While Miamians complain about the South Florida heat, on most days, our friends up North are wishing they could just leave their houses without having to pull on 17 layers. They would probably kill for just one day of fun in the sun that Miamians take for granted. Sure, you can sometimes get a little cranky from feeling hot and sticky, but you've gotta acknowledge that not only are you #blessed to live in paradise, but also summer is endless around these parts, and you need to take advantage. Go outside, explore, and uncover some of the best outdoor activities this city offers.
From Coconut Grove to South Beach, here are the ten best ways to spend time outdoors.
1. Canoe or kayak in Oleta River State Park.
Watch out for those crabs.
Photo by Martha Robinson
Sure, you could just borrow your cousin's kayak and take a ride through the canal behind your house. But Oleta River State Park, overlooking Biscayne Bay, is a gem that's begging to be explored. This spot offers a ton of great outdoor activities, but riding through the scenic mangrove trails and into the waters of North Biscayne Bay is an unforgettable experience. On your scenic ride, you'll catch a glimpse of wildlife, but try not to freak out if you accidentally bump into a mangrove and one of those creepy crabs falls into your boat. Just calmly scoop it out and keep moving, because if you overreact, you'll flip over into the water. We know this from experience. 3400 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach; 305-919-1844; floridastateparks.org/park/Oleta-River. Admission costs $6 per vehicle (two to eight people) and $4 for a single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle. Visit bgoletariveroutdoor.com for rental prices.
2. Rent a quad bike at Bill Baggs Cape Florida.
Take in the gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay on a quad bike.
Photo courtesy of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
When it comes to outdoor activities, this park on
the southern third of Key Biscayne has it all. From beachside relaxation to fishing and hiking nature trails, the park, also known as "El Farito" to locals, is a prime spot for fun in the sun. Though the park offers a ton of great activities for residents to bask in the city's beautiful glory, the real highlight is its 1.5-mile paved bike path. Rent a quad bike from the concession stand near the park's Lighthouse Cafe and take a ride through the park as you and your crew take in nature and incredible views of Biscayne Bay. A quad bike, which seats two adults and two small children, runs $20 per hour and $33 for an hour and a half. For larger groups, a large quad bike seats four adults and two small children and costs $30 for 30 minutes and $48 for an hour and a half. There are a few paths you can take on your ride, so choose wisely. 1200 S. Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne; 305-361-5811; floridastateparks.org/park/Cape-Florida. Admission costs $8 per vehicle or $4 for single drivers.
3. Swim at Venetian Pool.
Cancún or Miami?
Photo courtesy of the GMCVB
With its grottos and picturesque waterfalls, Venetian Pool is the only place in Miami-Dade where you can trick people into thinking you're in Cancún or hanging at the Playboy Mansion. The 820,000-gallon pool, located in Coral Gables, was created from a coral-rock quarry almost 100 years ago and is still a local favorite today. Before you venture out to the City Beautiful, take note: Arriving early is absolutely vital. If you roll up smack in the middle of the afternoon, especially on a weekend, you'll be stuck parking far and having to lug your pool gear like a noob. 2701 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-460-5306; venetianpool.com. Admission cost varies per season; visit the website for prices.
4. Let your dog romp at Hobie Beach.
Doggo hangin' at the beach.
Photo by Monica McGivern
Your pooch would love nothing more than to
spend some quality time playing fetch on the beach. Waiting by the door for you to come home from work day in and day out is exhausting, and
your dog deserves to let all of its pent-up energy out, Miami-style. After a long day of romping in the shallow waters of Hobie Beach, cuddle with your pup under the palms and watch the sunset. Fido will be giving you big, wet, sloppy kisses for days after this. 3501 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne. Admission is free, but the causeway toll costs $1.75.
5. Picnic at David T. Kennedy Park.
Be sure to grab an icee from A.C.'s Icees lemonade stand at Kennedy Park.
Photo by Nicola Haubold
There isn't a shortage of gorgeous spots to picnic in Miami, but this green oasis overlooking the bay is special. In this peaceful Coconut Grove park, you'll often find families tossing balls, adorable dogs prancing, joggers enjoying the breeze, and the iconic A.C.'s Icees
lemonade stand that's been stationed at the park for more than 30 years. Make a collaborative playlist with your boo, pack a Bluetooth speaker and blanket, cool off with a frozen lemonade, and come through with the snacks for a serene picnic in the park. 2400 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove; 305-416-1133; miamigov.com/parks/community. Admission is free.