Virginia Key Beach Park is the anti-South Beach. There are neither hundreds of sexy bodies nor blaring nightclubs. There's not even a huge expanse of sand. There are, though, some of the best ocean and bay views anywhere. This is a surprisingly tranquil space for barbecues, social gatherings, and an abundance of watersports like kayaking and paddleboarding. Add in a resurgent natural landscape, with lush native trees and wildlife like sea turtles and warblers; great hideaway walking and bike trails; and a carousel and minitrain for the kids. There's even historical significance: During segregation, the park attracted visitors from all over the country as the first Miami-area beach designated for use by African-Americans. The next time you have a free afternoon and are looking to get away, head to Virginia Key. It's a vacation from Miami — just ten minutes from downtown.