With the on-again-off-again re-opening plan shifting by the day in South Florida, it’s getting hard to jump into the full summer swing. Thankfully, the great outdoors is considered to be safer than cramped areas, and the more isolated you go, the better. While the Florida heat is no joke, there are still ways to have fun and cool off in and (not too far) out of the city. Here are some ways you can still evoke the summer vibe while being responsibly active:

Secluded Beaches

Not all of us are lucky to have, or know someone who has, a boat. Some of the best beaches are those only attainable by water ride, but there are still ways to get in on the fun. Stay away from the hot spots on Miami Beach and head to the lesser-known territories on Key Biscayne, for example. Virginia Key boasts a long stretch of sand with plenty of secret paths and mangrove beaches for ultimate seclusion. While the nearby Crandon Park offers tons of space for safe social distancing. Want to go further south? Homestead Bayfront Park is another secret gem. Check out our guide to the best South Florida beaches for more.

Virginia Key via Shutterstock / Fishory

Shade-Filled Parks

South Florida’s tropical climate means it’s filled with some of the most breathtaking parks and green spaces in the state. We might be biased, but it’s true. During this summer heat, though, we need the shadiest and most secluded parks to best take in the nature and breeze. Matheson Hammock Park‘s moss-lined oaks remind you that while we’re in Miami, we’re still in the South. David T. Kennedy Park is a Coconut Grove favorite, and boasts a great dog park along the water. Those living down south have kept Bill Sadowski Park‘s many green spaces a secret. And same goes for Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon up in North Miami.

Miami and The Beaches

Sweaty Rides

Even if you’re just making the trip from your front door to your car, getting sweaty during a Miami summer is inevitable. So why not embrace those glands of yours and turn a sweat session into a natural escape? Grab some bikes and head to some of Miami’s most verdant neighborhoods to take it all in. We love to hit up Coconut Grove and Coral Gables for beautiful trees with a side of historical architecture. The Old Culture Trail is another great ride with plenty of stops along the way. Or, go for something more refreshing like a kayak ride among Oleta River State Park’s many waterways, and Chapman Field Park‘s massive mangrove-filled greenery down south. Here’s a list of Miami’s best spots for water activities.

Florida Hikes

Getting Away

Maybe you’re missing the yearly European vacation of continental getaway you look forward to when summer comes around. That’s okay, while Florida might be a long drive to get out of, that means we have tons of space for great getaway options. Heading down to Islamorada for a day or two is easier than you think, and there are plenty of beachfront escapes along the way. Florida is also home to plenty of nearby springs and waterways that’ll still have you feeling isolated and safe. Here’s our list of great getaways, and one for fun day trips.

Cushman & Wakefield

Food is Life

All of the above suggested activities require some seriously good sustenance to keep the energy levels up in this heat. Check out our picnic-planning guide for ideas on locally-sourced goodies to perfectly hit your outdoor mood. If you prefer staying home for the ultimate peace of mind, have no fear–you can easily create a badass BBQ menu even if it’s just for one. Take a look at our local BBQ goodies guide for extra inspiration.

Courtesy Chefstashed/Joyce Sosa

Pair it with Jams

Finally, for the shameless plug to wrap it all up: Tigre Sounds. A recently-launched global music platform for those of us who love rhythms in every language. Chill beach days or bumping boat rides, Tigre has everything you need in almost 10 different playlists. If that’s not enough, jam to our ‘Pa La Playa’ playlist here.

Saul Cuevas

Cover photo: Crandon Park via Miami and The Beaches.