Biscayne & Everglades National Parks


Alongside two MLB ballparks, we also managed to squeeze in two national parks in our very short amount of time in Florida. In fact, we did these two national parks and a ballpark all on the same day. So, we certainly didn’t have a lot of time to explore a ton of each park, but it was a great sampler, and we did pack a whole lot into our brief visits.

First, we drove from Miami down south to Biscayne National Park. this national park is 95% water, so I thought it only fitting that we explore this one by kayak. We drove by a whole lot of palm tree plantations along the way.

Got my stamp! The visitors center is pretty basic and seems to be under construction or just underfunded, as they didn’t even have functioning restrooms. The park is also one of the least visited, so I suppose it’s a self-perpetuating cycle.

Here we go on our kayak! This is our second national park we’ve kayaked together, the first being Channel Islands. We’ve also kayaked in Tomales Bay together.

Here we are, ‘parked’ amongst the mangroves to listen to our guide as he teaches us about the unique ecosystem.

This was lovely! I’m glad we did not capsize like the couple in front of us did immediately at the start of the tour. The entire bay is only 2-6 feet in depth but they still lost their phone in the silt of the waters below.

Not too terribly hot in mid-April. Downright pleasant way to spent a morning.

Fun bright red crabby!

Afterwards we went to Yardie Spice for Jamaican food, on our guide’s recommendation. It was a wonderful neighborhood vibe, as everyone in the small restaurant was a local and chatted with us. I enjoyed my juice special, and the giant tower of conch fritters. The jerk chicken was just as spicy as we were warned it would be, haha. It did take quite a long time though, so perhaps not the quickest stop if you’re in a hurry!

The next stop is a giant roadside stand, the Robert Is Here Fruit Stand. They sell fruits…


And they even have a whole farm to visit. The full roadside attraction.

Next, we made our way over to the famed Everglades National Park. The wildlife sightings started while we were still in line for the entrance kiosk. This curious orange and black lizard that kept raising and lowering its head! 

Some egrets (the white birds) and anhingas (the black ones) along the Anhinga Trail.

I didn’t bring any fancy lenses, so you’ll have to do a bit of Where’s Waldo to find the creatures below. First, a tiny baby alligator! And then a Florida gar. Looks kind of like an alligator-fish.

This Florida softshell turtle was just casually laying eggs next to the sidewalk while a bunch of kids looked on. And our first big alligator butt sighting, under a boardwalk.

This purple gallinule was the most entertaining cartoon-like bird! It has long yellow toes and hops all across the lilypads looking for seeds to eat.

More turtles of different kinds.

Gumbo-limbo trees along the Gumbo-Limbo Trail.

And as we were leaving, the shop worker pointed out two more gators floating around in the main pond area. Here’s one, looking like a scary log.

And then we were off to the ballpark, haha. A very lovely, if brief, visit to two different South Florida National Parks.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at