Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys Award Winning Beach

bahia honda iconic railroad bridge in the florida keys

Take a Romantic Stroll on the Beach; the image used in the 2018 Florida Keys Road Trip Calendar

The sign still stood near the state park entrance on my last visit to remind me and all visitors, the beach received the distinction of one of the best in the country. Sure many years have passed since the declaration, but the beach inside Bahia Honda remains one of the most well known treasures in the Florida Keys.

the beach on th eoceanside, the atlantic inside Bahia Honda, Florida Keys

the Atlantic Ocean(side) Beach

On my visits, the big decision comes down to whether you want the bay side and the view of the old train bridge or whether you fancy the longer stretch of Atlantic Ocean side waves. I normally choose the scenic views of the bridge and actually placed the image inside my 2018 Florida Keys Road Trip Calendar that raised over $500 dollars for local Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts. (you can still purchase yours until February 15th > here)

The Old Iconic Rail Bridge

Regardless of which side you choose, a must “hike” or walk is up to the edge of the bridge to take in the views of the park, beaches, and the pure beauty of the lower Florida Keys from above. On one side you see far out to the ocean blues as the other side will provide a view of the more crowded beach and activity in the calmer bay waters.

trails inside bahia honda, florida keys

walking on the old road and old railroad inside bahia honda state park florida keys

you need to walk up the bridge to view the beaches

old Railroad bridge view at Bahia-Honda-State Park in the Florida Keys

The bay side beach view from the Railroad Bridge

rhe old railroad bridge view of the beach inside Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys

The Atlantic Ocean Beach View from the Old Railroad Bridge

The original damage to the bridge was caused in the massive 1935 Hurricane.

Hurricane Irma at Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park opened after the recent September storm but still contains limited facilities. One website shows an update from November here. I imagine the beach received damage,  as did other beaches in the Florida Keys such as Anne’s Beach, but they all will recover because each has received the wrath multiple Hurricanes in the past and unfortunately probably will again in the future.

Travel Tips

bahia honda iconic railway bridge florida keys

the iconic old railroad bridge

I already mentioned, you must take a walk to the edge of the bridge and take in the views, but below is some more advice on exploring the Bahia Honda.

  1. Camping at Bahia Honda. Often the Florida Keys are considered a place for wealthy travelers, expensive, but not when you book a campsites at one of the many state parks that line the entire Florida Keys. This is beautiful spot, and at mm37, is definitely worth making the reservations well in advance since it is extremely limited and popular and also especially now since some of the campground loops are closed until restoration can be completed. See the details on camping here.
  2. Florida DAV Free Pass. All Disabled American Veterans receive free admission to all Florida State Parks. So if you have residence in Florida and sacrificed serving our country ask at the entrance booth and complete paperwork to receive your FREE admission pass in Florida. And yes, you can take in your entire family. Thank you Florida.
  3. Free Wifi. I might never use my wifi at the beach, but this beach frequented by many international tourists, such as my cousins from the Czech Republic (I took them here last June). It seems many enjoy the opportunity to connect, and I suspect those camping will appreciate it too.

Stay Adventurous, Craig

Beach Thursday returns with an 8 part series this year. See all the details on where 2018 Winter will take and also all the beaches visited in the prior winter seasons on the Beach Thursday Page.


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  • Maryann

    Enjoyed your article and pictures. Thanks Craig for reminding us of all the beauty in the Florida Keys and also thanks for your hurricane relief efforts.

    • craig zabransky

      There is so much beauty here… of course Irma has changed the landscape, but the natural beauty is and will continue to return…. it is a paradise. Stay loving the Florida Keys, Craig

  • Maggie Mistal

    Beautiful beach – great photos Craig.

    • craig zabransky

      Thanks Maggie, Stay beautiful, Craig

  • Lucifer

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing such helpful tips.

    • craig zabransky

      Glad you appreciate the images and found the tips useful. It is a great state park in the Florida Keys…. Stay beautiful, Craig

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