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Visiting Miami: Key Biscayne “Island Paradise”

Greetings long time readers and new visitors!

Today we are going to talk about one of the best kept secrets of Miami: Key Biscayne!

Now you might be saying to yourself wait, I have seen Key Biscayne on TV every year during the Miami Open Tennis Tournament, so how is it a secret?

Most people that go to the tournament are major tennis aficionados who go to the tournament, fight the traffic and don’t travel another few miles down the road to see the rest that the key has to offer. But if you have lived in Miami for a while you have no doubt been to Crandon Beach, The Crandon Golf Course, Bill Baggs State Park and even the Cape Florida Lighthouse!

crandon-beach-miami

Each of these destinations is unique because no other major American city has an island that is just minutes from downtown.  The city’s nickname is “Island Paradise” because that is how you feel when you cross the Rickenbacker Causeway, like you have left the big city and entered a calm paradise in the middle of nowhere.

When you cross the causeway you will first land on Hobie Beach, also known as Windsurger Beach has been a favorite of windsurfers for decades and more recently has become one of the kite surfing capitals of the world.  The calm bay waters on the western side of the island create the ideal smooth surf for these extreme sports.  And the wind that comes in from the ocean on the other side of the island keeps the adventure seekers flying high!  Recently the beach even became dog friendly so you can take your best friend to enjoy amazing views!

kite-surf-miami-hobie

After an invigorating morning you can grab lunch at the Rusty Pelican, a Miami legend with amazing waterfront views.  Don’t miss their Sunday brunch also with some of the best Mimosas in town!  Now that you are full in mind, body and spirit make your way down the causeway to Crandon Beach where you will feel as if you have been transported to a true island with some of the most secluded beach spots in Miami.

Don’t stay too long though, you still have not visited the Village of Key Biscayne which is home to around 13,000 residents.  There are a couple of mini shopping centers and some great restaurants and bars to wet your whistle.  Drive through the neighborhoods and you will find some of the priciest real estate in Miami but you will also find some great deals on homes that may become your next great investment property.  A rental on the Key is always in high demand and while the up front costs may be higher than on the mainland you will reap the benefits of high rents and very little turnover.

Finally at the end of the key you will find a natural wonderland called Bill Baggs State Park. It is full of incredible wildlife, nature trails and of course exceptional beaches. Don’t tell anyone but when we really want to get away from it all this is the best beach money can bay.  The entrance fee is around $10 per car but parking is free.  There are a couple of main entrances to the beach and there is even a beach cafe serving all your beach favorites from hot dogs to ice cold beer!  And the best part is that you will have a view of the gorgeous Cape Florida lighthouse from your spot on the beach!

cape-florida-lighthouse

The Cape Florida Lighthouse is a true icon, originally built in 1825 and reconstructed in 1846 it is the only real lighthouse in Miami and the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade county.  If you are feeling very adventurous there are even tours where you can climb 109 steps to the top of the lighthouse!

So that should pretty have you exhausted from your day on the “Island Paradise” and take a tip from the pros, if you really want to have an amazing time, stretch your trip into a 4 or 5 night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne and we promise you will not be disappointed.

Well that’s it for this edition of our special series “Visiting Miami”, check back soon for another amazing adventure in the best city in the world!

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