I knew nothing about our neighborhood when we bought our house. Guess what I found right around the corner…
My husband and I are a little crazy when it comes to buying a house. Twice we have bought something in the US while living in Singapore (we moved back and forth across the globe quite a few times. Don’t ask). Anil does a trip and looks at areas he likes. Then I go a pick a house. In a week flat. And then we spend months arguing about what color towels to buy but that’s another story.
Matheson Hammock Park
After I had decided on the house here in Coral Gables, I went for a drive in the neighborhood and found Matheson Hammock Park. I thought I’d gone to photographer’s heaven. The park has massive oak and banyan trees, a quaint marina, the best kite surfing spot in Miami AND a palm-fringed, circular beach.
If you go for a run there early in the morning, you will probably only meet one or two other lone souls. You may also spot dolphins or a blue-dotted eagle ray.
South Crandon Beach, Key Biscayne
My daughter has crew training on Virginia Key most Saturday mornings at s.e.v.e.n am. I know. When she first told me this I flipped. I had to wake up at 6 on the weekend too?? Not gonna happen. But of course, she convinced me and – strangely enough – it’s now one of my favorite parts of the week.
When we drive over Rickenbacker Causeway the sun is usually just coming up and the lights downtown are still on, giving a magical view. After I drop her, I continue to Key Biscayne to Crandon Beach for a run. It is SO beautiful. When I’m there I feel like I’m on holiday.
To get there, take the South Beach exit. It will lead you to a massive parking lot. The beach has a walkway along the whole stretch. Even in the weekend this beach doesn’t get too crowded, and you can usually find a shady spot.
The Southern Part of South Beach
And then of course there’s South Beach. ‘But isn’t it super crowded there??’ I hear you think. Yes, but not if you time it well and go to the right part. I usually park around Ocean Drive and 4th.
Once I had a shoot there on an early Sunday morning. It took me just 20 minutes to get there from Coral Gables, there was plenty of parking, and the beach was almost deserted. The crystal-clear water and sandy ocean bottom makes it my favorite place for a swim.
There are quite a few options for brunch afterwards, I love Santorini by Giorgios for its fresh seafood (the charcoal grilled octopus is divine) and it makes me feel like I’m in Greece. Or, if you just want a little something sweet pass by Gelato-Go for some real Italian ice cream on 5th and Ocean Dr.
Even if you don’t have time for a morning yoga session or a run on the beach during the week it pays to get up early during the weekend and check out these spots. Even if you don’t have a child who needs to be at crew at 7am.