Florida,Great Outdoors,Parks

Florida National Parks Guide


Dry Tortugas, Florida Keys Photo Credit: NPS

Our National Parks turned 100 years old this year.   The parks are a national treasure that so many of us never get a chance to appreciate.  In fact, I didn’t visit my first national park site until I was 28 years old.  I visited Fort Matanzas with my son on a spring break trip to St. Augustine, Florida at the recommendation of a friend. 

We have all heard of the big ones like, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite.   But how many of the national parks can you name in the state you live in?  How many of those have you visited in your own state of residence?  Probably not many, and it’s not really that you don’t want to.  Perhaps you just didn’t know where they were located or all of the activities that were offered.

In celebration of the National Parks Centennial Celebration this year, I’ve put together a Florida National Parks guide detailing all of the national parks, preserves, memorials, and monuments in Florida.  In honor of the 100th birthday of our National Parks, I challenge you to visit at least 2 national parks in your home state or a neighboring state within the next year!

National Park Week 2017  Free Weekends: April 15–16 and 22–23

Big Cypress
National Preserve
Ochopee, FL

Things to do: hiking, RV and tent camping, back country camping, art exhibits, wildlife viewing, scenic drives, guided canoe trips, night sky & astronomy programs.  There are also commercial operators that provide swamp buggies, kayaking, and hunting.

National Park
Miami, Key Biscayne & Homestead, FL

Things to do: boating, camping, guided canoe and kayak trip, scuba, snorkeling, marine life museum, wildlife viewing

National Seashore
Titusville and New Smyrna Beach, FL

Things to do: beach, camping, wildlife viewing, manatee observationf area, boating

Castillo De San Marcos
National Monument
St. Augustine, FL

Things to do: explore the fort, attend ranger programs, live weapons demonstrations on certain days

De Soto
National Memorial
Bradenton, FL

Things to do: free kayak tour, ranger guided hike, educational film, historical reenactment program

Dry Tortugas
National Park
Key West, FL

Things to do: explore the fort, snorkel, beach, diving, camping, paddlesports

National Park
Miami, Naples, and Homestead, FL

Things to do: airboat tours, hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, boat tours, slough slogging, fishing, kayaking, boating, biking

Fort Caroline
National Memorial
Timucuan Preserve, Jacksonville, FL

Things to do: Kingsley Plantation,educational programs

Fort Matanzas
National Memorial
St. Augustine, FL

Things to do: Explore the fort, ferry boat

Gulf Islands
National Seashore
Gulf Breeze, FL

Things to do: Guided tour, beaches, snorkeling, hiking, fishing, camping, wildlife viewing

Cultural Heritage Corridor

Things to do: Historical sites, cultural tours, festivals

Ecological & Historic Preserve
Jacksonville, FL

Things to do: backwater kayaking, hiking, camping


florida national parks guide

So far I’ve only checked off 6 parks from this list. I think my favorite so far has been Fort Matanzas. What parks have you visited here in Florida or in your home state? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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