How To Visit Biscayne National Park: The Best One Day Itinerary (2024)

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Want to know how to visit Biscayne National Park and have the best one day itinerary? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

How To Visit Biscayne National Park

You may be wondering how to visit Biscayne National Park since the whole park is essentially under water.

The Biscayne National Park Institute hosts a multitude of excursions for a variety of interests, length of time, and group sizes, with at least one that is for sure going to fit your needs.

So the first thing you’ll want to do is to book the excursion you want to do.

If you’re looking for a leisurely half day visit, then the Heritage of Biscayne Cruise Tour is for you.

If you want to experience a full day adventure, we recommend the Sail, Paddle, Snorkel, & Island Visit Tour.

Whichever excursion you choose, you’ll want to plan to start your day bright and early.

For our trip, we were up at 6 am to make sure we had everything packed that we needed and to stop at Publix to pick up some “pub subs” for our picnic lunch at the park.

There’s no food available on the excursion, so you’ll need to bring your own.

Biscayne National Park One Day Itinerary

For our trip, we wanted to see and do it all, so we booked the Sail, Paddle, Snorkel, & Island Visit Tour.

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early to check in on time and to apply sunscreen and bug spray before you head out on the boat.

You can also use this time to shop around the Visitor Center for any souvenirs you’ll want to take home.

Biscayne National Park welcome sign

✅ Sailing Excursion

There actually was no wind on the day of our sailing trip, so we opted to switch to the power boat instead so we could still go to all of the islands and see as much of the park as possible.

This may happen on your trip as well and it’s not a big deal at all.

If anything, it allows you to actually see and do more.

sailing excursion at Biscayne National Park

✅ Snorkeling At Biscayne National Park

Our first stop on our excursion was for snorkeling.

The water was perfectly clear and perfect for snorkeling or swimming.

We were able to sit on the back of the boat and dip our feet in too.

This is also a good time to reapply sunscreen and drink some ice cold water from the cooler onboard also.

snorkeling at Biscayne National Park

✅ Lunch At Boca Chita Key

After snorkeling we stopped at one of the islands for lunch.

There were probably a dozen other boats docked, but everyone was spaced out at picnic tables or just walking around, so it was still peaceful and quiet.

✅ SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) At Biscayne National Park

After our lunch break it was time for SUP, also known as stand up paddle boarding.

When we booked the trip it said we would choose that or kayaking, but once we were there they just said we were paddle boarding, which was fine with us.

We had never done it before, but I always wanted to try it and now I can say I’ve done it.

The only downside of this is that we left our phones on the boat, so we didn’t get any pictures of that portion.

We didn’t want to risk falling in the water and ruining our phones or losing them.

But it was the highlight of our boating trip because I successfully stood up on the paddle board without falling over and we saw several baby sharks about 2 feet long or so.

The photo below shows the groves where we did most of our paddle boarding.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding At Biscayne National Park

After this, we returned back to the Visitors Center.

This whole excursion was about 6 hours.

We left at 10 am and made it back to the Visitor’s Center at 4 pm.

sailing excursion at Biscayne National Park

Where To Stay When Visiting Biscayne National Park

There’s not a lot of hotel options directly outside of Biscayne National Park, but you don’t have to travel too far to find pretty much every type of accommodation possible.

✔️ Hampton Inn & Suites Homestead Miami South

This particular Hampton Inn property is the closest hotel to Biscayne National Park that has a guest rating of at least 8 out of 10.

We love staying at Hampton Inn & Suites when we road trip because breakfast is always included and the rates are always reasonable.

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✔️ The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne-Miami

If you’re looking for all the amenities of a resort, then just another mile away is The Ritz-Carlton.

This 5 star beachfront resort has 4 restaurants and a spa.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Biscayne National Park

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Biscayne National Park.

✓ What Is The Best Way To Visit Biscayne National Park?

The best way to visit Biscayne National Park is booking a tour through the Biscayne National Park Institute.

They have shorter cruises that just take you around the park for a couple hours or day long excursions with a variety of activities like snorkeling, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Biscayne National Park welcome sign

✓ Can You Visit Biscayne National Park Without A Boat?


You can visit the park’s visitor centers without needing a boat or any other watercraft.

To see pretty much any other area of the park you do need to be on the water.

When booking excursions, they provide the boats, kayaks, paddle boards, or whatever it is you booked.

So you don’t need to have your own boat or watercraft to visit the park, but one is needed to see the park.

✓ How Much Time Do You Need At Biscayne National Park?

With a half day excursion of 3-4 hours, you can see many areas of the park, but you won’t have time for any activities.

With a full day excursion of 6 hours or so, you’ll be able to see the park and do activities like snorkeling and paddle boarding.

If you visit on 2 separate days you can get in a little bit of everything.

Boca Chita Key at Biscayne National Park

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☑️ The Best Everglades National Park One Day Itinerary

Everglades National Park is a great park to visit when you just have one day.

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Conclusion: How To Visit Biscayne National Park

If you’ve been wondering how to visit Biscayne National Park, this covers pretty much everything you’ll need to know to have the best one day itinerary.