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Find national parks in Florida open for sunny family fun year round

Last updated 24th March 2024

Spring, summer, fall, winter, there is never a bad time  to visit Florida national parks. Take a look at the top seven for sunny family fun, even if it’s freezing where you are at the moment.


Biscayne National Park, Florida

Biscayne National Park: closest national park to Miami

Within sight of downtown Miami yet worlds away, Biscayne National Park protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands and fish-bejeweled coral reefs.

Here, too, is evidence of human history spanning centuries, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoor enthusiasts can canoe through mangrove forests, snorkel among 500 species of reef fish, camp, watch wildlife or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay. And a road built during the 1960s, now the park’s lone hiking trail, passes through a tropical hardwood forest.


Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Dry Tortugas: the most remote of Florida national parks

In the 19th century, some Americans were imprisoned in Fort Jefferson on what’s now Dry Tortugas National Park: a small group of islands almost 70 miles west of Key West. One prisoner declared it “the most horrible place the eye of man ever rested upon.” But today’s visitors consider it a slice of heaven on earth, with crystal-clear waters and few crowds.

The most remote of Florida national parks, Dry Tortugas is accessible only by boat or seaplane.

Families can take the two-hour ferry from Key West to spend the day exploring historic Fort Jefferson, snorkeling in the coral reefs and watching the vast assortment of bird life. Encourage the kids to keep an eye out for turtles and dolphins. Go for a virtual visit to Dry Tortugas today.


Paddling, Everglades, Florida national parks

Everglades: the most famous of Florida national parks

The largest subtropical wilderness in the US, the Everglades consists of 1.5 million acres of wetlands in South Florida. The landscape is unparalleled, providing important habitats for numerous rare and endangered species such as the manatee, American crocodile and the elusive Florida panther.

Everglades National Park has three entrances that are accessed through different areas of South Florida. Inside the park, families can take a short walk on the Anhinga Trail to spot abundant wildlife like turtles, herons and alligators. Then climb atop Shark Valley’s 65-foot observation tower for a bird’s-eye view of the Glades or glide over Florida Bay by tour boat or kayak for a chance to glimpse a crocodile, manatee and dolphin.


Mysterious Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida national parks

Big Cypress National Preserve: an accessible eco-wonder

Next door to the Everglades, Big Cypress National Preserve is a 729,000-acre swamp once slated to become the world’s largest jetport until a 1972 coalition of hunters and conservationists saved it.

The preserve’s fresh waters are an essential part of the region’s ecosystem. With hundreds of miles of multi-use trails, you’ll find opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, discovering the natural world, or simply gazing across the horizon.

There’s even a Big Cypress movie ‘Mud Lake Mosaic‘ to watch before you go.

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Beach, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore: the beachiest of Florida National Parks

The Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches for 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous and marine habitat.

An incredible variety of activities are available for visitors throughout the seashore and year-round. Visit historic forts, take a barrier island hike through salt marsh habitats, or snorkel and kayak in the emerald green waters. If kids can’t wait to see the seashore check out the live webcams for a sneak preview.


De Soto National Memorial, Florida

De Soto National Memorial: history and adventure in one place

The De Soto National Memorial park commemorates the 1539 expedition of the Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto and its impact on the American Indian societies of the Southeast.

The park, about an hour south of Tampa at the intersection of the Gulf of Mexico, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Manatee River, is open year round and offers many seasonal activities.

Highlight of the park’s activities include living history programs and demonstrations at Camp Uzita, a recreation of a 16th century native village – let kids have a virtual village experience right now.


Wild for miles Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore: the national park on the Atlantic

Between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, Canaveral National Seashore features 24 miles of undeveloped beach along the Atlantic coast.

It is a prime habitat for many threatened and endangered species including nesting beaches for several thousand protected marine turtles.

If you want to get kids excited about visiting Canaveral try one of the fun virtual tours right now.