If you want to have a delightful and adventurous experience simultaneously, then national parks in Florida are a perfect choice. National Parks in Florida not only offer you peace but also have tons of fun-filled activities. Some of them include- snorkeling, boating, hiking, and historical site-seeing in national parks in Florida.
What is Florida all About?
Popularly known as the “Theme Park Epicentre of the World,” Florida offers the best hospitality. Out of the 10 most visited theme parks globally, Florida has seven of them in its possession.
If you are looking for the titans of the entertainment family, Florida is the place where you can find it- Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld. Apart from the entertainment world, the national parks in Florida are also considered the immense beauty of Florida.
National Parks in Florida
National parks in Florida are considered the treasures of the state. The most amazing fact about the national parks in Florida is that they do not fit the traditional definition of a national park. Here, along with the beauty and peace of nature, on offer are endless fun activities.
Due to the numerous wonderful options available, choosing the best among the national parks in Florida to visit is not a piece of cake. You might need a lot of free days to make that choice!
So, to make your task easier, here we are, with the list of 11 amazing national parks in Florida:
1. Big Cypress National Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve is one of the richest preserved national parks in Florida. Here, you will find a mosaic of plants and animals which flourish in the diverse culture of Big Cypress National Preserve.
Big Cypress is a national park as well as a national preserve. It protects around 729,000 vast swamps. Its freshwater supports the southwest coast and the rich discharge of Florida.
For a longer and amazing program at Big Cypress, they even provide you with special offers for families, individuals, and educational groups.
It is home to wildlife such as American alligators.
Other fun activities to try out include- biking, birding, hiking, hunting, and many more.
Biscayne National Park is one of the most amazing national parks in Florida. It preserves Florida’s coastline and some of its astonishing underwater treasures. This national park is an incredible home to a spectacular diversity of plants and animals. There are more than 500 species of the fish present here.
It is located in the south of Miami; this unique park is 95% underwater. It offers adventures underwater, near the water, and on the water, making it one of a kind among the national parks in Florida.
Taking advantage of its location, Biscayne provides an incredible visitor center, alluring picnic sites, and fascinating views. Here, visitors get the opportunity to encounter and explore dazzling scenery, wildlife, history, and other resources.
The national park provides you with several boat trips to explore as much as you want. The most popular boat tour is a famous island with the most magnificent history, i.e., Boca Chita.
Canaveral national seashore is another magnificent national park. It is a sanctuary to thousands of plants and animals, commonly known as Canaveral National Seashore Home.
This national seashore contains various cultural resources that reflect Florida’s human history from 2000 BC to the early 20th century Florida settlement.
You will find here many endangered and threatened species, and it is considered their prime habitat. It preserves nesting beaches for several marine turtles, with around 24 miles of the pristine beach in its possession.
You can also experience enjoyable activities like canoeing, snorkeling, night sky programs, rocket launches, and turtle watch. Hence, it is an ideal spot for family, educational, or solo trips.
4. Castillo De San Marcos
Castillo De San Marcos national monument is one of the oldest national parks in Florida. It is a monument that had been fought over for centuries. Having such a long and rich history gives this national park an edge and liking over others to history buffs.
While roaming around the long line of rooms here, you will find historical stories in each room. These tell stories of battles fought. It is located in St. Augustine.
Historic weapon demonstrations and ranger games are some of the special activities you can experience when visiting here. Such activities make the tour interesting and memorable for all age groups.
5. De Soto
The De Soto National Memorial dates back to 1539, making it the most historic national park among the national parks in Florida. This amazing historic site embraces 26 acres of land where the Manatee River joins Tampa Bay.
Here, 80 percent of the area is a mangrove swamp, and it has about 3000 feet of coastline. The major aim of this national park is to make people aware of De Soto and his impact on the lives of Native Americans. The rich cultural site is again endearing to history buffs.
The activities that will make your historic tour even more amazing are birding, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, history demonstrations, and museums.
6. Dry Tortugas
Known for its magnificent Fort Jefferson, breath-taking blue waters, superlative coral reefs, and the vast array of birdlife- Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the spectacular national parks in Florida. It lies almost 70 miles west of the Key West.
This huge national park is about 100 square miles. Mainly open water with seven small islands under its possession.
The tons of activities make Dry Tortugas an ideal place for family vacations or solo trips. Camping is one enthralling experience here, so make sure you pre-book it. Other activities include- birding, boating, camping, diving, fishing, snorkeling, and swimming which no one visiting this place would want to miss.
Everglades National Park is one of the most eye-catching national parks in Florida. Being home to the most exotic animal species, this park sets different and aspirational standards for a national park.
Moreover, it is considered an international treasure and a world heritage site.
Activities you will love to do here are birding, biking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, and ranger programs. These activities will make you want to plan frequent trips, either solo or with friends and family.
8. Fort Caroline
This park is not as huge as other national parks in Florida but still worth a one-time visit. Although it is nothing like its name suggests the Fort Caroline no longer exists here now. However, at one time, it did.
Fort Caroline national memorial holds historical value. The various battles that were fought here marked the European Nations’ first battles to control the land. It is located on the bluffs of St. Johns.
This beautiful historic site tells the stories of French settlers from the past. You can even spot a miraculous location across the road from the monument, commonly known as Spanish Pond. This location even tells some stories about the battle between the French and Spanish.
Present-day activities you can enjoy here are biking, camping, hiking, paddling, and wildlife watching. Near this amazing place, there is the Theodore Roosevelt Area, an incredible place to hike. A beautiful place in itself, you are sure to enjoy yourself here with family and friends.
9. Fort Matanzas
Although not one of the biggest national parks in Florida, the Fort Matanzas National Monument has some amazing beauty. It is a spectacular hidden gem of Florida that includes an incredible ferry ride for the Fort, and that is also free of charge.
This national park preserves the fortified Coquina Watchtower, which was completed in 1742.
Once you reach Rattlesnake Island, you do not need much time to see the entire fort. The fort protects around 300 acres of Florida’s coastal environment, including dunes, marshes, maritime forests, and associated flora and fauna, including threatened and endangered species.
Here, you can even spot Dolphins, wading bird fish, and osprey fly. Activities that you can experience here are boating, fort tours, hiking, and fishing.
10. Gulf Islands
The Gulf Islands National Seashore is one of the most attractive national parks in Florida. This national seashore’s main purpose is to preserve certain areas possessing outstanding natural, historical, and recreational values for public use and enjoyment.
The national park service has given its best to preserve this national seashore’s special purpose for around 40 years. The major and spectacular attraction here is the immaculate white sandy beaches.
Some of the best beachside recreations are available here, in the gulf islands. Activities available are biking, birding, boating, camping, diving, fishing, hiking, historic forts, ranger-led tours, sailing, snorkeling, stargazing, and swimming. These are enjoyed by all who come to visit.
Timucuan Preserve is another beautiful national park in Florida. This park has around 46,000 acres of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks. It is located near Jacksonville.
You learn about the slaves who once lived here. It is believed that the slaves here were treated better than the slaves in the south.
Apart from the history associated with this place, you get the advantage of experiencing the beauty of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks. The Timucuan Preserve also includes the Fort Caroline as well as Kingsley Plantation.
Activities you will enjoy the most are biking, camping, hiking, paddling, plantation tours, and wildlife watching.