Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

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Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

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Just a 15-minute drive from Downtown Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a natural paradise at the southern tip of Key Biscayne. Climb to the top of the lighthouse for fantastic views, walk along tree-lined trails and soak up the sun on the beach. The park is also part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom heritage preservation program, commemorating the journey of escaped slaves to the British Bahamas.

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Beach


Built in 1825, Cape Florida Lighthouse offers one-of-a-kind views from its wraparound balcony. Climb the 109 spiral steps and emerge to bird’s-eye views of the Atlantic Ocean, the floating homes of Stiltsville, Cape Florida, Key Biscayne and world-famous Miami Beach. It’s a gorgeous photo opportunity, especially at sunset. As the oldest structure in Miami-Dade County, the lighthouse has almost 200 years of history that you can learn about at the park. The lighthouse is currently unavailable for tours due to COVID-19 restrictions, but keep it on your list of places to come back and visit.

Though the lighthouse is the park's most prominent attraction, the beach is just as big a draw. Bill Baggs’ beach has been ranked as one of the country's top ten beaches and is a great place to relax and soak up the sun. Over a mile of the beach is open for swimming, but note that there are no lifeguards on duty.

Beach wheelchairs and a swimming wheelchair are available at the park on a first come, first served basis. The wheelchairs are free and located at the bicycle rental area.

While pavilion rentals are unavailable at this time, you can still enjoy the concessions and fishing platforms. Make sure to have all proper fishing licenses before casting your line and keep in mind that physical distancing and facial coverings are required both outdoors and indoors. Also, make sure to have exact change for any purchases made at the concessions. Leashed pets are allowed at the park but are limited to certain areas, with the exception of service animals.

Trails and Boating


The park’s 1.5-mile paved bike path is smooth and makes for an easy bike ride or hike. Rent a single, quad or large quad from the park concessions located a few steps from the Lighthouse Cafe. Or take a stroll on one of the unpaved service roads where you’ll likely spot colorful birds flitting in the trees or wading in the mangroves, especially during spring and fall migrations. Check the park map for trail locations.

You can visit the park by boat and anchor overnight in No Name Harbor for a fee. The harbor is a fantastic spot for sunset views and a great place for boat camping. You can also visit by boat without staying overnight; just make sure to pay the park entrance fee.

There are also several launches available for canoes and kayaks. The newest launch is available at Beach Access 1 at the north end of Area A. Head to the V-shaped set of safety floats to launch. The portage is several hundred feet from the parking lot, so you may need to bring a boat dolly or extra helper to move your equipment to the launch. There is also a spot in No Name Harbor to launch from by lowering your canoe or kayak off the sea wall. This is only recommended for experienced paddlers, as tidal conditions can make it difficult to launch.

Dining

Two dining options are available in the park. Start your day at Boater’s Grill with a fluffy omelette or a stack of pancakes. Lunch and dinner emphasize fresh seafood such as ceviche, conch fritters and fresh caught fish. Non-seafood options such as pasta and burgers are also on the menu. Located in No Name Harbor, the outdoor seating provides picture-perfect views of the harbor and sunset.

Lighthouse Cafe offers a chance to relax and enjoy a meal in a laid back environment with oceanfront views of the Atlantic. The menu includes fresh, whole fried fish, seafood paella, sandwiches, salads and grilled meats such as churrasco steak. There are also kid-friendly options including hot dogs and hamburgers.

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