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Biking on Key Biscayne to the Cape Florida Lighthouse

Key Biscayne is probably the most cycling friendly part of Miami. Starting at the Rickenbacker Causeway, there’s almost 9 uninterrupted miles of bike lanes and trails that take you all the way to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. 

Now, I’ll level with you. I am not a professional cyclist. I’m not even a terribly comfortable casual bike rider, but Key Biscayne is a great place to get out for a bike ride no matter your comfort level. It’s easy to rent a bike, the trails and sidewalks are plentiful, and there’s a great destination at the very south end of the island to ride to. 

Biking to the Key Biscayne Lighthouse

Key Biscayne may be a cyclist’s paradise, but I mentioned that I’m a pretty casual bike rider. 

Like, whenever I get on a bike (every 3-4 years) I cross my fingers and hope that it really is “just like riding a bike” and it will all come back to me ; ) So far it always does. I tell you this so you’ll know exactly what kind of bike ride this is. It’s EASY. I also think biking to the lighthouse at the very end of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a must do in the Miami area. 

I was staying at the Ritz Carlton on Key Biscayne on this trip, and it’s a little over two miles one way. You ride down the entrance way to the resort, take a left and ride all the way to the south end of the island. From the hotel to the southern end of the “village” of Key Biscayne, you’re riding on a sidewalk. There’s a pretty wide sidewalk on both sides of the street. Once you get to the State Park, you’re riding on a 6-8 foot wide bike and walking path. It’s 100% flat and a very easy ride. Our bikes even had bells on them which was nice when we were riding through town. 

There’s a $2/bicycler fee once you get to the park. When we biked through, there wasn’t anyone manning the entrance, but there was a pretty clear sign about paying. You put your money in a little envelope they provide and drop it in the box. There was also a QR code you could scan with your phone if you wanted to pay via credit card. 

The trail through the state park is really pretty and lush and has some great spots to stop and take a break. Once you get close to the southern end of the park, it opens up to the bay and there’s a great spot where you can stop to see Stiltsville.

Stiltsville was started in the 1930s and by the 1950s and 1960s there were as many as 30 of these stilt dwellings out in Biscayne Bay. They were a popular hangout spot among boaters, fishermen, partiers, and somewhat notable Florida residents. Only 7 structures survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and they’re now part of Biscayne National Park. Besides being out on a boat, this is one of the best vantage points you’ll find. There’s even a pair of long distance binoculars set up here. 

When you leave this spot, the rest of the road to the lighthouse is gravel, but it’s still an easy ride. 

When you reach the lighthouse, there’s a bike rack where you can lock up your bike (they don’t want people riding bikes past the gates). 

The Lightkeepers Cottage has been well restored and preserved.

If you arrive at the Lighthouse on bike, be sure to walk all the way up to it and down the palm tree lined pathway that leads from the parking lot (if you’re coming by car) to the lighthouse. It’s the best vantage point to take in the whole thing. 

The lighthouse is open for tours Thursday-Monday at 10AM and 1PM and it’s the only way you’ll be able to see inside. Even if you’re not able to make it for a tour, it’s still worth seeing. 

When we were done at the lighthouse, we just retraced our route all the way back to the Ritz Carlton, but i you want more time biking, pick up one of the park maps at the entrance and you’ll see a few more pathways you can bike inside the state park. 

Don’t miss these other posts about Miami:

Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Things to Do in Miami BESIDES Party

Things to Do in Little Havana

Where to Play Tennis on Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne Bike Rentals

Here are the details on where to rent a bike on Key Biscayne:

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne: Since I was staying at the Ritz Carlton, this was the simplest way to go for me. They’ve partnered with a company called Zybra that provides bikes that you can rent via an app. If you live in any major city, you’re probably familiar with this concept. If you come out of the lobby of the Ritz, the bikes are lined up over to the right. Everything is done via the app and nobody at the Ritz is really involved or able to help you. So if you’re staying anywhere in the area, you can use the app and rent one of these bikes. But you have to bring it back to this spot. It’s $10 for one hour, $18 for three hours, $24 for six hours, and $32 for twelve hours. We checked out our bikes, rode all the way down to the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, walked around quite a bit, and checked them back in at the Ritz in just about two hours. 

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: If you’re not staying near the Ritz Carlton, you’re coming to Key Biscayne for the day, or you’re only up for a shorter bike ride, you can rent bikes inside the state park. It’s $10/hour and $15/90 minutes. They also have quad bikes (surrey bikes) available if you have small children. More pricing info here

Key Cycling: Key Cycling is the premier bike shop on Key Biscayne (actual cycling bikes, trail bikes, kids bikes, etc.) and they do rentals as well. Contact them here

Citi Bike: Citi Bike is probably the biggest app fueled bike use company out there. There’s a good chance that there are Citi Bikes in your city. There are several Citi Bike locations (use their app to find exact locations) on the mainland near the Rickenbacker Causeway if you want to do the entire 17-18 mile ride down to the Cape Florida Lighthouse and back.

Posts about where to stay in Miami:

Where to Stay in Miami (Besides Miami Beach)

Miami Beach! Mid Beach vs South Beach (+My Favorite Hotels)

Miami Beach vs South Beach: Is South Beach Really the Best Place to Stay in Miami?

Downtown Miami vs South Beach: Brickell is the REAL Star in Miami

Key Biscayne vs South Beach: As Different As It Gets in Miami

The EDITION Miami Beach Review (Marriott Bonvoy)

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Review

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