Biscayne National Park may not be far from Miami, but it feels like a world removed. Encompassing a vibrant swath of biologically rich coral reef, this park is teeming with life – though you'll have to head on a boat tour, or better yet don a snorkel and mask, to see it firsthand. Manatees, dolphins and sea turtles are just a few inhabitants of this diverse ecosystem – there are also over 500 species of reef fish, neotropical water birds and migratory species.
The best introduction to the area is a boat tour, offered by the park, with a ranger giving an overview of the wildlife and history of the area. Three-hour cruises depart once or twice daily on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. Call to confirm times and book a spot.