9+ Florida Keys State Parks (+ a Dreamy NPS) That You Can’t Miss

The Florida Keys are filled with amazing state parks and also one of our all-time favorite national parks. We promise you will not want to miss out on seeing any of these amazing places! Keep reading our tips on these Florida Keys State Parks.

Ready to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about Florida Keys state parks, and one dreamy national park, that you and your crew are not going to want to miss!

FLORIDA KEYS STATE PARKS: JOHN PENNEKAMP STATE PARK

9+ Florida Keys State Parks (+ a Dreamy NPS) That You Can’t Miss
Courtesy of Florida State Parks

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is known for its snorkeling right off of the beach. You literally get on your gear and swim out about 20 yards and start snorkeling. The only problem can be if the water is choppy it isn’t clear and you can’t see as much as you would like.

From here you can also take a snorkeling tour out on the water or a glass bottom boat tour. Where you really can see through the glass bottom and see beautiful fish and maybe even a shark or sting ray! Plus the boat ride out is beautiful.

They also have kayak and paddle board rentals at the state park. You walk over, rent your kayak or paddle board, then put it in the water and head on out! It is really a beautiful and calm area to be out on the water.

CLICK HERE FOR DISCOUNT TICKETS ON KEY WEST’S BEST WATER SPORTS TOURS.

FLORIDA KEYS STATE PARKS: BAHIA HONDA STATE PARK

9+ Florida Keys State Parks (+ a Dreamy NPS) That You Can’t Miss

Bahia Honda State Park is probably the favorite state park of most people that visit the Keys. The beaches are beautiful (and the Keys are not known for their beaches – since the reef surrounding the keys stops the beaches from having nice soft sand) and there are some short hikes you can take in the park.

Our favorite area was the small less crowded stretch of beach where you can walk and look out over the crystal clear water or watch a beautiful sunset. You an also venture out on the old bridge for some amazing views.

They have a small nature center, store, and snack bar. Along with kayak rentals.

Read More: SWIMMING IN RAIN TO SUNSHINE AT BAHIA HONDA STATE PARK

FLORIDA KEYS STATE PARKS: FORT ZACHARY STATE PARK

9+ Florida Keys State Parks (+ a Dreamy NPS) That You Can’t Miss

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is located in Key West and offers a nice beach along with a fort that you can explore. The beach area provides a snack bar with lots of trees for a nice shady retreat from the sun.

You can explore the fort at your own pace and read the signs throughout to learn about the history of the fort and climb to the top of the fort to look out over the ocean. It is really cool to be here and to imagine what it was like for the soldiers that use to live here.

You can bring a picnic dinner and catch the sunset on the grassy area to the right of the beach. You will see a variety of sunset cruises and sailboats and will be able to get some amazing pictures of a sunset over the ocean with a sailboat floating by.

FLORIDA’s NATIONAL PARK: DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK

9+ Florida Keys State Parks (+ a Dreamy NPS) That You Can’t Miss

Take the Yankee Freedom II ferry to get out to the Dry Tortugas National Park. You can either stay for the afternoon or you can book a campsite and stay for up to 14 days. Please note there is not electric or water at the campsites.

When you are there for the day you eat lunch on the boat and then head out to explore the fort and the surrounding island. It is such an amazing feeling to be out on an island where you can see water on both sides. The beaches provide 100’s of colorful conch shells and beautiful birds to watch.

Dry Tortugas is definitely one for your Florida bucket list!

Read More: DON’T GO TO THE DRY TORTUGAS WITHOUT THESE 3 HELPFUL TIPS

MORE FLORIDA KEYS STATE PARKS

  • Indian Key Historic State Park. Located in Islamorada, this state park in the Florida Keys can only be accessed via kayak! The park welcomes visitors who come to swim, sunbathe and hike. Kayak rentals are available from local charter companies.
  • Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park. Also located in Islamorada, and also only accessible by boat or kayak, this state park features a virgin tropical hardwood hammock that thrives on this island and was once common on most of Florida’s Upper Keys. There is a self-guided tour brochure that visitors can use to learn about the home and other features that dot the lawn.
  • San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park. Part of a Spanish flotilla, the San Pedro was a 287-ton, Dutch-built ship that sank in a hurricane on July 13, 1733. Its remains were discovered in 1960 in Hawk Channel near Indian Key. After major salvage efforts in the 1960s, all that remains of San Pedro is a large pile of ballast stones covering an area 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The underwater site has been enhanced with seven replica cannons.
  • Curry Hammock State Park. This state park in Marathon, FL, is the largest undeveloped parcel of land between Key Largo and Big Pine Key. On calm days, paddlers come and go finding their own quiet slice of paradise, and on windy, wild days, the park bubbles with the activity and excitement of kiteboarders.  
  • Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. visitors can walk along 8-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the ancient coral and learn about the quarry and its operation, an important part of Florida’s 20th-century history. Hiking trails and picnic tables are available.
  • Long Key State Park. Historically a favorite tourist spot for the rich and well-to-do, Long Key now serves as a tranquil haven for bird-watching, swimming, kayaking or relaxing on the shoreline as you gaze across the Atlantic Ocean.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA

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9+ Florida Keys State Parks (+ a Dreamy NPS) That You Can’t Miss