The Biscayne National Park's Visitor Center, the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, is a great structure in a most beautiful setting right at the edge of Biscayne Bay with fantastic views of the water and beyond. This is a practical starting point to exploring all the park has to offer.
The Visitor Center like all National Park visitor centers, is where you find maps and brochures, great wildlife and habitat exhibits, films about the park and the fragile ecosystems, a bookstore, restrooms, and the super-friendly staff that can answer any question you might have.
The Visitor Center facilities and highlights include:
The following are normally available through the park facilities but note that circumstances change frequently, please check before heading out there:
In addition, there are many ranger-led programs during the dry season, mid-November through April as well as special events conducted by sponsors and volunteers.
Family Fun Fest is held on the second Sunday of the month during the "dry and cool" season with lots of fun and educational activities for kids and adults alike.
One of our favorite programs is the FREE guided canoe tour which is offered several times per week. Reservations are required, you can call the park for more information at (305) 230-7275.
Check their website at National Park Service Biscayne National Park for any events that might be scheduled during the time of your visit.
These are some great hands-on exhibits that the children really enjoy handling and learning about: sponges, corals, fans, turtle shells... and a great introduction before heading out to the reefs.
Trails and a spectacular elevated boardwalk that line the shore offer great views of the bay and the mangrove coastline.
These are great for strolling around, just relax by one of the many benches, admire the beauty of the bay, look for manatees in the water, watch the sunset...
The trails and boardwalk start just in front of the Visitor Center on both sides of the Jetty, which is also a great place to scout for manatees. There are picnic tables and grills throughout with trees and palms providing most welcomed shade.
How long does it take? As long as you wish to make it. The boardwalk and trails are short, but it is nice to take the time to enjoy them.
Important! Snorkeling trips to the reefs and canoe/kayak rentals are not available until further notice. This is a temporary interruption, stay tuned for futher developments.
In the meanwhile, here are some alternatives:
There are a couple of options to visit the Keys if you don't have access to a boat.
During the dry season November through April trips to Boca Chita Key run from the Park. It is a fun 2-1/2 to 3-hour outing that brings you to the island where you can have a picnic, enjoy the sun, surf and wonderful breezes.
Feel free to bring a picnic as there are no refreshments or any kind of facilities in the island.
Boats leave from the jetty in front of the Visitor Center.
When? Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:30 am and 1:45 pm
How Much? Adults $29 Children (5-12) $19
Here's more on Boca Chita Key.
Island Dreamer Sailing an independent outfit has daily sailings to Boca Chita or Adams Key that depart from the park. The all-day tours include paddling, kayaking, hiking in the islands, and snorkeling in the bay.
When? Daily, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
How Much? $149pp with a minimum of 2 people, or $775 for the boat with a maximum of 6 people. Custom box lunches can be provided for $25 per person with advance notice.
More Info: Island Dreamer Sailing or call 561-281-2689
Note: Temporarily not available
It has a great selection of canoes, kayaks, and double and quad-paddle boats. The rentals are stocked just a few steps from the launching site, making it extremely convenient to get in and out of the water.
Canoeing and Kayaking are great for exploring the mangrove coastline. From the Visitor Center you can paddle along the shoreline, through the canals and sheltered bays.
Before setting out, stop at the Visitor Center for route suggestions and current conditions.
Note: Temporarily not available
Snorkeling the Florida Keys is often one of the "must" activities for water lovers. The reefs are beautiful and teeming with life, make sure you make some time to enjoy this wonderful underwater world.
The Park conducts snorkeling trips to the colorful reefs year-round. It is a 3-hour tour and they provide you with mask, fins, and snorkeling vest. The trips include an orientation by a Park ranger or volunteer, who are knowledgeable and passionate about the marine life and the habitat. It is a great introduction to the marvels you are about to see and also teaches you about the fragility of the ecosystem and conservation efforts.
Boats leave directly from the dock in front of the Biscayne National Park Visitor Center, reservations are a must.
For boat and trip schedules, rates and reservations: Temporarily not available
We receive a small commission when you book travel or buy products from our affiliates.
This helps us with our running costs of maintaining the site and helps us sponsor children in need through SaveTheChildren.org
Things to do at Biscayne Bay National Park Quicklinks:
| Thank you for visiting MiamiScapes!|
Here is to a wonderful Miami vacation experience!
Copyright © 2017 by M Hoffmann www.miamiscapes.com