• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

History & Culture

Boca Chita Lighthouse at twilight.

Twilight at Boca Chita Key.

Kodak/NPS photo by
Neil Montanus.

A Tequesta Indian man free-dives for conch from a dugout canoe. A Bahamian woman watches the sunset across a tidal creek after a hard day's work. A ship grinds against a knife-edged reef while a violent wind howls. Wealthy industrialists gather under a shady palm to toss horseshoes. The parade of human history in Biscayne National Park spans 10,000 years.

Although Biscayne National Park was established for its natural history, signs of people and the many ways they have used these lands and waters is everywhere. Nearly every island in the park has evidence of use by native peoples. Underwater, shipwrecks rest as silent witnesses to one violent moment in time, each holding the promise of teaching us about our collective past. Pull up a rocking chair on the front porch of the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, and you just might hear the story of how the park was established from one of the people that actually made it happen.

Dive in to discover Biscayne's people and places. Their stories are written on the land...and water.

Did You Know?

The Sweeting Family

For 50 years, four generations of the Sweeting family thrived on Biscayne National Park's Elliott Key. Here they raised pineapples, salvaged wrecked ships, went to school, worshipped and played at the northern end of Florida's Keys.