August in Miami. It is hot, it is humid, it is truly tropical. Where can you escape the heat but still enjoy the outdoors? The best answer might lie along the eastern edge of Miami, in Matheson Hammock Park. Here, the sea breeze cools you with its gentle yet constant presence, and the mugginess melts away.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
South Pointe Park is one of my favorite places in all of Miami Beach. Sitting at the southern tip of the island (hence the name), the park extends from the bay side all the way out to the ocean on the other end. A great example of how a park can fit into the urban landscape, you can get great views of the Atlantic Ocean, Fisher Island, the Port of Miami and Downtown Miami all in one place. There's even a Miami branch of the famous steak restaurant Smith and Wollensky if you desire high end steak and seafood by the water.
The park is basically on the edge of the water, bordered by Government Cut. There is a concrete walkway with only a thin patch of grass and rocks until you reach the water. It makes for a very nice walk up and down the island as you are always surrounded by the water to your immediate south. Among other views, you can sometimes catch cruise ships leaving from the Port of Miami as they enter into the Atlantic Ocean.
Bordering the walk way is open space, perfect for lounging on the grass, tossing a ball around or playing with the dog. While the western part of the park tends towards a basic open space, the eastern part of the park becomes more controlled, but with a very unique hill that is a mixture of natural grass and concrete steps. In the flat, sea level city of Miami Beach, it is not often that you see even the slightest bit of elevation, and it gives the park a unique trademark.
As you walk further east, you get to the 1st street beach area and a rock pier that you can walk out onto. The rock pier runs parallel to the old wooden pier, which in my opinion should reopen, because what a great walk it would be out into the Atlantic Ocean! The rock pier begins smoothly but soon becomes a mound of jagged rocks that is not as inviting to me as perhaps it is to others.