Update: Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park has closed. SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.
Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park is a homestead region designed by Shen Molinaro, specifically designed for people to visit, enjoy and to relax in. It offers plenty of walks, both along its sandy beaches and inland along paved paths, wooden board walks and over raised earthen trails that wind over grass and under bough. Also on the beaches and under the boughs of trees and palms, can be found places to sit or hang out along with opportunities to enjoy board games, take a bicycle ride or have a swim (look for the HUD givers as well as the rings out on the surf).
The region is somewhat modelled after the Cape Florida Light and the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, at the southern end of Key Biscayne in Florida. The lighthouse has a long history, and is the oldest standing structure in Greater Miami. Today it is operated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
I’ve no idea how well the region reflects the park, as I’ve never had the good fortune to visit the latter; but the lighthouse presents a fitting homage to its physical world namesake, and the beaches echo those from which popular photos of the lighthouse have been taken. However, accurate physical resemblance to Bill Baggs State Park isn’t important: the region stands on its own as a place of natural SL beauty.
The beaches run along the west and north sides of the region, the northern beach becoming quite expansive before it reaches the white finger of the lighthouse topped by the black “nail” of its light. Grass grows on the undulating beaches, vying with trapped seaweed to break-up the whiteness of the sands. Rocky outcrops also break up the sands, several of which have snagged flotsam deposited by the sea during high tide; there are also numerous places to sit and watch the ebb and flow of the tide – be it on sun loungers, deck chairs or blankets.
Behind the beaches, the land rises gently – not to any great height, but enough for the sand to give way to a more solid covering of grass spread beneath the boughs of tress and palms. It is here, among the trees that the majority of the board walks and paths can be found, offering multiple routes to different destinations. The latter includes the octagonal bulk of a great greenhouse overlooking the southern coastline, the glass long gone from its heavy wooden frame, a small cabin, a partially walled terrace, a paved terrace under a triangular awning, and more besides.
To the east of the park is a tiled roof gazebo offering shade, food and refreshments, one of several decks that hug the coastline sitting below it. On one of the latter, set above the south-western tip of a beach on a rocky overlook, offers a couple of spiKKo tables for those looking to play a game. Just above one of the beaches, tucked away near the old church gate marking the way to (or from!) the paved terrace and its awning, in a chess table. A little stall can be found here as well, offering a range of fresh fruit.
The paths and board walks, with their twisting and winding and frequent intersections, help to give a feeling that the park is larger than the region on which it sits. This is further helped by the use of trees, bushes and shrubs to hide views of the coastline.
Those wishing to rez props for photography can do so by joining the region’s group. It might also be worth playing with windlight settings – I confess to flicking my viewer over to a couple sky options provided by Stevie Davos as a part of his cloud and sky series (see here for more), as I found the default windlight left me feeling a little chilly whilst exploring the region. When wandering as well, make sure you have local sounds enabled; Shen has provided a rich sound scape to fit the region and breathe further life into it.
A beautifully conceived and executed region which invites people to tarry whilst visiting.
- Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park (Wildspire, rated: Moderate)