I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of the film “One Night In Miami,” directed by actress Regina King, who is getting Oscar buzz for the film. It takes place in Overtown, sharing the details of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown. During that time period, people of color could not enjoy glittery South Beach due to segregation, so Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and other historic Black figures, enjoyed the beautiful beaches at Virginia Key Beach Park.
What was originally known as the only Black Beach in Miami, Historic Virginia Key Beach Park has stood through generations, offering outdoor recreation, shaded picnic areas with barbecue pits, cottages, a boat ramp and the famous Mini-Train and Carousel rides. With its lush windswept palms and inviting beach, Virginia Key has lured thousands to this tropical paradise. Though the beach remained segregated throughout the 1950’s, it was not a factor for Caribbean, South American, and Cuban immigrants who found Virginia Key Beach to be either the only beach that they too could visit, or the beach they preferred.
Today the park stands and invites everyone to take advantage of free history tours, kayaking, bicycling, yoga, cabanas and water sports. Last year the park celebrated its 75-year anniversary and is set to have a civil rights museum built on the key. As a travel destination, visitors can visit the park to learn about the vast history, ride the vintage carousel and avoid the South Beach crowds.