Fodor's Expert Review Higgs Beach–Astro City Playground
This Monroe County park with its groomed pebbly sand is a popular sunbathing spot. A nearby grove of Australian pines provides shade, and the West Martello Tower provides shelter should a storm suddenly sweep in. Kayak and beach-chair rentals are available, as is a volleyball net. The beach also has the largest AIDS memorial in the country and a cultural exhibit commemorating the grave site of 295 enslaved Africans who died after being rescued from three South America–bound slave ships in 1860. An athletic trail with 10 fitness stations is a new addition. Hungry? Grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant, Salute. Across the street, Astro City Playground is popular with young children. Amenities: parking; toilets; water sports. Best for: swimming; snorkeling.