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.
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!
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?
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?
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.
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!