A crane flies from the water in the Florida Everglades at sunset
Beautiful National Parks And Preserves To Visit In Florida
A lush ecological landscape of waterways and wetlands, this area marks one of the earliest spots where European colonizers interacted with the Indigenous people.
Timucuan Preserve
As an archaeological site, you can learn about the lost colony of Fort Caroline and visit Kingsley Plantation to honor the lives of the enslaved Africans who once struggled there.
While kayaking or hiking through Timucuan's miles of trails, watch for foxes, bobcats, minks, armadillos, beavers, possums, and bottlenose dolphins.
Gulf Islands National Seashore spans the Gulf of Mexico's northern coast from Florida to Mississippi and has barrier islands, bayous, and maritime forests.
Gulf Islands Seashore
Home to a Civil War-era fort, the Fort Pickens area of the park has historic structures, a beach pavilion with tram stops, a discovery center, and both RV and tent camping.
Fort Barrancas, the Navy Yard, and 19th-century Fort Advanced Redoubt are also here, and in the Naval Live Oaks area are 7 miles of trails and a picnic area overlooking the bay.
This 300-acre coastal preserve with salt marshes, dunes, and maritime forests has an 18th-century Spanish colonial watchtower built to defend St. Augustine.
Fort Matanzas
Travel there by ferry to learn about the hunter-gatherer Paleo-Indian people who lived there 12,000 years ago and the bloody saga between the French, the Spanish, and the English.
The park often features 18th-century historical re-enactors who answer questions about colonial life and occasionally offers historic weapon firing demonstrations.
The jewel in Florida's crown, Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre tropical wetland preserve with a wealth of outdoor activities and camping.
Everglades National Park
The Shark Valley Visitor Center's observation tower is open 24 hours a day year-round and provides a 20-mile panoramic Everglades view.
Royal Palm near Homestead features trails and a historic missile site. There is a geocache trail and ranger-led programs, or try slough slogging under the cypress dome.
Despite its name, this park is almost entirely underwater. Ponce de Leon discovered the seven small islands while searching for the Fountain of Youth.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Accessible by seaplane or boat, the park is home to Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century deepwater anchorage used to blockade Southern shipping during the Civil War.
The park's swimming beaches and reefs make it perfect for snorkeling. Swim around the moat wall at night to see barracudas, sharks, tarpon, giant grouper, and colorful coral.