Elliott Key Adventures

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By: Chris Cavis

Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park

Just a quick boat ride from mainland Miami is the largest key (island) in Biscayne National Park: Elliott Key. This beautiful key is popular among locals and visitors alike for boating adventures. There are no roads or bridges connecting Elliott Key to the mainland, making it a bit of a hidden gem. Experienced kayakers can attempt the trek, but sipping on a cool drink while relaxing on a boat tour of the area is another good option. Elliott Key is dog-friendly, as long as you keep your four-legged friend on a leash.

Camping and Hiking

Elliott Key is the perfect place for a day trip, overnight stay or an extended camping trip. Campgrounds are located on the Biscayne Bay side of the key, along with picnic tables and barbeque grills. There are also restrooms equipped with cold water showers and fresh drinking water. To explore the key on foot, hike the one-mile loop that starts at the campgrounds or take on the “spite highway,” a six-mile hike down the center of the island through a variety of habitats in the maritime forest.

Boating and Fishing

There are 33 boat slips at Elliott Key. You can also drop anchor off the shoreline and enjoy the pristine waters. Fishing enthusiasts can cast a line off the maintenance dock or from the shoreline outside the no-wake zone; just make sure to obtain the correct fishing license ahead of time. The varied ecosystems in Biscayne National Park include reefs, mangrove shorelines, shipwrecks and sand flats that offer a range of fishing and swimming experiences. Before you go, be sure to check with the park for regulations regarding lobstering and fishing guidelines as well as any other restrictions.


Many visitors use Elliott Key as a launch spot to snorkel in the sparkling blue waters. You’re likely to spot some of the 500 species of fish, manatees and multicolor coral reefs in Biscayne National Park. For those who just want to take a dip in the water, there is a designated swimming area on the Biscayne Bay side of Elliott Key, just north of the harbor.

For Expert Advice

Contact the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, or stop by to talk to an experienced park ranger.

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