On a recent trip to the Miami area I came across the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. With a lighthouse, trails, beaches and fishing I knew there was going to be something for everyone. Our first stop was the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse built in 1825. Standing at 65ft tall and towering over the mangroves I knew we had to make it to the top so we headed out early to beat the Florida sun. Guided tours of the lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage are available Thursday-Monday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. While this is not the tallest lighthouse in the State, the 109 steps to the top, in the dead heat of summer, do not make for a very happy family. Once at the top, the view is absolutely incredible, by far one of the best views I have ever seen from the top of a lighthouse. From the turquoise waters to the gorgeous white sandy beaches you have a 360 degree view of everything.
If your family is anything like my family, food is always on their minds. The park offers several options from restaurants to picnic benches and large pavilions that can be rented. We decided to grab a bite to eat at the Lighthouse Café, one of the open-aired restaurants inside of the park. This restaurant features everything from simple sandwiches to amazing seafood all at a very reasonable price. Check out the full menu right here! Now that my teenagers were full and ready to go, we decided to head out to the beach and hit the sand. Beach-goers will be happy to know that you don’t even need to bring anything with you; bikes, umbrellas, chairs, hydrobikes and kayaks are all available to rent. With over a mile of white, sandy beaches boarding the clear turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean there is more than enough room to spread out and unwind. Since the reef is only 6 miles offshore, the water is very calm and the waves are minimal, perfect for paddle boarding, or snorkeling near the rocks. For more information on this gorgeous state park, you can visit the Florida State Parks website.