Florida Vacation: Top National Parks To Visit

Florida Vacation: Top National Parks To Visit

Florida has been a popular vacation destination for decades. Whether y’all are chasing a thrill on roller coasters or seeking tranquility in nature’s most pristine pockets, Florida has something for everyone. Let me take you through the Sunshine State’s most cherished natural treasures: its national parks. Continue reading to explore the top national parks to visit during your next Florida vacation.

Everglades National Park: The River of Grass

The Everglades are a vast subtropical wilderness, unlike any other national park in the US. They’re a sanctuary for an impressive array of wildlife, from the iconic alligators to the endangered Florida panther.

Visiting the Everglades wouldn’t be complete without an airboat ride through the hard-to-reach marshes and backwaters. For the more grounded traveler, the Anhinga Trail is a scenic path with numerous opportunities to spot wildlife. Bird-watchers will delight in the herons, egrets, and the elusive roseate spoonbill that adorn the wetland landscape. To fully immerse yourself in the unique ecosystem, consider sleeping in a yurt during your trip—there are various yurt options, ranging from glamping to rustic.

Biscayne National Park: Blue Serenity

Biscayne National Park is a marine park encompassing coral reefs, islands, and the crystal-clear waters of Biscayne Bay. Its 173,000 acres provide a playground for water enthusiasts, offering one of the best snorkeling spots in the country. The park is 95 percent water and home to many different species of saltwater fish, whales, and sea turtles.

Y’all should take a glass-bottom boat tour or kayak the Maritime Heritage Trail. You’ll discover as many as 44 incredible shipwrecks that tell the stories of Florida’s maritime history. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center on Convoy Point is a great starting point for any exploration, with educational exhibits and a regular program of ranger-led activities.

Dry Tortugas National Park: A Historical Oasis in the Sea

Venture 70 miles west of Key West, and you’ll find the remote, mysterious Dry Tortugas National Park. This walled fortress, Fort Jefferson, stands in the Gulf of Mexico on a cluster of islands. The park’s name comes from the famed sea turtles that frequented the area. You’ll marvel at the snorkeling opportunities around the fort’s moat wall, which offers a chance to observe coral formations and colorful marine life. It’s simply incredible, y’all!

The park is also a bird enthusiast’s paradise, especially during the spring and fall when migratory birds pass through the islands. The clear, shallow waters around the islands make Dry Tortugas ideal for beginner snorkelers and families with children. Those eager to delve into history can take a guided tour of the fort, learning about its role in the Civil War and the stories of the prisoners who stayed within its walls.

These top Florida national parks offer a taste of the diverse ecosystems that thrive in the state. Whether you’re captivated by the serenity of the sea at Biscayne National Park or the thrill of adventure in the Everglades, Florida’s natural beauty is an experience you’ll treasure. So pack your sunscreen and bug spray and set out to explore these wonders.

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