Florida Keys Stories and Tips

Dante Fascell Visitor Center

Dante Fascell Visitor Center Photo, Florida Keys, Florida

The Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Biscayne National Park's Convoy Point is truly one of the finest visitor centers in the entire National Park System. Overlooking Biscayne Bay, the center offers a great museum that takes you on journey through the park's four ecosystems: mangrove forests, Biscayne Bay, the northern Florida Keys and the living coral reef. Fabulous dioramas, videos, and lots of hands-on opportunities make this a place for the whole family.

In the auditorium, rangers show a variety of films about the park, including a beautifully artistic overview of what the park protects, a look at the contentious battle to create the park in the 1960s, and a glimpse into the impact of 1992's Hurricane Andrew.

Rangers offer talks and short walks daily during the winter, and intermittently the rest of the year. A calendar of special events like concerts, lectures, classes and "Family Fun Fests" is also available - call 305-230-7275 to get details, or go to their website at www.nps.gov/bisc and click on the "Activity Calendar" link. Of course, rangers and volunteers are available to answer questions every day from 8:30 until 5:00. A small bookstore has a great selection of titles for both adults and kids. The concessioner-operated gift shop next door can provide information on boat tours, dive trips and canoe rentals.

The best part about the whole visitor center? The rocking chairs on the front porch. Sit back on a quiet weekday afternoon and allow the gentle breezes blowing off Biscayne Bay caress you to sleep.

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