Why We Love Virginia Key
November 2, 2017
It’s no secret that South Florida has an unlimited access to the beach, whether manmade or untouched, the beach is a beautiful commodity our cities share in common. When paired with the luscious and verdant native growth that South Florida boasts, it becomes less of a daytime trip for the whole family and more of an adventure into our landscape’s past and a kaleidoscope of nature we have encroached upon over time.
A perfect example of a place that has survived the passing of time while still maintaining a certain portal into yesteryear is the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, a long-standing oasis neighboring Key Biscayne. From the towering native pines and palms that greet you upon entry to the intricate sandcastle that has survived South Florida’s many storms, the park has been able to keep its place at the top of many of our lists of favorite local hidden gems.
Those of us who know the park’s history can only look on it with respect, being the first official “colored only” beach park in Miami in the mid 1940s. Because of its welcoming status, Virginia Key Beach Park become known as a destination where social gatherings and even religious ceremonies were cherished at this getaway. Over time it expanded to include a mini train and a carousel so all family members could enjoy their day–both of which are still there today.
But how does a park so well protected and remote muster the strength to evolve with the times? Follow the locals and see where they go. With Miami’s rising identity as a music festival destination, the historic beach park has much value to both producers and festivalgoers alike. The easy beach access, convenient utilities, navigable grounds, natural surroundings, and sweeping fields for large stages make it actually a pretty perfect location for any festival.
And so it has become one. Over the years, when much of Miami was looking the other way at other genres on the spectrum, Virginia Key Beach Park became the home to the South Florida branch of the nationally-acclaimed Grassroots Festival hosting some of the world’s most renowned live music acts. From local one-day festivals to other celebrations of art and music, you can find something great happening on any given weekend over there.
The trend continues next weekend from November 11th-12th for the second-annual House of Creative Music Festival where local music blends with some of the biggest names in electro pop. Not only are they boasting headliners like MGMT and alt-J, but they’re bringing some beloved performances to Miami with Washed Out and Wild Belle, who have both graced our city to rousing audiences before. They’ll be transforming the historic park into a platform for locals to engage with artisans and regional food while taking in the sounds of world-class music for all to enjoy. Get your tickets here.
Photos by Jason Koerner