Biscayne National Park – April 2017

Hannah – 4 years old – National Park #3

Robert is Here Fruit Stand

We had just finished walking the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades and decided to make our way to Biscayne National Park.  However, we got sidetracked by the Robert Is Here Fruit Stand just outside of the park.  It’s hard to miss this place as you drive right by it between Homestead and the Everglades.  It has an impressive selection of fresh fruit and one of my favorite treats –smoothies.  It also had a small animal farm in the back.  We grabbed some lunch and smoothies from the stand and sat at a picnic table while Hannah admired the farm animals.

Hannah at the Robert is Here Fruit Stand

I recall coming to this very same fruit stand with my husband Jim years ago.  He was wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt that day and while waiting in line for smoothies, the guy in front of us noticed his t-shirt.  Next thing I know, the guy is asking Jim if he wants to go smoke pot out back.  Although tempting, Jim and I opted just for the smoothies that day.

Biscayne National Park

We made the 35 minute drive over to Biscayne National Park and walked around admiring the ocean views.  We had pre-booked a boat outing to Boca Chita Key with the Biscayne National Park Institute.  Inside to the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, we were told that we were the only ones who signed up for the tour, so we would have the boat to ourselves! 

Boca Chita Key

The lighthouse on Boca Chita Key

The crew was great and there was also a park ranger on board who gave us all sorts of fun facts about the park, like it is made up 95% of water and only 5% land.  We arrived at Boca Chita Key in less than an hour and the park ranger asked us if we wanted to go to the top of the lighthouse.  Yes please!  She brought us up there, unlocking the doors as we walked up a small spiral staircase.  We could basically see the entire island as we walked around the circle at the top.  That’s when we noticed a beach across the island and decided we should check that out next. 

The beach at Boca Chita Key

The beach was gorgeous, with calm, shallow water and enough shells to keep any 4 year old busy.  I explained to Hannah that we cannot take these shells with us because they are part of a National Park. In order to respect the park and have others enjoy it for years to come, we need to leave it as we found it.  She seemed disappointed, but I assured her we could pick some up at the gift shop on our way out, which seemed to satisfy her. 

Overall our trip to Biscayne NP was a successful one!  If it’s a beautiful day out (which it so often is in Florida), I highly recommend the boat excursion to Boca Chita Key.

Lessons Learned

If a park is made up 95% of water, it is best to experience it ON the water!

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