The Magic City’s lush tropics and surrounding waters set the scenery for beautiful parks. Whether you’re looking for a place to go cycling, fishing, dog-walking or just to take a relaxing stroll out in the fresh air, these parks are well worth a visit.
Matheson Hammock Park
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Nestled in the tree-lined street of Old Cutler Road, Matheson Hammock Park boasts a man-made beach, a marina and stunning views of the downtown Miami skyline. The 630-acre park offers cycling trails, water sport rentals, and picnic tables for families to lunch – there’s also the Red Fish Grill Seafood Restaurant on site. Visitors can rent a kayak and paddle through the bay waters along the mangroves and million-dollar homes with the occasional spotting of manatees swimming alongside.
Perched along Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami, the urban Museum Park is bordered by the Perez Art Museum, the Frost Museum of Science and the American Airlines Arena. The park which first opened in 1976 as the Bicentennial Park, features a waterfront baywalk where pedestrians can gain access of the museums and enjoy views of the bay. It’s also accessible with public transportation via the Metromover (exit Museum Park Station).
Known as the largest urban park in Florida, Oleta Park boasts miles and miles of cycling trails for both novice and pro cyclists, as well as bike rentals. Visitors can enjoy fishing along the pier, canoeing through the lengthy Oleta River and exploring the untamed natural beauty of the park.
On the edge of South Beach, South Pointe Park offers 360-degree views of the ocean and plenty of sailing cruise ship sightings as this is where vessels reach the Port of Miami. The park, with its neatly planted palm trees and perfectly kept lawns, features a kids playground, plenty of sidewalk room to skateboard, a dog park, a romantic pier where folks gather along to fish and of course – the beach.
Just a short drive to northern Key Biscayne, Crandon Park is an island park equipped with volleyball nets, cabanas for rent and pristine turquoise waters that beckon for a dip. Aside from the stunning beaches and pearly white sands, the park is also home to mangroves, dunes and a nature center that houses exotic fish and other wildlife. Just five minutes away from Crandon Park is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park which is home to the Cape Florida Light – the oldest standing structure in Greater Miami. (Worth the visit while in Key Biscayne!)
The mecca of dog parks, you can bring your pooch here to play in the fenced in green spaces where dogs can get some exercise with other canines. There’s even an outdoor space with fitness equipment, a walking path and a deck to stroll along and enjoy the Miami sights. Located in Coconut Grove just at the water’s edge, it offers a peaceful view of the open bay for a relaxing afternoon.
Also in Coconut Grove, this fairly small park tops our list for having the oldest house in its original location in Miami. Visitors can tour the 1891 home, The Barnacle, to learn about the frontier life during the “Era of the Bay” at a time when all travel to the city was done by boat. The grounds boasts scenic views of the bay, seagulls and beautiful lawns where families can enjoy a picnic under the shade of tropical trees. (Not too shabby for a Sunday).
In the midst of downtown’s modern skyscrapers, this waterfront park offers plenty of green space for active folks to exercise. There’s an outdoor gym, volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, and palm tree-lined sidewalks to jog along. Though a hotspot for young locals, parents can bring their kids for some fun in the covered kids’ playground and enjoy a barbecue by the grills and picnic tables. It’s also dog-friendly!
You’re sure to catch one stunning Miami sunset at Brickell Key Park. Just a 1.15 mile radius surrounding the man-made island of Brickell Key with its towering high rises, the park offers views of the open bay and is ideal for jogging or dog-walking. There’s an ample amount of benches to sit and take in the sights of the water as you doze off to the salty ocean breeze.
Perhaps the most famous park in Miami, Bayfront Park is extremely versatile. Located right on Biscayne Boulevard and adjacent to Bayside Marketplace, this park hosts an endless list of events from free yoga to rollerblading sessions, and of course, the annual Ultra Music Festival. Aside from its busy calendar, the park itself is home to a kids’ playground and a sandy bay front lot where pedestrians can settle into comfy loungers and enjoy the ocean breeze under the palms.