Thinking about an upcoming trip to The Magic City? In researching a list of all the national parks near Miami, we were surprised to find that all but two of the national park units in Florida can be reached with a 5-hour drive of Miami International Airport.
How many national parks are within 5 hours of Miami? There are 9 different units within 5 hours of Miami, including 3 national parks, 2 national monuments, and 2 national preserves. Check out the searchable map below to see where all of the units are relative to the Miami metro area.
While we love a good beach vacation, if you’re looking for some history, some wildlife viewing, or a chance to experience some of the most unique ecosystems in the United States, we recommend checking out one of these spots on your next #parkchasing adventure.
National Parks Within 1 Hour of Miami
Just outside of the Miami metro, you’ll find 2 opportunities for #parkchasing, at some of the most popular national parks in the United States.
Biscayne National Park
Distance from Miami: 34 miles / 54.7 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/bisc/index.htm
Dante Fascell Visitors Center
700 SW 328th St
Homestead, FL 33033
Located just 34 miles south of Miami International Airport, Biscayne National Park should be on the top of your Miami travel list. Approximately 95% of the park’s area is water, so prepare for snorkeling a shipwreck, boat cruises to the famous Boca Chita Key, and sailing in Biscayne Bay.
Everglades National Park
Distance from Miami: 43.5 miles / 70 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
Ernest F. Coe Visitor’s Center
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
Everglades National Park was the second park unit we checked off our #parkchasing list way back in March 2011. We loved every minute of our time there. Roughly 45 miles south of Miami, Everglades National Park protects one of the most unique areas on the planet. Some of the park’s plants and animals can only be found in the Everglades, making the park worth the World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance designations.
National Parks Within 3 Hours of Miami
Once you’ve crossed off the parks closest to Miami, along the way you might decide to visit the 2 national park units within 3 hours drive of the city.
Big Cypress National Preserve
Distance from Miami: 74.2 miles / 119 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm
Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center
33000 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, Florida 34141
More than 729,000 acres of protected swamp lands within Big Cypress National Preserve. Even though we saw a tiny portion of the park during our 2018 visit, we were able to experience some of the best this park has to offer: wildlife viewing (gators, manatees, and more bird species than we could count!), scenic drives, and a chance to learn more about the Calusa, Miccosukee, and Seminole people who made Big Cypress their home for thousands of years.
Canaveral National Seashore
Distance from Miami: 212 miles / 341.9 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/cana/index.htm
Apollo District Visitor’s Center
7611 S. Atlantic Ave
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Looking for a break from the resort beaches of Miami? Try heading 3 hours north to Canaveral National Seashore. The park sits minutes from the Kennedy Space Center and is a popular spot for viewing launches from Cape Canaveral. Canoeing the Apollo Beach District and night sky programs are two other highlights of trips to Canaveral.
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National Parks Within 5 Hours of Maimi
Venturing a little farther out from Miami’s downtown? There are 5 national park units perfect for a longer day trip or an overnight adventure.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Distance from Miami: 161 miles / 259 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm
Ferry departure from Key West, FL
So if we’re being entirely honest, Dry Tortugas National Park is a bit farther than 5 hours from Miami. But ranked as one of the least-visited, most pristine national parks in all of the National Park Service–it’s worth the visit. Located 70 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida, and available only by boat or seaplane, Dry Tortugas is a collection of seven small islands. The most popular island is home to Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century fort and historical treasure. Not able to take the island trip? Visit The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West instead for a good sample of exhibits and information about what makes Dry Tortugas so special.
De Soto National Memorial
Distance from Miami: 247 miles / 397.5 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/deso/index.htm
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, FL 34209
Crossing over to the other side of the state from Miami, De Soto National Memorial can be found just outside of the Tampa area. In 1539, Europeans first landed in the area, led by Conquistador Hernando de Soto. During weekends, the National Memorial hosts living history demonstrations and ranger-led kayak tours.
Fort Matanzas National Monument
Distance from Miami: 299 miles / 481 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/foma/index.htm
8635 A1A South
Saint Augustine, FL 32080
If you’re looking for some history of the European settlement of Florida, try Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine. The site is home to 100 acres of marsh and barrier islands as well as what remains of a 1740 Spanish fort named Fort Matanzas. Although hurricane repairs often impact the site, when available ferry rides and tours of the fort are available.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Distance from Miami: 314 miles / 505 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm
1 South Castillo Drive
Saint Augustine, FL 32084
Located just across the bay from Fort Matanzas and about 4.5 hours drive from Miami International Airport, you’ll find Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. It lays claim as the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States. Check out a self-guided or ranger-led tour of the fort and living history demonstrations during your visit.
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
Distance from Miami: 350 miles / 563 km
Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/timu/index.htm
12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225
Located around 5 hours drive north from Miami (and just 20 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport), Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is the largest undeveloped coastal wetland on the entire Atlantic Coast. With more than 46,000 acres to explore, you’ll find a little bit of everything here. The park is home to ancient archeological sites, remnants of the French 16th-Century settlement Fort Caroline, and the Kingsley Plantation.