Five Waterfront Miami Parks for Cool Weather Picnics
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
We’ve officially reached the month of September, COVID cases are finally on the decline, and cool weather is hopefully on the horizon. While we should continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, and stay socially distanced, a safe activity to enjoy with friends and family is an outdoor picnic in one of Miami’s many scenic parks. I’ve rounded up my top five favorite parks complete with beautiful views of the water.
Matheson Hammock Park
Located on Old Cutler Road, the 630-acre park is located just south of Coral Gables. The park opened in 1930 as the first county park in Dade County. It is a scenic park featuring a man-made atoll pool which is flushed naturally with the tidal action of Biscayne Bay. Many of us are familiar with this park as I’m sure we’ve all celebrated past birthdays here. It is also home to Chef Adrianne’s Redfish Grill which I can’t wait to try!
Alice Wainwright Park
A little further north, you’ll find Alice Wainwright Park on the edge of Coconut Grove just before getting to Brickell. This is a 28-acre waterfront park and is named after the first female elected to serve on the City of Miami Commission. It features a grassy waterfront area with stunning views of Biscayne Bay, picnic shelters, a playground for the kiddos, and more! There isn’t much shade in this park so I would recommend this park for a late afternoon sunset picnic.
Margaret Pace Park
This smaller 8-acre park is located between the Arts & Entertainment District and Edgewater. The park might be small in acreage but you’d never be able to tell with all of the green space that is available to you. With high rise buildings to your back and the beautiful big ocean to the front, you’ll almost feel like you’re on the water instead of next to it. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables and barbecues surrounding the edge of the water making it the perfect spot for friends and family.
First of all, this park is a hidden gem! It’s located inside a gated community on Biscayne and Northeast 55th Terrace and 7th Avenue. I think the fact that it is in a gated community often deters people but all the better because there was no one at the park when I visited on a beautiful Saturday morning. To get to the park you’ll drive through an adorable neighborhood where you’ll eventually reach the bay and the entrance to the park. There are multiple parking areas that are either in the middle of the park or closer to the water. Palm trees line the edge between the park and the water so there is plenty of shade and ocean breeze if that’s where you plan to sit. The park has so much green open space it’s easy to social distance if you find yourself at the park on a slightly more crowded day. I chose a spot next to the water which you can see in the image below. The breeze from the ocean felt so nice, planning on doing that again soon!
Last but not least is Pelican Harbor located in North Bay Village. The park is also a marina that lets you launch your boat right in the middle of the bay and get this, it also has an island about 400 yards away that you can kayak or boat to! I chose this park because it’s literally on the water. I would definitely recommend this park for more of a day out, adventure-seeking date. On the mainland, there is a picnic space but the shelters are located on the island so unless you have a boat it may be hard to get a whole family out there. Pelican Island is a 10-acre island with covered picnic shelters, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and a sand volleyball court (bring your own net and ball). The island is open to the public and can be reserved for large groups.
There are plenty of scenic parks all around South Florida and I could go on for days naming one that is better than all the rest but these are the most convenient for those of us living in Miami. Have a birthday coming up? Need a date idea that doesn’t involve going to a crowded restaurant? A Fall picnic at one of these parks will be sure to impress!
*This post was not sponsored, all opinions and suggestions are my own. If you plan to travel during COVID-19, please do so responsibly by wearing a mask in all designated areas to protect yourself and others. Please do not travel if you are experiencing any cold symptoms.
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