• Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

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  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach, located on the tip of Key Biscayne, is a relaxing and scenic alternative to some of Miami's more popular beaches. It is also home to an historic lighthouse, the oldest standing building in Miami-Dade County, which offers scheduled tours. Bill Baggs is a regular A-lister on Dr. Beach lists and constantly receives kudos from other noted travel publications.

    This beach doesn't lack in beauty or scenery and also offers plenty of activities. There are walking and bicycle trails winding through native vegetation. Amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, food concessions and shower facilities. Fishing enthusiasts or families looking to cast a line can grab some bait and tackle and fish from the seawall along Biscayne Bay.

    There are two onsite restaurants, the Lighthouse Café which faces the beach, and Boaters Grill, located on a quiet lagoon. Both restaurants offer delicious Cuban food, sandwiches and cold drinks. If you prefer to pack a picnic, this is a great beach for some sandwiches beneath a reserved pavilion. A relaxing beach day on beautiful Key Biscayne is a favorite Miami pastime. 

     

    Hours & Fees

    Hours

    The park is open from 8:00 AM until sundown, 365 days a year

    Fees

    Admission Fee

    • $8 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
    • $4 Single-occupant vehicle or motorcyle.
    • $2 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

     

    Picnic Pavilion Fees

    The park has 18 picnic pavilions that may be reserved up to one day in advance by paying the required fee at the park entrance station. All visitors attending a picnic or party are still required to pay the park entry fee. The rental fees are as follows:

    • $50 plus tax per day: 15 pavilions with six picnic tables that accommodate 40 people.
    • $100 plus tax per day: three large pavilions with 10 tables that accommodate 80 people.
    • $15 per day: Electricity is available at the large shelters.

     

    $50 cleaning fee that may be assessed if the shelter and immediate vicinity is not cleaned prior to the group leaving. The group is responsible for leaving the pavilion and grounds in the same condition as it was when received.

    Boat Camping

    Visitors are allowed to anchor overnight in No Name Harbor for a fee of $20 per boat, per night.


  • Experiences & Amenities

    Experiences

    Bicycle Rentals

    •     Single bicycles may be rented for $9/hour and $15/hour and half   
    •     Quad bikes seat 2 + 2 small children in the basket and are available for $20/hour and $33/hour and half
    •     Large quads that seat 4 + 2 small children are available for $30/half-hour and
    •     $48/hour and half

     

    The park has a paved bike path approximately 1.5-miles long and unpaved service roads where you can enjoy easy cycling. You can easily ride a few miles in a loop by routing through the various paths and roadways. The terrain is completely flat. Some paths will take you beneath the trees, and others offer views of Biscayne Bay. If you're lucky, you might spot an eagle ray or manatee. You can rent individual bikes or quad bikes from the park's concession located a few steps from the Lighthouse Cafe.  Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.

    Paddling

    The new launch is available at Beach Access # 1 at the north end of 'Area A.' There is reserved parking spaces directly adjacent to the walkway. Since the portage is several hundred feet, a boat dolly or an extra helper is recommended for your convenience. On the beach, you will notice a 'V-shaped' set of safety floats for your protection. This is the only area on the beach that you are permitted to launch and make land from.

    You may also launch from No Name Harbor by lowering your canoe/kayak off the sea wall. However, depending on tidal conditions, there may be a significant drop to the water's surface, providing a difficult launch and loading/recovery scenario. You must portage by hand from the parking lot at 'Boater's Grill,' to the sea wall.

    Please arrive early on the weekends as parking fills up quickly. And please remember, you may not tie up to the fishing platforms anywhere in the park; the only beach landing site is at Beach Access #1 in 'Area A.'

    Fishing

    Some of the best shoreline fishing in the region is available from the seawall located along Biscayne Bay. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.  A fishing license may be required.  More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.

    Picnicking

    18 covered pavilions provide shaded picnicking overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.


    Swimming

    A mile and a quarter of Atlantic beach is open to swimming. There are no lifeguards, so swim at your own risk. The beach is accessible from access points in Areas A, B & C by making any left turn once you enter the park. During the winter, please watch for Portuguese Man-of-War warnings posted at the Ranger Station.

     

    Wildlife Viewing

    Birds may be seen along the sea wall and the nature trails, depending on the season, weather and migration patterns. The park is home to the Cape Florida Banding Station (CFBS). CFBS partners with the Florida Keys HawkWatch (at Curry Hammock State Park) and Tropical Audubon Society to form the South Florida Bird Observatory.

    Many of the neotropical migrants that breed in eastern Canada, the northeastern United States and the mid-Atlantic region use the Atlantic Flyway in fall to reach their winter habitats in the Caribbean Islands and northern South America. Migrant passerines following the eastern Florida coastline southward often funnel through Key Biscayne and land in BBCFSP, a natural oasis in heavily-developed Miami-Dade County. Here, the birds stop to rest, refuel and sometimes find refuge from bad weather before continuing southward. The restored native vegetation provides ample food such as insects and fruit that are essential to build up the fat deposits that fuel the birds on their over-water flights.

    Twenty-two mist nets are set up in an area covering approximately ten acres located discreetly within a restored hardwood hammock in BBCFSP. Mist nets are operated from mid-August through the first week of November and opened daily from just before sunrise to early afternoon, weather permitting. CFBS was established in 2002 to investigate use of the restored hardwood hammocks by neotropical migrants. As the only long-term banding station in South Florida, it fills a gap in migration monitoring along the entire Eastern seaboard. CFBS offers a unique study opportunity for the utilization by migrant birds of restored native sub-tropical vegetation, as well as the challenges faced by birds along their migration routes.

  • Amenities

    Accessible Amenities

    The park currently has two Beach Wheelchairs, one Swimming Wheelchair, at no charge on a first come first serve basis. Located at the bicyle rental area inside the park. In addition, there is a Mobi Mat located at Beach Access #6 next to the Lighthouse Cafe. Other Accessible amenities include Picnic pavilions and benches, Grills, Fishing pier and Playground.

    Beach

    Cape Florida's 1.25 miles of natural beach has consistently been ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in the United States by Dr. Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University, aka 'Dr. Beach.' The park's concession offers rental chairs and umbrellas as well as ocean kayaks and hydro bikes. The waves are very gentle, thanks to a reef six miles offshore.

    Beach Rentals

    • Beach chairs may be rented for $7 each
    • Umbrellas may be rented for $10 each
    • 2 chairs and 1 umbrella are available for $20

    Concession and Restaurant

    The 'Lighthouse Café,' overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and the 'Boater's Grill,' overlooking Biscayne Bay from No Name Harbor, offer visitors casual oceanfront dining in a relaxed open-air setting. Preview the restaurants and their menus at Lighthouse Restaurants.

    Picnic Pavilion

    The park has 18 picnic pavilions that may be reserved up to one day in advance by paying the required fee at the park entrance station. All visitors attending a picnic or party are still required to pay the park entry fee. The rental fees are as follows:

    •     There are 15 pavilions with 6 picnic tables that accommodate 40 people and are available for $50 plus tax, per day.
    •     There are three large pavilions with 10 tables that accommodate 80 people and are available for $100 plus tax, per day.
    •     Electricity is available for $15 per day, only at the large shelters.

    There is a $50 cleaning fee that may be assessed if the shelter and immediate vicinity is not cleaned prior to the group leaving. The group is responsible for leaving the shelter and grounds as it was received.


    Playground

    A children's playground is located in the north center of 'Area A' that features 4 swings, 4 slides and a climbing ladder.


    Shower Station

    Cold showers are available outside restrooms in Areas A, B & C.

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    The Lighthouse Tours

    Tours of the Lighthouse are available at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM on Thursday - Monday. (All may enter the Lighthouse but you must be at least 42 inches tall to ascend the stairs.) The Lighthouse, Keeper's Quarters, and Kitchen are only open during tour times. The grounds are open seven days a week from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

    The lighthouse is the oldest building in South Florida, built in 1825 to serve as a navigational aid. It is 109 steps to the top of the lighthouse, but you will be rewarded with a view that makes the climb worthwhile. The steps are weatherproof- meaning that they expand and contact and have some “give” in them to help them survive as long as the lighthouse itself.

  • Lighthouse History

    Bill Baggs Lighthouse HistoryPonce de Leon named this area 'Cape of Florida' when he led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513. The Cape Florida lighthouse was completed in 1825 but was damaged during the Second Seminole War. The rebuilt tower, completed in 1846, remains the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. The island served as a secret meeting place and port for runaway slaves and Black Seminoles waiting to rendezvous with sea captains or board dugouts for a passage to safety in the British Bahamas. Although the lighthouse was built to save lives and ships, its unflinching light brought an end to this avenue of escape. It was the only lighthouse to have been attacked by Indians. On July 23, 1836, a band of Seminole attacked the lighthouse. After dark, the raiders approached the tower, setting fire to the door and a boarded-up window at ground level. Rifle balls had penetrated tanks in the bottom of the tower, which held 225 gallons of lamp oil for the light, and the oil caught fire. A U.S. Army base was built here to protect the land and sea from subsequent Indian attacks. 

  • Lighthouse Brick Program

    Dade Heritage Trust is Miami Dade’s largest historic preservation non-profit organization that spearheaded the effort to restore the Lighthouse in 1996.  To help maintain the Cape Florida Lighthouse and preserve our community’s heritage, Dade Heritage Trust offers for a donation of $150. The commemorative red brick pavers, engraved with the wording of your choice will be installed along the walkways of the Lighthouse Complex. The bricks are beautiful symbols of your preservation commitment and make lasting gifts for anniversaries, birthdays and vacation memories. For more information call Dade Heritage Trust at 305.358.9572 or email info@dadeheritagetrust.org

  • Underground Railroad

    Bill Baggs Underground RailroadCape Florida was designated as  part of the National Underground Railroad to Freedom in 2004. In the early 1820’s, enslaved Africians, runaways and Black Seminoles sought freedom on Key Biscayne. They met with bold captains of sloops from the British Bahamas who offered transportation across the gulfstream. In 1821 some 300 freedom seekers bartered for passage aboard 27 sloops, or chose to sail Indian dugout canoes the 107 nautical miles to Andros island in the Bahamas. The construction of the lighthouse by the federal government in 1825 effectively blocked the escape route.

     

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    Hiking

    Big Baggs Nature TrailsNature trails are located on the west side of the park. To the north, is a trail through the mangrove wetlands, beginning 100 feet north of The Boater's Grill parking area. A trail through the coastal strand runs from 100 feet east of The Boater's Grill parking area and travels south ending in Area D.

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    Weddings

    You can get married in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. You will need to apply at the office, a short recap of minimum cost is  -$500+tax plus an ranger at $30 an hour, 3 hour minimum in the lighthouse compound or beach  if you want more information call 305-361-8779 or send an email to art.yerian@dep.state.fl.us.




  • Pets

    All pets must be on a 6-foot leash and well-behaved at all times. Pets may not be left unattended. Pets that are noisy, vicious, dangerous, or intimidating to other persons, or damage park resources, will be asked to leave the park with their owners. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all droppings in trash receptacles. You may walk your pet in the picnic areas, along the sea wall, bike trails, and hiking trails. Pets are not allowed on the beach, wetlands, playground, Youth Camp, lighthouse, keeper's cottage, Lighthouse Café or Boater's Grill.

    Guide and Service animals are excluded from the above restrictions.


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    Location & Contact Information

    1200 South Crandon Blvd
    Key Biscayne, FL 33149

    (305) 361-5811

    floridastateparks.org