I’m making good on my promise to spend time exploring Florida beaches this year. I’ve lived here for so long and there are so many beaches that I don’t even know about or have meant to visit but taken the time to do so. This travel entry is about my recent trip to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. This park is located in Key Biscayne which is just south of downtown Miami. The only couple of visits that I’ve had to Key Biscayne were at night so I really can’t say that I have truly experienced it. Bill Baggs Cape is a Florida state park with a beach. It is home to a historic lighthouse which was built in 1825. It’s the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County.
They provide free tours of the Cape Florida Lighthouse from Thursday-Sunday. I was so fortunate to visit the park during those days and got to climb up to the very top. It was very impressive. The views from the top were breathtaking. I’ve never been in a lighthouse before and this experience really made me infatuated with them. I now have added visiting all lighthouses in the state to my bucket list.
Things to do at the park (in no particular order)
- Bring your own or Rent a bike (single bike rentals start at $9/hour) to ride the 1.5 mile bike path.
- Lounge on the beach
- Hike through the park’s nature trail
- Tour the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage
- Have a picnic on the beach or one of the park’s 18 pavilions
Things to know before you go
- Parking is $8 for the day and there is plenty of spaces.
- This is a pet friendly park so if you want to bring your 4 legged friends, you’re more than welcome. They are just not allowed on the beach itself.
- As I shared above, if you’re planning to visit the lighthouse, be sure to go when they’re open which is Thursday-Sunday. If you’d like a guided tour of the lighthouse and keeper’s ground, they only take place twice a day (10am and 1pm). You can definitely do the self guided tour of the lighthouse which is what I did. Visitors must be at least 42 inches to enter the lighthouse.
I didn’t know this before going to Bill Baggs Cape however, the Cape Florida Lighthouse is recognized as a site within the U.S. National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Apparently, escaped slaves would come to this location to seek transportation to nearby Bahamas islands in search of freedom. The lighthouse was built in an effort to stop this passage way. I thought that was so interesting especially since I wasn’t expecting a history lesson from this beach adventure. This beach is definitely worth the visit.