Regional Guide

Family - Miami and The Everglades

Paddle Biscayne National Park. With 95 percent of its 180,000 acres lying under turquoise, Caribbean-like water, Biscayne makes for the perfect family canoeing getaway. The park, located just south of Miami, boasts roughly 23 miles of mainland mangrove shoreline, 45 small keys, living coral reefs, and wildlife that includes everything from tiny sea urchins and stone crabs to manatee, sea turtles, and sharks.

Take in the beauty of 729,000-acre Biscayne National Park while driving Loop Road, in the southern section of the park, which offers up a nice tour of the area's cypress, hardwoods, pine, and prairie. Campgrounds are available for overnights.

Sign up for an educational ranger-led boat tour through the country's only subtropical preserve, Everglades National Park. Aspiring boaters should head to the Flamingo or Gulf Coast visitor centers.

Explore the great River of Grass. Everglades hiking trails are concentrated around three of the park's visitor's centers: Flamingo, Long Pine Key, and Shark Valley and most of the trails are short. Head to Long Pine Key for a classic selection of walks that wind through sawgrass marsh and feature alligators, turtles, anhingas, herons, egrets, and many other regional birds.

Snorkel Red Reef, just one mile north of Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton. The area features some of Florida's finest entry-level snorkeling with shallow waters, accessible natural reefs, and seven artificial reefs just 40 yards offshore. As you blow bubbles, keep an eye out for local swimmers like grouper, snapper, parrotfish, and barracuda.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 13 Jul 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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