Just a short distance from downtown Miami is the outdoor water paradise of Biscayne National Park, a local recreation area for residents of the greater Miami area. The national park protects four distinct ecosystems: the coastal mangrove swamps, the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, the coral limestones of the Keys, and the coral reef. The coastal area of the swampy mainland and the edges of the islands offer an ideal habitat for larvae, juvenile fish, molluscs and crustaceans. The Keys are covered with tropical vegetation, endangered cacti and palm trees. The beaches provide nesting sites for endangered sea turtles. The reefs and waters are home to more than 200 species of fish, birds, whales and coral.
A green forest of mangroves stretches along the coast of Biscayne Bay. The complex system of stilt trees not only helps stabilize the coast, but also provides shelter for numerous wildlife such as raccoons, snakes, birds and marine life. The leaves of the saltwater resistant plants are an essential part of the food chain. Large patches of seagrass spread across Biscayne Bay keep the water clean. One resident of this habitat is the Florida crayfish, which is under year-round protection throughout the area. The seagrass beds are also an ideal habitat for shrimp, fish, sea turtles and manatees.
At the eastern edge of Biscayne Bay is the northern end of the Florida Keys. The sheltered islands with their tropical hardwood plants are completely untouched and serve as an ecological retreat. The largest island – and the first of the Florida Keys – was formed from fossilized coral reef. The islands further north in the park, on the other hand, are made of coral and sand. On the Atlantic side of the islands are the species-rich coral reefs, which offer an ideal breeding ground for a varied marine life. There is a colorful variety of plants, fish and other sea creatures. The park’s marine area encompasses the northernmost region of the Florida Reef, forming one of the largest coral reefs in the world.
Biscayne National Park information
Location and Size
According to allcitycodes, Biscayne National Park is located south of Miami. It covers an area of 700 km², 95% of which is covered by water. The park protects Biscayne Bay and coral reefs, which rank among the best diving and snorkeling spots in the United States.
Driving from the North
Convoy Point is accessible from either the Florida Turnpike or US-1.
From the Florida Turnpike : Drive south to exit 6 (Speedway Blvd.). Exit left and continue south to SW 328th Street (North Canal Drive). Turn left and drive to the end of the street. After 8 km (5 miles) you will reach the entrance on the left.
From US-1 , go south to Homestead. Turn left onto SW 328th Street (North Canal Drive) and continue to the end of the street. After approximately 15 km (9 miles) you will reach the entrance on the left.
By car from the south drive north on US-1 (Overseas Highway) to Homestead. Turn right onto SW 328th Street (North Canal Drive – first light after Florida Turnpike entrance) and continue to the end of the street. After approximately 15 km (9 miles) you will reach the entrance on the left.
Miami-Dade County has bus service to Homestead and Florida City, but there is no public transit service that goes directly to the Visitor Center. The bus connections can be found here >>
of Operation The water portion of Biscayne National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Accessible only by boat, Adams Key is only open during the day.
Convoy Point, where the park’s headquarters and visitor center is located, is open daily from 7am to 5:30pm. Address: 9700 SW 328 Street, Homestead, Florida 33033 The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
For Elliott and Boca Chita Keys campgrounds, the fee is $25 per night for a tent site and docking boat at the dock. USD 30 is paid for a group campsite. The boat transfer to the island has to be paid extra. Advance reservations are not possible. From 01.05.-01.09. is camping possible for free. However, at this time you have to endure the heat, humidity and insects.
Transportation to the Islands
Biscayne National Underwater Park offers seasonal boat trips to Elliott Key. Service is available upon request by calling (305) 230-1100. The distance from Convoy Point to Elliott Key is approximately 11 km (7 miles) and to Boca Chita Key is approximately 15 km (9 miles).
South Florida lies in the subtropical climate zone. Summer is typically hot and humid with brief afternoon thundershowers. Average temperatures are 29°C. Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging 18°C. Average rainfall for the south-eastern area is over 1,520mm per year. Due to the strong sunlight, it is essential to wear a hat, sun glasses and a high sun protection factor for outdoor activities.
|Average temperatures in Biscayne National Park in °C|
The underwater world is very diverse with over 500 species of fish. Biscayne Bay is perfect for bird, butterfly, manatee (manatee) and coral viewing.
Snorkeling and diving
The best way to explore Biscayne National Park is to take a look under the water surface: In addition to numerous snorkeling spots, you can also dive here. There is also one of the few wall diving opportunities in the national park.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoeing and kayaking are ideal ways to explore the park’s mangrove-fringed coastline and shallow bay waters. Very experienced kayakers traverse the 11 km (7-mile) distance to Elliott Key or Boca Chita Key. Adams Key is a popular jumping off point for those wanting to explore the areas south of Caesar Creek. With the islands as a base camp, exploration of the lagoons, creeks and channels south of Caesar Creek is possible. These areas are too shallow for motorized watercraft, which is why they are almost deserted.
Sailing and Boat
Tours Experiencing Biscayne National Park on a sailing trip is a dream. The sheltered waters are for real connoisseurs, a sailing trip to the Florida Keys is a unique experience, coral reefs can be explored under water.
Fishing and catching other marine life requires a valid Florida State Recreational saltwater fishing license, which allows fishing anywhere in Biscayne National Park and the Convoy Point dock.