15 Breathtaking National Parks in Florida

15 Breathtaking National Parks in Florida

Florida is blessed to have 160 state parks. The National Parks in Florida provide a glimpse of the incredible wildlife and immense biodiversity in the state. These parks protect the abundance of wildlife, unique plant life and water resources in Florida.

Whether you are looking for a tenting site, primitive site or RV friendly sites, the national parks in Florida have it all. You get easy access to outstanding trails offering spectacular views and this is what makes the National Parks in Florida so popular amongst nature lovers across the globe.


Here are the 15 national parks you must plan to visit when on a Florida holiday.


1. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park in Florida

This National Park is also the 3rd largest National Parks right after the Yellowstone and Death Valley. Unlike other National Parks in the US that preserve geographic features that are unique, the Everglades National Park protects an entire ecosystem. In the west, it currently houses the biggest mangrove ecosystem and is also home to as many as 36 protected and threatened species of various kinds, such as the American crocodile and Florida Panther.

The Everglades is an expansive area from Fort Lauderdale to Naples and down the tip of the state of Florida. There are an estimated 10000 islands in the Everglades and there are cruises, boat rides, and many guided tours through them. Also, there are about 1000 plant species in the state park.

2. Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park in South Florida

Biscayne National Park is located in South Florida. In the National Park system, it is the largest one. The park focuses on protecting the southern sections of Biscayne Bay. It also contains mangrove shorelines, coral reefs, and a shallow bay. This park is the best place to chill out and also the best place for outdoor and water-based recreation activities.

Here, you can experience sailing, snorkeling, paddling as you explore the islands. When you visit this national park, you will have exciting experiences, including being up and close to wildlife, boating, sailing and more. So, don’t miss any opportunity to visit this place. This is a must place to visit.

3. Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park in Florida

Fort Clinch State Park is situated in the northernmost barrier island of Florida. It is called Amelia Island. The park is sprawling with camping at the beach or on the Amelia River.

The fort is situated at the end of the park and borders the River Amelia. It is an amazing structure. And, the historical Civil War Battlement is preserved for visitors to enjoy.

4. Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida

A cluster of seven islands, Dry Tortuga National Park is composed of coral reefs and sand. The park is famous for exotic birds and marine life. The park offers many exciting activities to do for the tourists. The place has an amazing scenic beauty that provides a sense of history. You can also do snorkeling here.

There are even the coral heads about 150 yards off the beach. Also, there are Barracuda, sea fans, a nice variety coral and plenty of fish. You have to visit this amazing place to click a picture with the cannons and the beautiful waters.

5. Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida

The best aspect of this national park is the diversity and wide range of biomes they encompass. The 720,000 acres of vast crystal clear swamp consists of a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities.

It is a remarkable preserve showcasing the best of southwest Florida’s wildlife. Also, it is a great place to see the alligators free. For a more intense experience, you need to hire an airboat.

6. Alafia River State Park

Alafia River State Park in Florida

This park is located at about 30 miles southeast of Tampa in the southern eastern Hillsborough County. The park is open to visitors 365 days a year. It offers great opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. The activities offered here are biking, hiking, fishing, riding, bike trailing, bird watching, boat trailer, arranging campfire programs and many more activities regardless of the season.

You can experience the real beauty of Tampa, Bush Gardens, and the Alafia River. This is a great place for family visit. There are two trails at Alafia. All the facilities like a restroom, bathrooms are very good and clean.

7. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida

Don’t forget to visit this best location in Florida. Spend some time with your toes in the sand but also make sure that you take the trip along the Gulf Islands of National seashore for miles of uninterrupted paradise between Pensacola and Navarre. The beaches are beautiful and even not too crowded. You will enjoy your time in the beautiful white sands here.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is actually a large expanse of beach and shoreline that is protected from development. It offers recreation opportunities and also preserves the natural resources as well as the historic resources along the Gulf of Mexico Barrier Islands off the coast of Florida. Visit this beautiful place and create memories that last a lifetime.

8. The St. Johns River

The St. Johns River in Florida

This is the longest river in Florida. The river flows in the north direction until it reaches Jacksonville and turns east for a few miles. The river is also a home for various species of freshwater fish, dolphins, manatees, sharks, tarpons, and alligators. Also, you can see otters and many species of birds. The banks are lined with mangroves and the fresh water and greenery greatly enrich the environment along the shores.

9. Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos in Florida

There are plenty of historic sites in downtown including the fort and restored homes available to tour. Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental US. It is a monument not only of stone and mortar but of human determination and endurance. Go and check this out and walk the military timeline of the Spanish.

The place has a history for all ages and you get much more to learn here. The Castillo de San Marcos is beautifully preserved national treasure. Whenever you visit this place, be sure you stick around to see the cannon being fired. This stone fort which is built by the Spanish is remarkably well preserved.

10. Big Talbot Island State Park

Big Talbot Island State Park in Florida

This is a natural preserve place that provides a premier location for studying the nature, bird watching, and photography. This is a great place to go for fishing, kayaking, boating and strolling along the undisturbed trails and beaches.

11. Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore in Florida

Canaveral National Seashore is the best beach in Central Florida. This place has provided sanctuary to wildlife since ancient times. You can see many threatened and endangered species here.

If you visit this place, you will surely spend your best time in the environment of Florida, enjoying the island view, lagoon, pine woods, and also the offshore waters. Year round recreational activities planned for the tourists include boating, canoeing, camping, fishing, , hiking, sunbathing, and surfing.

12. Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens in Florida

Fort Pickens is situated on Santa Rosa Island. It is also a part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore south of the Pensacola and Gulf Breeze Florida. This place is a home to sparkling blue waters coastal marshes and the white beaches.

Most of the part, that is almost 80 percent of the park, is underwater. It a historical place and attracts many visitors annually. You can just spend hours in the soft and white sands with lots of birds and shells and also by checking out the museum.

13. Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson in Florida

This is one of the largest forts of America and was built in the 19th century. The fort is along the coastal line. This fort is one of the central features of the seven Dry Tortugas Islands. The destination is just amazing and a tribute to dumb federal spending even at the start of the union.

The place just looks like a movie set and is hard to imagine the battleships refueling and thousands of people living there. Snorkeling here is a great fun. The ferry here is modern and fast. Visitors can also tour the Fort Jefferson with a guide or on their own.

14. Alexander Springs Wilderness

Alexander Springs Wilderness in Florida

Alexander Springs Wilderness is located in the Ocala National Forest, which is situated near the beautiful and turquoise water of the Alexander Springs. This place offers camping, swimming, canoeing, scuba diving only for the certified divers, hiking and wildlife and bird viewing.

You can have a great camping experience here. The water is shallow enough for the little ones and the swimming hole is large enough for the whole family to have a whale of a time.

15. Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park in Florida

Bahia Honda State Park takes up the entire key and has waterfront camping on the ocean side and the bay side. There many things you can do here. It is a great place to explore and have fun, go swimming, or just chill under the palm tree enjoying the cool breeze and the sound of the surf.

Bahia Honda offers shallow seas that range from approximately 4 to 6 feet, thereby making it perfect for the learners, beginners, children, and the snorkelers. In these crystal waters, tropical fish, soft corals, sponges, small coral heads, stone crabs, and spiny lobsters are often visible while snorkeling.

All the parks in Florida are stunningly mesmerizing. Right amidst raw wilderness, you can experience the nature in its most basic form. On the whole, Florida is the best place to enjoy your vacation and visiting the national parks should be part of your travel itinerary.

Image Resource - Pixabay

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