While I’m sure we could spend many days exploring the Everglades National Park, we have chosen to visit nearby Biscayne National Park as part of our excursion to Southern Florida. This destination is not on our National Parks edition of Monopoly but is a place we highly look forward to experiencing. It is common for us to add non-board destinations to our trips which help both in tiring us out and packing more experiences into each trip. We have planned for one full day at Biscayne National Park so I hope the weather is nice. This is not enough time to do all that we would like to do I’m sure but does give us a taste of this park which is the intention of our visits to all of the National Parks on our board.
Most of Biscayne N.P. is underwater (95%) which is one of the features that really draws us to it. Snorkeling is a favorite activity whenever we are in tropical waters with reefs. Kristy is anxious to travel to Southern Florida as this will be her first attempt at snorkeling. This will be Lysa’s second time snorkeling. Her first experience was in Cozumel, Mexico three years ago. I am excited to take them and let them experience life on a reef. They have both looked over pictures of reefs and fish and we have a small saltwater aquarium with corals and fish but to be able to see everything going on at a natural reef is so much more mesmerizing. Fortunately by watching how different animals work together in our aquarium, Kristy and Lysa will have the opportunity to notice many things that can be missed when snorkeling such as how the cleanup crew (snails, crabs, shrimp, and sea stars) scavenge around the reef and interact with the fish. Watching all of this will make the day go by exceptionally fast!
While snorkeling appears to be a great way to explore Biscayne National Park, there are other activities that highlight the diversity of this park. There are hiking trails, the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Convoy Point, boating, fishing, and a lot of history according to the National Park Service website. The beginning of the Florida Keys is considered by many to be in Biscayne N.P. – Elliot Key. Since we won’t have a boat to freely move about the reefs and keys, we need to plan ahead to use the park vendor for boating excursions in order to be able to experience this area and see what we can. I would like to see the lighthouse on Boca Chita Key and Stiltsville in Biscayne Bay along with snorkeling. Kristy and Lysa enjoy becoming Junior Rangers at all of the national parks that we visit so this will be a priority at Biscayne National Park as well.
Camping is allowed on Elliot Key and Boca Chita Key which would be a great way for us to really enjoy and explore this wondrous area. Unfortunately, we are limited by our arrival to Miami late the day before and have commitments early the day after. I would love to watch the sun set and rise again from a key while star gazing and surveying the nighttime Miami skyline. These are some of the things we may have to explore on another trip after completing our National Parks Monopoly Board.
As I write this I am looking forward to this trip more and more. Maybe it is time to stop writing about this national park and focus on the upcoming holidays.