Top Ten Offbeat Summer Parks

Biscayne National Park
Adams Key, Biscayne National Park
Adams Key, Biscayne National Park (NPS)

Biscayne National Park

173,000 acres

514,000 annual visits

Attractions:Just south of Miami, this park boasts the longest stretch of mangrove forest left on Florida's east coast. And summer is when the shallow waters of the bay are the clearest. They serve as a blue-green tinted window to a world of starfish, sponges, crabs, sea urchins, fish of all types, and hundreds of other marine plants and animals.

Activities: Scuba and snorkeling are the star activities of this park. But you'll find a nifty hiking trail on Elliott Key and a snippet of one on Adams Key. You can sea kayak in Biscayne Bay. And not surprisingly, fishing is popular at the park.

Finding Solitude: Southern Florida in summer? It's no secret that Florida gets hot, muggy, and buzzy with insects in the summer—not the time for above-ground hiking and paddling. However, summer is the perfect time for snorkeling and scuba, when the water is at its clearest and warmest. So, ironically, when the rest if the world is vacationing in cooler climes than Florida, Biscayne is at its best.


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