Located just off the Rickenbacker Causeway and a mile away from Downtown Miami, you’ll find a pristine park that is steeped in history and natural wonder. Virginia Key Beach has been bringing visitors to the are for decades, and its history stretches even farther back to the late 1800s.
This barrier island welcomes guests with white sand beaches, outdoor fun, and some of the best-preserved saltwater ecosystems in all of the state. It is an excellent choice if you want an escape from the energetic nature of the iconic beaches of South Miami.
The beaches on Virginia Key are jam-packed with nature and offer some of the best views of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic that you can hope to see. Virginia Key Beach is also the ideal location to post up on the pristine white sand and spend the day swimming or just lounging by the water.
Sunbathing, kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, hiking, wildlife sightings, and ample areas for kids to play with several playgrounds.
The area is also known for its excellent bike trails. Some consider this the park’s hidden gem as the trails are designed and built by local bike clubs, meaning they are top-notch. Find trails that fit every skill level: novice, intermediate, and expert.
Virginia Key is also home to the most extensive mangrove wetlands in all of Florida. Taking a kayak tour of the area might mean catching a glimpse of some rare endangered species and unique plant life.
The natural wonder of the Key pays thanks to the continued conservation efforts by the Virginia Key Park Trust. Their mission is to protect, preserve, and maintain some of the last remaining pieces of intact flora and fauna in the South Florida area.
For a magical experience of this beauty, make sure you check out the Biscayne Virginia Rickenbacker Central, an antique miniature train that tours the grounds.
Bike trails, outdoor grills, campsites, concessions stands, cabana rentals, restrooms, picnic tables, shaded areas, and shower facilities dot the park.
Some iconic pastel-colored beachside cabins can be rented that come with grills, shade, and plenty of Adirondack chairs to lounge in.
There is also a kid’s play area that houses an antique carousel, perfect fun for everyone in the group.
The beach itself is lifeguard protected but keep in mind that it is a wading beach only.
The Miami Seaquarium is located just adjacent to the park on Virginia Key. Discover world-class exhibits that focus on the nautical and natural wonders of Florida.
This aquarium is an excellent resource to learn about the natural history of the area and to see some fantastic animals.
If you have your four-legged friend in tow, make sure you check out Hobie Island Beach Park. This stretch of sand is a dog’s paradise and is one of the only off-leash beach dog parks in all of Miami-Dade county.
For most of Virginia Key’s history, it was known as a popular spot for the African American community in Miami to have fun and let loose. This is significant because the beaches that hug the famous city’s coast were segregated, making Virginia Key one of the community’s only spots to visit without repercussion.
The beach was closed in 1992 due to the high maintenance costs and upkeep of the area. It was through the efforts of local citizens that the park was renovated and placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 2002.
It was then reopened to the public in 2008.
Address: 4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, FL