Between bars and restaurants, dog-friendly spots, stunning Florida architecture, and recreational and leisure activities, there’s plenty to do around Key Biscayne. To get there, hop in a car or grab a bike and pedal over the bridge from mainland Miami's Coconut Grove area. Sunshine and cocktails will be waiting on the other side.
Make Your Way to One of the Island’s Many Beaches
There are plenty of beaches to choose from here, but if you've got a fur baby, head to Hobie Beach. There might not be anything nicer than some fresh fruit, a good book, and your best bud—but don’t forget the sunblock because it can get real hot here. Park yourself under a shady tree and head to the water when you and your four-legged friend need to cool down.
If you’re feeling fancy, why not act fancy? The Ritz-Carlton’s lobby bar, RUMBAR, will transport you to a 1940s Havana-style bar with Latin music, high ceiling fans, dark wood details, and a live band some nights. Order whatever you want; they serve up over 85 different kinds of rum, piscos, cachacas, and more. All cocktails—including the black and blue and classic mojitos—are made with fresh fruits and ingredients.
Cape Florida Lighthouse (also known as El Farito) is on the south side of Key Biscayne. Built in 1825, it was used to guide fishermen and mariners in the 1800s. Today, the lighthouse is the oldest-standing structure in Miami-Dade County and a must-see on a trip to Key Biscayne. It's open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with guided tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feel free to climb to the top; it’s about a 10-minute walk and comfortable shoes, though not required, are encouraged.
Built on Virginia Key in the 1960s, this was the first stadium used for powerboat racing in the United States. After Hurricane Andrew, though, it was deemed unsafe. It wasn’t until very recently that it began to be revitalized and used for special events again, including the Miami Boat Show and the Mack Cycle Key Biscayne Trilogy. On non-event days, the Stadium may be closed, but you can still get a good look at it—in all its graffiti-covered glory—from the nearby boat dock and beach.
Take a Self-Guided Architecture Tour
Quite a few celebrities—Latin pop stars included—live here, so you will undoubtedly see some stunning houses while you're in town. If you're a fan of "Scarface," head to 484 West Matheson Drive to check out the movie's iconic multi-million dollar mansion. So grab a golf cart, bike, or car and take yourself on an architecture tour around Key Biscayne.
Play Some Watersports
Key Biscayne’s beaches have all the water activities your heart could possibly desire. Grab a canoe or kayak and head out to the mangroves for some birdwatching. Keep your eyes open for reptiles and other marine life, too. If windsurfing or paddleboarding sounds like fun, you can do that as well.
Overlooking No Name Harbor, Boater’s Grill boasts views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami’s high rises. There are tons of tasty seafood options on the menu, including paella, ceviche, and lobster—but the real star here is the whole fried snapper. Caught locally, this two- to three-pound fish is fresh, crispy, and nearly the size of your head; expect to leave stuffed and happy. Note: If you come here during the day, you will have to pay a $5 entrance fee to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
Boat Out to Stiltsville
If you want to do something out of the ordinary, hop on a boat and head to Stiltsville. This historic site is in the middle of the sea, just two miles from shore. Once home to 27 houses—some of which were allegedly used during Prohibition to store illegal liquor shipments from the Bahamas—only seven still stand today. The brightly-colored remnants of houses are sure to put a smile on your face, so be sure to snap some pictures for perfect Instagram-fodder.