Introducing Biscayne National Park
Just to the east of the Everglades is Biscayne National Park, or the 5% of it that isn’t underwater. Let us explain: a portion of the world’s third-largest reef sits here off the coast of Florida, along with mangrove forests and the northernmost Florida Keys. Fortunately this unique 300-sq-mile park is easy to explore independently with a canoe, or via a glass-bottom boat tour.
A bit shadowed by the Everglades, Biscayne is unique as national parks go, requiring both a little extra planning and a lot more reward for your effort. The offshore keys, accessible only by boat, offer pristine opportunities for camping. Generally, summer and fall are the best times to visit the park; you’ll want to snorkel when the water is calm. This is some of the best reef-viewing and snorkeling you’ll find in the US, outside Hawaii and nearby Key Largo.