Florida National Parks

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Spotlights


Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National ParkBiscayne National Park is a wonderful place to visit. The mangrove shoreline, crystal clear waters, emerald isles, and living coral reefs attract near 500,000 visitors a year. Most of these visitors enter the park by private boat. They fish, cruise, and enjoy the waters of the park. They picnic and camp on the islands. And with snorkel or dive tanks, they explore the exciting kaleidoscope of life which is the living coral reefs.

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Castillo De San Marcos National Monument

Castillo De San Marcos National MonumentThe Castillo de San Marcos, built 1672-1695, served primarily as an outpost of the Spanish Empire, guarding St. Augustine, the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States, and also protecting the sea route for treasure ships returning to Spain. During the 18th century, the Castillo went from Spanish control to British and back to the Spanish , who remained in power in Florida until the area was purchased by the United States in 1821.

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Northwest Northeast


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Gulf Islands National Seashore - Gulf Islands NS consists of eleven separate units stretching along 150 miles from West Ship Island in Mississippi to the eastern tip of Santa Rosa Island in Florida. There are sparkling blue waters, magnificent snowy-white beaches, fertile coastal marshes, and dense maritime forests. Also in the seashore are prehistoric shell mounds and fortifications dating from the 1820s up to the 1940s. Nature, history, and recreational opportunities abound in this national treasure.

Southwest

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Big Cypress National Reserve - The 729,000 acre Big Cypress National Preserve was set aside in 1974 to ensure the preservation, conservation, and protection of the natural scenic, floral and faunal, and recreational values of the Big Cypress Watershed.

De Soto National Memorial - The mission of De Soto National Memorial is to commemorate Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who landed on the southwest Florida coast in 1539. With an army of 600 soldiers, Soto had come to the new world with a license from the King of Spain to explore, colonize and pacify the Indians of the area known as "La Florida."

Southeast

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Biscayne National Park - Turquoise waters, emerald islands and fish-bejeweled reefs make Biscayne National Park a paradise for wildlife-watching, snorkeling, diving, boating, fishing and other activities.

Dry Tortugas National Park - Almost 70 miles (112.9 km) west of Key West lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand, called the Dry Tortugas. Along with the surrounding shoals and waters, they make up Dry Tortugas National Park. The area is known for its famous bird and marine life, and its legends of pirates and sunken gold. Ft. Jefferson, the largest of the 19th century American coastal forts is a central feature.

Everglades National Park - Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, as well as marine and estuarine environments. The park is known for its rich bird life. It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side.


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Castillo De San Marcos National Monument - The Castillo de San Marcos, built 1672-1695, served primarily as an outpost of the Spanish Empire, guarding St. Augustine, the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States, and also protecting the sea route for treasure ships returning to Spain. During the 18th century, the Castillo went from Spanish control to British and back to the Spanish , who remained in power in Florida until the area was purchased by the United States in 1821.

Fort Caroline National Memorial - Fort Caroline National Memorial was created to memorialize the Sixteenth Century French effort to establish a permanent colony in Florida. After initial exploration in 1562, a colony was established in 1564, only to be eliminated by Spanish forces from nearby St. Augustine in 1565.

Fort Matanzas National Memorial - Throughout its history, the story of Fort Matanzas has been closely intertwined with that of the city of St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos. This Spanish outpost fort was built in 1740-1742 to guard the Matanzas Inlet and to warn St. Augustine of British or other enemies approaching from the south. Fort Matanzas now serves as a reminder of the early Spanish empire in the New World.

Timicuan Ecological and Historical Preserve - The 46,000 acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve was established to protect one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast and to preserve historic and prehistoric sites within the area. The estuarine ecosystem includes salt marsh, coastal dunes, hardwood hammock, as well as salt, fresh, and brackish waters, all rich in native vegetation and animal life.

Central East

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Canaveral National Seashore - Canaveral National Seashore is situated on a barrier island and includes ocean, beach, dune, hammock, lagoon, salt marsh, and pine flatland habitats.

 

 

  

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