Accessible Adventures in Biscayne National Park

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By: Christian Portilla

Biscayne National Park's emerald islands and vibrant coral reefs make this unique ecosystem a favorite with visitors to Miami, and the park provides several activities that visitors with disabilities will enjoy.  

Gallery at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center

The Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Biscayne National Park has a gallery featuring local artists whose work depicts the park’s beauty. Ramps, elevators and boardwalks make the gallery and park headquarters accessible for visitors with mobility challenges. The exhibits are in English and Spanish. 

Fishing and Boat Tours

One of the most popular activities in the park is fishing near the visitor center - here, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the bay as well. There are also guided boat tours such as the Park After Dark Evening Sunset Bay Cruise; the Heritage of Biscayne Cruise, a three-hour tour of Biscayne Bay’s waters; and the Stiltsville Guided Historic Tour, which departs from the Deering Estate, about a half-hour drive north of the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. All boats have ADA-compliant ramps that work for both motorized and manual wheelchairs. If the pitch changes with the tide, the crews are available for assistance.

Access to Biscayne National Park’s Islands and Amenities

Biscayne National Park has beautiful islands (keys) spread throughout the sparkling bay. Accessibility varies, however. Boca Chita, Elliott and Adams keys have restrooms that are accessible by manual and motorized wheelchairs. There are no sidewalks on Elliott or Adams keys, so visitors should note this when considering a visit. Boca Chita Key has sidewalks around the harbor leading to the restrooms, but the island's surrounding areas are grassy and rocky. Much of the park itself is underwater. Biscayne National Park Institute offers a variety of boat tours and nature programs to visitors; contact them to learn which may be suitable for your needs.

For visitors with hearing impairment, the Dante Fascell Visitor Center offers audiovisual programs that are closed-captioned and available in both English and Spanish.

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