Around Miami, there are a number of swimming spots that offer scenery and ambiance beyond a hotel pool. Swimming holes and parks offer a respite from the wildlife at the beach. Everything from swarms of jellyfish to loud parties can be found there! Be careful of venturing into natural freshwater ponds and lakes that are not marked with signs that say that it is safe to swim. They may contain harmful bacteria, alligators, poisonous snakes, or crocodiles.
Coral Gables Venetian Pool, located in the city of Coral Gables, was originally a coral rock quarry. The owners feed the pool with cool spring water. They have carved coral caves and grottos into the sides of the quarry. The pool contains waterfalls, an observation tower, and an island with palm trees. The pool area also features a beach, café, and cobblestone bridge.
Larry and Penny Thompson County Park is located near the Miami Metrozoo. It contains hiking trails and woodland areas, but more importantly, a large freshwater lake with a beach. There is also a rock mountain with three large water slides carved into its side. The slides carry swimmers into a pool. The slides are open from May until September. The park features a campground, playground, concession stand, and jogging and bike trails. There are trees belonging to old University of Miami fruit groves around the campground. These groves contain avocado, mango, and lychee trees.
Grapeland Water Park is a city water park for families and groups. It is only open on weekends. It offers water slides, a river ride, a large recreation pool, and a special water playground for young children.
Matheson Hammock Park, located on Old Cutler Road, is a large park with a marina and waterfront views. It is located very close to the Fairchild Tropical Gardens. This makes it possible to visit both in the same day. Matheson contains a man-made atoll pool, or lagoon, which brings in the waters of Biscayne Bay. It also has a snack bar and restaurant carved into a coral rock building and nature trails.