Biscayne National Park | PARK AT A GLANCE

Reefs of Biscayne National Park

Reefs of Biscayne National Park


Biscayne National Park started out as Biscayne National Monument in 1968. After being enlarged, it obtained the “National Park” moniker in 1980. The park encompasses 172,000 acres of Biscayne Bay and has a visitor center located 35 miles south of Miami, Florida, at Convoy Point in Homestead. The park is 95% water, which means there is not a lot to do without a boat. Landlubbers can visit the Dante Fascell Visitor Center and walk the short Jetty Trail. Those looking to engage in canoeing or kayaking can also launch their boats into the bay from the Visitor Center. For those without a boat, a park concessionaire now offers an variety of tours, including sightseeing, snorkeling, and kayaking in the bay. An affordable boat tour to Boca Chita Key lasts three hours and runs year-round. There is also an all-day tour on a sailboat that stops at Adams or Boca Chita Key, and you can get off the boat to swim, snorkel, or paddle in provided kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. And of course you are welcome to rent a boat from any local marina.

Of the dozens of islands, or “keys,” in Biscayne National Park, only three have any developed facilities. The rest are just a tangle of mangrove and maritime forests that are impenetrable other than to those wanting to Lewis-and-Clark-it™. Boca Chita and Elliott keys have a boat harbor, campground, picnic area, and hiking trails, while Adams Key is open for day-use only and has a picnic area and a short trail.

Biscayne Bay is where the Florida Keys begin. Snorkelers and divers will find the northernmost reefs in the United States here, plus there are many shipwrecks in the park, some shallow enough to reach without SCUBA gear. There’s no limit to the time you can spend fishing, and being protected from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean by the keys, canoeists and kayakers can paddle around in the bay on a nice day without too many safety concerns.


The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

The grounds of Convoy Point are open daily from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, except for Thanksgiving (open 9 AM to 3 PM) and Christmas and New Years Day (open 12 PM to 5:30 PM). This gives access to a picnic area, the short Jetty Trail, and a place to launch a canoe or kayak into Biscayne Bay.

The ocean portion of the park is open 24 hours a day, year-round. This includes Boca Chita Key and Elliott Key access. Adams Key is only open from sunrise to sunset.

All times are subject to change, so before making travel plans be sure to check out the official Biscayne National Park Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the latest schedule.


There are no fees to enter the park, either by land or by water. During the tourist season, November through April, there are fees to dock a boat after 5 PM at the Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key harbors, and there is a fee to camp if being dropped off on either island. There are no fees in the summer. See the Biscayne National Park Fees and Passes web page for the latest prices.

There are fees for tours and excursions offered by approved concessionaires.


Visitor Center
Allow 30 minutes

Time spent on all other activities depends on you.

Back to the Top

Last updated on March 3, 2021
Share this article