The Venetian Causeway was built in 1913 and it remains the best way to get from the mainland to South Beach. Locals and tourists collide to bike, walk, run or drive the Venetian, which provides the safest and most scenic route over the bay. Our advice: rent a Citibike, pack some snacks, and enjoy the view!
What they do: Things to do
Website: Visit Here
Address: Venetian Causeway, Miami Beach, FL, United States
If you enter Everglades National Park via the Ernest Coe Visitor Center, you’ll hit the mile-long Anhinga Trail, full of wildlife like alligators, herons, and egrets amid the sawgrass. Nearby there’s also the Nike Hercules Missile Site, a cold war relic that people who like thinking about how close we came to blowing each other up will probably enjoy. Join a tour from the Daniel Beard Center at 2 p.m. any day of the week.
This picturesque road shaded by towering banyan trees and flanked by gorgeous homes (and few traffic lights) is a beautiful spot for a ride on a hot day. Start at Cocoplum Circle on the edge of Coconut Grove and Coral Gables (plug “Cartagena Park” into your GPS). You can leave your car and follow the road as far down as South Dade. You can link up to Deering Estate or Homestead Bayfront Park if you want to turn it into a full-day adventure. You better be comfortable with cars, though – this two-lane road doesn’t leave much spare room.
What they do: Bike trail
Address: Cartagena Park (at the intersection of Old Cutler Road and Ingram Highway), Coral Gables, FL
The Rickenbacker Causeway connects Miami to Key Biscayne over the Bay, then turns into Crandon Boulevard and goes all the way to the end of the Key. It’s a little under six miles one way. Once you cross over, head over to Crandon Park or Bill Baggs State Park to soak up our endless summer rays. Plus, it’s a toll road, so if you bike it you can feel that sweet vindication of whizzing by the cars that have to stop and cough up a few bucks while you freely ride by. (Photo courtesy of Reinhard Link/Flickr CC)
Who needs the beach? One day in Amelia Earhart Park will convince you that sand is for suckers. With biking trails, state-of-the-art soccer fields, a dog park, farming demonstrations, a pony rink, and a TREE FORT, it’s a full day of fun in the heart of Hialeah. Amelia Earhart is also home to a badass watersports facility on a 90-acre lake where you can try wakeboarding, kneeboarding wakesurfing, or waterskiing.
Plenty of locals get their walk, run, and bike on Black Creek Trail. It stretches 8.5 mostly paved miles from Larry and Penny Thompson Park to Black Point Marina, and connects with the South Dade Trail (US 1), the south end of the Old Cutler Trail, and the Biscayne Trail (SW 87th Ave/Black Point Marina). You’ll pass quiet neighborhoods, nurseries, and palm farms and spot ducks, egrets, herons, turtles, raccoons, plenty of fish, and the occasional gator.
What they do: Trail
Website: Visit Here
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Address: 17600 SW 137 Ave. to 24775 SW 87th Ave.
Larry and Penny Thompson Park is a gorgeous, 270-acre park featuring South Florida woodlands, trails, and hiking paths. There’s also a massive campground with 240 campsites, full electrical and water hook-ups, and hot showers if you’re into that glamping life. You can hit up the water slides carved into a rock mountain and clear blue lake before settling into your sleeping bag.
Remember that scene at the beach from Something about Mary when Ben Stiller gets a fish hook caught in his cheek? That beautiful beach is actually a man-made atoll pool nestled in Matheson Hammock Park, which happens to be one of the most scenic parks in Florida. The park spans more than 630 acres and features plenty of biking and walking trails, banyan trees, a kite boarding cove, boat launch ramps, restaurants, and picnic pavilions. It’s a particularly great spot for sunrise walks and sunset picnics.
If biking through miles of farm roads and ocean views is your thing, then Homestead Bayfront Park and the nearby roads are for you. The starting point for hundreds of bikers daily is the Black Point Marina. From there, they head south to explore the farms of Homestead and mangrove hammocks. The only vehicles you’ll have to share the road with are the occasional tractor. There’s a cafe in the park where you can enjoy a cafecito after your ride.
The southernmost tip of South Beach is also one of its most beautiful spots. A pier juts out, separating the beach from Government Cut, the waterway headed to PortMiami. It’s also got a big, shady park with bike paths, a field, an observatory deck, and a small water park for the kids. You can keep biking north from here until the boardwalk begins. When you’re ready to relax you can find a spot on the pier to watch the cruise ships come in, or find a spot to sunbathe on the beach.