We All LOVE the Water…

An Inviting Ocean.

And it’s true, we have no pool at the Cottage. But that is far from the end of the story, if you love being outside, in the water.

We are just a stone’s throw from Biscayne Bay and from the Atlantic Ocean, as well as a number of perfectly fine (and in some cases absolutely magnificent!) swimming pools. So if you love the idea of refreshing yourself with a steady stroke or an aimless splash in cool clean water, and then basking in the Florida sunshine, you should definitely be aware of these options.

As a boy growing up in Miami, my closest friends and I spent much of our time in the water, yet only a fraction of that in pools. So pools were a special thing for us. We all learned to swim at the local Shenandoah Pool, in fact, one that is only blocks from the Cottage and quite wonderful.

Shenandoah Pool, 1805 SW 22nd Ave, Miami, FL 33145
Tel. : (305) 856-9549

Several of our guests have enjoyed that pool, finding it quite nice, generally uncrowded, and only blocks from the Cottage (1.1 miles or 3 minutes, according to Google maps). Admission will set you back $1.00!

On a grander (and suitably more expensive) scale is the truly legendary Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, which has provided a refreshing and delightful adventure for generations of Miamians and our visitors.

Advertisement, 1929

This extraordinary man-made, spring-fed watering hole reclaimed from a coral-rock quarry offers an experience I cannot recommend highly enough, for children of all ages. Take a look at their web site: http://www.coralgablesvenetianpool.com/

Cool, clean water fed by an underground spring, sparkling waterfalls and darkened watery caves (where passage can be made from one to the other, just underwater)!  What more drama or adventure could anyone ask of a public pool?

Miami Venetian Pool 6_e

Biscayne Morning____P. Crockett

Growing up, most of our swimming time was spent in open salt water, either Biscayne Bay or the Great Ocean.  The majestic Bay seemed a second home to my particular group of young rapscallions.  We called her “Mother Bay,” for she welcomed us always in her blue openness, taught and entertained us, and at the end of the day provided the patient solace of natural beauty.  She was so good to us.  We loved her then, and always will.

Crandon Park Beach, Key Biscayne.

We will always look back on those days, our home base a deluxe tree-house in the mangrove forest abutting Villa Vizcaya. We paddled around on homemade rafts in open water, and explored winding coves so lush and green we could easily imagine that we’d somehow been transported to the Amazon. We were often joined by the peaceful manatees, who’d swim alongside. Such quiet moments, under big open sky, will remain sweet in our memories for as long as we are able to remember beauty.

Think about it: aren’t such scenic journeys much more what the “dream of Florida” are all about than any thing or place made by the hand of Man?

Bear Cut, Key Biscayne.

Take a step beyond the “hotel pool” or its generic equivalents, I dare you! You already know exactly what that experience is like, so what afterwards will you have to remember that is special?  Take a step beyond what you know.  You will be glad that you did.

And you and those you love just might find and experience together an unforgettable adventure! That, you can’t put a price on.

Mia River Brickell Pt View_e
The places listed below offer some of the most beautiful vistas in the city, if not the State, and really should not be missed. They often serve to remind me of the much more quiet and beautiful soul underlying this crazed city! I go to these places when I need them, and they are always there for me, awaiting patiently. Each is easily worth a trip for its own sake. (The locations can be “plugged” in to the Google map linked to the Cottage( http://tinyurl.com/cottage-bearings) to get an exact “visual” on location, distance, and route. All distances are measured from the Cottage.)

Moonrise, Bear Cut

Go on: get sand between your toes! You never know; you might catch a glorious sunset, find the most delicious hot dog you’ve ever bought from a seaside hot dog stand (OK, for that one, you gotta be hungry! : ) ), or see real live birds soaring overhead that you might have seen before only frozen flat in picture books.

Photographs by Katy Eric Raits.

Personally, “you never know” is exactly the way I like to take my adventures.

Here are a few places to get yourself wet and enjoy:


These are all excellent and generally very safe places to head out with your beach towels and… whatever:

Hobie Island Beach Park, Key Biscayne 2.8 Mi.

Biscayne Day! P.Crockett

Virginia Key Beach, Key Biscayne 4.2 Mi.

Crandon Park Beach, Key Biscayne 7.2 Mi.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne 7.0 Mi.

Lummus Park, Miami Beach (South Beach) 6.0 Mi.

South Beach P.Crockett


Cool clean chlorinated waters await in a number of public pools within convenient proximity of the Cottage. To view a larger image of the map above, just click on it. You can then return with the back arrow in the browser, to the upper left of your screen.

To get to this map yourself, and thus be able to click on the available links for more information, etc., just visit the link mentioned above:http://tinyurl.com/cottage-bearings , click on the blue “Find Businesses” tab right in the top middle, and enter “public swimming pools” as a search.

Wherever you decide to do your swimming, do it safe and have a ball!


Comments are closed.