Is Biscayne National Park Worth Visiting?

Biscayne National Park is one of Florida’s most beautiful travel destinations. It is without a doubt worth visiting. The park is reminiscent of a tropical paradise and is ideal for those seeking a sun-filled getaway. 

Biscayne National Park has a sprawling variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy, so there’s no way you’ll be bored when you drop here for a visit.  

This park is incredibly unique in the sense that it’s actually 95% water. As such, the activities here involve being out on a boat, exploring the park, or actually splashing around the water itself. 

Biscayne has many exciting and rewarding activities, including boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddle boarding. A small number of land-based activities are also found at Biscayne. 

In this article, we’ll delve into topics such as:

  • Is Biscayne National Park worth visiting?
  • How do you get to Biscayne National Park?
  • What is the best way to get around Biscayne National Park?

Is Biscayne National Park worth visiting?

Biscayne National Park is certainly worth visiting. It feels like an isolated tropical paradise despite its close proximity to Miami. The park consists of a unique combination of spectacular turquoise waters, bright green islands, and coral reefs inhabited by a stunning variety of reef fish. 

There are several boat tours to take around the various island keys, shipwrecks, and other historical sites. In reality, exploring the park by boat is the only way to truly experience the beauty of Biscayne. Staying near the visitor center on the mainland will not allow you to see the magnificence of this exceptional national park. However, these boat tours sell out, so it’s crucial to reserve these tickets in advance. 

Entrance sign at Biscayne National Park

How do you get to Biscayne National Park?

Different segments of Biscayne National Park are situated on the coastline of Southeast Florida, while other parts are off the shoreline in open water. The park protects and preserves the majority of Biscayne Bay amidst Key Largo and Key Biscayne directly south of Miami and east of Homestead. 

The best way to get to the park is to drive there by car. The National Park Service does, however, recommend giving yourself extra time to drive to and from the park. Traffic in South Florida is heavy and can cause delays in your arrival and departure times. This is especially true during weekends, holidays, and rush hours. 

The best road to take to the park is the Florida Turnpike to avoid traffic and delays. Taking U.S. Highway 1 is a slow and burdensome way to reach the park. 

Below are the various drive times to the Dante Fascell Visitor Center from popular airports and other locations near Biscayne National Park. 

Miami: 50 minutes / 41 miles

Miami Beach: 55 minutes / 44 miles

Miami International Airport (MIA): 40 minutes / 36 miles

Fort Lauderdale: 1 hour 10 minutes / 64 miles

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 1 hour 5 minutes / 61 miles

Homestead: 20 minutes / 10 miles

Key Largo: 40 minutes / 39 miles

Everglades National Park (Royal Palm Visitor Center): 40 minutes / 23 miles 

Everglades National Park (Shark Valley Visitor Center): 1 hour 5 minutes / 48 miles

Everglades National Park (Flamingo Visitor Center) 1 hour 15 minutes / 57 miles

You also have the option to take public transportation to reach the park. The Homestead National Parks Trolley goes from downtown Homestead to the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. Homestead is also known as the “Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks.”

Map of Biscayne National Park
Map of Biscayne National Park. NPS photo

What is the best way to get around Biscayne National Park?

Getting around by boat is really the best and only way to explore Biscayne National Park. Again, this park is mainly marine-based and consists of over 250 square miles of water. 

Biscayne is quite different from other National Parks in the country as it doesn’t have a system of roads. The only roadway system in the park is a short one-mile stretch that leads to the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. There’s also a wooden boardwalk at Convy Point located just near the visitor center.

Private Boats

If you’re the owner of a personal boat, it’s possible to enter Biscayne through one of the park’s four different marinas. Miami-Dade County operates these four marinas. 

The Black Point Marina and the Homestead Bayfront Marina are inside the boundaries of Biscayne National Park. While outside the park’s borders, the Crandon Marina and the Matheson Hammock Marina still offer easy access to Biscayne. 

You can find more information about private boats in the park here

Guided Tours 

It goes without saying that most people visiting Biscayne National park don’t have their own private boat. Thankfully, there are numerous guided boat tours offered to explore the park in its entirety. These vary from general boat tours, kayaking and paddle boarding outings, scuba and snorkeling cruises, and sailing tours that last a few days.  

The Biscayne National Park Institute offers the best guided tours in the park. They have a substantial collection of guided tours available for visitors to choose from. You can learn more about the tours they offer on their website here

Final Thoughts

To recap, Biscayne National Park is 100% worth visiting and is definitely not to be overlooked. The park is ideal for those who love ocean vibes and warm sea breezes. 

The waters, islands, and coral reefs that create the park make Biscayne a truly one-of-a-kind place. Every National Parks enthusiast has to visit Biscayne at least once in their lifetime.

The best way to reach Biscayne National Park is by car. South Florida traffic, however, tends to be quite heavy, so it’s a smart idea to give yourself extra time to drive to and from the park. Ideally, the best road to take to reach Biscayne would be the Florida Turnpike. 

Since the park is nearly all marine-based, the best way to get around here is by boat. Guided boat tours are the primary means of travel for most people who visit Biscayne. There are also entry points to the park for people who have their own private boats as well. 

Biscayne National Park is truly an incredible destination in South Florida. If you’re visiting the area and need a break from the busy Miami metropolis, Biscayne is the place to be. You’ll escape into a world of isolated tropical beauty. So don’t wait! Make plans to visit Biscayne National Park now!

Want a FREE complete list and recap of all our US National Parks as well as downloadable maps and other great resources? Check out our US National Parks List and Map guide!

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Free Downloadable NP List & Maps

About Me

My husband and I have three precious daughters and live in the Kansas City, KS area. One of our favorite things to do is travel across the country visiting our extraordinary US National Parks!

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Happy Travels! Sandy

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