South Florida's National Parks

If you live in South Florida, lucky you! Because this chunk of subtropical paradise is home to 4, you heard it….4 incredible National Parks. Get out and explore!

Big Cypress National Preserve is part of

95 percent of Biscayne National Park is

Everglades National Park was the first National Park established to

Dry Tortugas National Park borrows part of its name from

We live in this country which means we (or our parents) pay taxes, which means we are all part-owners of each of our National Park System units. Pretty cool. We’re extra lucky here in South Florida to have 4 National Parks right here in our back yard.

Knowing that you’re an owner…or part-owner of something usually means your more likely to take care of that thing and invest in keeping it in good shape. Discuss how important the concept of National Parks is for the preservation of lands and historical monuments.


Learn more about South Florida’s incredible National Parks:

South Florida’s National Parks

So you find yourself in sunny South Florida,

the weather’s perfect,

it’s February and I’m in flip-flops!

And you’ve got a couple of hours

Or maybe an afternoon

A whole weekend to kill

Lucky you!

Because this chunk of sub-tropical paradise is home to 4

You heard it, 4

Incredible National Parks.

So before you make plans to do the usual….

We’re going to spend 40 seconds in each of our 4 National Parks

and hopefully your weekend plans involve hiking boots, or a wetsuit!

First stop….


Everglades National Park is a wild place, the largest subtropical wilderness in the US in fact, and the first National Park established specifically to protect an ecosystem. So if you like spoonbills and snakes and orchids and ospreys and alligators and epiphytes and owls…(deep breath)…and sawgrass and slash pines and panthers and porpoises and plenty of other amazing wildlife, you’ll want to check out the Everglades. Also, check out the vistas, they’re pretty epic.


Biscayne National Park is massive… 173,000 acres and 95% of that is water. In fact it’s the largest marine park in the National park system! So if you need some Vitamin Sea, this is the park for you. Grab a mask and snorkel, or a kayak or paddle board, and explore mangrove tunnels , seagrass beds and vibrant coral reefs. This park also has a rich archaeological history, from Stiltsville to shipwrecks, attracting pirates and pioneering settlers like the incredible Jones family.

Big Cypress

Big Cypress National Preserve got its name from its big…cypress trees of course. Occupying 2,400 square miles of the so called “Western Everglades,” I like to say it’s also a park with a big personality. It has a cast of characters that are rare, mysterious, flamboyant, scaly, adorable, gorgeous. If you feel the urge for some adventure, try a swamp walk, or a buggy ride. The strand swamps and cypress domes of Big Cypress are also haunted by ghosts…of the orchid variety.

Dry Tortugas

Dry Tortugas National Park is a great place to encounter…tortugas, go figure! Also migratory birds and nesting birds, like the sooty tern. And the coral reefs… the crystal clear water…just exquisite. This place is wild and remote, in fact it’s closer to Havana than Miami. Despite its remoteness, the Dry Tortugas was a super strategic spot to build Fort Jefferson: one of the world’s largest forts. Construction began in 1846 and although it was never really finished, lots of history unfolded here.

So there it is: a whirlwind tour of Florida’s 4 amazing National Parks.

Of course there’s no way to pack all of the awesomeness into 40 seconds.

You’ll just have to get out and explore for yourself.

Did you say you had some time to kill?

Coming soon


The Florida Scrub Jay

Gopher Tortoise: Ecosystem Engineer