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Biscayne National Park Activities

Since 95% of the park is covered by water, the best way to get to know Biscayne is to get wet or at least get out on a boat. A park concessioner offers several opportunities for those without a boat of their own, including glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling trips, dive trips, island excursions, and canoe & kayak rentals. Interpretive programs are conducted regularly by rangers at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, where exhibits and films also provide an introduction to the park. The visitor center is also home to an art gallery featuring changing exhibits of local artists inspired by the park's beauty.

Biscayne National Park is a wonderful place to visit. The mangrove shoreline, crystal clear waters, emerald isles, and living coral reefs attract near 500,000 visitors a year. Most of these visitors enter the park by private boat. They fish, cruise, and enjoy the waters of the park. They picnic and camp on the islands. And with snorkel or dive tanks, they explore the exciting kaleidoscope of life which is the living coral reefs.

The rest of our visitors arrive by car at Convoy Point, location of the park's headquarters and the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. Here visitors can picnic, fish, canoe, explore the Visitor Center, or take one of the boat tours offered by the park's concessioner, Biscayne National Underwater Park, Inc. The concession offers gift sales, canoe rentals, glass bottom boat tours, snorkel trips, scuba trips, and transportation to the island for campers.

Convoy Point offers a tranquil setting with picnic tables and charcoal grills, a canoe beach where one can launch their own canoe, kayak, or sailboard, and a picturesque boardwalk which takes you along the shoreline out to the rock jetty beside the boat channel heading to the bay. Fishing (including spearfishing) is permitted in the park in accordance with Florida State fishing regulations and licensing requirements.

The Dante Fascell Visitor Center offers information, exhibits, park videos, book sales, and a wonderful veranda complete with rocking chairs and great view. Although there is no restaurant at Convoy Point, drinks are available from vending machines and the concession gift shop sells packaged sandwiches and snacks.

Camping

Biscayne National Park offers a wonderful respite from the rapid pace of urban life. One of the best ways to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the park is to spend a few days camping on Elliott Key or Boca Chita Key. Access to the islands is by boat only. For those who do not have their own boat transportation, the park's concessioner can provide transportation for campers.

Elliott Key

Camping on Elliott Key is allowed year round, but only in the designated campsites. All campsites have a picnic table and a grill and are designated by a "C" painted on the grill post. There is a group campsite located in the breezeway between the harbor and the ocean side of the island. In addition, Elliott Key has freshwater, cold water showers, and restrooms. There are trails and a buoyed swim area. Fishing is allowed from the maintenance dock and from the shoreline outside of the harbor, no wake zone, and swimming area.

A fire ring is located 1/4 mile east of the harbor on the ocean side of the island. This is the only place in the park where a ground fire is allowed.

Pets are allowed in the developed areas of Elliott Key but must be kept on an attended leash no longer than six feet in length. Pets are not allowed in the buildings or in the swim area.

Boca Chita Key

Camping on Boca Chita Key is allowed year round, but only in the designated campsites (see Boca Chita Key Map) east of the "Chapel." All campsites have a picnic table and a grill, Individual campsites are designated by a "C" painted on the grill post and the group campsite is designated by a "G" painted on the grill post. A saltwater restroom is available (no sinks or showers). Fishing is allowed except in the harbor, where the shoreline is bulkheaded, or in the creek going into the wetlands.

There is no freshwater on the island. You must bring your own drinking and cooking water.

Pets are not allowed on Boca Chita Key, on vessels in the harbor or tied up to the island, or in the shallow waters (less than three feet deep) surrounding the island.

No ground fires are allowed.

Information provided by: National Park Service