The oldest standing structure in Miami happens to be located on one of the best beaches in the nation.

The Cape Florida Light at the south end of Key Biscayne has existed in one form or another since 1825. Constructed to guide mariners away from the offshore reefs, the original 65-foot tall tower was badly burned in 1836 when it came under attack from the Seminoles.

Despite being rebuilt several years later and adding extra height to the tower, the Cape Florida Light was eventually taken out of service. Coast Guard officials deemed it “insufficient” and had a cast iron lighthouse erected on Fowey Rocks seven miles southeast of the Cape.

Today, Cape Florida Light has been restored to her former glory and is open for tours. The observation platform at the top provides stunning 360-degree views of Miami and the Atlantic Ocean. The sandy white beach below is popular with locals as a quieter alternative to nearby city beaches and often lands near the top on national “best of” lists.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park caters to adventure seekers by offering boating, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling and other recreational activities.