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National Parks in Florida

Florida is a land of vast diversity. Its wide array of wetlands, dense forests, impressive historic monuments, and remote barrier islands make the Sunshine State a land of contrasts. Whenever Florida national park is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the alligator-tracked, largest subtropical wilderness called Everglades. However, Florida has much more to offer than Everglades only.

Experience the unspoiled coastal wetlands, pristine undeveloped seashores, islands, sparkling crystal-clear turquoise waters, and much more.

Florida National Parks Map Alabama National Parks Georgia National Parks
Description:Map showing the location of all the national parks in the Florida state of the US. Disclaimer

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National Parks in Florida

Florida national parks attract people from all over. There a number of national parks in Florida, where you can get a glimpse of the state's ecosystem. Lookup a Florida state map, which plots the location of the various national parks. Knowing the precise location of Florida's national parks will help you plan your trip better.

List of National Parks in Florida

S. NoNameAreaEstablishedLocation
1Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve46,000 acres (186.16 km2)16. Feb. 1988Jacksonville, Florida, USA
2Canaveral National Seashore57,662 acres (23,335 ha)3. Jan. 1975Brevard County and Volusia County, Florida, USA
3Big Cypress National Preserve720,566 acres (291,603 ha)4. Oct. 1974Collier, Monroe, & Miami-Dade counties, Florida, USA
4Everglades National Park 1,508,538 acres (2,357.091 sq mi; 610,484 ha; 6,104.84 km2), 1,505,976 acres (2,353.088 sq mi; 609,447 ha; 6,094.47 km2) federal30. May. 1934Miami-Dade, Monroe, & Collier counties, Florida, United States
5Biscayne National Park172,971 acres (69,999 ha)28. Jun. 1980Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States

How many national parks are in Florida

There are 11 national parks, preserves (including ecological & historic preserves), seashore, and monuments/memorials in Florida. Each park offers unique activities. You can have memorable moments and fun times in each of them. Here are some of the best ones in Florida.

Best National Parks in Florida

  1. Florida Everglades National Park (Miami, Naples, and Homestead, FL)

    Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the USA. It is spread across a total area of 1.5-million-acres, protecting an unparalleled landscape. This national park includes coastal marshes, closed-canopy hardwood forests, cypress swamps, alligator-filled pinelands, and a wide array of wading birds.

    Everglades is the habitat for many rare and endangered species such as the elusive Florida panther, American crocodile, and manatee. It is not only a World Heritage Site but also an International Biosphere Reserve. This important wetland of international importance is specially protected under the Cartagena Treaty.

    Across South Florida, Everglades National Park has 4 visitor centers. You can enter with a 7-day pass at any entrance. If you like biking, rent a bike from the park at the Shark Valley Visitor Center. You can also enjoy the panoramic views from an observation tower, which you can reach by riding the open-air tram. Get a free ranger-led tour through the shallow wetlands and sawgrass prairies. December to March is the best time to visit Everglades.

    If you want to explore the freshwater swamps and saltwater habitats fringed with mangroves, visit the Ernest F. Coe and Flamingo visitor centers. They are located in the southwest of Miami.

    Drive the 38-mile driving route through multifarious ecosystems. It includes freshwater swamps, saltwater habitats fringed with mangroves, and Anhinga Trail boardwalk. If you want to spot all sorts of birds along with otters, turtles, and alligators, do visit the Anhinga Trail boardwalk.

    Visit Gulf Coast Visitor Center on the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast to cruise mangrove islands. Avail Everglades National Park Boat Tours to look for dolphins and manatees.

  2. Dry Tortugas National Park (Key West, FL)

    The remote Dry Tortugas National Park is located around 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West. This 100-square mile park consists of 7 small islands as well as open water. As there is no road facility to this national park, you either have to reach here with a 40-minute ride on a seaplane or a 2-hour ride on a boat.

    Dry Tortugas National Park is renowned all over the world for being the home of the magnificent 19th century Fort Jefferson. This place is marked by picturesque blue waters, amazing coral reefs, vibrant marine life, and a wide array of birds that visits this place. If you decide to camp overnight instead of returning to Key West, enjoy the ranger-led ecological moat walks at the fort.

  3. Biscayne National Park (Miami, Key Biscayne & Homestead, FL)

    Biscayne National Park is located just 35 miles away in the south of Miami. Despite being within view of Miami, this park feels a world away. If you want to experience the eco-adventures in the park, visit the departure point at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center.

    Along the shore of Biscayne Bay, you can spend your pastimes camping, boating, and snorkeling. Nature lovers can relax in a rocking chair and enjoy the views of the distant skyline of Miami to the east across the water. You can also enjoy the mangrove-fringed shallows of the Biscayne National Park.

    You can avail the guided eco-tours, which start from the visitor center. It usually includes the Maritime Heritage Trail of the park as well as snorkeling. If you get thrilled by 10,000 years of human history, spot several small shipwrecks during the Maritime Heritage Trail.

    Get thrilled by the ornamental lighthouse as you cruise to Boca Chita Key. You can also rent a kayak or canoe to explore Biscayne National Park of your own.

Big Cypress National Preserve

This park was the first park to be set up under the National Park System. It is spread over three counties - Collier, Monroe, and Dade. Every year more than half a million visitors come to visit this park. The variety of wildlife, which you can see there include Florida panther, bear, and white-tailed deer, etc.

Florida's Dry Tortugas National Park

This bird and marine life sanctuary also have some of the healthiest coral reefs on the shore of North America. The park is open throughout the year, however, during April and May, the weather is the best. An entry fee of $5 is charged per person.

Biscayne National Park

Among other things, this park contains lush green forests and dirt trails. Some of the organisms that you can see in the park include birds, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, etc. Camping and snorkeling are some of the popular activities, which tourists like to indulge.

Some of the other national parks in Florida are Gulf Islands National Seashore, Big Cypress National Preserve, Dry Tortugas National Park and Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve, etc.

Best National Monuments/Memorials in Florida

  1. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (St. Augustine, FL)

    Castillo de San Marcos National Monument was built for defending Florida and the Atlantic trade route by the Spanish. It preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental US. Visit this place to witness and interpret over 450-years of cultural intersections.
  2. Fort Matanzas National Monument (St. Augustine, FL)

    Fort Matanzas National Monument was completed back in 1742. It preserves the fortified coquina watchtower. This monument was built for defending the southern approach to the Spanish military settlement of St. Augustine. Interestingly, Fort Matanzas National Monument also protects the coastal environment of Florida. It protects the marsh, dunes, maritime forest, flora and fauna, and all species that are either endangered or threatened.
  3. De Soto National Memorial (Bradenton, FL)

    Conquistador Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. Back in May 1539, he hired mercenaries, clergy, and craftsmen to make landfall in Tampa Bay. De Soto National Memorial reminds the legends and historical significance of De Soto’s quest for glory and gold.

    His quest was met fiercely by the indigenous people, who were protecting their homelands. De Soto’s quest was marked by warfare, discovery, intrigue, and disease. The 4-year long quest and 4,000-mile odyssey formed the history of the US.

  4. Fort Caroline National Memorial (the Timucuan Preserve; Jacksonville, FL)

    Fort Caroline National Memorial beholds the historical significance of the French settlers who were struggling to survive in the new land. Whether it is the tradesmen or soldiers, everyone starting a new life there, faced new challenges. It is the first time that two European countries, namely France and Spain, were fighting to retain control of the land. This place is the living history of the land that later transformed to the US that we know today.

Best National Preserve/Seashore in Florida

  1. Big Cypress National Preserve (Ochopee, FL)

    The Big Cypress Swamp’s freshwaters support the southwest coast and rich marine estuaries of Florida. It is essential for the health of neighboring Everglades National Park. Big Cypress National Preserve protects more than 729,000 acres of this vast swamp.

    This preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities. Big Cypress is home to a vibrant diversity of wildlife, which includes the elusive Florida panther.

  2. Canaveral National Seashore (Titusville and New Smyrna Beach, FL)

    Canaveral National Seashore is a pristine barrier island, which is composed of the lagoon, dune, and hammock habitats. It protects these islands from storms and also preserves ancient Timucua Native American mounds. This national seashore is the home of thousands of species of plants and animals. If you want to experience a pristine undeveloped shoreline, explore a historic site, and also listen to the rumble of rockets flying to space, Canaveral National Seashore is the perfect place for you to travel.
  3. Gulf Islands National Seashore (Gulf Breeze, Florida and Ocean Springs, Mississippi, FL, MS)

    If you like the white sandy beaches and the aquamarine waters, Gulf Islands National Seashore is meant for you. Enjoy the aquamarine waters, white sandy beaches, ride a boat, take a tour to the old fort, fish, and camp. Visit the islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico and listen to the call of the wild, beaches, and picturesque scenery.
  4. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (Jacksonville, FL)

    Discover 6,000 years of human history, experience unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. Savor the beauty of salt marshes and coastal dunes at Timucuan. Relax at the hardwood hammocks of the Timucuan Preserve, which includes both Kingsley Plantation and Fort Caroline.

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Last Updated Date: September 10th, 2021