A tropical retreat along the coast of Coral Gables, Matheson Hammock Park has two distinct sides: a wild slice of the ancient Miami Hammock and a waterfront with a man-made atoll on Biscayne Bay
Location: Coral Gables
Lat-Lon: 25.682267, -80.271685
Fees: $5 per car weekdays, $6 weekends
3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129
Found at Matheson Hammock Park, Florida’s only atoll may be man-made, but the coral rock is native and genuine, and the flush of sea water through it with the tides makes for a gentle, clean pool in which to swim. Set along Biscayne Bay, the beach has a nice sweep of sand good for sunbathing and wading into the shallows.
The shaded part of Matheson Hammock Park feels like a jungle, and it adjoins popular Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. A nature trail slips away from the historic coral rock picnic pavilions across Old Cutler Road into the heart of the hammock, which is dense with tropical trees and rugged limestone oolite, full of holes.
The county marina is the home of Castle Harbor Sailing School, and there is a restaurant, the Red Fish Grill, on the beach.
Explore the park
- Matheson Hammock Trail - One of the wilder places showcasing a remaining piece of the ancient Miami Hammock, the Hammock Trail at Matheson Hammock Park immerses you in a tropical forest