HOBIE BEACH AND VIRGINIA KEY

Beach Scene

Hobie Beach

There is a long artificial causeway and toll bridge to access the island. On the south side of the causeway before and after the bridge is popular Hobie Beach. This is a bay beach (not ocean), so it is very calm and shallow. Extremely popular with wind surfers, dog owners, tailgaters and people who don't like paying for parking. Because it is so shallow, the bay warms up like bath water in the summer. It's an eye-opener just to cruise down the strip and enjoy a visual hodgepodge of people and activities. Here is freedom at its best, and worst.

Parking
Free beachside parking and splendid views of Brickell Avenue and the Downtown Miami skyline.

Hobie Beach
Hobie Beach

Virginia Key

After passing over the bridge, you will see the Miami Seaquarium on your right and the Miami-Dade College MAST Institute to your right. In the right hand side just before crossing another bridge is the entrance to Virginia Key. Keep your eyes open as it is easy to miss.

In June 1945, Virginia Key Beach was established as the only public beach and recreation facility for “the exclusive use of Negroes” in what was then known as Dade County, Florida. The establishment of the “Negro” beach was a significant victory during the early days of the Civil Rights movement. Virginia Key Beach Park served as a cherished locale for the South Florida community until the Park was transferred to the City of Miami and closed in 1982. In August 2002, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and given a Florida Historical Marker.

This is the only beach within the City of Miami, and for a while it was in danger of being developed as another exclusive condominium wasteland. Fortunately in June 1999, a group of citizens called the Virginia Key Beach Park Civil Rights Task Force was established in response to these plans of private development of the beach park. Later that year, the Miami City Commission established the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust to oversee the development of the historic Park property. The Trust worked diligently to restore and preserve this historical treasure. The 82.5 acre property reopened on the 23nd. February 2008.

The actual beach is quite narrow and cannot be compared to Miami Beach or Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Park further on. On the other hand, it is surrounded by dense vegetation, is calm and shallow, and has a full set of brand new excellent facilities.

Synonymous with Virginia Key is the eclectic restaurant cum bar called Jimbo's Shrimp Shack, or Jimbo's Place. It's a genuine, original Florida establishment opened in 1954. Miami Dade County would love to close this place down, but know it would cause a revolution if they did. Miami is growing so fast we desperately need to retain some of our traditions, even if they don't always conform to the zoning codes.

Parking
$3.00 per vehicle during weekends, holidays, special events (price is subject to change). No entry fee is charged during weekdays.

Virginia Key Beach
Jimbo's Place

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