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Trip 4, Stop 2: Biscayne National Park


While the Dante Fascell Visitor Center for the Biscayne National Park is on the mainland of Florida, the rest of the park can only be accessed by boat, as the vast majority of the park is offshore, with 95% under water. The park consists of most of Biscayne Bay, several keys, reefs, and the Florida Straits. The Biscayne National Park Institute provides opportunities for exploring the park in various ways, whether snorkeling, paddling (kayak or paddle board), or taking a boat tour. We opted to take a heritage boat tour, which provided insight into the history of the area and establishment of the national park. The tour provided a look at several of the keys and included an hour-long stop at Boca Chita Key, with its iconic ornamental lighthouse. It was interesting wandering the island, which had been owned in the 1930s and 40s by Mark C. Honeywell (the heating/thermostat entrepreneur) and was used as an elaborate private retreat (aka party island) for the ultra-wealthy. The city of Miami was visible in the far distance throughout our boat tour, highlighting that this park is readily accessible to a large population for recreational use. Our day started cloudy and overcast, but as the skies cleared, the beautiful blues and greens of the water came out, resulting in stunning views. The jetty walk near the visitor center was undergoing repair while we were there, so we were unable to take advantage of it; when it reopens it will make a great short hike, with water on both sides and lots of water birds around.



Our pub stop for the day was Exit One Taproom in Florida City, which carries local craft beers. It had a nice outdoor seating area, which we enjoyed as the sun was setting.



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