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By: Shayne Benowitz

Drive across the scenic Rickenbacker Causeway, and you’ve entered the subtropical paradise of Key Biscayne. Perfectly positioned off the coast of mainland Miami with idyllic views of the Downtown skyline, Key Biscayne is an oasis of opulent neighborhoods, golden beaches and nature preserves with a chic, yet low-key vibe. Once a coconut plantation owned by the Matheson family, who donated 800 acres of land to what is now Crandon Park, Key Biscayne’s beauty has been preserved for all to enjoy.

Ocean breeze, fine food & fun at Dune Burgers

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is a destination unto itself on Key Biscayne. With multiple swimming pools, a private beach and luxury spa, it’s also home to no less than six food and drink destinations. Lightkeepers is the resort’s signature restaurant serving modern coastal fare and fresh seafood. The beautifully designed space boasts a patio overlooking the ocean and a bar inspired by the island’s historic lighthouse. For a more casual meal at the resort, Cantina Beach serves Mexican fare beneath a tropical, open-air palapa by the pool, while Dune Burgers on the Beach is a toes-in-the-sand-style lounge serving juicy burgers and bottles of bubbly.

A golf course overlooking Biscayne Bay

Crandon Golf

To spend a day on the links at Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne is to spend a day in paradise. You’ll feel a world away from the city hustle and bustle as soon as you’ve crossed the Rickenbacker Causeway and arrive beneath Crandon Park’s dense tree canopy. Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne is a championship 18-hole golf course and the only one in Miami overlooking glittering Biscayne Bay. Designed by Von Hagge, the par-72 course is known for both its beauty and its difficulty. It’s rated one of the Top Ten Courses by Golfweek and one of America’s Top 75 Upscale Courses by Golf Digest.

Waterfront dining at Rusty Pelican

Rusty Pelican

Rusty Pelican is one of Miami’s most iconic restaurants. Known for its elegant waterfront setting and floor-to-ceiling windows with impeccable views of the bay and Downtown, this popular restaurant is perfect for happy hour, dinner or brunch. Pair your views with an agave sunset margarita and choose from Rusty Pelican’s extensive menu of contemporary American fare, like whole fried snapper, lobster risotto and New York Strip with smoked sweet plantain mash.

Tropical cocktails at laidback Whiskey Joe's

Whiskey Joe's

Set waterfront on the Rickenbacker Marina, Whiskey Joe’s is a classic spot for boaters to congregate after a day on the water to knock back a few cold ones. The tropical tiki bar setting boasts an ample patio shaded by a giant palapa and there’s always live music during happy hour on Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy tropical mixed drinks ranging from margaritas to daiquiris and pair them with coconut mahi nuggets, peel ‘n eat shrimp or buffalo wings.

Sandy beaches & shady palms at Crandon Park

Crandon Park

Crandon Park is a wonderful destination to commune with the great outdoors on Key Biscayne. The park is home to a sandy beach, golf course, tennis center and marina. Start out at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, which provides naturalist-led tours of a nature trail through the mangrove across a boardwalk where you’ll discover a fossilized coral reef. You’ll find kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking vendors, as well as picnic tables, cabanas and volleyball courts.

Breakfast favorites at Donut Gallery

Donut Gallery Diner

A family-run diner passed down through the generations since 1971, the Donut Gallery is a warm and comforting place to enjoy breakfast and lunch. Slide into a booth or snag a stool at the counter and order up your favorite breakfast staples from eggs to pancakes, bacon, hash browns, grits and omelets. There are plenty of combinations and specialties to choose from. At lunchtime, it’s hard to resist the Ancar steak sandwich, mahi hoagie or the grilled cheese with tomato, all served with a choice of fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings or chips. It’s a true holdout of the classic American diner and a real treat.

Visit the historic lighthouse at Bill Baggs

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, at the tip of Key Biscayne, is a treasure. With rugged sand dunes leading to a comfy beach and unlimited ocean views as far as the eye can see, it's a piece of unspoiled old Florida. The water is typically tranquil here, thanks to a barrier reef located six miles offshore. You can visit the historic lighthouse built in the 1820s, and follow nature trails that wind through the park. For refreshments, Boater’s Grill and the Lighthouse Café offer authentic Cuban fare in rustic settings. There are also shaded picnic pavilions if you bring your own food.

Peruvian fare with a modern twist at El Gran Inka

El Gran Inka

With an original location in Costa Rica, El Gran Inka is an authentic Peruvian restaurant with a modern twist. In Key Biscayne, choose from ceviches, tiraditos, Parihuela soup, beef stir-fry lomo saltado or snapper a la plancha. Be sure to pair your meal with a classic pisco sour, made with a brandy-like liqueur produced in Peru. The restaurant’s décor features original Nazca paintings and masks that offer a peek into Peru’s ancient history.

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