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Matheson Hammock Park

In a city filled with glistening blue beaches why would one want to head out to the marshy swimming hole at Matheson Hammock? There are plenty of reasons. For starters, the atoll beach provides a serene alternative. Yes, the murky brown waters may seem an odd choice -- especially when the shimmering bay beaches are just paces away -- but it's a unique experience and its protected from more dangerous marine life (and, well, lifeguards on duty can look over the entire atoll area).

You also have the natural preserve that you are welcome to explore. It is a national park, after all. If you're hungry for something fancy the park's Fish grill may seem familiar. It's been rented out for various Hollywood movie projects including There's Something About Mary.

It's also a poor man's version of a private beach as only guests who pay the park's modest entrance fee are allowed to frolic in its waters. That assures that the swimming hole is never overly crowded even on the busiest of beach days.

So do make sure you slap on some sun protection and make the most of a great Miami tradition -- the day at the beach.

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