10 Great Parks in Miami, FL [Wildlife, Hiking, And More]

Image

This site is reader supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may receive a commission. Read More

Miami is a vibrant city full of exciting activities and attractions. This South Florida region is also home to some great parks and natural areas that are worth exploring. They’re all just a short drive away. 

Miami may not be known for it, but it has some great parks. From lush botanical gardens to coastal nature preserves, you’ll find a wide variety of natural spaces to explore. With endless outdoor adventure, glorious sunshine, fresh air, plenty of natural attractions, and wildlife, these parks have something for every visitor. 

If you’re here on vacation, be sure to stop by these parks for a quiet walk and to get away from the noise and busy streets of the city.

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a vacation planner app on iOS and Android

When is the Best Time to Visit Parks in Miami?

Miami’s parks are perfect spots to visit year-round, but the best time to visit depends on what you want to do and see. 

The best time to visit parks in Miami is during the winter and early spring, from December to April. The weather is cooler and less humid, with average temperatures in the mid-70s. This is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply lounging on the beach. However, be prepared for crowds, as this is the peak season for tourists.

Summer can be a good time to visit, but it’s hot and humid and there are frequent afternoon thunderstorms. So, be sure to check the weather before you go and plan accordingly.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Location: Coral Gables, FL 33516, U.S.
Open Hours: Mon-Sun: 10 am – 5 pm

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 83 acres. It 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 Plant 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. These include topics such as plant identification, horticulture, and the history of the garden. Fairchild also hosts fun events, such as plant sales, 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

Location: 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest 33156
Hours: Open Daily: 9 am – 5 pm

Pinecrest Gardens is a great place for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike to relax, get in touch with nature, and have some fun. It is located in the suburban village of Pinecrest, just north of Miami. 

The garden spans over 11 acres and was originally established in 1936 as a tourist attraction, Parrot Jungle. Today, it is a historical landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The main garden attractions are a tropical hardwood hammock, Bald Cypress slough, succulent gardens, orchids, and palms. The garden is home to over 1,000 species of plants from all over the world, including several rare and endangered species. 

It also features a range of dry gardens, theme gardens, and aquatic features that contribute to its unique appearance. 

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.

Seven annual events bring thousands of visitors to Pinecrest, and visitors can also take guided tours of the garden.

The garden has several attractions for children, including a petting zoo, a playground, and a splash pad. These attractions make Pinecrest Gardens a great spot for families with children, as there is plenty for kids to do and explore.

Virginia Key Beach Park

Park Location: 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami, FL
Park Hours: Open Full week, 7 am – sunset 

If you are looking for a waterfront park in Miami, you must visit Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. This beautiful park is located on Virginia Key, just south of Miami. The park is located off the Rickenbacker Causeway. It is just a few miles away from the Miami downtown and tourist spots. 

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. The park also has several hiking and biking trails available for visitors to explore.

Historic Virginia Key Beach Loop is one of the main hiking trails in the park.

The main attraction of Virginia Key Beach Park is its beautiful beach. The park’s beach is famous for its clear blue waters and soft sand, and it is a great spot for sunbathing and relaxing. There are plenty of picnic tables and grills here, so this is a great place for a barbecue with the family. 

The park does not have any on-site restaurants, but you can find food trucks on the beach. The park also hosts multiple fun and educational events throughout the year. 

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 a day of relaxation.

Matheson Hammock Park

Location: 9610 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL
Park Hours: Open Daily, 8:30 am – 5 pm

Matheson Hammock Park is a 630-acre park in Coral Gables. This gorgeous park is actually very close to Pinecrest Gardens. The park has endless natural beauty, including lush landscapes, towering palm trees, and stunning views of Biscayne Bay. 

It features a number of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and swimming. Visitors can also explore the park’s mangrove forests and saltwater lagoon.

This is the best park if you’re looking to splash around in the ocean but aren’t really comfortable in the water. It is also perfect for kids who haven’t learned to swim yet, because there’s a man-made atoll pool that is flushed out with the natural tides of the ocean.

Another popular attraction at Matheson Hammock Park is the Matheson Hammock Marina. The marina offers boat rentals, charters, and other boating and water activities.

Matheson Hammock is a well-known kiteboarding spot in the area, and kayak rentals are available, too. Locals love strolling the beach here. Whether you’re planning a family outing or a picnic with friends, the park has numerous shaded picnic areas equipped with grills and tables. Don’t miss their restaurant, the Red Fish Grill, which was featured on the Cooking Channel!

Crandon Park

Paulkondratuk3194 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Location: 6747 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscane, FL
Park Hours: Open Seven days a week, 8 am – 5 pm

This urban park is located in Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County. The park is accessible by car, bike, or public transportation and is open year-round. 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 Park has a mile-long sandy beach, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Nature lovers can venture through the park’s hiking and biking trails that meander through the beautiful mangrove forests and hammocks along the coast.

The Crandon Beach Walk is one of the main trails. It is a pretty long trails, so you can get on and off at different points.

Visitors can also explore the park’s historic Crandon Gardens. This botanical garden houses over 1,000 species of plants and trees from around the world. You can stroll through the gardens and admire the beautiful flora and fauna.

Crandon has tons of activities to enjoy like biking and hiking, water sports like paddle boarding and snorkeling, and birdwatching. The park has a golf course, tennis center, and a marina where visitors can rent boats and jet skis.  

Cabana rentals are available, and tours are offered through Miami EcoAdventures. You can also rent a kiteboard or kayak and experience the park on your own.

The beautiful beach, recreational activities, and natural beauty make Crandon Park a perfect place for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. You can book bike rentals here.

Greynolds Park

Park Location: 17530 West Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160
Park Hours: Open Year-round, 9 am – 5 pm

If you’re looking for a quiet escape within the urban landscape, Greynolds Park is the ideal destination. This 249-acre park is located 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.

The park has hardwood hammocks, mangrove forests, and the beautiful Oleta River. Visitors can explore hiking trails, enjoy birdwatching, and enjoy the park’s recreational facilities, including a golf course and playgrounds.

In addition, this park has a dog park, a fishing dock, kayak/canoe launches, and a large picnic shelter. 

Another popular attraction at Greynolds Park is the Greynolds Park Boathouse, which offers boat rentals and charters. For kids 4 and up, Take Root offers educational group activities that allow children to learn from the nature around them.

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is located off the coast of Miami. It is the biggest marine park in the U.S. National Park System. The park covers over 170,000 acres, most of which are wetlands. It includes coral reefs, mangrove forests, and a chain of islands. 

The park is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, nurse sharks, and coral reefs. Visitors can explore the park by taking a boat tour or snorkeling. Other activities include boating, fishing, kayaking, and camping. 

One of the park’s must-see places is the Biscayne Maritime Heritage Trail, which includes six shipwrecks and other historic sites that snorkelers and divers can explore. The park also has a visitor center that displays the park’s natural and cultural resources.

You can visit the park on a guided tour. These guided eco-adventures start at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center in Homestead. You can also join a private tour of Biscayne National Park from Miami.

Everglades National Park

Image by Luke from Pixabay

Location: 305 Lincoln Rd #E, Miami Beach, FL 33139, US
Park Hours: Mon-Sun: 8 am – 10 pm

Everglades National Park is located just west of Miami, about 42 miles away. It only takes about an hour to reach it from Downtown Miami. This International Biosphere Reserve spans 7,800 square miles of the region’s rugged landscape. 

The park has a wide range of different habitats, including freshwater sloughs, sawgrass marshes, and mangrove forests. Here, you’ll see the largest stand of sawgrass prairie in North America.

Flamingo Everglades Boat Tours

We are 38 miles inside the Everglades. This is where you will venture up the Buttonwood Canal through Coot Bay and Tarpon Creek into Whitewater Bay as your naturalist highlights the unique plant and animal life.

There are two main entrance points, one in Homestead and the other through the Shark Valley Visitor Center. The Everglades is home to a wide range of wildlife, including alligators, panthers, and manatees. Explore the park by hiking, biking, or taking a boat tour and learn with educational displays, walking trails, and guided tours. 

There are also several scenic drives, including the Loop Road and the Shark Valley Scenic Drive. If you are looking for overnight stays, the park has two campgrounds. It is a popular destination for over a million visitors every year.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Virginia State Parks, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Location: 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Park Hours: Open 7 days a week, 8 am – sunset

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is located on the southern tip of Key Biscayne. If you’re a nature lover, you must visit this beautiful park. The park is named after Bill Baggs, a journalist and editor of the Miami News who played a key role in preserving the park’s land from development in the 1960s. 

If you like the beach, you’ll be happy to know that the park has over a mile of sandy beach where you can swim and relax. You can find many different types of trees and plants there, as well as a restored hardwood forest.

The park is home to a historic landmark, the Cape Florida Lighthouse. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.

The park has several nature trails and bike paths that wind through the park’s natural areas such as coastal hammocks, dunes, and mangroves. You can rent kayaks and explore the park’s beautiful coastline.

Other facilities include picnic areas, barbecue areas, and shaded pavilions. After visiting the park, you can dine at the Boater’s Grill restaurant, which serves delicious seafood.

Oleta River State Park

Daniel Di Palma, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Location: 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, US
Park Hours: Open Year-round, 8 am – 5:30 pm

Last but certainly not least, Oleta River State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This beautiful park is located in North Miami, Florida, and is the largest urban park in Florida. The park has lush greenery, winding waterways, and stunning views of Biscayne Bay.

The park is named after the Oleta River, which flows through it and falls into Biscayne Bay. On the river, you can go kayaking or paddling through thick mangrove forests. If you like to ride your bike, the park has over 15 miles of biking trails.

Besides outdoor activities, people can also have a picnic, swim at the sandy beach, or stay overnight in cabins or campsites. The park is in the city, which is good for families and people who want to spend time in nature without going far away. Oleta River State Park is perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

The Bottom Line

While you may not think of parks when you think of Miami, there are some great options here. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens has a beautiful collection of flowers. There are lots of state parks too, and the Everglades National Park nearby is filled with a wide range of habitats.



Subscribe

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp