Miami is world-renowned for its spectacular beaches, outrageous shopping, and decadent nightlife. But did you know Miami and its environs are also home to fascinating cultural, natural, historic, and recreational sites? The trip may start in Miami, but the discovery begins on America’s public lands. Learn more about visiting Miami at VisitFlorida.com.
In 1972, the United States proposed the World Heritage Convention to the international community and was the first nation to ratify it. The World Heritage Convention, the most widely accepted international conservation treaty in human history, is the American national park idea being carried out worldwide. Everglades National Park, the largest sub-tropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent, has been recognized as a World Heritage Site since 1979.
Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is home to 23 federally listed threatened and endangered species including manatee, American crocodile, and the rare Florida panther. It offers abundant recreational opportunities including spectacular wildlife viewing, world-class fishing, bird watching, boating, canoeing, hiking, biking, and camping. Advanced reservations for the Flamingo campground are available from fall to spring. Visitors can explore short nature trails, attend ranger-led programs, or join one of the boat, tram, or airboat tours of the park. Plan your visit to the Everglades. 40 miles/60 minutes from Miami to the Visitor Center in Homestead, Florida.
Biscayne National Park protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, tropical islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs, all within sight of Miami. The park offers world-class recreational diving and boating opportunities. Concession operated boat tours are available aboard a glass bottom boat, join a snorkel tour, watch wildlife … or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay. For more information, visit the Biscayne National Park website. 20 miles/45 minutes south of Miami.
Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. For the visitor, the Preserve provides a variety of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors – camping, hiking, canoeing, or a swamp buggy tour. There are several guided tours offered by the park and camping is available on a first come, first serve basis. Visit the Big Cypress National Preserve website to plan your trip. 50 miles/60 minutes west of Miami.
Dry Tortugas National Park is 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West and consists of seven islands, formed by coral reefs and sand, 100 square miles of marine waters, and historic Fort Jefferson. The Park is known for its fabulous marine life and birds, its legends of pirates and sunken treasure, and its military past. Camping is available on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, visit the Dry Tortugas National Park website. 68 miles west of Key West, accessible by ferry (2.5 hours) or seaplane (45 minutes).
Deering Estate at Cutler, on the edge of Biscayne Bay, is an environmental, archeological, and historical preserve offering canoe tours, butterfly walks, and guided nature hikes. Learn more about Deering Estate. 20 miles/30 minutes south of Miami.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, is a beautiful villa, estate, and gardens open to the public. For more information, visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens website. Located in south Miami.
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge includes the northern remnant of the Everglades, home to abundant wildlife and many bird species. Activities include canoe and walking trails, photography, and environmental education. 55 miles/70 minutes north of Miami.
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge consists of 26,400 acres located in the heart of Big Cypress Basin. The refuge encompasses the northern origin of the Fakahatchee Strand, largest cypress strand in the Big Cypress swamp. 96 miles/100 minutes west of Miami.
National Key Deer Refuge is home to 22 federally listed endangered and threatened species of plants and animals, including the barely three-foot tall key deer. Activities include walking trails, wildlife observation, photography, and environmental education. Visit the National Key Deer Refuge website for more information. 140 miles/3 hours south of Miami.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects the waters surrounding the Keys extending from Miami to the Dry Tortugas. It features coral reefs, shipwrecks, seagrass beds, and fisheries and offers recreational activities, including diving, fishing, and boating. Plan your next adventure. 60 miles/1 hour south of Miami.
Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge is accessible only by boat and is located on unpopulated islands, on the north side of the lower Florida Keys, and offers fishing, wildlife viewing, photography, and environmental education. 140 miles/3 hours south of Miami.
Miccosukee Indian Village and Cultural Center is located just 30 minutes west of the Florida Turnpike, in the heart of the enchanting Florida Everglades. Here you can enter a world rich in tradition, time honored customs, and heritage unlike any other. More than the native habitat of a proud people, the Village represents the rich culture, lifestyle, and history of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. For details, visit the Miccosukee Indian Village and Cultural Center website. 36 miles/45 minutes west of Miami.
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation is the largest Seminole reservation in Florida. Here visitors will find many activities to enjoy including the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Billie Swamp Safari’s Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours, listening to Indian folklore around the campfire, or skimming across a grass-and-water world in an airboat. 80 miles/90 minutes west of Miami.