Five secluded beach parks in South Florida

Beach-going in Miami is most famous for its craziness. From wild spring break activities on South Beach to the hordes of tourists along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, it can be hard to find a peaceful spot.

Here are the top five beach locations in South Florida that don’t see typical traffic. Each one has its own specialties and reasons to visit, but the bottom line is that they are relatively quiet and ideal for small-group picnics, studying and relaxation. 

Set up a hammock or take a walk down the wide-open sand of Keating Beach, located not far from Hollywood Beach. (Julian Febres/SFMN)

Keating Beach
1175 So. Surf Road

Located slightly south of Hollywood Beach, Keating is a much quieter option with open sand and plenty of space to lay out a towel or mat and enjoy the atmosphere. It has the feeling of a standard beach for anyone looking for a simple aesthetic. This low-key spot usually has little to no seaweed on the shore. There is much else in terms of views beside the palm trees and small buildings by the entrance, but you are looking for serenity, right? The easiest parking is available directly in front of beach access — which can’t be said of other areas in Hollywood where leaving your car can be much more difficult.

Take in the tropical atmosphere and breeze as you enter North Shore Open Space Park’s beach through the sandy boardwalk entrance. (Julian Febres/SFMN)

North Shore Open Space Park
8328 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach
Office: 305-861-3616
Sunrise to Sunset

The name says it all. There is nothing but open space in this location — also known as North Beach Oceanside Park — making it easy to find a spot to settle down and relax. There are numerous picnic tables, grills and barbecue areas all separated from each other, so you won’t have to worry about being too close to other groups. The beach is long but not very wide and sees the more people than other locations on this list. Despite this, it is still relatively quiet and offers a relaxing atmosphere. Final construction of the park’s beach walk path is currently underway though, with fences prohibiting easy access to the beach at this time. Expected to be completed this summer, the beach walk will run down the entire length of the park, from 79th Street to 87th Street. Easiest parking is available via parking apps along Collins Avenue.

Take a moment and embrace the luxury. (Julian Febres/SFMN)

Bal Harbour Beach
700 Collins Ave.
Bal Harbour
No Hours Listed

If it doesn’t bother you to be in an area that’s also shared by rich people staying in the Ritz-Carlton and other neighboring luxury hotels, then Bal Harbour Beach is the place for you. Take in the luxurious views of the hotels as well as the occasional yacht or jet ski passing by in the water. This beach offers more than enough space in the sand, as well as a pier where you can walk and find plenty of people fishing. Easiest parking is via PayByPhone since a lot of spots are located in front of the Ritz-Carlton under the Haulover Inlet Bridge.

Hobie Island Beach Park also offers picnic tables and food stands. (Julian Febres/SFMN)

Hobie Island Beach Park
South end (north side of Rickenbacker Causeway)
Key Biscayne
Office: 305-361-2833
Sunrise to Sunset

Hobie Island Beach Park is one long, thin strip of beach located just off Rickenbacker Causeway heading towards Key Biscayne. You’ll get a relaxing experience from the ambience of the calm waves, but it will usually be conflicting with the noise from cars traveling down the road. If the noise from the causeway doesn’t bother you, then look no further, but definitely look towards the amazing views of Coral Gables as you sit under a palm tree. Parking is right beside beach access, so you won’t have to stray too far away from your vehicle.

It looks like a tropical paradise. (Julian Febres/SFMN)

Matheson Hammock Park
9610 Old Cutler Road
Sunrise to Sunset

Finishing the list is the beautiful Matheson Hammock Park. This scenic sensation features a man-made lagoon with a walking/biking path that circles all the way around. Tall palm trees surround the entire area, adding to the tranquil, paradise-like experience. You’ll also enjoy distant views of Key Biscayne. There is plenty of room to set up and sit on the sand or by the picnic tables next to the Red Fish Grill. There is parking via PayByPhone right by the entrance to the lagoon.

Julian Febres is a senior at Florida University studying journalism. He was born in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida into a fully Puerto Rican family and never fails to express his Latino pride. He is passionate about writing, soccer, music, and fashion. His dream is to be able to freely write about all his interests and spread positivity and good energy at all times.