By: Kara Franker
Plan your trip to Biscayne National Park.
Hop on a boat and experience all of the natural beauty that Miami has to offer by exploring Biscayne National Park. Managed by the National Park Service, the area is 95 percent water, including Biscayne Bay and the surrounding offshore barrier reefs.
There’s no entrance fee to Biscayne National Park, but there is a $25 camping fee for each overnight stay at either Elliott Key, the park’s largest island, or Boca Chita Key Harbor.
How to Get to Biscayne National Park by Car
If you’re traveling by car, plug the following address into your GPS: 9700 SW 328th Street, Homestead, FL 33033. From Downtown Miami, the trip to the park can take 60 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic. You can reach the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at the park by taking the Florida Turnpike (from the North, take Exit 6/Speedway Blvd. and go left on 328th Street) or take US-1. The entrance to the park is located just before the Homestead Bayfront Marina.
How to take the Free Trolley to Biscayne National Park
The City of Homestead and the National Park Service offers a free, ranger-guided trolley service on the weekends. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time, but the trolley usually runs only on the weekends from November through April.
Board the trolley at Losner Park in Homestead at 104 N. Krome Avenue. Take the bus (bus route 38) via Miami-Dade County public transportation to this location, or park your car for free at the trolley stop.
Then hop aboard the trolley and travel to Biscayne National Park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center and boardwalk, as well as Miami-Dade County's Homestead Bayfront Park where you can swim at the atoll beach.
The trolley also goes to Everglades National Park's Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center and riders enjoy free entrance into the park to explore the Anhinga Trail. See also: How to Get to Everglades National Park from Miami.
Access to Biscayne National Park for Boaters
While there are no boat ramps or marinas at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center inside Biscayne National Park, there are several nearby public access points that feed into Biscayne Bay. Those include:
Things to Do at Biscayne National Park
Once you arrive at the park, there are plenty of things to do for the whole family, including guided ranger walks. At the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, you’ll find a museum showcasing the park’s four ecosystems as well as works by local artists. There’s also a kids' area with lots of hands-on activities for the little ones to experience.
The best way to explore the park is to get out on the water. There are full-day, six-hour sailing excursions available from November through April. Trips usually leave at 10 a.m. and include snorkeling, island exploring, kayaking and more. It’s common to see dolphins, manatees and colorful schools of fish. Make reservations by calling 561-281-2689 or visit biscaynenationalparksailing.com. Price starts at $149 per person.
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