Spending Time With Nature In South Florida

The following is a table of interesting natural (and a few "unnatural") places in South Florida that are
open to the public and worth visiting.Contact the specific sites regarding operating hours, driving directions
and fees (which may change without notice) and click on the links for more information.

On the Florida Mainland | In the Florida Keys | Southwest Florida | Northward on the Atlantic Coast

Miami-Dade Parks' Department Home Page | Miami-Dade Parks' Nature Center Activities

City of Miami Parks' Department | Broward County Parks Department


On the Florida Mainland
Site Location Features
AD Barnes Park
305-662-4124


3401 SW 72 Ave, Miami hiking, biking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching

Arch Creek Park
305-944-6111


1855 NE 135 St, North Miami Beach hiking, biking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, canoeing
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area
305-361-5811

1200 South Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne biking, birding, picnicking, photography, snorkeling; mangrove forest; $4 entrance fee / car

Bill Sadowski Park
305-255-4767
17555 SW 79th Ave, Miam hiking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, free Star Parties hosted by The Southern Cross Astronomical Society (call their Hotline at 305-661-1375 for a current schedule of events)

Biscayne National Park
305-230-7275

9700 SW 328 St, Homestead swimming, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, canoeing, snorkeling tours to reefs; no entrance fee
Black Point Park & Marina
305-258-4092

24775 SW 87 Ave, Homestead crocodiles and manatees in the boat basin around the marina; picnicking, biking, nice restaurant at the marina
Castellow Hammock Park
305-242-7691

22301 SW162 Ave, Homestead hiking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, botanizing in the hardwood hammock

City of Miami's Alice Wainwright Park
305-856-6794


2845 Brickell Ave, Miami picnicking, wildlife watching, best public exposure of Silver Bluff geological formation (Miami oolite)

City of Miami's Simpson Park
305-856-6801


55 SW 17 Rd, Miami remnant of the Brickell Hammock (tropical hardwood forest), wildlife watching; botanizing

City of Miami's Virginia Key Beach
305-575-5256

Virgina Key, east side of Rickenbacker Causeway opposite Miami Seaquarium

natural beach with coastal dune and hammock communities, swimming, picnicking
Everglades National Park Main entrance
305-242-7700
10 miles west of US1 on State Rd 9336, Florida City 38 mile road to Flamingo on Florida Bay crosses sawgrass 'glades, pine rocklands, hardwood hammocks, coastal prairie and mangrove forests; birding, biking, photography, hiking, camping, picnicking; wildlife concentrations greatest Nov-Apr; $10 entrance fee / car good for one week

Everglades National Park Shark Valley entrance
305-221-8776

approx. 40 miles west of Palmetto Expressway on US 41 (Tamiami Trail) 15 mile bike path on tram road through sawgrass 'glades, hiking, birding, photography; most wildlife found Nov-Apr; $8 entrance fee / car

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
305-667-1651

10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables world class tropical botanic garden; plant shows and sales, Ramble-A Garden
Festival, International Mango and Orchid Festivals, cultural events, tram
and walking tours, birding, bookstore; $15 admission fee
Greynolds Park
305-945-3425


17530 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach hiking, biking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching - esp the wading bird rookery

Historical Museum of Southern Florida
305-375-1492


101 West Flagler St, Miami historical displays of South Florida and Caribbean; $5/adult, $4/student/$2/child entrance fee

Kendall Indian Hammocks Park
305-596-9324


11345 SW 79 St, Miami hiking, biking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, botanizing in the oak hammock

Larry & Penny Thompson Park
305-232-1049
12451SW 184th Street, Perrine birding, hiking, biking on trails through pine rocklands; birding; picnicking; no charge; freshwater slide into swimming lake open Memorial Day to Labor Day (fee)

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center
305-361-6767

within Crandon Park on Key Biscayne; enter at North Beach and turn left.$4/car parking fee birding, hiking, wading, swimming, photography, exploring dune, mangrove, coastal hammock and seagrass communities.
Matheson Hammock Park
305-665-5475


9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables biking, birding, picnicking, photography, snorkeling; mangrove forest; $4 entrance fee / car

Miami Metrozoo
305-251-0400
12400 SW 152 Ave, Miami world class zoo; photography; features many endangered and threatened animals;$8+ tax entrance fee/adult and $4+ tax/child

Miami Seaquarium
305-361-5705
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key marine-science themed park with emphasis on local marine life; $22.95 + tax/ adult & $17.95+tax /child entrance fee

Miami-Dade County Landfill aka "Mount Trashmore"

adjacent to 24775 SW 87 Ave, Homestead birding; watching garbage trucks; easy to bike around on public roads surrounding the landfill

Miami-Dade's 58th Street Landfill
305-594-1500


NW 58 St & 97 Ave, Doral 400 acre wildlife refuge; birding; photography; tours
Museum of Science & Space Transit Planetarium
305-854-4247 (Museum)
305-854-2222 (Planetarium)


3280 South Miami Ave, Miami hands-on science center with live, native wildlife displays; star and laser shows;$10/adult & $6/child
Oleta River State Park
305-919-1846


3400 NE 163 St, North Miami Beach hiking, biking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, canoeing; $4 entrance fee / car

Parrot Jungle & Gardens
305-2-JUNGLE

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Watson Island, Miami walk-through aviary featuring hundreds of parrots and exotic birds; wildlife shows; photography; admission fee
Redlands Fruit & Spice Park
305-247-5727


24801 SW 187 Ave, Homestead 32 acres of tropical and subtroipcal vegetables, fruit, nut and spice trees; bookstore; $3.50 entrance fee

The Barnacle State Historic Site
305-448-9445


3485 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove historic home of Commodore Ralph Munroe - early Miami pioneer; $1 entrance fee
The Charles Deering Estate
305-235-1668


16701 SW72 Ave, Miami hiking, picnicking, photography, wildlife watching, canoeing;$6/adults & $4/child entrance fee

In the Florida Keys
Site Location Features
Bahia Honda State Park
305-872-2353
12 miles southwest of Marathon on US 1, Bahia Honda Key

tropical dune hammock, tidal pools along rocky shoreline; hiking, diving, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife observation, photography; fee; $4/car entrance fee

Dry Tortugas National Park
305-242-7700
70 miles west of Key West; accessible by seaplane and boat from Key West

Ft Jefferson - Earth's largest brick structure; coral reefs and beaches; birding, diving and limited fishing; fee

John Pennekamp State Park
305-451-1202
mile marker 102.5, Key Largo

tropical hardwood hammocks, mangrove forests, reefs; diving, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, birding, botanizing; $4/car entrance fee

Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site
305-451-1202
Card Sound Road (SR 905),>1 mile north of intersection with US 1, Key Largo

tropical hardwood hammock; birding, botanizing; fee
Lignum Vitae Key State Botanical Site
305-664-4815
1 mile west of US 1 at mile marker 78.5; accessible only by private or charter boat; canoable from the Overseas Highway

largest remaining tropical coastal hammock forest in FL; hiking, snorkeling, wildlife observation, photography; tours $1/person if you arrive by your own boat; $15/person includes transportation

Long Key State Park
305-664-4815
mile marker 67.5, near Layton on Long Key
tropical coastal hammock and mangrove swamp thickets; picnicking, swimming, fishing, wildlife observation, photography; $3.75/car with one person; $1.50/ person additional entrance fee

National Key Deer Refuge
305-872-2239
north on Watson Blvd off US 1 at mile marker 30.5, Big Pine Key

tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rocklands, mangrove swamp forest; wildlife observation esp of Key Deer, botanizing

Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site
305-664-9814
mile marker 86.5 on Windley Key, Islamorada

tropical hardwood hammock over the fossilized coral reef (Key Largo limestone); walking trails through the quarries that supplied rock for construction (WW1-1960s); wildlife observation; photography; $1.50 entrance fee

Across the 'Glades & Big Cypress Swamp to Southwest Florida
Site Location Features
Big Cypress National Preserve
941-695-4111
ccess on US 41 west; stop at Visitor Center for information and maps of trails

wildlife observation, hiking, photography; few trails are marked

Collier-Seminole State Park
941-394-3397
on US 41 17 miles southeast of Naples

hardwood hammock, pine flatwoods, freshwater and tidal marshes; boat tours through mangrove forest; hiking, canoeing, wildlife observation; $3.25 / car entrance fee

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
941-348-9151
from US Hwy 41 nine miles north of Naples, drive east 21 miles on FL Hwy 846 to Sanctuary

2-mile boardwalk through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, marsh, lakes and the world's largest old-growth bald cypress forest; wildlife observation, photography; $8 entrance fee

Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
941-695-4593
drive west on US 41 then north on US 29; watch sign for turn off to Preserve on left

largest drainage of the Big Cypress Swamp; cypress and hardwood swamp forest; hiking on numbered logging trails, wildlife observation, photography

J.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge
941-472-1100

Sanibel Island
hiking, canoeing, wildlife observation, photography; closed Fridays; $5 / car entrance fee

Up the Atlantic Coast
Attraction Location Features
Art Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
561-734-8303
Exit I-95 at#44 (Boynton Beach); drive 7 miles west to US 441; turn south 2 miles to Refuge entrance

exceptional birding esp Nov-Apr; hiking, canoeing, photography; $5 / car entrance fee

Blowing Rocks Preserve
561-747-3113
I-95 North to exit 59A; east to US Hwy 1; north on US1 past lighthouse to Beach Rd. North 1.5 miles on Jupiter Island

largest outcropping of Anastasia limestone on Atlantic Coast; high tides and onshore winds create dramatic plumes of water through holes in cliffs; coastal dunes; photography; beachcombing; $3 entrance fee

Fern Forest Nature Center
954-970-0150
Exit I-95 at Atlantic Blvd (Pompano Beach); drive west past the Turnpike to Lyons Road; go south to 201 Lyons Rd, Coconut Creek

cypress-maple swamp, hardwood hammock, oak-cabbage palm forest, freshwater prairie; hiking, wildlife observation, photography

Grassy Waters Preserve
561-659-8085
4 miles west of I-95 on Northlake Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County

exceptional wildlife viewing esp Nov-Apr

Jonathan Dickinson State Park
561-746-1466
I-95 North to exit 59A; east to US Hwy 1; north on US1 5 miles to Hobe Sound

endangered Sand Pine scrub community; freshwater marshes along Loxahatchee River; camping, canoeing, wildlife observation, hiking, photography; $3.25 / car entrance fee


All photographs on this page including background are © Christopher P. Migliaccio except where noted and may not be used for any purpose
without the express written permission of Christopher P. Migliaccio

I welcome your comments and suggestions for other sites to add to this list.