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A satellite image of No Name Harbour in Key Biscayne
A satellite image of No Name Harbour in Key Biscayne
via Anthony Quigley/Instagram

Miami's 20 best secret gardens, parks, and green spaces, mapped

Lesser-known spaces across the Magic City

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A satellite image of No Name Harbour in Key Biscayne
| via Anthony Quigley/Instagram

Miami isn't exactly overflowing with green space, ranking 52nd last year nationally in Park Score, which studies all sorts of various factors in analyzing parkability across the United States.

However, the parks we do have usually offer some sensational views, considering our proximity to various bodies of water, and a wide-array of outdoor activities suitable for all different types of people.

Some of the greatest outdoor spaces that do exist are the least obvious, a collection of parks, gardens and green spaces. Keep in mind, we tried to stay away from the well known--places like like South Pointe Park in Miami Beach, David T. Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove, and the bustling Museum Park in downtown Miami--and instead hone in on treasures that require more digging.

Here now are 20 such places littered throughout Miami.

Other recent maps include Moonlight's Miami filming locationsMiami's nine hottest developments under construction, and 18 things to do in Miami with kids.

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Pinecrest Gardens

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When Parrot Jungle relocated to Watson Island, the Village of Pinecrest had the good sense to preserve the attraction's former home as a verdent, exotically landscaped public park known as Pinecrest Gardens.
Curbed Miami Flickr Pool/Emilio

Crandon Park Gardens

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An abandoned zoo on a subtropical island, ever since Dade County's main zoological park decamped to way down south, the Crandon Park Gardens, or just Crandon Gardens (both derivations are used) has sat and grown into a hidden, mysterious botanical garden with otherworldly follies (the former animal enclosures) scattered here and there.
Photo via MiaUrbex blog

Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park

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Smaller cousins of the nearby Greynold's Forest Park, North Miami's Enchanted Forest and neighboring Arch Creek Park are full of hidden discoveries, and follies, like a natural rock bridge over Arch Creek. Technically the rock bridge caved in decades ago, so they recreated it out of concrete. It still looks natural though.

Brickell Park

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Nearby the much more well known Miami Circle Park, this bayfront park is much more lushly landscaped, and contains the old, neoclassical Brickell Family Mausoleum. Tucked next to the Icon Brickell, thousands of people drive by it every day and probably don't even know it exists.

Miami is the literal definition of classy

A post shared by Alec (@alecxstasy) on

Simpson Park

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An original stand of unadulterated South Florida jungle, Simpson Park is a preserve of old growth hammock, the exact same stuff that blanketed South Florida thousands of years ago, just left alone from development. Within stands a simple, serene pavilion designed by architect Chad Oppenheim.
Ken Hayden/archdaily

Morningside Park

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A large park hidden within the enclave of Morningside, the area's namesake park is a great neighborhood park, with tons of room to run and climb trees and a variety sports facilities.
Miami Dade Parks

Brickell Key Park

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Technically the only development site remaining on Brickell Key, this green space is being used as a publicly accessible park. Situated on the tip of Brickell Key, it links up to the Brickell Key baywalk that circles the island.

Brickell Key #brickell #brickellkey

A post shared by Lylia Pelaez (@lipebe77) on

Ancient Spanish Monastery

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Not actually a park, the monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux has a history going back a thousand years, although only the last 75 have been in the United States, and maybe 50 of those in Florida. The Ancient Spanish Monastery sits among a small wood, with formal gardens at the front, and a cloister courtyard within. It's a popular spot for weddings.

A post shared by Amanda Powers (@hrsofpwrs) on

Fruit and Spice Park

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One of Miami's lesser-known botanical gardens, the Fruit & Spice Park has hundreds of varieties of this and that, massive rows of mango trees, and lots of other goodies. It encompasses 37 acres.

....at one point I didnt want to leave.

A post shared by @andbrightflash on

Manatee Bend Park

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The Little River's Manatee Bend Park, where you can spot actual manatees, (six of them are in that picture!) is a small, green space to relax, a communal outdoor living room for the surrounding neighborhood.

Virginia Key Beach Park

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Consisting of Virginia Key Beach (obviously) as well as a lagoon, a variety of habitats, bike trails, etc. the Virginia Key Beach Park is big. A lot bigger than you'd think by just driving over the island to Key Biscayne.

a win for the day #ArtSea2017

A post shared by Laura Hope (@luraajay) on

Alice Wainwright Park

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Entirely hidden from the nearby Rickenbacker Causeway, Alice Wainwright Park is a simple waterfront park with swaying palms on a tree-lined residential street, with the added feature of Coral Gables' magnificent cliffs. Yes, cliffs! They go up about ten feet, but they're limestone cliffs nonetheless, part of a ridge of high ground that extends up and down eastern South Florida.
FAU Science Dept

Flagler Monument Island

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Situated in the middle of Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher dredged this island to create a suitable site for a monument dedicated to Henry Flagler, which remains at its center.
Wikipedia Commons

Palm Island Park

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Hidden on Palm Island, this quiet park has a nice basketball court (with glass backboards!), tennis courts, and a playground.

Pine Tree Park

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[Image via Google Earth} Tucked among the estates of Pine Tree Drive, this park has a community garden and lots of tranquil, undisturbed waterfront green space.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

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It's not that much of a "secret" with Vizcaya Museum Gardens hosting films like Iron Man 3, Any Given Sunday, and Bad Boys 2, but it's among the most captivating and iconic locations in all of Miami
Marvel

Bay Road boardwalk

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It's no park or green space, but the boardwalk along Bay Road running from the Capri (16th Street) to the Flamingo on South Beach is the perfect place for mindfulness, especially while the sun rises or sets. Absorb the ripples of Biscayne Bay and the ever-changing Miami skyline. There's also a new tiny little waterfront park off 14th Street and Bay Road.

I ❤ watching you #sunset #nofilterneed

A post shared by Daniel Manzini (@manzinidaniel) on

No Name Harbor

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Essentially acting as a cul-de-sac for boats, the natural No Name Harbor is a fine reprieve for captains looking to anchor on a windy day while the seas are choppy. There's a waterfront restaurant and plenty of green space to explore. It's part of the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

The Barnacle Historic State Park

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At this 5-acre gem in Coconut Grove is the oldest home in its original location in Miami-Dade County (1891), which once housed Ralph Middleton Munroe, an American yacht designer. You'll also see plenty of mesmerizing Spanish moss.

A post shared by @lizz_ax3 on

AD Barnes Park

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Opening in the 1970s, the 65-acre A.D. Barnes Park is located on Bird Road near the Palmetto, offering a string of trails, peaceful enclaves, and various activities.

Oxygen...

A post shared by Laz (@iam_laz) on

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Pinecrest Gardens

Curbed Miami Flickr Pool/Emilio
When Parrot Jungle relocated to Watson Island, the Village of Pinecrest had the good sense to preserve the attraction's former home as a verdent, exotically landscaped public park known as Pinecrest Gardens.
Curbed Miami Flickr Pool/Emilio

Crandon Park Gardens

Photo via MiaUrbex blog
An abandoned zoo on a subtropical island, ever since Dade County's main zoological park decamped to way down south, the Crandon Park Gardens, or just Crandon Gardens (both derivations are used) has sat and grown into a hidden, mysterious botanical garden with otherworldly follies (the former animal enclosures) scattered here and there.
Photo via MiaUrbex blog

Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park

Smaller cousins of the nearby Greynold's Forest Park, North Miami's Enchanted Forest and neighboring Arch Creek Park are full of hidden discoveries, and follies, like a natural rock bridge over Arch Creek. Technically the rock bridge caved in decades ago, so they recreated it out of concrete. It still looks natural though.

Brickell Park

Nearby the much more well known Miami Circle Park, this bayfront park is much more lushly landscaped, and contains the old, neoclassical Brickell Family Mausoleum. Tucked next to the Icon Brickell, thousands of people drive by it every day and probably don't even know it exists.

Miami is the literal definition of classy

A post shared by Alec (@alecxstasy) on

Simpson Park

Ken Hayden/archdaily
An original stand of unadulterated South Florida jungle, Simpson Park is a preserve of old growth hammock, the exact same stuff that blanketed South Florida thousands of years ago, just left alone from development. Within stands a simple, serene pavilion designed by architect Chad Oppenheim.
Ken Hayden/archdaily

Morningside Park

Miami Dade Parks
A large park hidden within the enclave of Morningside, the area's namesake park is a great neighborhood park, with tons of room to run and climb trees and a variety sports facilities.
Miami Dade Parks

Brickell Key Park

Technically the only development site remaining on Brickell Key, this green space is being used as a publicly accessible park. Situated on the tip of Brickell Key, it links up to the Brickell Key baywalk that circles the island.

Brickell Key #brickell #brickellkey

A post shared by Lylia Pelaez (@lipebe77) on

Ancient Spanish Monastery

Not actually a park, the monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux has a history going back a thousand years, although only the last 75 have been in the United States, and maybe 50 of those in Florida. The Ancient Spanish Monastery sits among a small wood, with formal gardens at the front, and a cloister courtyard within. It's a popular spot for weddings.

A post shared by Amanda Powers (@hrsofpwrs) on

Fruit and Spice Park

One of Miami's lesser-known botanical gardens, the Fruit & Spice Park has hundreds of varieties of this and that, massive rows of mango trees, and lots of other goodies. It encompasses 37 acres.

....at one point I didnt want to leave.

A post shared by @andbrightflash on

Manatee Bend Park

The Little River's Manatee Bend Park, where you can spot actual manatees, (six of them are in that picture!) is a small, green space to relax, a communal outdoor living room for the surrounding neighborhood.

Virginia Key Beach Park

Consisting of Virginia Key Beach (obviously) as well as a lagoon, a variety of habitats, bike trails, etc. the Virginia Key Beach Park is big. A lot bigger than you'd think by just driving over the island to Key Biscayne.

a win for the day #ArtSea2017

A post shared by Laura Hope (@luraajay) on

Alice Wainwright Park

FAU Science Dept
Entirely hidden from the nearby Rickenbacker Causeway, Alice Wainwright Park is a simple waterfront park with swaying palms on a tree-lined residential street, with the added feature of Coral Gables' magnificent cliffs. Yes, cliffs! They go up about ten feet, but they're limestone cliffs nonetheless, part of a ridge of high ground that extends up and down eastern South Florida.
FAU Science Dept

Flagler Monument Island

Wikipedia Commons
Situated in the middle of Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher dredged this island to create a suitable site for a monument dedicated to Henry Flagler, which remains at its center.
Wikipedia Commons

Palm Island Park

Hidden on Palm Island, this quiet park has a nice basketball court (with glass backboards!), tennis courts, and a playground.

Pine Tree Park

[Image via Google Earth} Tucked among the estates of Pine Tree Drive, this park has a community garden and lots of tranquil, undisturbed waterfront green space.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Marvel
It's not that much of a "secret" with Vizcaya Museum Gardens hosting films like Iron Man 3, Any Given Sunday, and Bad Boys 2, but it's among the most captivating and iconic locations in all of Miami
Marvel

Bay Road boardwalk

It's no park or green space, but the boardwalk along Bay Road running from the Capri (16th Street) to the Flamingo on South Beach is the perfect place for mindfulness, especially while the sun rises or sets. Absorb the ripples of Biscayne Bay and the ever-changing Miami skyline. There's also a new tiny little waterfront park off 14th Street and Bay Road.

I ❤ watching you #sunset #nofilterneed

A post shared by Daniel Manzini (@manzinidaniel) on

No Name Harbor

Essentially acting as a cul-de-sac for boats, the natural No Name Harbor is a fine reprieve for captains looking to anchor on a windy day while the seas are choppy. There's a waterfront restaurant and plenty of green space to explore. It's part of the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

The Barnacle Historic State Park

At this 5-acre gem in Coconut Grove is the oldest home in its original location in Miami-Dade County (1891), which once housed Ralph Middleton Munroe, an American yacht designer. You'll also see plenty of mesmerizing Spanish moss.

A post shared by @lizz_ax3 on

AD Barnes Park

Opening in the 1970s, the 65-acre A.D. Barnes Park is located on Bird Road near the Palmetto, offering a string of trails, peaceful enclaves, and various activities.

Oxygen...

A post shared by Laz (@iam_laz) on