You need a boat to see most of Biscayne National Park, east of Homestead. About 95 percent of its 172,971 acres are underwater. Fortunately, if you don’t have a boat, there are a variety of experiences available to visitors including snorkeling outings and boat tours to islands.
Like a lot of visitors, for years I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of sight. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.
Peanut Island, reached only by boat in Riviera Beach, has clear turquoise water full of visible sea life. It’s great for a picnic at the beach — even camping. It’s an exceptional county park.
As you cross the Seven Mile Bridge, you pass the little green island with yellow cottages and palm trees surrounded by dazzling blue water. Stop and visit: Pigeon Key is one of a kind. It offers fascinating history, tropical beauty, even great snorkeling.
If you’ve ever dreamed about exploring a deserted tropical island, here’s your chance: Take your kayak down to the Florida Keys and paddle out to Indian Key State Park. Here, you explore jungly ruins and snorkel along a rocky shoreline.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a great destination: You can enjoy so many activities in one place – kayaking, surf-fishing & a one-mile-long powdery-white sand beach with shaded picnic tables nearby.
The magic of manatees draws thousands to the Crystal River on the Gulf Coast each winter. Here’s a practical guide to manatee experiences in Three Sisters Springs and Kings Bay — kayaking with manatees, swimming with manatees or admiring them from a boardwalk.
Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River are among Florida’s top tubing and kayaking spots. People love this waterway because of the pure, clear water and the spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters and birds. In summer, it’s full of tubes doing a four-hour float through a cool paradise.
Biscayne National Park is 95% underwater. Boat trips to shipwrecks, reefs and islands are the best way to see this park. The shipwreck snorkel tour often goes to the wreck of the Mandalay, which has a fascinating story.
Lionfish are gobbling up native species on Florida Keys reefs. Now you can gobble them up instead. Several Florida restaurants are serving lionfish, said to be delicious.