Best Beach Miami 2006 - Crandon Beach
Readers' Choice: South Beach
Visit Crandon Beach on a gusty day and, for a $5 parking fee, here's what you'll find: kite surfers swooping and twirling in the distance and sandpipers dozing on one leg just offshore. The placid, lagoonlike waters make Crandon a perfect spot for swimming or wading. And its near-empty beaches are a welcome retreat from Miami Beach favorites. Besides, no other local waterfront spot can rival Crandon's velvety white sand and plentiful amenities -- among them meandering promenades, ample picnic areas, shaded pavilions, outdoor showers, and concession stands. For those with children, there's the Family Amusement Center with its antique carousel, roller rink, and sandy playground. You can also rent cabanas, complete with private restrooms and showers, for $20 per day or $200 per month. These small, mostly concrete spaces are better suited to storing lounge chairs and surfboards than lingering over mojitos. But who really needs a roof when there's so much sand to ply? And once you've had your fill of beach, you can sample some of Crandon Park's other offerings, such as fine restaurants, tennis courts, and a championship eighteen-hole golf course.