Enter for a chance to win Viera Voice Travel Challenge
Take a copy of the Viera Voice newspaper and snap a selfie with it while on vacation to one of these parks and you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Viera Voice folding slingback chair.
Send any photos with your name and return email address to email@example.com or post #vieravoicetravel to your social sites.Selfies are due by Aug. 10.
Florida is home to 11 properties that are recognized as official National Park Service units, including Canaveral National Seashore in Brevard County. More than 1.5 million people visited this park
One of the longest expanses of unspoiled beaches in Florida, Canaveral National Seashore encompasses more than 90 square miles or 58,000 acres. Situated on a barrier island that starts at New Smyrna Beach, the park provides 23 miles of undeveloped shoreline where visitors can learn, swim, fish, boat, surf, hike or just relax.
In 1975, Congress established Canaveral National Seashore when it created an act to protect and preserve the natural, scenic, scientific, ecologic, and historic values of certain lands, shorelines and waters of the State of Florida as well as to provide for its public outdoor use.
Four kinds of sea turtles have been known to nest on Canaveral National Seashore from June through November. Anyone with Internet access can view the Turtle Nest Cam from dusk until dawn. The site is nps.gov/cana/learn/nature/turtle-nest-cam.htm.
Canaveral National Seashore is one of 11 national parks participating in the Centennial Paddle Challenge.
Since 2016 is the centennial year of the National Park Service, Florida’s national parks have challenged park visitors to canoe, kayak or use a stand-up-paddleboard to paddle for 100 miles. The miles do not need to be paddled at one time or even at the same park. Take a selfie and tag #FLNPS100PaddleChallenge and #FindYourPark on social media. Paddlers who log at least 100 miles and bring their selfies to a park visitors center will walk away with a specially-designed, one-of-a-kind iron-on patch to mark the achievement.
Some parks may have rentals available, and some parks may offer guided paddling opportunities as well.
For more information about our Florida National Parks, see the list below.
Big Cypress National Preserve
With more than 729,000 acres, 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.
Open 24 hours a day, year round.
33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee
Biscayne National Park
Within sight of downtown Miami, Biscayne protects aquamarine waters, emerald islands and coral reefs.
Dante Fascell Visitor Center has seasonal operating hours. Navigable waters at Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key are open 24 hours daily.
9700 SW 328th St., Homestead
Canaveral National Seashore
The longest expanse of pristine shore in Florida with visitor facilities open and accessible every day of the year. Some seasonal and emergency closures may occur.
The Apollo Visitors Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7611 S. Atlantic Ave.
New Smyrna Beach
Canaveral National Seashore Park headquarters is open Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed all federal holidays.
212 S. Washington Ave., Titusville
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
The distinctive and unique architecture of this monument incorporates the oldest masonry and only existing 17th century fort in North America.
Open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
1 S. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine
De Soto National Memorial
Created in 1948, the park commemorates the 1539 expedition of the Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto and his impact on the indigenous societies of the Southeast.
Visitors Center is open seven days a week 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Park grounds are open from sunrise to sunset.
De Soto National Memorial is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy. Bradenton
941-792-0458, ext. 105
Dry Tortugas National Park
The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands and is accessible only by boat or seaplane.
Open 24 hours, seven days a week including holidays.
40001 SR-9336, Homestead
Everglades National Park
International treasure, World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance.
The park entrance is always open but staffed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
40001 State Rd., 9336, Homestead
Fort Caroline National Memorial
Fort Caroline memorializes the short-lived French presence in 16th century Florida.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily
12713 Fort Caroline Rd., Jacksonville
Fort Matanzas National Monument
As Fort Matanzas guarded St. Augustine’s southern river approach during the colonial wars, the monument is still protecting the wild barrier island and the plants and animals that survive modern development.
Open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
8635 A1A South, St. Augustine
Gulf Islands National Seashore
White sandy beaches, aquamarine waters, a boat ride, a camping spot, a tour of an old fort or a place to fish, this seashore includes islands off the coasts of Florida and Mississippi.
Hours vary on these pack-in,
1801 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.
Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve
The preserve includes Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation and is 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.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
12713 Fort Caroline Rd.