Glenn Lindgren: Island-loving Cubans naturally love sand and surf. In fact, a typical vacation for Miami residents is to rent a place at the beach for a week or two, even when home is less than an hour away.
Jorge Castillo: Although it might seem strange to visitors from more northerly climes, going to the beach for Cubans is strictly a summertime phenomenon.
Raúl Musibay: No matter how hot it might get, Cubans will not go to the beach in the winter; that is for the tourists!
Jorge Castillo: Affectionately called "Los Pinitos," these areas offer easy parking just steps away from the beach. Miamians love the relaxed atmosphere, where the family dog can share the surf with the wife and kids.
Glenn Lindgren: When Cubans want to spend the day at the beach or have a big beach picnic, they tend go to either the Cape Florida Light House Beach (part of the Bill Baggs State Recreation Area) or Crandon Park, both on the island of Key Biscayne.
Raúl Musibay: The beach here is very tranquil, a reef six miles off shore helps break up the waves.
Jorge Castillo: El Farito has two restaurants that serve Cuban food and there are bicycles, beach chairs, ocean kayaks, hydro bikes, and beach umbrellas for rent.
Raúl Musibay: There is a small parking fee, but plenty of parking with just a short walk to the beach. Showers and changing rooms here are well kept and clean.
Raúl Musibay: Crandon Park features an idyllic two-mile long beach that is known for an off-shore sandbar that keeps the wave activity down and is a great place for novice ocean swimmers.
Jorge Castillo: Even poor swimmers can enjoy the water safely as Crandon has 13 lifeguard towers that allow a constant supervision on the beach.
Glenn Lindgren: Crandon also has a small amusement center with a roller rink and a historic merry-go-round. The kids love it!
The park with the lighthouse and acres of room to enjoy a beach picnic. The area features a long sandy beach with shallow water that extends for several yards beyond the shore.
ADMISSION/FEES: $5.00 per vehicle, including up to eight visitors. | Single-occupant vehicle, $3.00. | $1.00 each per bicycle/individual walk-in.
Features: Concession stands including Cuban and seafood at the Lighthouse Café.
HOURS: 8:00 a.m. to sundown
ADMISSION/FEES: Cabana rentals are $20.00 per day, plus a $10.00 deposit
A great place to get Cuban food to go. All of the items are in glass cases so that you merely pick out whatever catches your eye. Try out that high school Spanish, speak your everyday English, or just point. Pick up Cuban picnic mainstays such as roast pork, ropa vieja, masitas, Cuban-style spare ribs, chicharrones, and more. However, whatever you do, don't forget the black beans and rice!
Blue Sky has numerous locations around Miami, but the location that is nearest to the beaches of Key Biscayne is located here:
HOURS: Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. | Sunday 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
ATMOSPHERE: Very casual
HOURS: Daily 8:30 a.m. to sundown
ATMOSPHERE: Very casual
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