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Biscayne National Park – How to get there, when best to go, cost – full guide

Biscayne National Park – How to get there, when best to go, cost – full guide 

Biscayne National Park is a marine nature preserve in the Southeastern United States, which is located on Biscayne Bay and Florida’s coastal barrier reefs. One of Biscayne Park’s main attractions is Elliot Key (Island), the only Florida Keys formed entirely from a fossilized coral reef.

Biscayne Park was created in 1980, and at first it was supposed to be a part of Everglades Park (apparently, there were plans to manage them together, like Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks on the U.S. West Coast). But Biscayne ended up becoming a national park in its own right.

Park Description

Biscayne Park protects a four-part natural ecosystem: coastal mangroves, shallow Biscayne Bay with aquamarine water, limestone coral keys, and a barrier reef with a wide variety of underwater creatures. Here you can take a boat trip by yourself or go on an excursion with a ranger, go snorkeling, diving, fishing, relax in a nature campsite or just relax in a rocking chair while enjoying a beautiful panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean waters.

Fun fact: Biscayne National Park is home to the American manatee, sharp-tailed crocodile, sea turtles, and the rare peregrine falcon, among other protected rare creatures.

For a detailed description of Biscayne National Park, see here, and we’ll give you a brief summary of the most important information that may come in handy when preparing for your trip from Miami to Biscayne NP.

It was clear to us from the start that Biscayne Park is a unique place, for several reasons at once:

  • The Florida Keys are reefs that were formed just like the Maldives. Both here and there, dead coral became the basis for islets of land and were used to build buildings. In the capital of Maldives Male, you can still see along the shore ancient walls of shell, and on some islands of this natural stone even built strong platforms, which later became the foundations for mosques.
  • The barrier reef protects Biscayne Bay well from the strong currents of the Atlantic Ocean and high waves, as does the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

If there are reefs in the water, Biscayne Bay has some colorful underwater life, which experienced divers can see with their own eyes, while other visitors to the park can learn about it from ranger stories or watch an interesting movie about it in the park’s visitor center.

Weather and when is the best time to go

The main questions to begin preparing for your visit are when is the best time to go to Biscayne and what is the weather like there?

The first thing to keep in mind is that there are two seasons in South Florida:

  • Warm, humid summers from May through October;
  • Pleasant dry winters from November to April.

Important to know: It often rains in the afternoons of summer and fall. You can also expect storms and hurricanes in the fall, which are always warned about in advance on TV.

We visited Biscayne in late May and confirm that it was very hot and humid. We purposely arrived early in the morning to avoid overheating in the sun and getting caught in the traditional evening rain. However, it didn’t rain that day until after dusk, and it broke again right the next morning.

Biscayne National Park Visitor Center Dante Fascell

So, we recommend that anyone who is tired of the beaches of Miami and enjoys boat trips or diving, be sure to stop by the Dante Fascell Visitor Center in Biscayne Park, set up your visit program there, pay for a boat seat, and head out to sea!

Where to stay near Biscayne National Park

The closest cities to Biscayne Park, besides Miami, are Homestead and Florida City. Homestead is also convenient because there’s a bus that runs directly to the Biscayne entrance on weekends, and Homestead Bayfront Park beach is right next door.

The first day we first came to Florida from Great Smoky Mountains, we just spent the night in Homestead at the wonderful Garden Inn for only $60 (with a good breakfast), and recommend it to anyone who is going to stay there.

Miami hotels – top hotels in Miami Beach with a good beach

Biscayne how to get there

Getting to Biscayne National Park is easy. The park itself is just south of Miami.

  • Like the Everglades, you have to take Highway 1 from Miami to Homestead. And then at the sign at the intersection, turn left and continue on SW 328th Street. This road will take you to Convoy Point, where the Biscayne Park Visitor Center is located.
  • If driving on the Florida Turnpike, take exit #6 at SW 137th Ave.
  • From Key West, take Route 1 to Homestead, and then turn right onto SW 328th Street. There are signs everywhere.

Everglades National Park – how to get there and what to see there – full guide

Recommendation: The best way to get to Biscayne is by car. Rent a car in advance (it’s much cheaper). You can find all the deals at

Rent a car in Miami – our experience and tips on how to rent a car at Miami airport

Useful tip. There is also a free shuttle (Park Trolley) that runs from November to April from Homestead to Biscayne Park on weekends. You can also use it to go to Everglades National Park or Homestead Bayfront Park Beach. You can leave your car in the free parking lot next to the Park and Ride sign on Washington Avenue and take the trolley from there. Shuttles run about every hour, the departure point is Losner Park, the exact address is Homestead at 104 N. Krome Avenue. See all the details here.

Tickets and tour prices

What’s interesting, admission to Biscayne Park is completely free. But a trip to the islands (shuttle service) or other activities are already paid, with ticket prices depending on the tour you choose and its duration.

Most people come to Biscayne National Park to take a boat tour around the bay and take pictures of the Boca Chita Lighthouse on the island of the same name.

These tours of the Boca Chita Key with the ranger run twice a day Thursday through Sunday, at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The trip lasts three hours and costs $35 per person.
But the tour for the day with the opportunity to engage in snorkeling, visit the keys of Boca Chita and Adams, ride the kayaks are much more expensive – $ 150 per person. And the name of the tour is more romantic Island Dreamer Sailing.

Take your pick and hit the road!

Where to go snorkeling in Florida – Bahia Honda Beach – Full Guide

You can also access the islands in Biscayne Reserve with your own boat or sailboat. Mooring the boat is at Elliott Island or Boca Chita Island. At night (6 p.m. to 6 a.m.) mooring is for a fee. The cost is $25. You cannot dock your boat at Point Convoy, where the Visitor Center is located. But the nearest docks at Bayfront Park and Black Point Marina are.

Not all of the islands in the marine reserve can be accessed by yourself.

And the more active travelers in Biscayne Park can go snorkeling, canoeing, hiking on Elliot, Boca Chita and Adams Islands, and don’t forget the birdwatching. As you can see, the main thing is to choose your entertainment and, if necessary, get a permit (permit) from a ranger.

Next, I’ll talk about our trip and how we went to Biscayne Park.

Our review of Biscayne Park

We stopped by Biscayne Park in the morning, right after our visit to the Everglades. It turned out to be very convenient: it was only 21 miles between the two parks, about a half-hour drive.

We walked along the shore on the beautiful trails and went to the Boarwalk to Jetty Trail, where there are a lot of boats and boats of all kinds at the marina. There are beautiful gumbo and palm trees and coral boulders with fossil prints scattered along the shore. There are also handy picnic tables for lunch and relaxation.

Since we decided not to take the tour, we wanted to at least take a short walk and enjoy the beautiful view of Biscayne Bay. When the sun started to get really hot, we took a little breather by sitting in rocking chairs on the gorgeous veranda outside the Visitor Center.

By the way, you can also watch a very good movie about the park at the Visitor Center, and a chatty ranger will show you skeletons and skulls of various marine animals.

My advice: still get to Biscayne in time for a full day boat ride on the bay to the lighthouse. Then you will have a complete picture of this national park.

I advise you not to neglect precautions when visiting Biscayne Park and take light protective clothing or put on sunscreen. After all, as the ranger informed us, there can be pesky mosquitoes on the islands. So repellent certainly won’t hurt. And it’s better to take it with you and not use it, than to suffer the rest of the vacation from their bites.

This concludes our review of Biscayne National Park. I hope you found it useful and that you explore this interesting park much better and more than we did.

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