Top 10 Florida State and National Parks

15 Beautiful State Parks in Florida to Visit

With more than 160 state parks in Florida, you’ll find idyllic beaches, incredible wildlife and plenty of activities for all types of nature lovers. Whether you want to swim, kayak, canoe, explore nature trails or simply sunbathe on one of the Sunshine State’s most pristine beaches, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Forgo the quaint resorts and theme parks and head to one of Florida’s best-kept secrets.

Myakka River, Sarasota

Myakka River, Sarasota Myakka River, Sarasota

Myakka River State Park, Sarasota (nearby hotels)

Get a true Florida experience at Myakka River State Park, where you can take an airboat ride or walk a canopy trail through the 58-square-mile preserve, where you can regularly track down deer, bobcat hawks and cottontail rabbits.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo (nearby hotels)

The splendor of Florida’s state parks doesn’t get any better than what you’ll find at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. In fact, this is where you can visit the first underwater park and the only living coral reef in the United States, where you can explore the many colorful and diverse underwater marine life.

John D MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach

John D MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach John D MacArthur Beach State Park, North Palm Beach

John D. MacArthur Beach, North Palm Beach (nearby hotels)

Surrounded by mangrove swamps and canopy-covered trails, this beloved gem is a 2-mile stretch of pristine beach located on a barrier island next to the Atlantic Ocean. Snorkeling is very popular in this area, in addition to kayaking, swimming and fishing.

 Big Talbot Island, Jacksonville

Big Talbot Island, Jacksonville Big Talbot Island, Jacksonville

Big Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville (nearby hotels)

A truly unique state park in Florida, you’ll find strangely twisted whitewashed skeletons of dead cedar and live oaks growing out of the sand at Big Talbot Island State Park. This beautiful patch of natural art is caused by dune erosion, creating a hotbed of activity for bird watchers and photography enthusiasts.

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Bill Buggs Cape, Fla.

Bill Baggs Cape, Florida Bill Baggs Cape, Florida

Bill Baggs Cape Park, Florida, Key Biscayne (hotels nearby)

Bill Baggs is home to Florida’s historic 109-step lighthouse and the oldest structure in Miami. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, this park not only has historical value but also has some of the best beaches in the Atlantic.

De Leon Springs State Park

De Leon Springs State Park De Leon Springs State Park

De Leon Springs State Park, De Leon Springs (nearby hotels)

Not only is De Leon Springs State Park great for swimming, canoeing, hiking and exploring Florida’s oldest attraction, the Fountain of Youth, but it’s also popular for its unique handmade pancake house from an old Spanish sugar factory,

Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach

Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach (hotels nearby)

If you’re looking for the most immaculate beaches in Florida, head to Grayton Beach State Park. This beach encompasses more than 2,000 acres of spectacular beach, including a rare coastal lake with dunes that’s perfect for kayaking, canoeing and fishing.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin (nearby hotels)

Absolute peace and tranquility is what you’ll find at Honeymoon Island State Park. Nature lovers will enjoy plenty of activities that include nature trails, bird-watching areas and the chance to explore the many seashells deposited on the shore. Relax and unwind or swim in the warm waters of the bay while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Caladesi Island

Kaladesi Island Kaladesi Island

Kaladesi Island State Park, Dunedin (neighboring hotels)

With powdery white sand, emerald waters and an area devoid of tourists, you won’t regret a visit to Kaladesi Island State Park in Dunedin. Regularly located on some of the best beaches in the U.S., you can explore one of the few natural islands on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Sebastian Inlet

Sebastian Inlet Sebastian Inlet

Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne Beach (nearby hotels)

Sebastian Inlet, which has gained its popularity as a true mecca for surfing, is also great for saltwater fishing. Catch fresh snook, sea bass, and bluefish from the piers, try your hand at riding the waves, or sunbathe on three miles of superb beach.

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Payne's Prairie

Payne Prairie Payne Prairie.

Paynes Prairie State Reserve, Micanopy (nearby hotels)

Named Florida’s first state park and national natural monument, Paynes Prairie State Preserve offers 20,000 acres of diverse wildlife, perfect for horseback riding, hiking and camping. History buffs will also love this preserve because of its historical value, as many claim it dates back to 10,000 B.C. given the Indian occupation many centuries ago.

Florida Caves, Marianna Flo

Florida Caverns, Marianne Flo Florida Caverns, Marianne Flo

Florida Caverns State Park, Marianne (neighboring hotels)

West of Tallahassee, you’ll find wet caves filled with limestone stalagmites and stalactites rising and flowing from the ceilings, a process that took millions of years to form. Come tour through the only dry (air-filled) caves open to the public and stop for fishing, boating and canoeing at nearby Blue Hole Spring.

Bahia Honda

Bahia Honda Bahia Honda.

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key (Nearby Hotels)

Bahia Honda State Park is what state parks strive for, as it is consistently named the best vacation destination in Florida. With world-class beaches, legendary snorkeling, diverse wildlife, and a trail that leads to a view of the entire island, you can see why.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park - Spring Hill

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Spring Hill Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Spring Hill

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Weeki Wachee (Nearby Hotels)

Weeki Wachee is a perfect example of old Florida, world famous for its underwater mermaid shows. If that doesn’t bother you, they also have a water walk that will get your heart racing, catapulting you into refreshing 72-degree crystal clear springs.


Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White (hotels nearby)

You’ll find water activities in abundance at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Here you can enjoy a first-class Florida swim or take a snorkel down the crystal clear Ichetucknee River under lush lush live oaks and cypress trees.

Florida National Parks.

Bahia Honda Island, with the Bahia Honda State Park of the same name, is one of Florida’s southernmost state parks, known for its beautiful beaches.

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The Shark Valley Bicycle Trail is a closed loop Shark Valley Loop Road, with an average bike ride around at an average pace of 3-3.5 hours, but this time can vary depending on the number and length of your stops along the way.

Today, according to official records alone, there are about 2,000 different species of plants, both tropical and temperate, recorded in the preserve.

Big Cypress National Wildlife Refuge is a swampy area in South Florida, 72 kilometers west of Miami. Here, the 729,000 acres are planted.

Biscayne National Park’s landscape, like a watercolor, very subtly captures the perspective of the shoreline and seabed. See for yourself on a fascinating glass-bottom boat ride or snorkeling, where you’ll discover all the .

More than a million people from around the world come to Pennekamp State Park every year to enjoy the water, trails and camping, and, of course, to see the unique underwater statue of Christ, which is the original replica of the Christ of the Abyss statue.

John U. John U. Lloyd Beach State Park is perfect for a day at the beach or a picnic for the whole family. The park has activities for everyone: visitors can keep themselves busy with fishing, canoeing, and paddling.

Oleta River State Park is one of the largest parks in Florida. It is located on the shore of Biscayne Bay. Along the Oleta River waterfront is a beautiful mangrove forest where you can see flora and fauna typical of South Florida.

Nearly 70 miles west of Key West is an island of seven islets, coral reefs, and sand called Dry Tortugas. But it’s not just the unique nature and history of this park that makes it famous. Its main attraction is Fort Jefferson.

Relax, explore, learn, observe – choose any type of recreation or try each. Jonathan Dickinson State Park gives you that opportunity year-round.

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Located on Long Key Island, the eponymous Long Key State Park is a favorite of hikers and nature lovers. The park’s beauty, warm climate, clear water and abundance of marine life attract many people.

The park is named for Billa Baggsa, editor of The Miami News, who was an avid civil rights activist from 1957 to 1969. He worked tirelessly to preserve the land and its natural resources.

Bill Sadowski Park’s tropical trails through real jungle will lead you to a canal, where a left turn and a walk down a grassy open lane will bring you to a canoe rental place for an entertaining trip.

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Coastal Canal, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park preserves four different natural communities. Nature lovers can hike tropical trails through the park’s forested ecosystem.

One of the oldest parks in all of Miami County is Matheson Hammock Park, which was established in 1930 as Earl William J Matheson’s first park. With 255 acres, it borders the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to the north and west.

Opened on February 10, 1996, today the Anne Kolb Nature Center is a true complex consisting of 600 acres of coastal mangrove wetlands. These lands are home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including some rare and endangered species.

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