The Ten Best Parks in Miami

Categories: Around Town, Lists

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Travis Cohen
2. Biscayne Bay National Park
9700 SW 328th St., Homestead
Biscayne Bay National park spans nearly 175,000 acres, about 95% of which is underwater. In that gargantuan breadth of South Florida are all kinds of amazing sights, from Stiltsville to Elliot Key to sections of the Florida Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Thousands of years ago, the Glades and Tequesta people lived off of these lands, and remnants of their cultures, such as masses of shells and burial grounds, are still preserved here. The park is a picturesque place for snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the gamut of South Florida flora and fauna, from cacti and beds of seagrass to crocodiles and sea turtles. It's the type of place that can remind us of how small we really are as creatures making our way through these parts, and with its sheer scale and its capacity to humble us, it not only deserves to be recognized as one of the best parks in Miami-Dade, but also as one of the most naturally special places in the country.

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Travis Cohen
1. Matheson Hammock Park
9610 Old Cutler Road, Miami
William J. Matheson was one of the greatest aristocrats to ever live in this fair state. In his undying love for the nature of South Florida, Matheson and his family donated the land for Matheson Hammock Park, as well as Crandon Park, which combine for nearly 1,450 acres of what Matheson described as "wild and natural beauty."

A 'hammock', for those not yet properly initiated into the world of Floridian flora terminology, is a dense stand of hardwood trees that forms its own ecosystem within another, different ecosystem. In this case, it means a huge forest of mangroves, so thick you can hardly see more than three dozen feet ahead of you. Treading the soft moist ground between the wildly gesticulating mangrove roots, goose stepping over crab holes and ducking underneath spiderwebs, you get a feeling for what this town was like before it was a town, when people like Carl Fisher and John Collins started building a city out of swamp and savannah and seashore. And thanks to William Matheson and his fine brood, you can still drive 25 minutes from the streets and skyscrapers of Downtown Miami and step back in time to feel the wild and natural beauty that lives on in a special corner of this ridiculous and amazing city.

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Location Info

Map

Legion Park

6630 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

Pine Tree Park

44th St., Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

Greynolds Park

17530 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

South Point Park

1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

North Shore Open Space Park

7929 Atlantic Way, Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

Crandon Park

6747 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, FL

Category: General

Biscayne National Park

9700 Southwest 328th St., Homestead, FL

Category: General

Matheson Hammock Park

9610 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL

Category: General


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13 comments
jgcamp99
jgcamp99

Too many parks to single out 10 and rank them. It all depends upon what you seek from the park, Oleta has trail riding for mountain bikes, they even have cabins if you want to stay in the park for a weekend or whatever.

GODisGREAT
GODisGREAT

make the distinction between national parks and smaller places of recreation. of course biscayne bay destroys say...... dante fascell, but what is the definition of park really?

Shaun Gavidia
Shaun Gavidia

I was surprised that Alice Wainright park wasn't on the list. That's always been my favorite park

Gambao De Encotina
Gambao De Encotina

this is so lame....how can a city like Miami boast such "great" parks. You can't even bring your dog to most of them. Indian Hammocks park should be on this list, what about Tropical Park (although it's a total shit show)...at least those parks you can feel somewhat lost as you can't see the other side of the park at any given moment.

Corey Davis
Corey Davis

When compared to other American cities this is a pretty sad list. Most residents would be hard-pressed to name ten parks in this city. A lot of great things about this city thoughtful and innovative use of public green space is not one of them. Martell? Really. Stretch. Just have 9 on the list.

Carlos
Carlos

@Corey Davis 

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. Love so many things about Miami but our parks (for the most part) are woeful compared to many American cities.

Fairmount Park in Philadelphia alone dwarves any of these in size and scope. Hell, you can go white water rafting inside the city limits there.

But I do have a soft spot for Haulover.

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