The night before, we stopped in a local grocery store and picked up some microwave oatmeal bowls and an orange juice to share. Our Airbnb provided coffee for us. It's so easy to spend a lot of money on breakfast and feel like "but I'm in a new place and on vacation, we HAVE to go out for every meal right?" Wrong! We love try out new restaurants and cafes but are trying to show ourselves that it really is ok to not eat out all the time. And honestly we had a super fun time having breakfast at our Airbnb with the resident chickens instead.
This would have been a few $$ less had we be entering by foot or by bike but since we had our rental car, it was $8 for a car with two people for the day. The park has plenty of walking trails and beaches to explore in addition to the historic lighthouse. Mark got some beautiful pictures of the lighthouse and I got evidence of him being his usual rebellious self ;)
Scenic spot to park yourself for a quick sandwich. Food was acceptable. It was nothing special really but hit the spot. Hindsight I think it maybe would have been more fun to pack a lunch and pick a bench or picnic table on Biscayne Bay and listen to the waves crashing and feed the White-faced Ibis.
Our main focus of this stop was to check out the lighthouse which is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. There are two listed daily guided tours but you can climb the lighthouse at no cost. They do have a donation box which I recommend "tipping" after your visit. It's only 109 steps up a tight, winding, metal staircase to the top where you get spectacular views of the 1.25 miles of beautiful Cape Florida beach, the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay.
Depending on where you stay, you may be able to avoid the parking fees or go the cheaper route of renting a bicycle. If you are a people watcher, this is a great spot. Even now in what they are saying is "cool weather," there were plenty of people, couples, and families enjoying the sun and surf. The tide was also at a great point for surfers as there must have been 50-75 in the water. We watched a good number of them catch a wave. There was even a cat enjoying the sunshine on the rocks next to the South Pointe Park Pier.
Walking along Ocean Drive
The other really fun place to walk and explore is Ocean Drive just a block off the beach. There are blocks and blocks of fancy restaurants and cafes in what is called the Art Deco district. Here you will find numerous retro-style buildings from the 1920s and 1930s and plenty of locals showing off their expensive cars. In the afternoon/evenings, you can take your pick of cuisines at the walk-through cafes along the street. Italian, Cuban, Mexican, French...many of course featuring fresh seafood dishes. But for us the big attraction was coming in the evening when all the buildings turned on their neon lights.