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Fodor's South Florida 2014
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Crandon Park Beach
Crandon Park Beach Review
This relaxing oasis in northern Key Biscayne is dotted with palm trees, which provide a respite from the steamy sun until it's time to take a dip in the blue waters. Families really enjoy the beaches here—the sand is soft, there are no rip tides, there's a great view of the Atlantic, and parking is both inexpensive and plentiful. However, on weekends, be prepared for a long hike from your car to the beach. There are bathrooms, outdoor showers, plenty of picnic tables, concession stands, and golf and tennis facilities. The family-friendly park offers abundant options for kids who find it challenging to simply sit and build sand castles. Crandon Gardens at Crandon Park was once the site of a zoo. There are swans, waterfowl, and dozens of huge iguanas running loose. Nearby you'll find a restored carousel (it's open weekends and major holidays 10–5, until 6 in summer, and you get three rides for $1), an old-fashioned outdoor roller rink, a dolphin-shape spray fountain, and a playground. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center. At the north end of the beach is the free Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, where you can explore sea-grass beds on a tour with a naturalist; see red, black, and white mangroves; and hike along the beach and hammock in the Bear Cut Preserve. The park also sponsors hikes and tours. 305/361–6767. www.biscaynenaturecenter.org. Daily 10–4.
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