BILL BAGGS STATE PARK
Baggs State Park
jewel in the crown is Bill
Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Have you ever been on a beach that
was voted one of the Top 10 Beaches in the U.S. looking out to sea and
asking can it get any better than this? The entire southern
third of the island was wrenched from the hands of developers in 1967,
in large part due to the efforts of Bill Baggs, editor of the Miami
News, for whom the park is named. The award winning one mile stretch
of beach is never overly crowded as the park gates close after a certain
number of visitors enter. This being the case, make sure to arrive early
in the day. Although the beach is totally natural (no replenishment
is needed on a natural beach) and the sand amazingly soft and white,
there is often a line of seaweed at the high water mark which may give
shelter to flies and mites. There are also beds of turtle grass a short
distance from the shore. If you get into them it is like walking through
a wet soggy lawn. This is not a manicured beach...this is the real thing.
to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, all the vegetation is now native. Before
then it was covered in Australian Pine and Ficus trees, which Andrew
blew to smithereens. The park was closed for a considerable time after
this, but now it's better than ever.
The big attraction is
Florida Lighthouse. There are guided tours of the restored 1825
Cape Florida Lighthouse from Thus. to Mon., 10 AM & 1 PM (Tues.
and Wed. closed). Situated on the tip of Key Biscayne, the Cape Florida
Lighthouse is the oldest structure in Miami-Dade County. Cultural displays
depicting early island life may be seen in the lighthouse keeper's cottage.
A video presentation is shown in the former cookhouse.
can throw in their lines from the seawall along Biscayne Bay for some
of the best shoreline fishing in the region, and there are innumerable
other activities available such as renting a bike, sailboat, kayak,
beach chair, umbrella, paddle boat, to see and enjoy the park both on
and off of the water. There are miles of paved roads that are closed
to automotive traffic that make for a great family ride or roller-blade.
park has two fair restaurants, Lighthouse
Cafe and Boater's Grill, specializing in fresh seafood with a Cuban
touch. The Lighthouse Cafe is on the beach beside the lighthouse and
Boater's Grill is overlooking No Name Harbor, which boasts some of the
best sunsets anywhere. The restaurants are open seven days a week, Lighthouse
9am to sundown and Boater's Grill from 9am to 9pm.
Admission Fee: US$8.00
per vehicle, including up to 8 visitors. Single-occupant vehicle is US$4.00.
US$2.00 each per bicycle/individual walk-in.
Bill Baggs Beach
Cape Florida Lighthouse