Miami Guide: Parks in Miami: David T. Kennedy park
As part of my Miami Guide, I'm presenting you with the Parks in Miami series, which highlights some of the very best of the Magic City's many parks.
David T. Kennedy Park
2600 S. Bayshore Dr.
Miami, FL 33133
Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Dogs Allowed: Yes
David T. Kennedy park is a Coconut Grove hotspot for families, pet owners and fitness buffs alike. This 29-acre park features plenty of pathways for running, biking and walking the dog, playground equipment for kids of all ages, two dog parks, a sand volleyball court and plenty of open grassy areas for having a picnic, tossing around the football or just lounging and taking in the sights.
One of the main reasons I make the 20 minute drive to this park on a regular basis is the gorgeous view. David T. Kennedy park overlooks the ocean (Biscayne Bay to be exact), which means that while you're huffing and puffing along trying to get through the last five minutes of your run, you can look out over a glistening sea and forget your misery for just a moment. The park is also located right next to a marina, so you can check out the beautiful boats owned by some of Miami's luckiest residents. Hitting up this park always reminds me that despite about occasional complaints about the city, I am truly fortunate to live in Miami.
For Families: The playground equipment is the main attraction for any kids visiting the park. This section is fully fenced, so you don't have to worry about errant children running into traffic, and it features three separate pieces of equipment. One is made for kids 2 to 5 years old, with easy-to-climb steps and several not-too-steep slides. Next is the section for kids 5 and up, with steps, slides, a bridge and other playground staples. Finally, there's an area with a few baby swings as well as a small slide. All-in-all, there's something for everyone here, including a few benches scattered around the play equipment for parents to relax and watch the kids play. A big bonus is that the bathrooms are located directly next to the playground, just on the other side of the fence.
For Dog-Owners: David T. Kennedy park features not one but two dog parks, one for the big guys and another for the little yappers. Both are fully fenced and they run parallel to each other. The dog parks aren't the most impressive I've ever seen (check out Tropical Park's "Bark Park" for a gorgeous dog park), but if all your dog wants is a chance to get off the leash and socialize he'll certainly get the opportunity at this busy spot. Unlike with some nearby parks, dogs are more than welcome to enjoy the paths and grass throughout David T. Kennedy, so your furry pal can be your running buddy, too!
For Exercisers: Exercise is probably what brings most Groveites to David T. Kennedy park. Paths weave all throughout the park, so you can create a custom walking or jogging route. The park is pretty spacious, but keep in mind that if you plan on running/walking for than a mile or so, you'll end up covering the same ground more than once. Runners take note: the paths here are made of cushy rubber mulch, so your knees will get a much-needed break from the hard cement you find in many parks. On top of that, you'll find exercise equipment scattered throughout the park, including a section with some actual exercise machines. The park also features a sand volleyball court, a disc golf course and plenty of grassy fields for games, yoga or whatever else you do to keep fit.
Know Before You Go
Don't Miss It: After working up a sweat at the park, be sure to hit up A.C.'s Icees, which many consider to be a Coconut Grove institution. A.C.'s is famous for its frozen lemonade icee, but they also serve up hot dogs, water, chips, sodas as well as icees in various other flavors. You can find the A.C.'s truck in the parking lot, where it's been refreshing Grovites for over 30 years!
Insider Tip: The parking lot that runs parallel to Bayshore Drive (northeast end of the park) is small and often packed. Check out the larger lot at the other end of the park, right next to the playground.