by Barbara Ann Weibel at Hole In The Donut Travels
I’d often driven by Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, but had never stopped. During a recent trip to Key West, determined to rectify that oversight, I carved out a couple of days on the end of my trip, specifically for beach time.
Bahia Honda contains three separate beaches, each of which is completely different from the others. Caloosa Beach is tucked into a gentle cove at the foot of the old Overseas Railway trestle at the southern end of the park. A portion of the old bridge has been maintained as an elevated walkway that offers spectacular views of the beach and inlet. Caloosa is popular with families because restrooms, a snack bar, and ample parking are all located adjacent to the crescent.
At Loggerhead Beach, located in the center of the park, a submerged sandbar emerges at low tide. Sunbathers deposit coolers and perch folding chairs on these exposed sand hills and wade far out into the shallow aqua water to search for shells and sea glass.
I was impressed by both Caloosa and Loggerhead beaches, but when I drove up to Sandspur Beach on the northern end of the park, I was stunned. Sandspur is achingly beautiful, with pure white sand that ran through my fingers like powdered sugar and crystal clear turquoise waters stretching to the horizon. Sea oats and razor-sharp grasses atop low dunes swayed in the gentle breezes and puffy white clouds scudded across the sky. I cannot imagine a more exquisite beach. Sandspur is, hands down, the most beautiful beach in the world. Who knew I would find it right in my own backyard!
Bahia Honda State Park is located on the southern tip of Big Pine Key. A limited number of camping sites are available in the park, although reservations must be made months in advance. Most visitors choose to stay in one of the numerous hotels or motels in nearby Marathon.
Photos courtesy of Barbara Weibel