Florida Keys Parks
Ahhh, the parks of the Florida Keys. They offer respite for the weary souls of sensory-overloaded tourists and invite you to explore nature and replenish your zen.
The parks of the Florida Keys are the safe-haven for trees, birds, beaches, open spaces, and wildlife as well as human visitors. They guarantee pleasant, clean affordable camping spots on the beach, in some cases, and protected, rare hammocks in other cases.
If it weren’t for the parks, where would regular folks be able to pitch a tent facing the ocean with unobstructed views?
Where would anyone get to experience the Keys as they were hundreds of years ago, in a jungly hammock full of trees and vines? Or where would we get to spend the day on the beach and grill up dinner right there when we get hungry? The parks protect the natural resources of the Florida Keys from commercial and residential development while still managing to offer us human visitors a chance to enjoy ourselves within their borders.
Florida State Parks
The Florida State Parks are among the best, and include the famous Bahia Honda State Park, whose beach is written about in travel magazines all over the world.
There’s also Long Key State Park, which has excellent camping facilities right on the beach and is close to Looe Key, a favorite amongst divers. Of course you can’t forget John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is mostly underwater but includes a small swimming lagoon and marina with tours and rentals available.
This the country’s first marine state park, and it’s also the best, according to people down here! If you drive through the Keys from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, try and plan a stop here…chances are you’ll be driving right it since it’s located in Key Largo, the northernmost of the Florida Keys.
There are also Florida State Historical Parks, such as Zachary Taylor State Historical Park, in Key West.
This is more of a destination for history or military buffs since it’s a preserved Civil War-era fort, but there’s a beach and kayak rentals here as well…this is the Keys, after all!
County parks in the Keys can be found as well, and Harry Harris County Park is a prime example. Like many parks of the Florida Keys, it offers hibachis, sand, and ocean views…everything you need for a great day at the beach.
National Parks in the Florida Keys are also creme of the crop, with Dry Tortugas National Park at the top of the list. It’s another marine park, located seventy miles west of Key West and most people get there via plane. There are also city parks to explore in the various Keys. Some are large, like Founder’s Park in Islamorada. Some are small, like the tiny park in Key West just southwest of the Key West Cemetery, which is no bigger than someone’s tiny back yard.