The Lookout: Miami’s ‘key’ to the au naturale

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Six miles off the coast of Miami lies the city’s own serene getaway: Key Biscayne. Unlike the wild, turbulent, and never sleeping ambiance of South Beach, the island offers a chance to escape from the intoxicated, party-hungry tourists and experience South Florida’s stunning nature.

Start your day off with EcoAdventures, a Miami-Dade service that takes you kayaking and snorkeling through Crandon Park’s tranquil waters.

For those who want to take a stab at water sports, try Sailboards Miami. Conveniently located on Windsurfer Beach, they offer paddleboard, kayak and windsurfing rentals. They guarantee that in just two hours, they can teach you how to windsurf like a pro!

One of America’s best beaches, Bill Bagg State Park, is home of South Florida’s oldest structure, a lighthouse from 1825. Hike or bike down nature trails, catch some fish in “No Name” Harbor, sun bathe, or camp out over night. When you need to refuel, grab some grub at one of the delicious lighthouse restaurants.

Every year, the Crandon Park Tennis Center hosts the Sony Ericsson Open, one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

One mile south of Key Biscayne’s shore lies Miami’s most peculiar neighborhood, Stiltsville. These wooden houses sit on stilts about ten feet above water. Although currently uninhabited, these curious structures were notoriously used as gambling sites and contraband unloading docks during the prohibition and Miami Vice years.

If nature isn’t your thing, Key Biscayne offers other activities. Purchase novelty gifts at the Island Shop, Tinkys, and Surmesur. Refuel yourself with some quick bites from Sir Pizza, Archie’s Pizza or La Carreta. For a more exclusive dining experience that won’t empty your wallet, sample some Argentinian cuisine at Novecento 900, enjoy drinks and live entertainment at Ibis Lounge, dig into some Asian cuisine at Sushi Siam or indulge in fresh seafood at the Rusty Pelican.

From adventure trails on water to pristine beaches for lounging, Key Biscayne is the ultimate “mini-vacation.” After all, it’s less than an hour away from campus.

Ashley Brozic may be contacted at


“The Lookout” is a new column running in Edge that will feature interesting things to do and see in neighborhoods not usually frequented by students, but worth checking out. Be sure to look for “The Lookout” next month in Edge!

September 19, 2010


Ashley Brozic

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “The Lookout: Miami’s ‘key’ to the au naturale”

  1. Ted Webb says:

    When I was a UM senior in 1960, I helped the owner of Jimmy’s Hurricane drive-in restaurant (corner of Douglas Road and Bird Road) register his stiltsville home with Dade County by drafting the house plans and the details of the surrounding waters and close-by homes. In order to build, the county zoning office had to stamp its approval on the plans. At the time, they were all used as weekend getaways for the owners at that time.

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