Crandon Park
Crandon Park is a 808 acres (3.3 km²) urban park
Urban park
An urban park, is also known as a municipal park or a public park, public open space or municipal gardens , is a park in cities and other incorporated places to offer recreation and green space to residents of, and visitors to, the municipality...

 in metropolitan
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

 Miami, occupying the northern part of Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne is an island located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. It is the southernmost of the barrier islands along the Atlantic coast of Florida, and lies south of Miami Beach and southeast of Miami...

. It is connected to mainland Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway
Rickenbacker Causeway
The Rickenbacker Causeway connects Miami, Florida, United States to the barrier islands of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne across Biscayne Bay.-Background:...



The land Crandon Park occupies was once part of the largest coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 plantation in the United States, operated by William John Matheson
William John Matheson
William John Matheson was an American industrialist, born in Wisconsin but educated in Scotland. Having learned, while in Scotland, about recent breakthroughs in the development of aniline dyes, Matheson became an early importer and distributor of such dyes from Germany...

 and his heirs. In 1940 the Matheson family donated 808.8 acres (327.3 hectares) of their land to Dade County (now Miami-Dade County) for a public park. In return, county commissioner Charles H. Crandon promised that the county would build a causeway to Key Biscayne. World War II delayed construction, but the causeway opened in 1947.

At one time Crandon Park also included a zoo, occupying 48 acres (19.4 hectares) of the park. The first animals in the zoo, including some lions, an elephant and a rhinoceros, had been stranded when a circus went out of business in Miami. Some Galapagos tortoises, monkeys and pheasants were added from the Matheson plantation. Other animals were added, including a white Bengal tiger. In 1981 the Crandon Park Zoo was moved from the park to a location south of Miami, and became the Miami MetroZoo, later renamed the Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens.

Since 1987, a major professional tennis tournament for both men and women has been held annually in Key Biscayne at the Tennis Center in Crandon Park. Currently known as the Sony Ericsson Open, the event was formerly the Lipton Tennis Championships from 1985 to 1999, the Ericsson Open in 2000 and 2001, and NASDAQ-100 Open from 2002 to 2006.


The park is more than 800 acres (325 hectares) in size, and has two miles (3.2 kilometers) of beach on the Atlantic Ocean side. Crandon Boulevard extends from the end of the Rickenbacker Causeway through the length of the park, providing access to the Village of Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne, Florida
Key Biscayne is a village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States on the island of Key Biscayne. The population was 10,507 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 10,324....

 and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park occupies approximately the southern third of the island of Key Biscayne, at coordinates . The park is home to the Cape Florida Light, the oldest standing structure in Greater Miami...


The park has a variety of facilities, including a marina, a golf course, a tennis center
Tennis Center at Crandon Park
The 13,300-seat Stadium Court is the centerpiece of the Tennis Center at Crandon Park facility, home of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida since 1987. The Sony Ericsson Open uses 12 courts in competition courts, plus six practice courts...

, a family amusement center, picnic shelters and a nature center. There is parking for more than 3,000 vehicles in the park. Part of the park is set aside as the Bear Cut Preserve, a designated natural Environment Study Area. Guided tours through the preserve are available.
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