Backyard Playgrounds

Miami
  |  Gorp.com
Watery Welcome: Key Biscayne's Visine-clear waters and teeming reefs are ideal for snorkelers and divers (PhotoDisc)

NEARBY: Biscayne National Park
Why We Love It:

Ninety-five percent of Biscayne National Park is covered by water, making the park an ideal destination for boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, and kayaking. Snorkelers and divers can explore shipwrecks off Biscayne's coral.

Don't Miss:
Biscayne's living reef is home to a wide variety of marine inhabitants such as sea turtles, dolphins, and colorful tropical fish.

Getting There:
Just 30 miles south of Miami via US-1. Take it to Homestead and follow signs to the park.

The Fine Print:
The park is open year-round; camping fees are $10 a day. For more information visit: www.nps.gov/bisc or call 305.230.7275.

Additional Information:
Check out GORP.com's page on Guide to Biscayne National Park

NEARBY: Crystal River Wildlife Refuge
Why We Love It:

This west Florida refuge includes 20 islands in the spring-fed waters of Kings Bay, home to the endangered West Indian manatee. The refuge is home to 25 percent of the U.S. population of this amazing species—oh, and it's also got copious other natural wonders to behold.

Don't Miss:
The park provides protected habitats for lesser-known inhabitants such as raptors, wading birds, and alligators.

Getting There:
Approximately 320 miles northwest of Miami via the northbound Florida Turnpike. From there take I-75 N to FL-44 W, then turn onto US-19 S.

The Fine Print:
Admission to the park is free. For more information visit: www.fws.gov/crystalriver or call 352.563.2088.

Additional Information:
Check out GORP.com's Guide to Crystal River


Published: 10 Oct 2005 | Last Updated: 24 Oct 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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