Key Biscayne serve as Miami’s wee island oasis for locals and visitor’s in the know. Miamicito has opined before on the merits of Key Biscayne — namely, the two lovely parks that flank either end of the island. The park lands are protected, keeping high rise apartment and hotel construction to a minimum, which helps secure the sense that you’ve stumbled upon a relatively untouched piece of paradise in otherwise clogged South Florida.

Head to the far end of Key Biscayne to escape to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. A trip to Bill Baggs Cape brings you to a stretch of peaceful, somewhat narrow beach, where it’s possible to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. The beach grows pretty darn crowded on weekends, but offers a perfect respite during the week.

If you’re seeking more active pursuits than lying in the sun, there are bicycle rentals and a simple stretch of paths that wind through the park and along the island’s perimeter.

One of the most photographed spots in Miami lurks at the far end of the beach. The Cape Florida Lighthouse offers popular photo ops to visitors, and from its vantage point at the park’s edge, it’s possible to glimpse the spooky remnants of a group of houses built on stilts in Biscayne Bay, known as “Stiltsville.”

Miamicito Insider Tips

Get Thee to No Name Cove

Though it sounds like the stomping grounds for pirates (and in fact, it very well may have been refuge for drug runners at various points in time), No Name Cove is actually one of the most picturesque and serene spots in Bill Baggs. Sailboats dot the tine harbor, and you’ll find a small restaurant overlooking the shimmering harbor, that serves a mean smoked fish dip and chilly glass of prosecco.

Plan a Sunset, Weeknight Picnic

If you have the time and ability to get to Key Biscayne before sunset, my top recommendation is picnicking at the edge of Bill Baggs’s southernmost tip. You’ll find covered picnic pavilions, as well as freestanding tables and charcoal grills. Prepare a picnic in advance (there’s a Winn-Dixie supermarket on the island), and head to one of the secluded tables and grills for a sunset picnic. On weeknights the area is practically empty, and perfect for a tranquil, romantic waterfront DIY meal.