Annual visitors: 446,961
In Florida, within sight of Miami, is Biscayne National Park, a celebration and preservation of the waterways in the area, specifically Biscayne Bay. The park offers a combination of unpolluted waters, islands and coral reefs, open to visitors’ exploration by boat, snorkeling and scuba diving. In fact, you’ll need a boat to explore here: There’s a visitor center on the mainland, but the rest of the park is only accessible by water approach.
Human history is a focal point for visitors to Biscayne as well. The park lays claim to 10,000 years of human history, from ancient peoples to pirates to pineapple farmers. Shipwrecks provide opportunities to combine interests in the waters and peoples of the area.
Interestingly, Biscayne was once scheduled to be part of the Everglades National Park, and, once pulled from that proposal, was the site of several power plants, causing major pollution. Now that the park has been restored to its former glory, it’s well worth a visit.