Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Visit to Crandon Park, Key Biscayne
Crandon Park is located on Key Biscayne to the East of Miami and is connected
to the mainland via the Rickenbacker Causeway which passes through Virginia
Key. The road onto the islands has a $1 toll which can be negated by stating
that you are a patron of one of the restaurants on the islands. Although it is
one large park, the car park is split into two areas, the North Beach and the
South Beach. The playing fields in the middle prevent motorists from switching
from one car park to the other. The $5 parking ticket is a day ticket and
allows the participants to come and go as they please. There is no charge to
people entering the park under their own steam, with paths leading in from the
top by the bus stop, at the marina and at the bottom near the hotels.
Crandon Park is located at the top of the island with an easy to find
Information Centre which offers talks on the area and has scheduled guided tours
along the beach and parts of the mangrove swamps. Walkways also take you
through the vegetation and meadows to a broad walk which leads into the
mangroves onto a platform overlooking the beach at Bear Cut with stunning views
of South Beach. If the weather, heat and the humidity make walking too
difficult there is a tram service which connects the information centre with the
broad walk. The Information Centre has lecture rooms and a gift shop for anyone
after souvenirs of their day out.
The park also has wide white sandy beaches lapped by the Atlantic Ocean
providing stunning views and superb swimming in crystal clear waters. Bathers
are protected by a team of lifeguards on duty allowing you to enjoy the water
with the rest of your family. A step back from the beach paradise is a shaded
grassy area with shaded huts, picnic benches and fixed barbeques making it an
ideal location for a family day out at the beach. For those who do not want to
do their own cooking there is a kiosk which sells food and drink. For those
with a more active lifestyle the park also offers baseball pitches which are
open to the public and a child’s play park.
At the South end of the park is a tranquil garden of lakes and wildlife from
around the world. The feathered variety consists of several different species
of swans, ducks and peacocks while the reptiles are represented by turtles and
iguanas. The best time to see this spectacle is either side of the midday sun
when the animals are actives and over 50 iguanas can be seen sunbathing on the
Author: Stuart and Jill Foster
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