Sunny weather certainly calls for a date with nature, and while South Florida has some pretty awesome hiking trails to check out, sometimes the wilderness can be a little bit too much of an escape from the city. So if you’re ever in the mood for some greenery to break with the brick and mortar of city life but don’t feel like escaping to the wild outdoors, your best best might just be to head on out to one of Miami’s many beautiful gardens and parks for a relaxing stroll in the sun. Check them out!
1. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Coconut Grove
What’s more relaxing than going on a stroll through a lush garden in the Italian Riviera? Or, at least pretending like you are. Built over a century ago by magnate James Deering, the 50-acre Vizcaya estate is home to some pretty spectacular gardens. Overlooking Biscayne Bay, these lush gardens are full of stunning architectural structures, elaborate fountains, and antique sculptures that will add a little je ne sais quoi to your walk.
Where: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129
2. The Kampong, Coconut Grove
If you’re up for discovering the 50 varieties of mango (we know) that exist on this Earth, then make sure to stop by The Kampong on Biscayne Bay. This historic garden, named after the Malay word for a ‘village’ or ‘cluster of houses’, used to be the home of Dr. David Fairchild and nowadays serves as home to rare tropical flowers fruits. It’s the perfect spot if you enjoy botany!
Where: 4013 Douglas Rd, Miami, FL 33133
3. Oleta River State Park, North Miami Beach
Oleta River State Park needs no introduction. Encompassing 1,043 acres of one of the most beautiful natural oases in the Magic City, it serves as a vast escape for mountain bikers, paddlers, joggers, swimmers and wildlife watchers. This is one of the best hikes around, offering three miles of paved and dirt trails alongside majestic views of Biscayne Bay. Afterward, you can cool off with an incredible kayaking adventure!
Where: 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160
4. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
The sprawling 83-acre Fairchild is another wonderfully tranquil place with a great deal of nature. Bask in the beauty of lush gardens, rare palms and bamboo species, flowering trees, butterflies, and a two-acre rainforest — the only tropical rainforest found in the continental U.S., as a matter of fact. With so much to explore, you’ll never want to leave!
Where: 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
Founded in 1962 and later transformed into the three-acre subtropical oasis we know it to be today, Miami Beach Botanical Garden offers a peaceful setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city — all at no cost! Well, it’s free admission but that doesn’t mean parking won’t cost you. You’ll find flowering trees, orchids, more than 100 palm species, a koi pond, Japanese garden and native garden. Pets are also welcome to the garden!
Where: 2000 Convention Ctr Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
6. Matheson Hammock Park, Coral Gables
Just a stone’s throw away from Fairchild Tropical Garden, you’ll find amazing natural beauty in the form of a beach upon arriving at Matheson Hammock Park. There’s a man-made atoll pool, naturally flushed by the tidal action of nearby Biscayne Bay, and ample space for kite-boarding, picnicking, leisurely strolls and swimming. It also boasts the best sunset views you can get in the city, with Miami’s glimmering skyline seen in the distance.
Where: 9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
Another one of Miami’s countless idyllic spots is Pinecrest Gardens, a park listed on the National Register of Historic Places that’s bursting with wildlife. Wind down its tranquil paths through botanical beauty that includes native forested wetland, tropical hardwood hammock, twisted rock formations, and cypress slough. It’s perfect for kids too, as there’s a petting zoo, puppet shows, and a playground with giant animal-shaped structures.
Where: 11000 SW 57th Ave, Pinecrest, FL 33156
8. Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, Redlands
This stunning nature preserve is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Located in Homestead, although it feels more like Bali, Patch of Heaven has 20 gorgeous acres of Zen gardens, lotus lagoons, a butterfly house, Asian-inspired architecture, and koi ponds to discover. The sanctuary is dedicated to preserving as many plants and local wildlife as possible — both native and nonnative — as well as historic buildings on its property.
Where: 21900 SW 157th Ave, Miami, FL 33170
9. Amelia Earhart Park, Hialeah
Named in honor of the aviation pioneer, who took her last fateful flight from Hialeah, Amelia Earhart Park is one of the county’s most spacious. Stretching 515 acres with multiple lakes, the park encompasses a fishing pier, playgrounds, sports facilities like volleyball courts and a soccer complex, as well as a bark park to let your pet run free. Adventure seekers of all abilities can also opt for cable or boat wakeboarding at the park!
Where: 401 E 65th St, Hialeah, FL 33013
10. Ichimura Miami Japanese Garden, Watson Island
Home of the annual Japanese Festival, Ichimura Miami Japan Garden is a small garden that offers serene views of greenery, ornamental sculptures and a waterfall. Back in the 1950s, Kiyoshi Ichimura of Tokyo-based Ricoh Company made a donation to construct the first Japanese Garden in Miami after falling in love with the beauty of the city. The garden, named San-Ai-En (“Three Loves Garden”), was completed in 1961, but following the destruction of Hurricane Andrew and move of Parrot Jungle to Watson Island, the garden had to be reconstructed in another location, renamed Ichimura Miami Japan Garden.
Where: 1101 MacArthur Cswy, Miami, FL 33132
11. The Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove
Built in 1891 and the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, one of the Grove’s most influential pioneers, The Barnacle is referred to as the oldest building in Dade County. With its picturesque Bay views and tropical hardwood hammock, this state park is both a slice of history and paradise amid the bustle of the city. In addition to guided tours, fun programming is held throughout the year like yoga classes and movie screenings, which draws visitors from across the city to its sprawling green space.
Where: 3485 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133
12. Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
Tucked away in Palm Beach County, Morikami Museum & Gardens was once home to a colony of young Japanese farmers seeking to revolutionize Florida’s agricultural techniques. Today, the enchanting 16-acre estate is home to hundreds of unique species of Japanese flora, winding paths, and carefully designed gardens that will make you feel you’ve been transported to Japan in one fell swoop!
Where: 4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446
13. Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach
This lovely green oasis is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest public garden at 20 acres. Within it, you’ll find a collection of 25 themed gardens to walk through — from a rose and fragrance garden to an herb garden of tranquility — featuring over 7,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants.
Where: 531 N Military Trl, West Palm Beach, FL 33415
14. McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach
From its astounding collection of water lilies and orchids to some of the most exotic flora and fauna on earth, this Florida landmark has it all. Weave your way through this luscious oasis and discover natural wonders like the giant mushroom, hidden deep within the garden, that will make you feel like you’ve just stepped into Alice’s Wonderland.
Where: 350 US-1, Vero Beach, FL 32962