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Nine of Miami's Greatest Lesser-Known Parks & Green Spots

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Some of Miami's greatest green spaces include its small, lesser-known (sometimes much lesser known) parks and gardens, tucked away here and there and often treasured by the communities in which they are located but invisible and nonexistent to the outside world. They are secret oases, and even with big park wins like Museum Park, the small, surprise parks are what we need more of as Miami grows. And so, we present nine of Miami's best, after the jump.


· Outdoors Week 2014 [Curbed Miami]

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1. Crandon Park Gardens

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Crandon Boulevard
Key Biscayne, FL
[Photo via MiaUrbex blog]

2. Simpson Park

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55 SW 17th Rd
Miami, FL 33129
[Image Ken Hayden/archdail]

3. Morningside Park

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750 NE 55th Ter
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 795-1834
Visit Website

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.

4. Ancient Spanish Monastery

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16711 W Dixie Hwy
Miami, FL 33160

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.

5. Fruit and Spice Park

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24801 Southwest 187th Avenue
Homestead, FL 33030

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.

6. Manatee Bend Park

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The Little River's very new 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.

7. Virginia Key Beach Park

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4020 Virginia Beach Dr
Miami, FL 33149
(305) 960-4600
Visit Website

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.

8. The Empty Part Of Watson Island

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Watson Island already contains one large and elaborate 'park': Jungle Island, and another smaller, and an almost completely unknown Japanese garden next door. What isn't a park is the barren earth across the causeway, a hodgepodge of sand, grass, dirt, asphalt, and a few poetically rooted palm trees. But the views are killer, and the area's emptiness (even with the highway right there) gives it a wonderful, park like serenity.

9. Alice Wainwright Park

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Photo courtesy FAU Science Dept.

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1. Crandon Park Gardens

Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne, FL
[Photo via MiaUrbex blog]
Crandon Boulevard
Key Biscayne, FL

2. Simpson Park

55 SW 17th Rd, Miami, FL 33129
[Image Ken Hayden/archdail]
55 SW 17th Rd
Miami, FL 33129

3. Morningside Park

750 NE 55th Ter, Miami, FL 33137

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.

750 NE 55th Ter
Miami, FL 33137

4. Ancient Spanish Monastery

16711 W Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33160

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.

16711 W Dixie Hwy
Miami, FL 33160

5. Fruit and Spice Park

24801 Southwest 187th Avenue, Homestead, FL 33030

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.

24801 Southwest 187th Avenue
Homestead, FL 33030

6. Manatee Bend Park

Miami, FL 33138

The Little River's very new 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.

7. Virginia Key Beach Park

4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, FL 33149

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.

4020 Virginia Beach Dr
Miami, FL 33149

8. The Empty Part Of Watson Island

Miami, FL 33132

Watson Island already contains one large and elaborate 'park': Jungle Island, and another smaller, and an almost completely unknown Japanese garden next door. What isn't a park is the barren earth across the causeway, a hodgepodge of sand, grass, dirt, asphalt, and a few poetically rooted palm trees. But the views are killer, and the area's emptiness (even with the highway right there) gives it a wonderful, park like serenity.

9. Alice Wainwright Park

Miami, FL 33129
Photo courtesy FAU Science Dept.