Miami is a vibrant city full of exciting activities and attractions, but it is also home to some great parks and natural areas. From lush botanical gardens to coastal nature preserves, Miami has a wide variety of natural spaces to explore.
Below, we’ll introduce you to our favorite parks in the Miami area. If you’re here on vacation, be sure to stop by for a quiet walk and to get away from the noise and busy streets of the city.
Parks in Miami
Flower Blooming at the Fairchild Jewels of the Caribbean Exhibit
The largest tropical botanical garden in the United States, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a must-see attraction for nature lovers visiting Miami. It was actually named Best Botanical Garden in North America by USA Today.
Located in Coral Gables, just southwest of Downtown Miami, it covers a total of 83 acres and is home to more than 3,000 different species of tropical plants, such as orchids, bromeliads, birds of paradise, and rare cycads. Fairchild also boasts an impressive collection of rare tropical trees, including a cypress forest, a bamboo grove, an Australian eucalyptus collection, and a Chinese Banyan grove.
The garden’s unique fusion of tropical plants and living history exhibits makes it a fascinating place to explore. Exhibits include an impressive Butterfly Garden, a Succulent and Arid Plants Collection, and one of my favorites: The Jewels of the Caribbean Exhibit. There is also a Children’s Garden that is an interactive exhibit for kids encouraging them to interact with the nature around them.
Be sure to check out one of their guided tours too, which includes topics such as plant identification, horticulture, and the history of the garden. Fairchild also hosts fun events, such as yoga classes and photo walks, throughout the year.
Last but not least, they have their very own restaurant, the Glasshouse Cafe, which serves up sandwiches, gourmet soups, and more. Their Cuban Brioche is not to be missed!
Pinecrest Gardens is located in Pinecrest, just north of Miami. They offer stunning botanical gardens, but unlike other parks on this list also have a lot of other things to do too.
For the botanical gardens, Pinecrest has a mangrove forest, a banyan tree, a nice collection of different species of palm trees, and some beautiful ferns. Their tropical hardwood hammock area is great too, because it’s so lush and green and it’s like you’re almost escaping into a different world.
For entertainment, Pinecrest actually has a full performance stage and hosts performers throughout the year. That includes jazz bands, children’s performing groups, dance, theater, and even opera.
There are a total of seven annual events at Pinecrest that brings thousands of visitors to the gardens. One of the best is the Night of Lights, where they light up the gardens for the holiday season. Santa Claus will be there too!
Pinecrest Gardens is a great place for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike to relax, get in touch with nature, and have some fun.
This beautiful park is located on Virginia Key, just south of Miami. Virginia Key has 872 acres of beaches, marshes, and mangrove forests. They are committed to preserving the natural beauty of the barrier islands surrounding the park.
There are plenty of picnic tables and grills here, so this is a great place for a barbecue with the family. One cool feature they have is beachfront cabins you can rent for the day. They also have plenty of pavilions, a wedding gazebo, and a tea house available for rent. Overall, this is one of the best parks in the area for a picnic and day of relaxation.
This is a gorgeous park located actually very close to Pinecrest Gardens. This is the best park if you’re looking to splash around in the ocean but aren’t real comfortable in the water. It’s also perfect for kids who haven’t learned to swim yet, because there’s a manmade atoll pool that is flushed out with the natural tides of the ocean.
Matheson Hammock is a well-known kiteboarding spot in the area, and kayak rentals are available too. Locals love strolling the beach here. They also offer fishing, a marina, and picnic shelters. Don’t miss their restaurant, the Red Fish Grill, which was featured on the Cooking Channel!
This urban park is located in Key Biscayne. It is a great place to go for a walk or a hike, especially on a nice day. There are also plenty of activities for families with children because it has lots of playgrounds and shaded areas.There are also picnic shelters and pavilion rentals.
Crandon has tons of activities to enjoy. They have golf and tennis, biking and hiking, water sports like paddleboarding and snorkeling, and birdwatching.
Cabana rentals are available, and tours are offered through Miami EcoAdventures. You can also rent a kite board or kayak and experience the park on your own.
Greynolds Park spans over 249 acres in the North Miami Beach area. There is something for everyone here, with activities from just walking the park to paddle boarding and golf. This park is especially great because of the wonderful nature trails and nature center, where you can learn about the park’s flora and fauna.
In addition, this park has a dog park, a fishing dock, kayak/canoe launches, and a large picnic shelter. For kids 4 and up, Take Root offers educational group activities that allow children to learn from the nature around them.