You’ve most likely been to the beaches, tennis tournament and attraction on Key Biscayne. With this list though, we’d like to introduce you to a few spots that might be unfamiliar but definitely worth a visit.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center
This special place came to be thanks to the efforts of environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas and her relentless pursuit to educate all on the importance of eco-consciousness. It’s tucked back into Crandon Park and offers one of the most amazing Miami skyline views from one of their many nature trails. It also offers the only fossilized reef in the United States. The fun Visitor Center and 165-acre Nature Preserve serve for a great day-long visit.
6767 Crandon Blvd., 305-361-6767; www.biscaynenaturecenter.org
Picnicking and a visit to the Cape Florida Lighthouse, just about everyone’s done that but have you been to Boater’s Grill at No Name Harbor? The view here is as spectacular as the menu, which includes plenty of Cuban favorites and of course, the freshest seafood around. Try the tostones with either shrimp or crabmeat, seafood paella or various preparations of bacalao (cod). Boaters and fishermen, bring in your fresh catch and they’ll gladly cook it for you.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, 1200 Crandon Blvd., 305-361-0080; www.lighthouserestaurants.com
The Golden Hog
Feeling gourmet? Then pay a visit to The Golden Hog, a great spot to pick up food for the beach or for a nice dinner party. We’re talking lasagna, roasted chicken, Spanish paella or pork and beef ribs. Their soups, entrees and side dishes change daily and they have great sandwiches, both half and full sizes which are perfect for a beach picnic.
91 Harbor Dr., 305-361-1300; thegoldenhogmarket.com
Cabana rentals at Crandon Park
It may seem like cabanas can only be had poolside on South Beach but did you know they’ve got them at Crandon Park Beach (and for a lot cheaper). There are only five available but they’re only $37.45 a day. They’re 10’ X 10’ and include a private cold shower and personal picnic table right in front. You can have a maximum of eight guests. So maybe next time bypass the usual day at the beach and spend it in cabana comfort instead.
6747 Crandon Blvd., 305-361-5421; www.miamidade.gov/parks/crandon
Crandon Gardens at Crandon Park
Maybe while you’re enjoying a day in your cabana you should check out the Crandon Gardens where the Crandon Zoo used to be back in the 1970s. You’ll spot peacocks, while winding through paved and sandy paths and enjoy the oceanfront view, too. Check out fixtures from the zoo days like the former monkey cage and enjoy plenty of inhabiting wildlife and cool shade trees.
The Island Shop
Finding the perfect gift or something new to add sparkle to your home can sometimes be a challenge. When it is, consider visiting The Island Shop where they have a wide selection of bed and table linens, fine china, silver and crystal, home accessories, home fragrances, toiletries and elegant stationery. They’ve even got gourmet chocolates and teas. With a long list like that, best to set aside plenty of time for browsing.
654 Crandon Blvd., 305-361-1389; www.theislandshop.com
Key Biscayne Village Green Park
The Village of Key Biscayne boasts a fun 9.5-acre park for the kiddos. They’ll love the large playground and once they’ve worked up a sweat there, they can run through the cool splash fountain. You can watch from the tree-shaded benches and if you prefer to go it alone at the park, get in a workout on their jogging course.
450 Crandon Blvd., 305-365-5511; keybiscayne.fl.gov