Florida Keys parks are everywhere up and down the 120-mile long chain of islands, from tiny city parks to State Parks that extent into the Atlantic Ocean, to National Parks. While on vacation here in the Keys, take advantage of as many Florida Keys parksto discover nature, beauty, and adventure!
Long Key State Recreation Area
Long Key State Park is located at Mile Marker 67.5. It’s a long narrow park that hugs the shoreline on the ocean side and provides a boardwalk that floats above the sand nestled in the mangroves. There are tons of spiders in the trees along the boardwalk but you won’t mind their presence because the view of the ocean is so beautiful. It’s good snorkeling here, and the flats go on forever it seems, so you can wade way out into the ocean. Birds like flats water, so it’s an ideal spot for some bird-watching or nature photography. Long Key State Park has camping spots, and one of the best things to do here is rent a kayak and explore the flats water. This is one of the most popular Florida Keys parksfor camping.
Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is home to the best beach in the Florida Keys. At least that’s what travel magazines and books say. It is a lovely beach, especially at sunset, when the sun sinks below the horizon behind an old bridge. Don’t forget your cameras. this may be one of the most popular Florida Keys parksfor the beach and the sunsets. You can walk the nature trail and discover Keys flora and fauna like racoons, sliver palm, and other lush plants and trees. If you have a boat, bring it because you can launch it here at the boat ramp. If you don’t have a boat but want to get out on the water, try renting a Windsurfer or any other small boat. Stay in a tent or rent one of their cottages on the other side of the highway. You get boat access and linens and dishes as well. Like a state-run vacation rental in the mangroves.
John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park
This state park is a mecca for scuba fans, as its acres of protected marine areas encompass several famous and beautiful reefs. Get a dive trip through the Park’s dive center, or join a dive boat run by any number of small dive outfits in Key Largo, off whose shores the park is located. This is one of the most popular and important Florida Keys parks, since it was the first State park in the country to protect marine life as well as resources on land. Entrance to the Park is at Mile Marker 102.5, on the ocean side. Popular reef trips take divers or snorkelers to any one or several of the following reefs:
- the Benwood wreck
- French Reef
- Molasses Reef
- White Bank Dry Rocks
- Carysfort Reef
- The Elbow
- Key Largo Dry Rocks & Christ of the Deep
- Grecian Rocks
- Cannon Patch
- Conch Reef
That’s why Key Largo is so popular with divers…so many reef spots and wrecks!