Hazards

    If you boat to the Stiltsville area (or anywhere else in the park) DO NOT RUN AGROUND! Some of the ground is shallow, and has protected sea grass beds. There are hefty fines involved. When we visited Bill Baggs park, we saw a sailboat with the sails up which didn't appear to move at all. We thought they might be aground.There is a little rhyme to...

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Biscayne National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Hiking Trail

    There is a short hiking trail that leads to a jetty and has several nice views of the Biscayne Bay. Good walking shoes and sunscreen, maybe a hat and insect repellant.

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  • Scuba Diving

    The best part of the park may be the part that is underwater.We have our own gear, but some people go on scuba boats like the one pictured The park website says:Scuba Diving8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays & SundaysCertified divers can discover the wonder and pristine beauty of South Florida's living coral reefs. A two tank dive is $54.00 plus tax...

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  • Boating

    under constructionGlass Bottom Boat TripOne Trip Daily, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.Visiting the reefs and islands of Biscayne National Park are a highlight of any visit. Windy conditions, common during winter months, will allow you to explore the Florida Keys on foot with less annoyance from insects, while calm conditions afford an opportunity to see...

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Biscayne National Park Favorites

  • Biscayne National Park

    Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife…or simply...

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  • Birthday Party

    We know someone who knows someone who has a place in Stiltsville. So for one of my son's birthdays, we went out to their place for his birthday celebration. The picture of course was taken outside the park because I have no pictures of that birthday celebration - this one was this years.

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  • Stiltsville

    Every time I go through here I try to take pictures of Stiltsville. Unfortunately I'm usually too far away Stiltsville is a controversial community on the flats south of Miami between Florida Bay and Hawk Channel. The water is from 1 to 3 ft deep at low tide. The general mud flat area is divided by several main navigational channels. One of these...

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Explore Deeper into Biscayne National Park
Snorkeling on Biscayne Reefs
Sports & Outdoors
Visitor's Center
Favorites
Glass bottom boat rides
Things to Do
Land of many mangroves
Favorites
Getting to the park
Favorites
Stiltsville
Things to Do
Map of Biscayne National Park

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