Key Biscayne: Miami's Island Secret

It may be only a 15-minute drive from downtown Miami, but Key Biscayne feels a world away from the city's bustle and South Beach's party vibe. The tiny island is home to 2 state parks, as well as quiet, palm-tree-fringed beaches, bike paths, restaurants and high-end accommodations.

Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
The Ritz Carlton, hotel, Key Biscayne, Florida
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

The Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne is as sumptuous as you might expect. Guests of the luxury property will enjoy 2 oceanfront pools, a full-service spa and fitness center, and an 11-court tennis center. Rooms include private balconies and decadent Frette bed linens.

  • 455 Grand Bay Dr
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
What to Do: Key Biscayne's Beaches
Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, Florida
Livinus/iStock/Getty Images

Thanks to much of its area being designated parkland, the island boasts some of Miami's prettiest shores, which are flanked by sand dunes and palm trees rather than the city's ubiquitous skyscrapers. One popular choice for beachgoers is Crandon Park, which lies on the island's northern end.

  • 6747 Crandon Blvd
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
What to Do: See the Light
Bill Baggs Lighthouse, Key Biscayne, Cape, Florida
Lucky-photographer/iStock/Getty Images

In addition to narrow beaches with calm waters, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, situated on the southern tip of the island, is home to one of Key Biscayne's most photographed sights: the towering, 19th-century Cape Florida Lighthouse. Free, guided tours (10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Thursday-Monday) take visitors up the 109 steps to the top, where they will enjoy scenic, 360-degree views.

  • 1200 S Crandon Blvd
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
What to Do: Go Biking
bike, rental, riders, Key Biscayne, Florida Bryukhanova

Key Biscayne is remarkably bike-friendly, with bike lanes along its main roads and a 1.5-mile bike trail that winds through the flat terrain of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, past scenic Biscayne Bay. Bike rentals, including family-friendly quads, are available in the park.

  • 1200 S Crandon Blvd
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
Kite-boarding, Paddleboarding and Kayaking
kitesurfing, Key Biscayne, Florida
Victor Korchenko/Getty Images

Water-sports lovers can hit the gentle, turquoise Atlantic Ocean waves thanks to Miami Kiteboarding, which rents kite-boarding gear, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks in Crandon Park.

  • 6767 Crandon Blvd
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
Where to Eat and Drink: Rusty Pelican

You'll find the island's best sunset vistas — and one of Miami's most popular Sunday brunches — at the Rusty Pelican. Perched on the island's edge, this upscale restaurant offers views of sparkling Biscayne Bay and the twinkling Miami skyline. The modern American menu features local seafood, and brunch offerings include tomatillo and jalapeno bloody marys.

  • 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
Where to Eat and Drink: Boater's Grill
Boaters Grill, restaurant, Key Biscayne, Florida
Lighthouse Restaurants Incorporated

Tucked into No Name Cove in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Boater's Grill is a favorite among locals who cruise their sailboats into the cove and then come ashore to dine. Enjoy the ultra-casual, peaced-out setting with a glass of prosecco, some smoked fish dip and an order of spicy fish adobo.

  • 1200 S Crandon Blvd
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US
Where to Eat and Drink: Costa Med
Costa Med, restaurant, Key Biscayne, Florida
Costa Med Fine Dining & Grill

A local favorite since it opened in 2003, Costa Med features a Mediterranean-inspired menu that includes escargots and veal sweet breads as appetizers. Then, try the tagliolini ai frutti di mare, served with a medley of lobster, squid, clams, scallops, prawns and mussels in tomato sauce.

  • 260 Crandon Blvd, Suite 46
  • Key Biscayne, FL 33149 US

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