The Ten Best Parks in Miami
4. North Shore Open Space Park
7929 Atlantic Way, Miami Beach
There's no shortage of people who complain that there's no community in this city, no place where Miamians gather and frolic and commiserate over the common sublime strangeness we all live with in this town. But the Open Space Park is evidence to the contrary. Winding between the Beach and Collins Avenue from 78th street to 87th, this park is a fascinating place because it's part of three worlds that somehow interconnect: A1A, the park itself, and the shoreline. All three have different rhythms and sensations to their respective atmospheres, and yet you can walk from one world to the next in a matter of a few steps and feel like you're suddenly on another planet. From the immense amount of trees and greenery to the barbecues and the spaces for dogs to run free, this place feels like a miniature Central Park for Miami Beach locals.
3. Crandon Park
6747 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne
This place is big enough to get lost in. Not metaphorically speaking, like "I lost myself in the magic of the woods" -- no, lost as in, "How much of this fucking place is there? Have I crossed into Monroe County yet? Call the Mayor, tell him I need a goddamn helicopter and a rope ladder now!" But in a good way. That kind of lost isn't a sense we get to experience all that often in this city (except perhaps in Hialeah and parts of Downtown) and getting to be totally cut off like that is an incredibly refreshing feeling. As you make your way back from the unmarked and unspoiled depths of the Bear Cut Nature preserve, you can head to the beach, the golf course, or perhaps the tennis courts. With just over 808 acres' worth of the island of Key Biscayne being part of the park, there's no doubt that you could easily while away days on end reveling in the natural splendor Crandon has to offer.
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6630 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL