Several national parks in Florida are hidden treasures. In honor of National Public Lands Day Sept. 26, when national parks are free, here’s a guide to Florida’s national parks, from the famous to the obscure.
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.
Folks have been fascinated with Stiltsville since the first shack went up in Biscayne Bay a mile from land in the 1930s. Biscayne National Park and a non-profit partner offer regular boat tours that tell the Stiltsville story and take you close to the houses.
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.
The free trolley from Homestead to Everglades National Park & Biscayne National Park runs every winter weekend. Riders enter free, saving the $30 admission.
Explore dozens of islands in Florida waters where you can enjoy soft breezes, gentle surf and soaring birds while camping under the stars. (You’ll need a boat, canoe or a kayak.)