Everyone enjoys the beach differently; slather on some sunscreen and lay out for a tan, pack a picnic basket and spread out your sandwiches and snacks on the sand, hop aboard a windsurfer and learn a new sport. Grab a volley-ball and get into some friendly competition, hang out next to a historic lighthouse – the options are endless – and all available on Key Biscayne.
Just six miles off the coast of Miami is Key Biscayne, a serene island paradise that feels a world away from the bustling urban center just beyond the bridge in Downtown Miami and Brickell area. Key Biscayne is popular with locals looking to connect with a laid-back island culture in luxury, as well as tourists who want the option of packed nightlife, business culture and all the amenities of Miami and its beaches. Here, you can relax in a village with a tranquil vibe and lush natural environment. If you’re visiting Miami to take advantage of the beaches, you might want to consider staying on Key Biscayne. It’s only 30 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes to Miami Beach, where four different and beautiful beaches which are no more than a few steps away, surround the island.
Crandon Park Beach
Crandon Park is the largest and most popular beach on Key Biscayne, stretching across the northern third of the island. This public park is open 365 days a year and is more than just a beach. It has a collection of beach volleyball courts, eco-adventure tours, self guided nature tours, kayak rentals, and bird and butterfly walks. There are also guided tram tours of Bear Cut Preserve, a 264-acre natural barrier island on the northern tip of Key Biscayne. The beach is spotted with cabana shelters, available for rent through the park office, and perfect for beach lovers planning on spending the whole day at the beach. The hot South Florida sun can be strong, especially in the summer months, so the nearby shade is always a welcome retreat.
Crandon Park is home to ecosystems including dunes, mangroves, coastal hammock and sea grass beds and the many other plants and animals that live within those spaces. If you’re a nature lover, bird-watcher or horticulture enthusiast, you’ll happily get lost in the expansive grounds of Crandon Park.
The park has a $5 per vehicle parking fee for visitors to Crandon Park. Nearby Crandon Tennis Center and Crandon Golf Key Biscayne are open to the public and home to annual world-class professional events.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area
The oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County is the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park lighthouse on the Southern tip on Key Biscayne. Drive down the main street in Key Biscayne, through the island, and visit this quiet and quaint beach that is consistently ranked on “Top 10 Beaches in America” lists. Biking along the paved paths is a popular activity at Bill Baggs, as well as fishing along the seawall, walking the nature trails and touring the lighthouse. Eat barefoot or wrapped in a towel at the two al fresco restaurants, the Lighthouse Café and Boater’s Grill, serving up fresh seafood and Cuban food in a casual seaside environment. If you prefer, pack a picnic and don’t even leave the beach or reserve a pavilion and use one of the on-site grills.
If you’ve rented a boat for your trip, you can dock at No Name Harbor, and camp on your boat overnight.
There is an $8 per vehicle entrance fee to this State Park.
Historic Virginia Key Beach
Historic Virginia Key Beach is located on Virginia Key, just off the Rickenbacker Causeway, the bridge between the mainland and Key Biscayne. In 2002 Virginia Key Beach was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2008 it was reopened after nearly 30 years. Today, the preserved Virginia Key Beach is a beautiful and isolated beach to visit.
Smaller than the surrounding beaches, Virginia Key is home to a beach with character and charm. Some of the amenities and natural areas on this beach include an antique carousel, miniature train, playground, picnic areas and an event meadow. Unique animals of sea, land, flora, and fauna are wild in this thriving ecosystem.
Other facilities on Virginia Key include the Miami Seaquarium, the University of Miami Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the site of the Miami Marine Stadium and more.
Hobie Beach/Windsurfer Beach Causeway
A beach for windsurfers and dogs? Yes. At Hobie Beach you’ll see puppies playing in the sand (it’s the only dog friendly beach in Miami where dogs are allowed, on-leash, on the actual sand) and colorful windsurfers floating across the water. Hobie Beach is located right along the Rickenbacker Causeway as you cross from the mainland into Key Biscayne. Drive right up to the beach where you can park your car along the Causeway.
Rent windsurfing equipment, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards from a company located right on the beach.
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