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Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Crandon Park

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 paths.

Author: Stuart and Jill Foster (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 21 July 2004
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