Four Calling Birds (Flying in Florida)
Vising the three National Parks in Florida during one trip was a wonderful experience. We saw alligators, ocean waters, shipwrecks and hours of sun. We kayaked, snorkeled, hiked, swam and rode a ferry into the wide-open water.
There is no way to shortly explain how magical our time in Florida was. These parks were some of my favorite to visit. The nature of the parks consumed our photographs and the beauty of the parks will forever me engrained in our memories.
As we pull up to the sign to take our picture, I look at the little creek near the car and see an alligator! I was so excited and relieved. For some reason, I had this image of seeing the Everglades without ever encountering an alligator, but I was VERY wrong.
Alligators were EVERYWHERE. We definitely kept our distance and didn’t feed or disturb the animals. Seeing all the reptiles and birds in Everglades was spectacular. The scenery and nature are welcoming and stunning. We walked a few trails (hot and humid) near the visitor center.
The Everglades also brought an exciting and new venture for us, WE GOT A PASSPORT BOOK.
Our first stamp was in the Everglades and we were geeked to have something to record all of NPS travels!
Everglades National Park is a beautiful must-see. Plus, the history of the Everglades is just as captivating. Once a land that could have been lost due to dredging and draining, the Everglades now protects endangered species and fauna as they flourish.
Made up of 95% water, Biscayne National Park is quite unique. We rented a canoe for 2-hours and made our way along the mangroves and into a canal. It was the most perfect day to be out canoeing on the open water, complete with a city view of Miami in the distance.
After canoeing on the surface of the water, we decided to view the park a little deeper, and snorkel! Our tour was of the Mandalay Shipwreck.
The snorkeling experience was a great way for us to see the true beauty of the park, especially when considering only 5% of the park is viewable above the surface. We enjoyed this excursion as much as anything on our entire trip to the 3 Florida national parks.
Head South on US- 1 North in Key West, Florida. When you think you can’t go any further by car, look out about 70 miles west and imagine a fort surrounded by glamourous blue waters, crowds of birds and a series of snorkelers.
As soon as you arrive to Fort Jefferson, the view is unimaginable. Every photograph you snap once you are on the largest island, Garden Key, is breathtaking and frameable.
The fort itself will bring out the history nerd in just about everyone. Walking through the fort feels like you are walking through an outdoor prison, which isn’t too far off.
One of the coolest parts of the park was the “roof top” of the fort. The top of the fort remains one of my favorite spots ever. The water is the blue you imagine when you think of a tropical vacation.
As if the views weren’t enough, this park also allowed us to go snorkeling. We went along the wall surrounding the fort to see some colorful fish and coral.
Combine the atypical experience with the view, snorkeling and the history and this park is a home run!