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Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: All to Know Before You Go

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a pretty park on Key Biscayne Island, which is just south of Miami Beach, US. 

The park is at the southern tip of the island which offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.

This 400-acre park offers a peaceful experience within Florida’s busy landscapes.

Originally the park was known as ‘Cape Florida Park’ and in 1966 its name was changed to honor Bill Baggs, a Miami journalist and editor who helped protect Florida’s natural beauty.

It is famous for its historic lighthouse which is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County, built in 1825.

Visiting this park will give you the pleasures of beach activities, sunbathing, wildlife exploration, etc.

This article will guide you through everything about this amazing park from main attractions, accessing tips, restaurants, hotels, and many more. 

History of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is famous for its 95-foot tall lighthouse story which began way back in 1825. 

  • It was built to guide ships safely past the Florida reefs. But in 1836 Native Americans attacked it during the Second Seminole War. The keeper barely escaped, but the lighthouse was badly damaged. It took about 10 years to fix it up again.
  • The lighthouse was part of the Underground Railroad which was the route from where enslaved African Americans escaped for their freedom. People believe that the light from the lighthouse guided those slaves to the British Bahamas.
  • As time went by, the lighthouse became less important for ships because of new technology. But people didn’t forget it. In the 1960s, folks worked hard to save it from being torn down. Thanks to their efforts, the lighthouse and the land around it became a state park in 1967.

Today, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a place where you can feel the whispers of history, where they tell the story of guidance, survival, and freedom.

11 Things To Do At Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

people enjoying at the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy:

1. Visit the Historic Lighthouse

First things first, the tour of the historic lighthouse is a must. You will get to know about Florida’s history and witness that remade structure from your own eyes. 

You can also climb the lighthouse to get panoramic views of the lush green and beach surroundings.

2. Beach Activities

What can be more relaxing than beach activities? Swim, sunbathe, and relax on the park’s beautiful beaches.

You can also fish around the beach, but you might need a license, check for it.

3. Water Sports

The park also offers a variety of water sports like kayaking, canoeing, boating, and snorkeling.

To have a peaceful and not-so-sporty activity then you should go kayaking, canoeing, or boating, the park has facilities for them. You will get to have a serene experience and amazing views of the surroundings.

Get a snorkel and dive into the waters to explore the rich marine life.

4. Hiking and Biking

The park offers peaceful nature trails for both hiking and biking. You can take the experience to both of them according to your preference.

The park also has the facility for rental bikes so you won’t have to worry if you don’t even have one.

5. Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a hub for birds and animals and has about 50 species of migratory birds. So, you can bring binoculars for bird watching and spotting other wildlife. 

This will also be an educational part for anyone keen to learn about the species of birds and animals.

6. Picnicking: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

The park is one of the best picnic spots! The amazing views, the peaceful environment, and in between lots of greenery. 

Bring your family, friends, or loved ones to have an amazing picnic time.

7. Guided Tours

To have a detailed experience of the history and environment of the park, you can join the guided tours.

8. Photography

Photography lovers, you will love it here! Grab your cameras and begin with clicking every part of the park, as everything here is amazing.

You will find an immense number of opportunities to capture nature, wildlife, birds, and the pretty sun phases.

9. Sunset Watching

Well to talk about the spectacular sunsets, they will leave you in awe! The park offers sunsets over the waters creating an amazing look.

10. Relaxation and Meditation

Nature is best to relax and meditate. Suit yourself to find a spot of your choice in abundant options in the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

11. Star Gazing

On clear nights, the park can be an excellent spot for stargazing due to its location away from city lights. 

Lie under the twinkling stars and leave the thought of everything else around you. It will be a magical experience!

Best Time To Visit Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

people fishing at the bill baggs cape florida state park

The best time to visit Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is typically during winter and early spring months due to favorable weather conditions.

However, if you prefer to go at any other time then check out these points:

Winters (December to February) 

  • Pros: The weather is cool and less humid and perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. 
  • Cons: Very crowded as it is the best time to visit. Additionally, it is not suitable for water sports and activities.

Spring (March to May) 

  • Pros: The weather is not too cold not too warm. Pleasant weather with lots of greenery and blooming flowers. Also, a great time for bird watching.
  • Cons: Crowded, may not be a peaceful experience in the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Summer (June to August) 

  • Pros: Great time for beach activities and water sports. Also, the park is less crowded.
  • Cons: It gets very hot and humid which makes it uncomfortable. Moreover, afternoon thunderstorms are common. 

Autumn (September to November)

  • Pros: The weather starts cooling down and the greenery turns into red hues which gives wonderful views.
  • Cons: It is hurricane season, so it is advised to check in advance.

Amenities Provided At The Park

beach chairs and umbrella at cape florida beach

The park is filled with an ample number of facilities to give you a hassle-free experience:

  1. Wheelchairs: The park provides two beach wheelchairs and two swimming wheelchairs, available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. You can find them in the bicycle parking area.
  2. Mobi Mat: At Beach Access No. 6, next to the Lighthouse Cafe you are provided with a Mobi Mat, that ensures everyone can experience the beauty of the beach without any barriers. (Note: There is only 1 Mobi Mat located at Beach Access No. 6)
  3. Parking: The park has an abundance of parking space to make it convenient for especially who are driving here.
  4. Pet Policy: Pets are also allowed in the park. However, the pet must be well-behaved and maintain the peace in the park without disturbing others. Also, the owners have to clean up after their pets.
  5. Picnicking: The park has picnic spots and you can secure one from the Ranger Station between 8 am and 30 minutes before sunset, Monday through Friday.

Details & Fee Structure of The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Timings: open daily from 8:00 AM to sundown

Contact: 786-582-2673

Parking & Admission Fee

  • Multi passenger Vehicle (2-8 people): $8
  • Single-passenger vehicle or motorcycle: $4
  • Pedestrians, cyclists, or those being dropped off by a ride service: $2
  • Boat (day entrance to no name harbor): $8

Picnic Pavilion Fee

  • 15 pavilions with 4-6 picnic tables (up to 40 people): $50 + tax per day
  • 3 large pavilions with 8 to 10 tables (up to 80 people): $100 + tax per day
  • Electricity at 2 large shelters: $15 per day
  • Cleaning Fee (if dirty): $50

Boat Camping Fee

  • Overnight anchoring in No Name Harbor: $20 per boat per night
  • Day-use fee for visitors arriving by boat (not anchoring overnight): $8
  • (Maximum of two boats moored together in the harbor at a time)

Bicycle Rentals

  • Single bicycles (with single seats): $9/ hr, $15/ hr and half 
  • Quad bikes (2 seats + 2 small children in the basket): $20/ hr, $33/ hr and half
  • Large quads (4 seats + 2 small children): $30/ half hr, $48/ hr and half

Beach Rentals

  • Beach chair: $7 
  • Umbrella: $10
  • 2 chairs + 1 umbrella: $20

Places to Eat At Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

If you are planning to visit Bill Baggs Park then you must land at these Google-rated restaurants near it for a bite:

S. No.Restaurant or CafeRatingDistance From Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
1.Lighthouse Cafe4.0About 1.1 miles
2.Artisan Kitchen & Bar4.4About 0.7 miles
3.Pita Pockets4.7About 27.1 miles
4.Boater’s Grill3.9About 0.9 miles
5.Francisca Charcoal Chicken & Meats 4.9About 19.0 miles
6.DUNE Burgers on the Beach4.3About 1.2 miles
7.Lightkeepers4.3About 1.2 miles
8.Novecento Restaurant in Key Biscayne4.4About 0.6 miles
9.El Gran Inka4.3About 0.6 miles
10.Milanezza Kitchen Bar Market4.5About 0.6 miles
11.Clasica Victoria4.5About 0.6 miles
12.Cantina Beach4.2About 1.1 miles
13.Sushi Siam3.6About 0.6 miles

11 Nearby Attractions of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

cape florida lighthouse

You’ll be pleased to know that there are several interesting places to visit nearby Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. 

Here’s a list of some attractions and areas worth exploring:

1. Crandon Park

Location: It is located about 5 miles north of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Features: Crandon Park is known for its beautiful two-mile beach. It is one of the top beaches in the U.S. It has calm, shallow waters which is perfect, especially for families with children to swim. 

Activities: The park has a Nature Center which offers guided tours and educational programs about the local ecosystem. There are also picnic areas, barbecue grills, a golf course, tennis courts, and kayak rentals.

Unique Aspect: The Crandon Park Marina offers boat rentals and charters to give visitors the chance to explore Biscayne Bay over the waters.

2. Miami Seaquarium

Location: Miami Seaquarium is located about 4.5 miles north of the Florida State Park.

Features: This 38-acre oceanarium is famous for its marine mammal shows and exhibits. 

Exhibits: Some exhibits include dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, and manatees. The park also has tropical fish, sharks, and sea turtles.

Educational Programs: The Seaquarium offers educational presentations and interactive experiences like dolphin encounters and reef snorkel tours.

3. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Location: The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is on about 12 miles north of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

History: This National Historic Landmark was the winter home of industrialist James Deering. It was built in the early 20th century. This estate is a prime example of Mediterranean Revival architecture.

Gardens: The wide Italian Renaissance gardens are a highlight. They are filled with beautiful landscaped grounds, fountains, and sculptures.

Art Collection: The museum has a collection of European furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to 19th centuries.

4. Downtown Miami and Brickell Area

Location: Downtown Miami and the Brickell area are located on the north of Bill Baggs.

Attractions: This crowded area is known for its skyscrapers, shopping, dining, and nightlife. It includes the famous Brickell City Centre and Bayside Marketplace.

Cultural Sites: Visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and the Frost Science Museum to explore this site wholely. 

5. Coconut Grove

Location: Coconut Grove is approx 15 miles north of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Charm: It is known for its bohemian vibe. Coconut Grove offers a relaxed atmosphere with sidewalk cafes, boutiques, and galleries.

Attractions: Visit the Barnacle Historic State Park, which was the house of an early Miami settler. Also check out the Kampong, a beautiful tropical botanical garden.

6. South Beach

Location: South Beach is approximately 10 miles to the north of Bill Baggs.

Beaches: It is famous for its iconic Art Deco architecture, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches.

Cultural Hotspot: Visit the Art Deco Historic District which has trendy shops and restaurants on Lincoln Road. Moreover, experience the lively atmosphere of Ocean Drive.

7. Little Havana

Location: Little Havana is about 15 miles to the northwest of the Florida State Park.

Highlights: It is a cultural hub known for its Cuban heritage. It has Cuban restaurants, coffee shops, and specialty stores.

Activities: You will love to experience Cuban cuisine, enjoy live music, visit art galleries, and learn about Cuban culture.

8. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Location: It is located approx 22 miles north of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, in Coral Gables.

Highlights: It is an 83-acre botanic garden that has a wide variety of tropical plants, including palms, cycads, and exotic fruit trees.

Activities: The garden has the options for guided tours, butterfly gardens, and educational programs about tropical horticulture.

9. Bayside Marketplace

Location: Bayside Marketplace is about 15 miles to the north of Bill Baggs.

Highlights: It is an open-air shopping center with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options on the Miami harbor.

Activities: You can do shopping, dining, boat tours, and enjoy live music performances.

10. Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Location: PAMM is about 15 miles away to the north of the Florida State Park.

Highlights: It’s a contemporary art museum presenting modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Activities: You can explore art exhibitions, participate in educational programs, and enjoy the stunning architecture and views.

11. Wynwood Walls

Location: Wynwood Walls is approximately 15 miles north of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Highlights: It is an outdoor museum showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists.

Activities: You will love to see murals, visit art galleries, and experience the trendy, artistic atmosphere of the area.

Accommodations Near Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Choose your stay at a hotel or holiday rental from the following tables:


S. NoHotel NameGoogle RatingDistance from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
1.Rainbow Motel4.5About 12.5 km away
2.Silver Sands Beach Resort4.1About 2.3 km away
3.The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne4.6About 1.8 m away
4.JW Marriott Miami4.4About 10.2 km away
5.The Four Ambassadors4.3About 10.4 km away
6.Marlins Park Suites4.9About 12.7 km away
7.Commodore Inn the Grove4.5About 10.3 km away
8.Coral Reef Suites3.3About 1.8 km away
9.Collinaire4.6About 11 km away
10.Casa Florida Hotel4.6About 11.6 km away

Holiday Rentals

S. NoHoliday Rental NameGoogle RatingDistance from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
1.Key Biscayne Charming Apartment 4.9About 1.6 km away
2.Welcome To Paradise Relax and Enjoy4.8About 1.6 km away
3.Pet-Friendly Partial Ocean View at the Ritz Carlton 5 4.2About 1.6 km away
4.Seasonal Rental In Key Biscayne4.9About 1.6 km away
5.Pet-Friendly Key Biscayne Town House5.0About 1.3 km away
6.Cozy beach apartment in the heart of Key Biscayne4.8 About 1.6 km away
7.Key Biscayne – Exquisite Beach Condo4.7About 1.6 km away
8.Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton4.9About 1.3 km away
9.Bike in BlueAbout 1.7 km away
    10.South BeachAbout 1.5 km away

Location Access Tips to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

a mobi mat at the cape florida beach

1. By Car

Driving Yourself: You can drive to the park through the Rickenbacker Causeway. Paid parking facility is also available there

Renting a Car: You can rent a car in Miami which lets you visit the park whenever you like.

2. Using Public Transport

Buses: Take a Miami-Dade bus to Key Biscayne, then switch to a local shuttle or walk to the park.

Trolleys: Catch a Miami Trolley and transfer to a Key Biscayne bus or shuttle to reach Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

3. Cycling

Bike Paths: There are nice bike trails in the park. Cycling over the Rickenbacker Causeway is scenic but be careful because of the traffic.

4. On Foot

Walking: Get ready for a long walk from downtown Miami or Miami Beach to the park as it is quite far.

5. By Boat

Your Boat: You can get to the park by boat, and there are places to dock.

Charter Boats: In Miami, you can find boat services that will take you to Key Biscayne and the park.

6. Taxi or Rideshare

Taxi, Uber, Lyft: These are available in Miami that can take you directly to the park.

7. Tour Buses

Sightseeing Tours: Some tours in Miami will take you to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. You have to search for them.

8. From the Airport

From Miami International Airport: The park is about a 40-minute drive from the airport. You can get there by taxi, rental car, or rideshare.

Things to Remember Before You Go

Before you plan to go or head to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, you must follow this checklist:

  1. Prepare for the Weather: Florida’s weather can be unpredictable. Bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for sunny days. And, rain gear just in case.
  2. Pack Adequately: Bring water to stay hydrated, snacks, or a picnic lunch.
  3. Know the Park’s Rules: Familiarize yourself with the park’s regulations and the timings.
  4. Currency: The currency used here is USD($). 
  5. Language: English is the primary language spoken in the region.
  6. Dog rules: The owners are responsible for the dogs in the parks. Pets are strictly prohibited on the beach, playground, lighthouse, light keeper’s cottage, Lighthouse Café, or Boater’s Grill.
  7. Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and do not feed or disturb them. This includes marine life if you’re snorkeling or boating.
  8. Leave No Trace: Preserve the park’s natural beauty by cleaning up after yourself and using designated trash and recycling bins.
  9. Bring Bug Repellent: Mosquitoes and other insects can be common, especially during warmer months.
  10. Check for Events or Closures: Sometimes parts of the park may be closed for maintenance or special events. Check the park’s website or contact them for the latest information.
  11. Mobile Connectivity: Cell phone service might be disrupted in some areas of the park.

In Crux

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a real gem for a day out. It has got awesome beaches and a lighthouse to explore the beauty as well as history. Whether you’re into swimming, fishing, or just kicking back on the beach, this place has it all. It’s also super family-friendly and caters to folks who need a bit of extra help getting around. 

Just pack your sunblock and some drinks, be kind to the animals, and follow the park’s simple rules. A visit here is all about having fun and relaxing, making it a must-see spot in Florida.


1. How much does it cost to go to Bill Baggs State Park?

Entry to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park costs $8 per vehicle, with a limit of 2-8 people per vehicle. Single-passenger vehicles or motorcycles are $4, while pedestrians, bicyclists, and extra passengers are charged $2.

2. Is Bill Baggs State Park open?

Yes, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is open every day from 8:00 am to sunset.

3. How big is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park?

Bill Baggs is a wide park in Florida covering 400 acres of land.

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