The Cape Florida Lighthouse
The Cape Florida Lighthouse
Grasses and pond area

Folks come to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park to enjoy more than a mile of white sandy beach beneath the watchful eye of a lighthouse first built in 1825 and reconstructed in 1846. The lighthouse is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. Tours are offered twice daily, Thursday through Monday at 10 am and 1 pm. Be prepared for 109 steps to an incredible viewpoint. This is the only lighthouse in the United States that was ever attacked by Indians. The park is also listed by the National Park Service as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom because escaped slaves set sail from here for the Bahamas, before the lighthouse was first constructed.

The 1.25-mile beach at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is consistently rated as one of the ten best beaches in the United States. The concession stand offers rental umbrellas and chairs, hydro bikes, ocean kayaks and bicycles in addition to the usual snacks, drinks, souvenirs and sundries. There are also a couple nature trails on the west side of the park. One runs along a coastal strand, the other through mangrove wetlands.

The vast majority of activities at the park are limited to daytime only. Boat camping is allowed at No Name Harbor: $20 per boat per night. Youth/Group Camping is allowed at a primitive site on the road to No Name Harbor but campers are essentially restricted to the camping area from sunset to 8 am. Fees: $1.13 per youth per night (includes tax), $5.65 per chaperone per night (includes tax).

For day users, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is open from 8 am until sunset every day of the year.

To get there: Take Interstate 95 to Rickenbacker Causeway, then follow the causeway to its end. The park is located off Rickenbacker Causeway at the southern end of Key Biscayne.