Florida is home to an astounding 64 million acres of diverse terrain and flora. The natural geographic features that make Florida so unique also make it ripe for exploration. It’s no surprise that the Sunshine State is one of the most visited destinations in the nation and also has some of the best national parks around.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Florida National Parks, with explanations detailing what makes them so great!
1. Dry Tortugas National Park
The Dry Tortugas is an island chain in far western Florida, and have been designated a national park. It is home to Fort Jefferson, the best place to watch for migratory birds in the world.
The islands are also renowned for their natural resources and marine life. There is snorkeling and camping available, as well as a series of hiking trails that take you through tropical forests or across beaches on your way to Fort Jefferson.
The beaches along the east side of the chain offer some of the best windsurfing and scuba diving experiences in Florida.
2. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is the oldest and also the largest national park in Florida. It was established by an act of Congress in 1980. The park covers 720 square miles and consists of both land and water making it larger than the New York City area.
The park has many outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy such as camping, fishing, boat riding, wildlife watching and scuba diving. Visitors will be able to explore the underwater world with its old coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests, extensive saltwater estuaries and coastal prairies.
3. The Everglades National Park
If you’re looking for an awesome travel destination and want to see some of the most beautiful scenery, then look no further! The Everglades National Park is a designated World Heritage Site and has many different options for viewing wildlife.
You can hike, ride your bike or even kayak through the winding mangroves forests and see alligators that are prevalent in this area.
It also has three campgrounds where visitors can stay overnight in a cabin or tent. If you want to see one of the most beautiful parks in the United States then this is the place to go!
The Everglades National Park was established in 1947 and is located in southern Florida. It has a surface area of 1,508,000 acres and receives over 2 million visitors each year.
4. Gulf Islands National Seashore
If you’re interested in visiting Gulf Islands National Seashore, there are many different things to keep an eye out for. You can relax and enjoy the gulf’s warm emerald water, white sandy beaches, aquamarine waters, fishing, boat rides, camping and even a tour of Fort Pickens.
There are a lot of people who visit the island in the northern Gulf of Mexico to relax and unwind plus explore some fun activities and wildlife such as sea turtles.
Gulf Island National Seashore is definitely worth at least one visit because it’s a secluded unspoiled area that has been preserved beautifully.
5. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is located in a wetlands area on the Atlantic Coast. One of the main attractions of this park is wildlife.
You can enjoy activities like hiking and learn about human history as well. There are unique ecosystems to explore and Timucuan Preserve is a beautiful spot worth visiting next time you’re in Florida!
6. The St. Johns River
The St. Johns River is one of the twenty laziest rivers in the world, flowing towards the north but descending barely an inch for every mile.
It is 310 miles long, and fills Lake George 100 miles upstream with shrimp that attract netters from everywhere for fishing.
Hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating and houseboat vacations are also available and some unusual rentals are available on request.
7. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a little over 50,000 acres of land where you can explore the lush green prairies and get some nice views from the top.
The park encompasses a wide variety of habitats that are home to many species of animals and birds like bison, antelope, mountain lions, bobcats, and eagles.
If you want to escape the city for the day or week consider visiting this beautiful preserve!
8. Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Florida; it offers the perfect habitat for a variety of boating, fishing, and hiking activities.
On its southern shore, Clewiston offers visitors a chance to explore life on the lake with a tour of local crops and mills.
9. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is located on the island of Key Largo in the Florida Keys.
It includes a large variety of marine life, including coral reefs and mangroves. The sanctuary offers a variety of opportunities for exploration, including scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing or even eco-tours.
It was established in 1990 to protect and preserve coral reefs within its boundaries as well as to preserve the natural habitats found in this area.
10. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Come explore the rich and diverse ecosystem of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It was founded in 1062, and it is a great place to visit with many hiking trails and wildlife for visitors to enjoy.
Be sure you attend one of their events during different seasons to learn about the food chain as well!
The preserve is also home to many animal species. It houses several endangered species like the manatee, and many others like mink and dolphins.
Florida has many national parks that are perfect for someone to explore. Explore the outdoors and enjoy the natural habitat of Florida in one of these amazing parks.