Valentine’s Day at Matheson Hammock

Published: 04/6/15 12:55 PM in Local, North America, Travel.
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There are many beautiful local parks scattered throughout the Miami area. All of these parks offer a unique look at a preserved Florida habitat that deserves a visit. One such hidden gem in Miami, Florida is Matheson Hammock Park and Marina. And in order to spend a beautiful Florida winter day outside, Kevin and I headed there for a Valentine’s Day picnic!

About Matheson Hammock Park and Marina

Located off Old Cutler Bay and open from sunrise to sunset, Matheson Hammock Park and Marina is a scenic escape from the noise of the city of Miami and is a very popular day trip for locals. There is a very beautiful and unusual feature that attracts many sun bathers to the park, a man-made atoll pool. This circular pool is surrounded by a sandy beach, making it perfect for swimming, and it is flushed naturally with the tidal action of nearby Biscayne Bay.

A shaded outdoor picnic in Matheson Hammock on Valentine's Day.

A snowy egret prowls for food in the picnic areas of Matheson Hammock.

Meredith Lambert enjoys a picnic on Valentine's Day in Matheson Hammock.


A Picnic at Matheson Hammock

Kevin and I are not usually the type to really do anything Valentine’s except maybe go to dinner. In fact last year we didn’t even spend Valentine’s together since I was in Orlando for my cousins bachelorette party at Universal Studios enjoying the beauty and magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So this year we decided to mark our first Valentine’s Day married by doing something simple, outside, and just the two of us!

We decided to spend the afternoon at Matheson Hammock since it is a lovely local Miami park that neither of us had visited yet. The weather was a perfect Miami winter day! A very slight chill in the shade, but warm in the sun with a perfect breeze. Winter really is the best time of year to get outside in Miami, so the picnic was a perfect Valentine’s Day activity. We ate in a less frequented area of the park so we could enjoy a little silence from the usual hustle and bustle before moving in to the more popular parts of the park.


The canopy above the picnic area at Matheson Hammock in Miami, Florida.

Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert Banogon enjoy their first Valentine's Day as a married couple.

The palms and ocean views of Matheson Hammock Park in Miami, Florida.

Visitors sunbath at the inner ocean pool at Matheson Hammock Park.


A Serene Local Miami Park

With calm waters and a gentle breeze, Matheson Hammock is peaceful alternative for it’s famous cousin, South Beach. The man-made atoll pool provides a safe ocean experience for families to enjoy with their kids, while the sandy beaches surrounding the pool provide amply sun bathing opportunities. If you prefer, the park also offers a variety of water sports; such as kite boarding, kayaking, and paddleboarding through local vendors set up in the parking lot.

Matheson Hammock also offers nature trails winding along the coastal shore through the red mangroves. One of the best ways to experience these trails is on a bike since they span throughout the entire park.

The serenity of the park allows visitors a chance to explore a different side to Florida outdoors within the greater Miami area. Places like this may not be as popular as Miami beach, but they are an important experience for everyone conducting life in a city like Miami. The city feels so disconnected to nature despite the abundance of large textured tropical flora throughout the grid of the streets. Pockets of preserved coastal habitats provide a space for wildlife and people to remember what this land really is about.

So get out and bring your friends, family, and even pets to enjoy a great local park in Miami!


Blue Miami skies over the warm waters at Matheson Hammock.

Nature trails right off the water at Matheson Hammock Park.

Blue skies and tree tops in Matheson Hammock in Miami, Florida.

A mangrove tunnel shades the road leading deeper into Matheson Hammock.

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