Downtown's Tropical Park is a symbol of the Miami lifestyle. Home to the Miami Runner's Club, the park has 10 miles of paved running trails and hosts soccer, baseball, tennis and soccer leagues, plus it has equestrian and boxing facilities. Two dog parks, one for small animals and one for larger ones, provides dogs a safe place to play and exercise.
7900 SW 40th St.
Bayside Run or Ride
South Bay Bike Path runs for 8.5 miles along the shore through Coconut Grove, one of the area's classiest communities. Local outdoor enthusiasts recommend taking a detour along the trail through Matheson Hammock Park along quiet paths through a natural preserve of mangrove wetlands.
9610 Old Cutler Rd.
Miami's 30 miles of sandy beaches offer a wide variety of beach experiences--from chic to bare, windy to sheltered, surf's up to safe for sandcastles. Ocean Drive is South Beach's signature avenue where visitors can rent roller blades and sail along the shoreline of this hip neighborhood. In contrast, Bill Boggs Cape Florida State Park, touted as one of the nation's top 10 beaches, offers quiet, family-friendly beaches, kayak and bike rentals, plus a cafe located in the park's lighthouse.
Bill Boggs Cape Florida State Park
1200 S. Crandon Blvd.
It looks like a set from a 1930s Hollywood movie--a swimming pool for the stars, complete with a grotto, palm trees and Mediterranean-style architecture. Created in the 1920s from a rock quarry in the heart of Coral Gables, the pool is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public daily in the summer (closed on Mondays in the winter).
2701 De Soto Blvd.
The 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is world-renowned for its tropical plant, succulent and palm collections. Founded in 1938, this quiet park offers visitors a two-hour walk through tropical surroundings and several unique exhibits, including a tropical rain forest area. Visitors can roam the park independently or take guided tours, including weekend butterfly tours.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Rd.
Stretching from Key Biscayne to Key Largo, the 172,000-acre Biscayne National Park is 95 percent under water, protecting large areas of reefs and offering opportunities for snorkelers and divers, boaters, fishermen and windsurfers to enjoy the park. Glass-bottom boat tours offer visitors a view of the coral reefs. There are several islands within the park; the largest is Elliott Key where campers can stay overnight. There are also hike and bike trails on the island.
Biscayne National Park
9700 SW 328th St.