Just a stones through from downtown Miami Beach are four great get-a-ways from the hustle and bustle of city life in downtown Miami Beach. These beach parks are Hobie Island Beach Park, Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, Crandon Park and the two time National Gold Medal winner state park, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. The Virginia Key Beach Park was listed in 2002 on National Register for Historic Places. This park was established in 1945 as the only public beach exclusively for use by Negros. Getting there was not easy. One could only get there by boat. Hobie Island Beach Park and Crandon Park are both Miami-Dade County Parks. They are located on the Key Biscayne barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean on the east side and Biscayne Bay to the west. At the end of the Key Biscayne barrier island rests Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
To get to the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park there it is a 15 minute drive across the Rickenbacker Causeway from downtown Miami Beach to the end of Crandon Boulevard. The Rickenbacker Causeway is located at the end of the I-95 motorway. It is a toll bridge presently charging US$ 1.75 per car for entrance. This toll road does not accept SunPass. There is no charge for the rerun trip to the mainland. The State Park entry fee is $8.00.
According to the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park website, “this state park is the home of a historic lighthouse built in 1825 and reconstructed in 1846, and is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. Visitors come to the park to sunbathe, swim and picnic on more than one mile of sandy Atlantic beachfront, currently ranked #10 on the list of “Top 10 Beaches in America” by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka ‘Dr. Beach.’ Biking and kayaking are popular activities. Anglers can throw in their lines from the seawall along Biscayne Bay for some of the best shoreline fishing in the region. Guided tours of the lighthouse and lighthouse keeperﾴs cottage are given twice daily, Thursdays through Mondays. Two restaurants, Lighthouse Caf￩ and Boater’s Grill, offer authentic Cuban cuisine, or picnickers can reserve a pavilion and fire up their own grill. Bicycles, beach chairs, and umbrellas can be rented. Overnight boat camping is allowed in No Name Harbor; a primitive campsite is available for organized youth groups.”
As the weather in south Florida starts to cool down just a bit and before all the snow birds arrive, planning a visit to any of these great beach parks just might be the right thing to do.
You can learn more about each of these beach parks by following these links.
Hobie Island Beach Park
Historic Virginia Key Beach Park,
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
So until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.