It’s a moody place, Biscayne National Park. Some days, Biscayne Bay‘s shallow waters are glassy smooth, a window on another world. Other times, the wind whistles and whips, creating white waves that bite like teeth at an angry sky.
Some days are quiet and still, the silence broken only by the sound of ocean ripples lapping at the mangrove-fringed shoreline, the exhalation of a manatee, or a crab scuttling across the leaf-strewn forest floor. On weekends, the laughter of children, the sizzle of burgers on a grill, or the ""woosh"" of water being cleared from a snorkel takes over.
Some days, the water over the reef is so clear that every detail on the bottom is visible, and zooming across it on a boat can seem like flying on air. Then there are blustery days when it is milky with mud stirred up by wind and wave.
Even the 10,000 year human history of the place reflects its temperamental nature. Idyllic vignettes of a Tequesta Indian man free-diving for conch from a dugout canoe, or a Bahamian woman watching the sunset across a tidal creek after a hard day‘s work contrast with violent shipwrecks, acts of piracy, and a long, hard struggle for environmental protection.
We invite you to use this website as a way to test the waters, and hope that you will plan a visit to immerse yourself in the many moods of Biscayne National Park.
Since most of the park is covered by water, access to anything beyond the mainland shoreline requires a boat. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center and Park Headquarters are located at Convoy Point, and ramps, elevators and boardwalks make these areas fully accessible to those with mobility challenges. Audiovisual programs are closed-captioned and available in both English and Spanish.
Kids will enjoy snorkeling in the bay or on the coral reef, poking along the rocky shoreline at Convoy Point, and canoeing along the park‘s mangrove coast. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center has great exhibits to help kids learn about Biscayne‘s watery world, and our touch table provides lots of opportunities for one-on-one learning with a park ranger. From January through April, the park offers a three-day/two-night residential environmental education camping program on Elliott Key for fifth and sixth grade classes.
Special events throughout the year offer families a great opportunity to learn about the park together. On the first Sunday of each month from January through May, the park hosts Family Fun Fest, three full hours of hands on activities for kids and kids-at-heart. Come celebrate the National Park Service‘s birthday on the last Sunday in August, and look for clues to understanding the park‘s many resources at our annual Halloween Hunt on the last Sunday in October. Cleanups are a great way to spend a day in the park and help benefit it at the same time. Check our activity calendar for dates.
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