Get us in your inbox

Search
Jose Milton Park at E. Albert Pallot Greenspace
Photograph: Ashley Brozic

9 Secret gardens in Miami to explore right now

Get back to nature at these hidden parks and secret gardens in Miami

Ashley Brozic
Written by
Ryan Pfeffer
&
Ashley Brozic
Advertising

The Miami beaches aren’t the only place in the Magic City where you can go to escape urbanity. With its expanding skyline, tantalizing restaurant scene, and bustling social calendar, it’s easy to forget that South Florida is lush and tropical, green and marshy, and our entire ecosystem could just as well be a single-story rainforest if not an untouched swamp. This is a city where you really can be outside 365 days a year—sweating, sure, but still outside! Below, we've highlighted some of our favorite botanical hideaways when you need a respite from city life, whether you want to walk the trails of an ancient forest, sneak away to a Miami park or just enjoy a book under a banyan tree with a view of Biscayne Bay. These secret gardens in Miami take some searching and a bit of insider knowledge to find, but we promise you’ll be able to find the peace and quiet you crave. Now, can you promise not to tell?

Secret Gardens in Miami

  • Things to do
  • Coconut Grove
  • price 1 of 4

Tucked away in southwest Coconut Grove you’ll find this nine-acre botanical garden flush with rare tropical flowers, fruits and—believe it or not—over 50 different kinds of mangos. As the former home of legendary plant explorer Dr. David Fairchild, it’s no surprise that The Kampong remains a place of scientific research, conservation and discovery as the mainland campus of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Wander in for an abundant reminder of how lush and jungly South Florida really is.

  • Things to do
  • Brickell Key

There may be no better place for a sunset stroll than Brickell Key Park. This waterfront path, lined with trees and flowers, occupies the southern tip of the tiny Brickell Key and offers an uninterrupted view over the Downtown skyline. There's a manmade beach that belongs to the Mandarin Oriental, which means it's technically off-limits unless you're a hotel guest, but we've witnessed plenty of people sneak in.  

Advertising

Driving west on 195, you’ll notice a massive M-shaped domino sculpture that seems to welcome you back onto the mainland. This is Jose Milton Park at E. Albert Pallot Greenspace (say that five times fast) and virtually no one knows about it unless they live in the area. This design-forward green space is perfect in its simplicity: a well-manicured, thoughtfully planned lawn with a winding path, a playground, a kayak ramp and stunning, unobstructed view of Biscayne Bay.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Redlands

It’s possible to get lost touring the grounds of America’s “Southernmost Winery,” with its coral waterfalls, lagoons and grids of fruit trees. Best of all, you can quench your thirst by sampling the bevy of fruit wines all made on property or by downing some Florida-themed beers at Miami Brewing Co. From live music to 5Ks, this property touts a number of events and gatherings year-round to make it worth the schlep.

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Pinecrest
  • price 1 of 4

Pinecrest Gardens isn’t necessarily hidden, but this 11-acre jungle on Old Cutler Road is often overlooked. Once the original location of Parrot Jungle, it now sits on the National Historic Register and touts over 1,000 varieties of rare and exotic plants and palm trees, a tropical native hardwood hammock and bald cypress slough, and the last untouched stretch of the thousands-year-old Snapper Creek. Year-round, the Gardens has a jam-packed calendar of events like gardening workshops, dance lessons, theatrical performances on the Banyan Bowl stage and art exhibits. Pack a picnic blanket and enjoy a nice afternoon hiking the nature trails or relaxing under the banyan trees.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brickell

Tucked into the back of a very fancy neighborhood, Alice Wainwright Park packs a big punch for such a tiny, hidden park. Past the basketball court, under the rocky hill, awaits a drop-dead gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay, particularly at sunrise, and there’s a picnic pavilion and some workout equipment too.

Advertising

When you ask students at the University of Miami why they chose to attend, many respond: “because of the palm trees.” This is truly one of the greenest, lushest and most beautiful campuses in America, and weekends and school breaks are the perfect time for locals to explore its flora and fauna. The highlight is the Gifford Arboretum near the intersection of San Amaro Drive and Robbia Avenue, where you’ll find hundreds of tropical trees and plants, as well as visiting butterflies and birds. Since they’re used for educational purposes, you can learn more by scanning the QR codes.

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Miami

It’s far too easy to drive right past Legion Park when cruising through MiMo on Biscayne Boulevard, but do yourself a favor next time you’re passing NE 65th Street: pull over. Beneath dozens of shady trees, you’ll find basketball and tennis courts, a playground, a fitness area, tiny dog parks and above all else, peace and quiet. This park creeps right up to the sparkling water of Biscayne Bay and hosts a delicious farmers’ market every Saturday from 9am to 2pm.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising