Best Miami Attractions for Tourists Listed by Category

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As far is US cities go, Miami is one of the most fun. With sunny weather year-round, pleasant climates and beautiful beaches, it’s hard not to fall in love at first sight. If you’re planning a trip to Miami, chances are you won’t be disappointed. Just be sure to fill your itinerary with some of the best places to see in the city. You’ll need to visit the beaches for sure, but there are a few other places you won’t want to miss. Here are the best Miami attractions for both locals and tourists to visit.

Miami vs Miami Beach: What’s the Difference

For anyone who hasn’t ever visited Miami, Miami and Miami beach might seem like the same thing. However, the two are distinct cities that are each governed by their own municipality. Regardless, it’s a good idea to visit both Miami and Miami Beach to view all the attractions in the area.

Best Miami Beaches

What’s a trip to Miami if you don’t visit the beach? Miami has some of the most beautiful and enjoyable beaches – not only in the US, but worldwide. When it comes to beaches in Miami, there are a few you shouldn’t miss out on.

Lummus Park Beach

Lummus park beach is a great place to relax over the weekend. Some of the main activities of the beach include volleyball, sunbathing, swimming and more. The beach also sports trees for shade and some outdoor exercise equipment.

If you get hungry, you won’t need to go far, as Lummus Park Beach has some great restaurants to dine at.

South Pointe Park Pier

South Pointe Park Pier is a lovely, quiet beach away from the busy city life. Facilities as the beach include a play area for children, picnic areas and a fishing pier. For those who like to swim, the beach also has washing stations with showers to rinse away beach sand and water after a dip in the ocean.

South Point Park Pier is a popular place to visit

Visitors could easily find themselves spending a few hours at South Pointe Park Pier, as there are a few restaurants located on the beach for when hunger starts to set in.

Surfside

Surfside is another Miami attraction that you shouldn’t miss. A popular attraction for both locals and tourists, Surfside is a great for swimming in summer, as lifeguards are on duty this time.

Furthermore, the beach often has live music and there are a few bars in the area to go and enjoy a drink. Another great thing about Surfside is the Surfside Community Centre, where one of the biggest waterparks in Miami are located.

Although there are many other beaches in Miami and surrounds, these three are certainly some of the most central. Other beaches to visit in the area include Houlover Beach. Sunny Isles Beach, Crandon Park and Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Miami Attractions for Nature Lovers

Miami has some great parks to enjoy. The great thing about going to a park is that it’s the perfect place to relax, go slow and breathe in some fresh air.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Any park can offer green trees, green grass and some time in nature, but John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is different. Instead of offering the normal nature experience, this park is dedicated to the coral reef, which means you can explore the sea life in the area.

When visiting the park, the best way to see the reef is through a snorkeling tour or by boat.

Oleta River State Recreation Area

This park is one of Florida’s finest. Oleta River State Recreation Area is a bit of a way out, but well worth the effort. The park offers kayaking, paddleboard, off road bike riding and accommodation in cozy cabins on premise.

Bill Sadowski Park

Ideal for bird watchers and amateur astrologists, the Bill Sadowski Park has beautiful scenic trails. A visit to the park in the evening could see you stargazing from the observatory in the park. Bird watching tours are also available.

Miami Night Time Attractions

After spending a sunny day at the beach or in nature, there’s still plenty more to do in the evenings when you’re in Miami.

Ice Bar

Although you’re visiting Miami for the warm weather, it’s good to mix things up a night to cool off. The Ice Bar offers tours, where you can enjoy drinks and view ice sculptures by Joel Rimer. If you didn’t pack warm clothes, you needn’t worry, as a fur coat, socks and some winter accessories will be part of your tour package.

The ice bar is the perfect place to experience something unique in Miami while enjoying drinks and some live music.

Miami Downtown

Miami Downtown is an area that’s teaming with life at night. With a variety of bars to choose from, it’s the perfect place to go if you want to enjoy a drink and listen to music. Bars are busier on weekends, making it the ideal place to go if you enjoy large crowds. Be sure to look for happy hour discounts at bars because many bars in the area offer happy hour all night long.

South Beach

South Beach is the place to be if you love parties. With a selection of top clubs, world class DJ’s and fun parties, there’s no place in Miami where nighttime is more alive than here.

South Beach has discos, bars, clubs and lounges. Anything you want for a great night out partying. It’s a great place to get social and meet both locals and tourists in the area.

Other Miami Attractions

Miami offers more than just beaches, nature and spectacular nightlife activities. The city also offers historical attractions and unique shopping locations.

Bayside Marketplace

Bayside marketplace is a great place to go if you need a little retail therapy. With more than 150 specialty shops, cafes and restaurants, Bayside Marketplace is a great place to unwind, buy some souvenirs and enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal.

Bayside Marketplace is good to visit both at night or during the day.

Open from 10am to 10- or 11pm every day of the week except Sunday, it can also be a great place to go for a relaxed evening out.

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a beautiful place to visit. The museum boasts a garden and interior designed with Renaissance in mind. It’s this European style will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to a different country altogether.

Miami Science Museum

Miami Science Museum offers an impressive range of interactive exhibits. Some of the main themes covered are physics, chemistry and biology. The museum is the perfect place to go for a fun day out with the family. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids science while learning more about it yourself.

The museum was established in 1950 and has grown significantly since that time.

Exhibits are changed regularly, so even after the first visit, there’s always more to go back for.

Transport Options for Miami Tourists

When it comes to getting around in Miami, visitors have a couple of options to choose from. For those who want a car, renting is an option, but it’s usually more expensive than alternatives.

Public Transport

Miami has a bus system that runs to many of the popular locations in the city. While bus fair is cheap, taking the bust means planning your daily itinerary around when the next bus will be available to pick you up. You’ll also need to ensure you have change on you, as only exact change will be accepted for bus fares/

Another option is the trolleys. The trolleys operate in Miami, Miami Beach and are free of charge, but limited destinations are available. One of the main benefits of the trolleys is that they connect the bus system, which can make if easier to catch a bus if you don’t want to wait at your current location.

Miami Yellow Taxis

Yellow taxis are the ideal transportation if you want to explore Miami on your own time. Rates are generally affordable and the cost per mile decreases the further you go. When traveling a bit further out where public transport isn’t available, taxis are one of the cheapest options for transport in Miami.

Rozanne WildsBest Miami Attractions for Tourists Listed by Category
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History of Taxis: Why Are Taxis Yellow?

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When most people this of a taxi cab, an image of a yellow sedan immediately comes to mind. While there are some exceptions in certain places (like London, where taxis are black) the most common taxi color is yellow in most places worldwide. In some cities and countries where taxis aren’t painted yellow, the taxi sign placed on top of the roof is usually yellow. The point? It seems that taxis and the color yellow are almost synonymous.

Many people are curious as to why yellow is the most common color choice for taxis. The answer is actually quite simple – yellow is a noticeable color, which helps passengers spot the taxi cabs more easily. There are, however, some facts about the yellowness of taxis you might not know.

The History of Taxis

The history of taxis goes back further than the automotive industry. Paris was one of the first cities to have taxis in 1640. London was also early to adopt a taxi system as early – the Hackney Carriage Act, a set of regulations regarding taxis, was published as early as 1935! These early taxis were horse drawn carriages with drivers, as no cars existed at the time.

Cars became more popular around the late 1800’s. Although the first available cars were still slow and very expensive at the time. Most middleclass working people were unable to afford a family car at the time. This created a good business opportunity for German inventor and entrepreneur Gottlieb Daimler, who started the first metered taxi company in the year 1897. Daimler invented his own automobile. He bought meters to measure trip distances and time from another German inventor, Wilhelm Bruhn.

In 1891, the German inventor Wilhelm Bruhn invented an instrument to measure the amount of time or distance a vehicle has travelled. He called his invention a taximeter, and it allowed taxi drivers to determine rates for fares in a fair and precise manner. The similarity between the word taxi and the word taximeter is quite noticeable. This naming similarity is no coincidence though, as modern taxis are named after the taximeter.

Interestingly enough, Daimler’s contribution to the automotive industry stretches much further than the inception of the first metered taxis. Daimler’s automotive company, the Daimler Motor Corporation is still one of the biggest players in the automotive industry worldwide.

Daimler Motor Corporation was made infamous for the production of Carl Benz’s patented car, which is considered to be the first car ever engineered. This was the result of an agreement between Carl Benz and a Daimler sales agent named Emil Jellinek in 1926. This agreement subsequently led to the inception of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Daimler Motor Corporation still owns the Mercedes-Benz brand to this very day.

Although cars weren’t very common or accessible before Henry Ford developed and introduced his Ford T model to the market in 1908, automotive taxis were popular in many cities around the world prior to Ford’s T model. In fact, in 1899, there were approximately 100 motorized taxis driving operating in the streets of New York City.

Even after the Ford T model became an affordable vehicle as a family car, the taxi industry grew. Many families still couldn’t afford to have a car, whereas other some individuals enjoyed the ease and comfort of using a taxi cab.

Why Are Taxi Cabs Yellow?

Although the history of automotive taxis goes back to 1897, taxis weren’t always yellow. The yellow taxi cab was first introduced in 1915. A car salesman named John Hertz. Hertz started selling cars in 1904. He soon found himself with a number of trade in cars, which he decided to use as taxi cabs in order to make automotive transportation more affordable to the wider public. By 1907, Hertz had seven trade in cars running in his fleet.

Hertz decided to put the color of his taxis to the test. He wanted to unify his fleet by painting all the cars in the same color. To make the cars stand out, he aimed to paint the cars in a color that can could easily be spotted.

Hertz decided to paint his taxis yellow because of a study by a Chicago university to establish what color would grab the attention of passersby. The results proved that yellow with a touch of red was most noticeable would. As a result, Hertz started to paint all his taxi cabs yellow and went on to start the Chicago-based Yellow Cab Company in 1915.

Hertz later went on to expand his business into the rental car business. In 1954, Hertz purchased a Chicago based car rental company named Rent-a-car Inc., which was originally founded by entrepreneur Walter L. Jacobs. He renamed his company to The Hertz Motor Corporation and expanded his business over time. Eventually, Hertz’s car rental company grew to one of the biggest globally and is still a household name in car rentals in modern day times.

The interesting fact about Hertz and his car rental company is that two major players in the development of the taxi industry owned businesses that are still well-known today: Hertz and Daimler. While their contributions to their bigger companies are well-known, few people know how the yellow taxi industry developed simultaneously with other advancements in the automotive industry.

Yellow Taxis Before Hertz

While Hertz was first to base the color of his taxis on a study, many taxis were painted yellow before Hertz’s. A lot of taxi fleet owners believed yellow to be a superior color that made taxis easy to recognize.

New Yorker Albert Rockwell started a taxi company in 1908. His wife, Nettie, liked the color yellow and suggested that Rockwell paint his taxis this color, along with a signature R on the doors to distinguish his taxis. Rockwell believed that his wife’s suggestion would help his taxis stand out, as yellow is a bright color. Albert Rockwell incorporated his company under the name, Yellow Taxi Cab Company in 1912, three years prior to Hertz’s Yellow Cab Company in 1915.

Before Rockwell’s yellow taxis. Taxis were painted all kinds of different colors. Each taxi company had their own unique way of painting. One of the first taxi company founders in America, Harry Allen from New York, painted his taxis in red and green.

Regardless of the fact that Rockwell most likely had the first yellow taxis, it was Hertz who popularized the color.

By 1969, New York City had restrictions on the colors that taxis were allowed to be. Yellow was the color of choice.

What Color Are Taxis in Miami?

Like most other US cities, Miami sports bright yellow taxis. Companies such as Miami-based Yellow Taxi Miami is one of the popular choices among local residents and tourist alike.

With rates as low as $2.95 per mile, Yellow Taxi Miami offers a highly affordable and easy to use taxi service is the greater Miami area. Arrangements can also be made for taxis to drop off and pick up passengers from the airport. Yellow taxi Miami offers commute to all of Miami’s most popular beaches, shopping centers and other attractions.

To make a scheduled appointment for a taxi or enquire about taxi services, you can contact Yellow Taxi Miami to learn more.

Are Yellow Taxis Really More Noticeable?

According to scientific research, red is the least noticeable color at a distance. Green is one of the colors that the human eye can most easily pick up during the day. The only problem with using green, is that natural surroundings such as trees and grass are also green, which makes it more difficult for the color to stand out.

Even so, green remains as one of the easiest colors in the world to spot from a distance, with a bright green color, bordering between neon green and neon yellow, reportedly being the world’s most visible color.

There’s a difference between the most visible and brightest color, though. While green is most easy to see during the day, yellow is more noticeable in bad light conditions. Yellow is the brightest color in the spectrum, with the brightest color being very bright yellow.

So yes, yellow does stand out among other colors and can easily be spotted from a distance. What makes yellow taxi cabs even more noticeable, is that few cars that aren’t taxis are painted bright yellow.

Rozanne WildsHistory of Taxis: Why Are Taxis Yellow?
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Airport Tips for Planning Your Trip to Miami Airport

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While going on a trip is exciting and fun, sitting at the airport and making travel arrangements is never as enjoyable. Whatever the reason for your trip to Miami International Airport, you can make sure you’re prepared. By making travel arrangements to and from the airport in advance, as well as planning out a set schedule, there are many ways you can make your visit to Miami International Airport a pleasant one.

Before Going to the Airport

There are a few things that you might not yet have thought of that can help make your flight experience much more comfortable. There are so many things to organize when you’re making travelling arrangements, it’s easy for the smaller details to slip through the cracks.

Choose Your Outfit Ahead of Time

To start with, always decide what you’ll wear during your flight well in advance. This isn’t so you can make sure you’re looking stylish, however. Instead, choose some of your most comfortable clothing and make sure that every single item of clothing your wear on the flight is some of your most comfortable. At the same time, keep in mind that you still need to look presentable, so don’t go in anything too informal.

Choosing your outfit in advance means you’ll be able to make sure it’s washed and ready on the day of the flight. It will also help you remember not to pack your chosen outfit into your suitcase.

Make Sure You Know Where the Airport Is

Studying a map of the airport location beforehand can help a lot. Knowing where you’re headed to will prevent you from getting lost while traveling to the airport. You can also lookup to see if you’re able to find maps of the airport interior. This can help you keep track of where your gate and check in area will be.

Take Some Entertainment to Stay Busy

Also consider how you’ll keep yourself occupied during flights, or while waiting for your next flight connection. Take a good book, compile a playlist you like on your phone, or load some movies you want to watch onto your tablet. While many airplanes nowadays have inflight entertainment with movies, music and other entertainment, there’s no guarantee you’ll find something that suits your tastes. If you’re planning to watch movies or listen to music, also be sure to take a good set of headphones with you.

Traveling with Children

If you have children flying with you, also take some things to keep them busy, such as a coloring book with pencils, a tablet with their favorite movies or a handheld game console.

When traveling with a baby or toddler, keep in mind that many small children struggle with ear pain on flights. It might be worth it to visit your doctor to get a subscription for pain medication that can help. When taking any medication onboard a flight, it’s always best to have a prescription, even if the medication you’re taking is an over-the-counter drug.

Hand Luggage Allowances

Always be sure to check what the hand luggage guidelines are for whatever airline you’re flying with. Some airlines will allow you to take a small suitcase as well as one additional piece of luggage, such as a handbag or laptop bag. Other airlines will only allow one piece of hand luggage, meaning you’ll have to choose between a small suitcase or your laptop.

If you have any special equipment, such as a camera, check to make sure you’ll be allowed to take this on the flight with you as well.

Traveling with Animals and Pets

If you’re planning to take a pet, or work animal, such as a blind guide dog, also be sure to make travel arrangements for your pet well in advance. Arriving at the airport with animal when you haven’t pre-arranged how they will be traveling could cause you miss your flight, as you simply won’t be able to leave the pet behind.

Tips for Once You’re At the Airport

Arriving at the airport can be a big moment, especially if you’ve never traveled anywhere by air before. Firstly, always try to arrive at the airport early. Even up to 3 hours before your flight. Once you’re at the airport, however, you don’t need to feel rushed, as you’re unlikely to miss your plane.

Locate Your Check-in Counters

If you’re traveling from a new airport, the first thing you should do when you arrive is to go to the area where you’ll be checking in. Just make sure your check-in counters are where you would’ve thought. As long as you know exactly how to get to your flight check-in, you don’t need to stand and wait there.

Charge Your Mobile Devices

Chances are you’ll be using your phone, tablet or laptop as a source of entertainment throughout the flight. To throughout the flight, your devices will need to be charged. Find a spot near a charging outlet and charge all your devices before you go onboard.

Don’t Be Hurried

Whether you’re waiting to check-in or to board your flight, there’s no need to be in a hurry. Passengers are often scared that their flight will leave without them, but this rarely ever happens. You don’t need to be waiting in the check-in queue the moment your flight is open for check-in. If you’re running late for your flight and the check-in queue is long, an announcement will usually call all the passengers that have not yet checked in to the front, meaning you might even be able to skip the queue.

The earlier you check in your luggage, the longer it will take you to get it on the carousel later. This is because luggage that’s checked in first is loaded into the plane first, so it will also be unpacked last.

The same applies for when boarding starts. There’s no use to queue by your gate ten minutes before boarding even starts. Waiting till the queue disappears before you board can offer many advantages. Once you arrive on the plane, most of the passengers will already be seated, meaning you won’t have to push your way through the busy, narrow passages to get to your seat. As an added benefit, you’ll easily be able to see what seats aren’t taken, which means you could perhaps get a better seat than you booked.

Transport to and from Miami International Airport

Transportation to and from the airport is one of the most important things you’ll have to plan. When planning your transport, remember that you won’t just need space for yourself, but also for all your luggage. Because of this, public transport isn’t a very attractive option for traveling to and from Miami international airport, as you might not have some space of your own to put all your things.

The most popular choices for transport to and from the airport include:

  • Taking your own car and paying for parking at the airport
  • Getting a ride through an app
  • Booking a Miami taxi cab

Taking your own car to go to the airport and paying for parking is a good option if you’re not planning to be away for too long. The downside of leaving your car parked at the airport, however, is that the longer you leave it there, the more expensive parking costs will be.

In some cases, you might just not be able to drive to the airport yourself. This leaves you with two options, either book a ride through an app, or call a taxi service. Both options have advantages and drawbacks. One of the biggest advantages of getting a ride through an app is that it’s usually available 24/7, however, most taxi services offer the same benefit.

Hiring a taxi to take you to the airport offers many advantages. For instance, most taxi services will offer a flat rate to drop you off at the airport and pick you up. You can book a taxi in advance so that your driver is already waiting once you arrive.

Just keep in mind that you’ll likely be charged for any time your driver spends waiting for you, so don’t book for your taxi to fetch you earlier than your flight will be landing. In fact, it’s better to book your taxi to come fetch you approximately one hour after your plane is expected to land. This will give you enough time to get your luggage from the carousel and get through customs before your taxi arrives.

If your flight is late, the extra hour might also help keep you almost on-time, even if you’re a bit late. In cases where you know your flight will be late before you take off, always remember to call your taxi and reschedule the time your driver must come fetch you.

Rozanne WildsAirport Tips for Planning Your Trip to Miami Airport
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Ten Best Beaches In Miami, Florida

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Ten Best Beaches In Miami, Florida

Miami is a slice of paradise with not only beautiful people to look at but sunny beaches and crystal clear waters. This city is known as one of the best taken care of in the United States. Miami is lively, vibrant, and culturally diverse that attracts high-end tourism every year. The beaches rank among the top stretches of shoreline in the world. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, or socialize, here is a list of Miami, Florida’s top ten beaches that can’t be missed.

1. Lummus Park Beach

Considered the mother of all beaches, Lummus Park Beach has a charm that can’t be denied. New Time readers voted it the Best Beach in 2017. Located in the Art Deco Historic District, out-of-towners flock here for that postcard-perfect photography. You can partake in beach volleyball, jogging, and cycling down the palm tree-lined streets to the bright blue waters. Lummus Park Beach is conveniently located within walking distance of 4-star restaurants, cafe’s, and specialty shops.

2. Haulover Beach Park

Another Miami winner in 2018, Haulover Beach Park is a 1.4 mile stretch of pristine white sand where you can swim or sunbathe in the nude. There are also dog-friendly areas where your pup can frolic in the surf. Haulover Beach Park has a significant number of picnic areas, a tennis court, and a nine-hole golf course. The beach hosts kite-making workshops that you can fly in a grassy area overlooking Biscayne Bay. There are wheelchairs available on the beach for rent and pedestrian tunnels that connect the park to the marina.

3. North Beach

North Beach is immaculately clean, laid-back, and low-key. You can expect a day of relaxation at its most luxurious. The only downside is there is a lack of variety when it comes to dining. At night time, you can head over to North Beach Bandshell to listen to live music under the stars. Shuckers is a favorite among locals on the water for appetizers, beer, and watching live sports. It’s a hot spot to meet up with friends and take in the Miami experience. North Beach is so quiet and serene you will feel like you’re on another planet. The boardwalk winds its way up to Surfside giving you plenty of space to spread out.

4. South Pointe Park

The recently renovated pier at South Pointe Park offers stunning views of the shoreline. There is a sidewalk for lounging, jogging, or people watching, and a children’s playground with water features. South Pointe Park has a pier for fishing and easy access to the beach. This 17-acre park went through a $5 million renovation and now offers stations for washing fish, recycling fishing line, and cutting bait. At the end of your day, enjoy USDA prime dry-aged steaks and premium seafood at Smith and Wollensky’s.

5. Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

This is the perfect beach when you need to get-away during a weekday for complete seclusion. There are plenty of picnic tables and tiki umbrellas to lounge like a celebrity. The Virginia Key Outdoor Center has paddleboards, bikes, and kayaks available for rental. Historic Virginia Beach Park has vending machines on site, concession stands for food and beverages, and barbeque grills throughout for parties and picnics.

6. Surfside Beach

Surfside is considered Miami’s upscale beach scene. High-rise condos and 5-star hotels surround it. Surfside is a small town with only 6,000 residents and is full of character. Its vision is community focused on tourism, local businesses, and residents. The sprawling beach draws in people from all over the world who want to experience Miami without the crowds.

7. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Known to the locals as “El Farito,” Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Here you can catch a glimpse of Miami’s oldest standing structure the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse. This hidden oasis provides a lot of fun and relaxation for the whole family. You can ride through the park on quad bikes, fish along the seawalls, hike through the mangrove wetlands, and grab a bite at the Lighthouse Café.

8. Hobie Beach

Hobie Beach is Miami’s favorite dog-friendly stretches. Its shallow waters make it safe and secure for pets to have their own fun. Many love to lounge under the palm trees while sipping fresh lemonade from the concession stands. There are catamaran rentals available where you can take in fantastic views of the Rickenbacker Causeway. Hobie Beach is a favorite spot for windsurfing and hosts a locally run windsurfing rental stand for over twenty years. Two-hour lessons or all-day group lessons will help you become a pro in no time.

9. Crandon Park

Crandon Park is a well-known destination for family parties and special gatherings. Those who love to grill enjoy hosting cookouts at the beachfront picnic areas. You can smell the food for miles from this family-friendly vacation spot. Adjacent to the park are cabana rentals, kayak rentals, a golf course, picnic shelters, an amusement center, and nature tours. Visitors can explore the various ecosystems including the seagrass beds, dunes, coastal hammock, and mangroves. You will experience rare and beautiful plants, herons, ospreys, sea turtles, and hawks. The seagrass beds are home to parrotfish, shrimp, mangrove snapper, puffer fish, and sea stars.

10. Matheson Hammock Park

Another family-friendly beach that is a great place to relax under the palms. The Tenerife Reflecting Point offers stunning views of the Biscayne Bay. Matheson Hammock Park is an excellent spot for picnicking, kiteboarding, kayaking, and fishing. It is home to a man-made atoll pool which flushes naturally with the tidal action of Biscayne Bay. Matheson Hammock Park is ideal for families who want to enjoy safe waters, excellent views, and light breezes. The park has a full-service marina that includes a snack bar, nature trails, sailing and powerboat school, and picnic pavilions. At the end of your adventure, enjoy a romantic dinner on site at the Red Fish Grill. This first-class restaurant is located in the historic coral rock building and serves pasta, seafood, steak, and chicken nightly.

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