Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 20, 2012
From journal Fun Florida adventures.
East Berlin, Pennsylvania
February 16, 2007
We chose to dive Biscayne upon recommendation from divers living in Florida that assured us it was one of the top reefs in the state. It's patch reef in this area, and the captain picks the spots you dive. Ours was a high wave day—the dive was almost canceled because of it—but we got two dives in, getting a glimpse of part of the outer reef.
Our dive experiences away from home thus far have been limited to Hawaii and the St. Lawrence River. There's no comparison to be made from the tropical waters of Florida and the fresh water of the St. Lawrence, but comparing Hawaii, I can say we saw many more coral varieties in Florida and many more fish in quantity and variety in Hawaii. Both were enjoyable, and for those of us living inland and needing a "dive fix" on a trip, it was worth going to since we were already there. I'm not sure I would have made a special dive "trip" just to this spot, as I suspect other Caribbean areas would top it. However, there's more cost with those, so...
To dive Biscayne, the Park's Concessionaire offers trips on Saturday and Sunday only—and requires an 8 person minimum to make the trip. The cost for a two tank dive is $57 including tanks and weights, but not rental equipment (available if needed). The dives we went on were both shallow (max depth of 31' on our computer). All the set up of your equipment is self-done. The captain was friendly—gave a quick overview of the spot and gave you a time to be back on the boat (be sure you have a watch). On shore there are restrooms, but no hot showers. On the boat, there are no facilites.
Overall, we had an enjoyable time and I'd be interested in returning to see other areas of Biscayne underwater, especially on some of the glass-clear days this place is famous for.
For those that don't dive, snorkel trips are offered daily, as are glass bottom boat trips. The visitor's center has some nice exhibits and has three different movies on the park. Admission is free, the view is nice, and picnic lunches there seem popular. There is a small store, but don't expect much. If you want lunch, bring it—otherwise, head to Homestead for the nearest restaurant choices.
From journal Inexpensive Florida - Discover the State Parks
Walnut Creek, California
January 9, 2006
From journal Hot Weekend in Cool Miami
by Adventures With Adam
New York, New York
March 4, 2005
Our first stop was the visitors center, where we rented kayaks from the park's licensed concessionaire for $16/hour. (They also had canoes available for about half the price, but I prefer the stability of a sea kayak.) We then spoke with a park ranger, who gave us a map and showed us a route to explore. She also pointed out the haunts of a manatee and crocodile that lived in the area. With the information in hand, we grabbed our paddles and life jackets and hit the water.
We were warned that it sometimes gets choppy, but Biscayne Bay was smooth that day. A string of barrier islands a few miles out keeps it from being open water, so you won't encounter any big waves out here. The barrier islands are a long paddle away, so we just headed for a couple of nearby islands that the ranger had suggested. The bay was never too deep; at most points, I could see the bottom (and schools of small fish swimming around).
After circling the islands a couple of times, we headed toward the mangroves that line the coast and paddled north. The feeling that we were removed from civilization disappeared with the vision of the Miami skyline in the distance, so we decided to turn around. On the way back, we turned into one of the narrow drainage canals that feed into the bay. Now we felt that we were visiting a different world: the Everglades. A mangrove canopy covered us, and we imagined that at any turn that crocodile might pop up or a snake might drop from above. We turned around when the canal narrowed uncomfortably and headed back to the bay and visitors center.
Two hours was about right to leisurely explore the islands, canals and mangroves. We never saw the manatee or crocodile, but a pelican watched over us while we circled the small islands.
If you go, wear a bathing suit and footwear that you don't mind getting wet. Also bring sunscreen and a hat; you'll be getting plenty of reflected rays off the water. Insect repellent is recommended for the buggy summer months. The visitor center sells disposable waterproof cameras, which come in very handy if you're tossing the camera back and forth between kayaks. (It floats!) The concessionaire also offers snorkeling trips out to the park's coral reef.
From journal Adventures in Miami
May 28, 2002
From journal 7 days in Miami Beach
Wilton Manors, Florida
July 16, 2001
The five activities take about an hour to complete. Some are good for the kids alone, others are great for families and groups working together. After finishing up, the park is a great place to have a barbecue by the water -- a great reward for learning a little more about this special place.
From journal The Florida Keys: Closer Than You Think!
October 23, 2000
The price of the trip includes mask, fins, snorkel, and safety vest, as well as any instruction you might need. Snorkeling is an easy skill to learn. The toughest part is just remembering that you can indeed breathe when your face is under water!
Protecting the habitat is the main purpose of the park, so don't break, stand on, take or even touch the corals or other animals. They are extremely fragile, and damage can take decades to mend.