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For some of Florida's most beautiful beaches, travelers should look no further than Bahia Honda State Park.
Bahia Honda State Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the state of Florida. It has something to offer to those who are interested in history, nature, and recreation. In 1992, it ranked first on the Best Beaches list by Dr. Beach. Because of the white sand and clear waters, it attracts tourists from all over the country. It used to be a secluded beach destination, but has grown and sustained its popularity since it was included on the list.
The Bahia Honda State Park has gone through a lot over the 100 years since it first opened to the public. in 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed much of the natural habitats and local wildlife. Since then, there have been efforts to restore campsites and beaches (i.e., Sandspur Beach) so that tourists may again enjoy these areas.
Landmarks And Attractions
Bahia Honda State Park has been around for about 100 years. While it is known for its pristine beaches, there are other attractions that visitors can check out:
Bahia Honda Bridge is part of the Overseas Railway. At the time it was built, it was quite known to be a unique bridge because it had to be tall and sturdy enough to carry a train over water, and should be able to withstand strong currents during the stormy season.
Little Bahia Honda Island – visitors usually go to this little island to go kayaking because it is close and has clear waters. It offers a beautiful view of the bridge.
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary – a preservation area that is dedicated to taking care of the Looe Key coral reef.
John Pennekamp State Park – another popular state park in the Florida Keys.
Bahia Honda State Park has of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. Tourists usually go kayaking and snorkeling on these beaches. Keep an eye out for different types of fish, rays, and sea turtles!
Sandspur Beach is the longest beach in Bahia Honda. Unfortunately, it was wiped out by Hurricane Irma. In recent years, it has gone through the process of restoration to attract more visitors, both old and new.
Loggerhead Beach faces the Atlantic ocean. You can tell you’re in Loggerhead beach if you see the sandbar near the shore.
Calusa Beach has a view of the Overseas Highway. It may be a small beach but does get crowded during weekends and holidays.
Bahia Honda State Park offers a few activities for visitors. A word of advice for those who wish to do some watersports: this area is known for having strong tides and currents. Those who are beginners or are untrained should wear safety gear. Heed the warnings about bad weather. Here are some of the best activities:
Camping and cabin rentals. Bahia Honda State Park offers limited accommodations for those who wish to stay overnight. Reservations are highly recommended because there are only a few cabins and campsites. Make reservations months in advance to secure a slot. If you would like to avoid crowds, try to book on weekdays to secure a spot because weekends and holidays are the hardest to book. Cabins can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. There are only six cabins and they can be reserved for up to two weeks. There are a total of 58 campsites. There used to be more, but they were wiped out by Hurricane Irma.
Cost of cabin rentals: $120 per night (May 1 to October 31, $160 per night (November 1 to April 30)
Cost Campsite rentals:: From $36 per night
Reservations through their website.
Snorkeling – those who want to go snorkeling can go to any of the beaches or to the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. Cost: $29.95 for adults, $24.95 for children below 18
Hiking – there is a hiking trail near Calusa beach. Follow this trail to get a panoramic view of the island and ocean. Those who are blessed with good weather on their hike might see rays and sea turtles swimming in the ocean.
Kayaking – clear waters allow people on kayaks to view the lush marine life without getting off the boat. Those who don’t want to get wet but are eager to see the ocean should definitely try kayaking.
Bahia Honda State Park is open every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The park is just 45 minutes away from Key West. Those who wish to go on a weekend should go early to get ahead of the crowd. There is a limited number of allowed guests, so those who arrive late might get turned away should the park reach maximum capacity.
Admission: $8.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people), $2.50 per extra passenger
What To Bring
The park has concessionaires that offer rentals of various types of beach gear such as: snorkels, kayaks, and umbrellas. For safety and hygiene reasons, it’s best to bring your own snorkeling gear.
Other items to bring on your day trip:
Change of clothes
Where To Stay
Those who have difficulty booking a cabin or a campsite may stay at the following accommodations in the area:
Sunshine Key King Travel Trailer 4: From $270 per night
The Barnacle B&B: From $221 per night
Deer Run on the Atlantic: From $425 per night
Parmer’s Resort: From $185 per night
Isla Bella Beach Resort and Spa Florida Keys: From $207 per night
A Place To Relax
There is more to Florida than the bustling party district of Miami Beach. Those who want a more private and quiet getaway should consider Bahia Honda State Park. Encompassing everything from clear waters to historical sites, it’s a family-friendly destination too! The next time you’re planning a trip to Florida, consider going to Bahia Honda State Park.