National Parks Around Palm Beach

Big Cypress

National Preserve

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The freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp, essential to the health of the neighboring Everglades, support the rich marine estuaries along Florida's southwest coast. Protecting over 729,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther.

a Florida Panther sits in a tree

Weather

Big Cypress National Preserve experiences two predominant seasons- wet and dry. RAINY SEASON (May through October) While visiting during this season you may find daily afternoon thunderstorms, high humidity, temperatures in the mid - to - high 80s and a multitude of mosquitoes. DRY SEASON (November through April) Falling water levels within the Big Cypress make this a pleasant time to hike, camp, and watch wildlife. For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/bicy/planyourvisit/weather.htm

Driving Directions

Big Cypress is located along the Tamiami Trail East and I-75 in southern Florida. The preserve can be accessed by driving from Miami and Naples. The preserves two visitor centers are located along Tamiami Trail East. More directions to Big Cypress.

Operating Hours

The preserve is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. The Oasis Visitor Center and the Welcome Center are closed on December 25th. No fee is charged for access to the preserve.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fee: There is no entrance fee for Big Cypress National Preserve

Contact

Mailing Address:
33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Physical Address:
33000 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Physical Address:
33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Phone Number: 2396952000

Biscayne

National Park

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Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife…or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay.

Downtown Miami in background.

Weather

The park is situated in a subtropical climate, which ensures sunshine year-round. Winters are normally dry and mild, with occasional fronts bringing wind and little rain. Summer brings hot and humid weather with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoons. The average temperature in January is 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 in July. The average rainfall for the area is 2.17 inches in January and 3.95 inches in July. June to November is hurricane season.

Driving Directions

The Dante Fascell Visitor Center may be reached from the Florida Turnpike by taking Exit 6 (Speedway Boulevard). Turn left from exit ramp and continue south to SW 328th Street (North Canal Drive). Turn left on 328th Street and continue for four miles to the end of the road. The park entrance is on the left just before the entrance to Homestead Bayfront Marina. More directions to Biscayne.

Operating Hours

Park waters are open 24 hours a day, all year.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

No entrance fees.: The park has no entrance fees.

Contact

Mailing Address:
9700 SW 328th Street
Homestead, FL 33033

Physical Address:
9700 SW 328th Street
Homestead, FL 33033

Phone Number: 3052301144

Canaveral

National Seashore

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Since ancient times, this barrier island has provided sanctuary to both people and wildlife. Many threatened and endangered species find refuge here, including sea turtles who nest on its shores. Like first natives and early settlers, you too can find tranquility. Stroll down a wooded trail. Reflect on a pristine undeveloped shoreline - the way things used to be.

Image of visitors relaxing at Playalinda beach

Weather

Summer: Hot & humid (Temperatures average in the 90's) Winter months: Temperatures in the 40-70 degree range, with a "cold spells" where temps down to the low to mid-30's). Hurricane Season: June 1st through November 30th (most activity normally occurs in August or September)

Driving Directions

Canaveral National Seashore is located along Florida's East coast between Volusia & Brevard counties. To access the north end (Apollo Beach), take I-95 to exit 249, then go east until it turns into A1A. Follow A1A south to the park entrance. To access the south end (Playalinda Beach), take I-95 to exit 220. Go east through Titusville on Garden Street, then follow the signs. More directions to Canaveral.

Operating Hours

PARK HOURS: Winter: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Summer: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm HEADQUARTERS (Administrative Office) M-F: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Monday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM
Tuesday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM
Wednesday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM
Thursday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM
Friday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM
Saturday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM
Sunday: 6:00AM - 8:00PM

Entrance Fees

Entrance Fee: Day per vehicle fee (cars, mini-vans, etc..). Cost: $10

Motorcyles: Day entrance fee for motorcyles Cost: $10

Commercial Tour Vehicles: A commercial tour is defined as consisting of one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced or sold for leisure or recreational purposes by an organization that realizes financial gain through the provisions of the service. (Costs vary based on design capacity of vehicle, and range from $25 to $100). Cost: $100

Contact

Physical Address:
212 S. Washington Ave
Titusville, FL 32796

Mailing Address:
212 S. Washington Ave
Titusville, FL 32796

Phone Number: 3212671110

Castillo de San Marcos

National Monument

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A monument not only of stone and mortar but of human determination and endurance, the Castillo de San Marcos symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggles of an earlier time, these original walls provide tangible evidence of America’s grim but remarkable history.

Drawbridge entrance to the Castillo de San Marcos

Weather

St. Augustine has a semi-tropical climate with over 300 days of sunshine each year. Summers (May-September) are hot, bright, and humid with afternoon thunderstorms common. Temperatures range from the lower 70s to the mid 90s F. Spring (March-mid-May) and Autumn (October-late November) can be pleasant with temperatures ranging from the upper 50s into the 80s F. The Winter months (December-March) are usually dry. Temperatures can be cool ranging from the upper 30s through the 60sF.

Driving Directions

On State Route A1A overlooking Matanzas Bay in the heart of the historic district of Saint Augustine, the Castillo is approximately a five mile drive from Interstate 95. More directions to Castillo de San Marcos.

Operating Hours

The Castillo de San Marcos is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, December 25. PLEASE NOTE: The time listed below as closing time is actually the time of last admission. The Castillo is normally open until 5:15 pm.

Monday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM
Friday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: 8:45AM - 5:00PM

Entrance Fees

Castillo Entrance Fee - Per Person - Adult: Individual admission for persons 16 years of age or older. Cost: $10

Castillo Entrance Fee - Per Person - Child: Individual admission for person age 15 and younger

Contact

Physical Address:
11 South Castillo Drive
Saint Augustine, FL 32084

Mailing Address:
1 South Castillo Drive
Saint Augustine, FL 32084

Phone Number: 9048296506

De Soto

National Memorial

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In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto’s army of soldiers, hired mercenaries, craftsmen and clergy made landfall in Tampa Bay. They were met with fierce resistance of indigenous people protecting their homelands. De Soto’s quest for glory and gold would be a four year, four thousand mile odyssey of intrigue, warfare, disease, and discovery that would form the history of the United States.

De Soto National Memorial preserves a small portion of the mangrove swamp of the Florida Gulf Coast.

Weather

Summers avg. Temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 80-90% Late afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common usually lasting only 10-20 minutes. Winters are mild and dry with lows reaching on average 60 degrees.

Driving Directions

Driving Directions: From I-75 Take exit 220 SR 64/Manatee Ave, Gulf Beaches exit. Travel west on SR 64 for approximately 12 miles to 75th St. W. Turn right onto 75th St. W. travel north approximately 2 miles to the northern terminus 75th St. W. turns into De Soto Memorial Hwy and dead ends into the park. More directions to De Soto.

Operating Hours

Visitor Center and Parking lot is open Seven Days a week From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Park grounds are open from Sunrise to Sunset. De Soto National Memorial is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and News Year Day.

Monday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Entrance Fees

De Soto National Memorial: The Park and all areas, programs, and events are free of charge.

Contact

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 15390
Bradenton, FL 34280

Physical Address:
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, FL 34209

Phone Number: 9417920458

Dry Tortugas

National Park

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Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area.

Park visitors enjoy a sunset on the moat wall.

Weather

The climate in the Dry Tortugas is subtropical, which basically means that it has warm and tropical weather in the range of 60°F to 90°F. The two main seasons are the winter stormy season from December through March which is windier and sees rougher seas, and the summertime tropical storm season from June through November where there is a higher chance of isolated storms. During the summers it is hot and humid. During the winter the temperature is milder and drier.

Driving Directions

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote parks in the National Park System. Located approximately 70 miles west of Key West it is accessible only by a daily concession ferry, private boats, charter boats, or seaplane. More directions to Dry Tortugas.

Operating Hours

The Dry Tortugas is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. This includes holidays.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Dry Tortugas Entrance Fee: This fee covers entrance to the park for 7 days. If you are arriving via seaplane or ferry the travel ticket includes entrance fee to Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson. If you hold a National Parks Pass, show your pass at check-in and the entrance fee will be deducted from your transportation cost. If you are arriving via private boat or private seaplane fees are collected through a self-service fee area on the main dock at Garden Key. Cash or check only. Cost: $10

Contact

Mailing Address:
40001 SR-9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Physical Address:
40001 SR-9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Phone Number: 3052427700

Everglades

National Park

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Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. An international treasure as well - a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.

Two canoes at Nine Mile Pond during sunset.

Weather

The climate in Florida is known to be mild and sunny.The average annual temperatures for South Florida and the Keys range from 74° to 77°F (23° to 25°C). There are two seasons at the Everglades National Park: the wet season and the dry season. The wet season runs from Mid-May to November and the dry season runs from December to mid-May.

Driving Directions

Directions to Ernest Coe Visitor Center 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034 Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park. Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park. More directions to Everglades.

Operating Hours

Everglades National Park is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Park entrance is always open but staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monday: Closes at 12:00PM
Tuesday: Closes at 12:00PM
Wednesday: Closes at 12:00PM
Thursday: Closes at 12:00PM
Friday: Closes at 12:00PM
Saturday: Closes at 12:00PM
Sunday: Closes at 12:00PM

Entrance Fees

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Per vehicle: The entrance fee to the Everglades National Park is good for 7 consecutive days starting from the day of purchase. Cost: $25

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Per Person/Cyclist: The Everglades National Park charges an entry fee per person when an individual enters the main entrance station through a bike or by walking. The entrance fee is good for 7 consecutive days starting from the day of purchase. Individuals 16 years old and younger, are admitted free of charge. Cost: $8

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Per Motorcycle: The Everglades National Park entrance fee for motorcycles is good for 7 consecutive days starting from the day of purchase. Cost: $20

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Commercial Motorcoach: Entrance fees to the Everglades National Park are charged based on the seating capacity of the vehicle. Motorcoach (26 or more passengers) Cost: $200

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Commercial Minibus: Entrance fees to the Everglades National Park are charged based on the seating capacity of the vehicle. Minibus (16-25 passengers) Cost: $100

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Commercial Van: Entrance fees to the Everglades National Park are charged based on the seating capacity of the vehicle. Van (7- 15 passengers) Cost: $75

Everglades National Park Entrance Fee- Commercial Sedan: Entrance fees to the Everglades National Park are charged based on the seating capacity of the vehicle. Sedan (1-6 passengers: $8 per person) Cost: $25

Contact

Physical Address:
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Mailing Address:
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Phone Number: 3052427700

Fort Caroline

National Memorial

timucuan hut recreated from palm fronds

Weather

Mild winter and hot summers.

Driving Directions

From Downtown Jacksonville, take Union Street to the Mathews Bridge to the Arlington Expressway to the flyover exit for the Southside Connector. Take the connector to Merrill Road and turn right. Merrill Road becomes Fort Caroline Road in approximately 1/2 mile. Continue on Fort Caroline Road, passing through the stoplight at the intersection of Fort Caroline Road and Monument Road. The next left turn is signed for Fort Caroline National Memorial. More directions to Fort Caroline.

Operating Hours

Fort Caroline is home to the Timucuan Preserve visitor center.

Monday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Entrance Fees

Fort Caroline: Fee free site

Contact

Physical Address:
12713 Fort Caroline Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Mailing Address:
12713 Fort Caroline Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Phone Number: 904.641.7155

Fort Matanzas

National Monument

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Coastal Florida was a major field of conflict as European nations fought for control in the New World. As part of this struggle, Fort Matanzas guarded St. Augustine’s southern river approach. The colonial wars are over, but the monument is still protecting—not just the historic fort, but also the wild barrier island and the plants and animals who survive there amidst a sea of modern development

A nature trail boardwalk with seating area.

Weather

Summers are hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers. Sunscreen, a hat, UV protective sunglasses, and are recommended. Drink plenty of water. Winters are cool to mild with some cold spells, especially with wind from the north or off the water. Fall and spring are temperate with temperatures around 70F-80F (21C-26C). During danger of lightning, the fort will be closed and ferry service will be suspended. June-November is hurricane season so check for tropical storms before visiting.

Driving Directions

Fort Matanzas is 14 miles south of Saint Augustine on State Route A1A. More directions to Fort Matanzas.

Operating Hours

Fort Matanzas is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, December 25.

Monday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Tuesday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
Sunday: 9:00AM - 5:30PM

Entrance Fees

Fort Matanzas Entrance Fee: There is no fee for visiting any portion of Fort Matanzas.

Contact

Physical Address:
8635 A1A South
Saint Augustine, FL 32080

Mailing Address:
8635 A1A South
Saint Augustine, FL 32080

Phone Number: 9044710116

Gulf Islands

National Seashore

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What is it that entices people to the sea? Poet John Masefield wrote, “I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.” Millions of visitors are drawn to the islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the white sandy beaches, the aquamarine waters, a boat ride, a camping spot, a tour of an old fort, or a place to fish.

A beach umbrella shades a chair as blue-green waves crash against a white sand beach.

Weather

Weather along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico can change quickly. During the winter temperatures range from 40-70 degrees fahrenheit, rain is less common than other seasons. Snow and freezing temperatures are not common. During the summer temperatures range from 70-100+ degrees fahrenheit. Rain is common during the summer with many thunderstorms. Hurricanes impact the area during the tropical storm season between June and November. Tornadoes can impact the area during the Spring and Fall.

Driving Directions

Gulf Islands National Seashore is a place of myriad riches - blue-green, sparkling waters, magnificent white beaches, and fertile coastal marshes. Its 12 areas include historic forts, shaded picnic areas, trails, and campgrounds. From Cat Island, Mississippi, it stretches eastward 160 miles tot he Okaloosa Area east of For Walton Beach, Florida. More directions to Gulf Islands.

Operating Hours

The Davis Bayou Area is located south of U. S. Hwy. 90 east of downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi and offers many recreational opportunities. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, birdwatching, picnicking, and ranger-led programs. There are no swimming beaches in the Davis Bayou Area.

Monday: 8:00AM - Sunset
Tuesday: 8:00AM - Sunset
Wednesday: 8:00AM - Sunset
Thursday: 8:00AM - Sunset
Friday: 8:00AM - Sunset
Saturday: 8:00AM - Sunset
Sunday: 8:00AM - Sunset

Entrance Fees

Gulf Islands National Seashore - Per Person: This pass is good for seven days from the date of purchase and covers the entrance fee at Perdido Key, Fort Pickens, and Santa Rosa (Opal Beach). Cost: $7

Gulf Islands National Seashore - Per Motorcycle: This pass is good for seven days from the date of purchase and covers the entrance fee at Perdido Key, Fort Pickens, and Santa Rosa (Opal Beach). Cost: $10

Gulf Islands National Seashore - Private Vehicle (<15 passenger capacity): This pass is good for seven days from the date of purchase and covers the entrance fee at Perdido Key, Fort Pickens, and Santa Rosa (Opal Beach). Cost: $15

Gulf Islands National Seashore - Per Person in Private Vehicle with more that 15 passenger capacity.: This pass is good for seven days from the date of purchase and covers the entrance fee at Perdido Key, Fort Pickens, and Santa Rosa (Opal Beach). (limited to a total cost of $25.00) Cost: $7

Contact

Physical Address:
1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563

Mailing Address:
1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563

Phone Number: 8509342600

Gullah/Geechee

Cultural Heritage Corridor

Designated by Congress in 2006, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor extends from Wilmington, North Carolina in the north to Jacksonville, Florida in the south. It is home to one of America's most unique cultures, a tradition first shaped by captive Africans brought to the southern United States from West Africa and continued in later generations by their descendents.

Vera Manigault demonstrates the art of sewing sweetgrass baskets.

Weather

The weather varies throughout the year and even throughout the day. Please check the National Weather Service information at http://www.weather.gov for forecast information.

Driving Directions

The corridor encompasses a cultural and linguistic area along the southeastern coast of the United States from the northern border of Pender County, North Carolina to the southern border of St. Johns County, Florida and 30 miles inland. The Commission operates a small business office on Johns Island, SC., but there are many sites to explore within the Corridor. More directions to Gullah/Geechee.

Operating Hours

Several Visitor Centers in the Heritage Corridor.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

N/A: N/A

Contact

Physical Address:
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
Johns Island, SC 29455

Mailing Address:
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
Johns Island, SC 29457-1007

Phone Number: 843.818.4587

Timucuan

Ecological & Historic Preserve

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Visit one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. Discover 6,000 years of human history and experience the beauty of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks. The Timucuan Preserve includes Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation.

slave cabins made of tabby with wooden roofs

Weather

We have mild winters and hot summers. In the winter average highs are in the 60's, lows in the 40's. The summer temperatures reach up into the 90's.

Driving Directions

The beautiful expanse of the Timucuan Preserve is located within the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida. The Preserve can be accessed from major roads and highways in and around Jacksonville. Directions to individual park sites such as Kingsley Plantation, American Beach and the Ribault Column can be found on our website. Our main visitor center is located at Fort Caroline, about 14 miles northeast of downtown. More directions to Timucuan.

Operating Hours

The facilities and grounds for Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation are open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily. The preserve headquarters is open 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday; closed on all government holidays. Cedar Point and the Theodore Roosevelt Area are open sunrise - sunset.

Monday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Entrance Fees

Fee Free Park: We are a free park.

Contact

Physical Address:
12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Mailing Address:
12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Phone Number: 904-641-7155