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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PARKS AND GREEN SPACES IN MIAMI

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CLARISSA BUCH

MAY 6, 2019

Miami is one of the few places in the country with year-round sunny weather. That’s why we try to spend as much time as possible outside, swimming in the ocean and soaking up the rays.

But hanging outdoors in Miami isn’t just about sinking your toes in the sand. There are actually more than a dozen parks and green spaces sprinkled all across the city, from Miami Beach to Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, and Coconut Grove. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to run, picnic, or enjoy an all-day outing, here’s your bucket list to Miami’s most beautiful green spaces.

Set up in the heart of Redland, Miami’s historic agricultural hub, Fruit & Spice Park offers 37 acres of subtropical paradise complete with more than 500 varieties of exotic fruits, herbs, spices, and nuts from around the world. (There’s 180 varieties of mangoes, too!) It’s the only park of its kind in the United States, giving visitors the chance to stroll through banana groves, explore mangrove forests, and sample fallen fruit. With guided tours, lots of walking trails, and an on-site restaurant, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.

We’re still not over the fact that Parrot Jungle relocated to Watson Island. But one good thing did come out of it: Pinecrest Gardens. As a conservation site for rare and exotic tropical plants, this is the place to discover the best of Miami’s landscape. Pack a picnic basket, wind through the gardens, browse the art gallery, and then pick a shady spot to take it all in. Fitt Tip: Pinecrest Gardens offers a robust schedule of concerts, performances, and festivals. Check it in advance and plan your trip accordingly.

One of Miami’s most beautiful beachfront parks, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park will make you truly feel miles away from the city. Experience breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay from the park’s historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, which was built in 1825. With a mix of sandy coastlines and paved trails, there’s plenty to see and do — the park offers bike and kayak routes, swimming, picnic areas, and wildlife viewing.

Along the Biscayne Bay, Morningside Park is a favorite for morning and evening joggers. Nestled in the historic neighborhood of the same name, Morningside runs for five city blocks, offering tennis and basketball courts, winding trails, a playground, a baseball field, and even a municipal pool. And thanks to the large banyan trees scattered throughout, there are plenty of shady spots where you can escape the blistering sun and cool off.

North of Hialeah, Amelia Earhart Park has something for every type of park-goer. We’re talking a petting zoo, a fort-style tree house, soccer fields, mountain biking trails, watersports, a dog park, and hundreds of acres perfect for exploring on foot. This is one of Miami’s best parks for entertaining the entire family, from your little ones to your grandparents.

South Pointe Park is our favorite place to watch the sunset. With grass, sand, and a picturesque pier, this is where you’ll find us around 6pm, jogging up and down the concrete and waving to passing cruise ships. Plus, it’s just a walk away from some of our favorite restaurants. (Hello Joe’s Stone Crab, Cibo Wine Bar, and Lilikoi Organic Living!

No need to drive out of downtown to find some green space. Head to Downtown Miami’s Museum Park (more recently "Maurice A. Ferré Park"), which borders the Biscayne Bay and offers more than 30 acres perfect to walk, jog, or run. Continue along the park’s paved sidewalk and you’ll end up in Brickell and Brickell Key, giving you a complete tour of Miami’s concrete jungle.

With more than a mile of beachfront access, Haulover Park borders the beach and the Biscayne Bay, giving visitors two unique experiences. Kick it at the skatepark, hit one of the bike paths, or take it easy and fly a kite. Oh, and on any Tuesday night you can stop by for the park’s weekly food truck round-up under the stars.

History buffs, this one is for you. Built in 1891, The Barnacle dates back to a time when all travel to and from Miami was strictly by boat. Crazy, right? Now, the land surrounding the home has transformed into The Barnacle Historic State Park, featuring tree-lined paths, sailboat-watching, and picnic areas. Set up in Coconut Grove, the park offers tours, birding, and a museum, which can be found inside the historic home.

There’s an island paradise waiting for you just a few miles outside of Downtown Miami. Virginia Key Beach Park features private island-style shorelines, bike trails, picnic areas, beachfront cabins, and a ton of events hosted all year long. The park is open until sunset, so bring a bottle of wine and stick around for a view unlike any other.

Dating back to 1950, Flamingo Park in Miami Beach offers more than just a killer place to set up a beach towel and soak up some sun. The park includes large pools, baseball and basketball areas, a running track, various fields, a playground, and a tennis center. Yep, you’ll be busy all day long.

As Florida’s largest urban park, it’s easy to get lost inside Oleta River State Park (in a good way, of course). Through hardwood hammocks and mangroves, Oleta offers 15 miles of off-road cycling trails, picnic and fishing areas, and kayaking routes, so it serves as a haven for mountain bikers, paddlers, anglers, and swimmers. Looking for a more leisurely afternoon? Round up the crew and enjoy a picnic along the scenic Biscayne Bay.

Nestled inside one of Miami’s busiest areas, A.D. Barnes State Park is best known for its eco-adventures. With 15 acres of native plants and trees, go on a guided tour and spot all different types of Florida wildlife. Plus, the park includes fishing areas, jogging trails, picnic shelters, and even campsite areas for when you want to spend a night out in nature.

Another Miami Beach green space, Lummus Park is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Running seven acres, Lummus Park is actually the oldest in Miami and offers all sorts of activities to keep you occupied. There’s plenty of grass to play sports, as well as volleyball areas, paved trails for bikes and runners, and lots of sandy beach spots.

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