Haulover Beach Park – with its mile-and-a-half long beachfront, marina and attractions for adults, children and even pets – features a rich history that has drawn millions of visitors from across the world.
You can enjoy recreational activities including kite-flying, windsurfing, fishing, boating and bicycling. Or you may want to spend the afternoon at the picnic area along the water. Adults can use the beach’s clothing-optional section, which is the only one of its kind in Florida. Pooches can scamper along the dog beach and in the 3.3-acre bark park.
Here are some fabulous features and amenities offered throughout Haulover’s 258 acres:
Streamline Moderne, a style of Art Deco that became popular in the late 1930s, is showcased by the nautical-themed buildings that house park amenities. Each of the four beachside comfort stations are made to look like a smoke stack from vintage ocean liners and has its own distinct horizontal color bands.
The Ocean Rescue Lifeguard building, which serves as a visitor center of sorts, is bright yellow and sports a landmark tower reminiscent of the historic lighthouse that once stood at Haulover’s south end.
Bill Bird Marina
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway is the park’s own full-service marina. Bill Bird Marina, named after a longtime Miami-Dade Parks director, is home to the largest charter and drift fishing fleet in South Florida. Along the docks, boat captains offer their fresh catch of the day for purchase. Visiting pelicans and other seabirds are part of the charm.
Bill Bird Marina’s dockmaster building amenities include a laundry room, ice and restrooms with showers. Call 305-947-3525 for more information
Haulover Marine Center
The new Haulover Marine Center, operated by Westrec Marinas, stores more than 500 boats, features an innovative elevator lift system to retrieve and launch vessels, and can withstand a Category 5 hurricane. An eye-catching pattern of blue waves and bubbles adorn the exterior walls of the new boat storage building.
The marina’s two-story, 7,300-square-foot dockmaster building sports porthole windows, a lighthouse tower façade and two-levels of cruise-ship-like viewing decks. For boat storage at the Haulover Marina Center, call 305-945-3934 or visit online.
The southeast corner of the marina’s parking is home to the popular Skyward Kites shop, which has operated here as a partner-vendor of Miami-Dade Parks for 25 years. Skyward Kites offers activities year-round, including kiting parties for birthdays or any occasion, as well as two annual festivals: Kitetoberfest and Kite Day. Skyward Kites kite shop has every type of kite and windsock imaginable. For details, email Dan Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-893-0906.
Electribike Miami offers standard, multi-rider and electric bicycle rentals from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Hourly rentals are available for a ride around the park and sur- rounding areas. Daily and weekly rentals are available with delivery and pick-up locations outside of the park. For more information, call 1-888-663-7717 or visit online.
Food trucks, farmers markets and fun
Food Truck Tuesdays, happening every week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., is a great way to enjoy casual waterfront dining. Farmers Market Fridays, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., offers a bounty of fresh, locally-grown produce, artisan foods, tasty treats and vendors selling hand-crafted jewelry.
Haulover Beach Park is located at 10800 Collins Ave. in Miami.
The park is open sunrise to sunset. Parking is available from 8 a.m. to 30 minutes before sunset. Boat ramps are open 24 hours. For more information, visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/haulover.asp or call 305-947-3525.
Weekdays: $5 for cars (all lots); $1 additional surcharge for North Lot and Lot #1; $15 for buses/RVs
Weekends: $7 for cars and $15 for buses/RV.
Parking fees can be paid via the Pay-by-Phone mobile app or pay machines located in parking lots.
The Dog Park and Beach Recreation Area is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily between lifeguard towers #2 and #3. Dog owners are advised to bring drinking water to keep pets hydrated. A beach attendant will be on hand Wednesdays and weekends. Parking is located in Lots #3 and #4 at a discounted rate of $2 per car. Visitors must be accompanied by a dog to get the discount.
Special beach wheelchairs that can navigate the sand are available on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge by calling 786-336-6990 ahead of time.
Sea Turtle Program
The Sea Turtle Awareness program allows visitors to watch hatchlings make the harrowing journey to the water. The group meets at the dockmaster building. Reservations can be made starting July 1 by calling Miami EcoAdventures at 305-365-3018.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Haulover, now is the time to explore all that this exciting park has to offer. Bring your family or friends, and dive in to the adventure awaiting for you at this scenic park. For more information on the park and all of its activities visit online.
The History of Haulover
A true seaside treasure for Miami-Dade County and its parks system, Haulover Beach Park is rich in history and has a unique beginning.
In the early 1900s, Phillip Edward Baker, a Civil War veteran and prosperous Keys sponge fisherman, ventured to the north end of Biscayne Bay in search of sponges. What he found instead were waters teeming with marlin and sailfish.
Baker immediately saw the potential for commercial fishing in the bay. He cleared mangroves and created a portage, or access point, to the ocean. There, he set up a shack and charged fisherman to “haul over their boats” from Biscayne Bay to the ocean. Because of that, the spot became widely known as Baker’s Haulover.
The government established the site as Haulover Cut in 1924. Two years later, Captain Henry Jones built the first dock at the site, laying the groundwork for Haulover to become an international sport fishing center.
Miami-Dade County acquired Haulover in 1935 as the fourth major park in the County system. At the time, the park included the Lighthouse Restaurant, a trailer, a small refreshment stand and charter boat piers. Six years later, the beach portion (then called North Beach) was acquired.
Planned construction was delayed with the onset of World War II, but Haulover had a role in the war effort. Coast Guard vessels were moored at Haulover to ensure civilian safety and local boat captains aided the Coast Guard as submarine spotters, reporting German U-boat sightings. When the war ended in 1945, park development resumed and it opened officially to the public in 1948.
Haulover Beach has long been a popular spot for sea turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs. The Sea Turtle Conservation program, established in 1980, protects these endangered sea turtles and their nesting eggs. Through the years, the program has helped tens of thousands of hatchlings get to the sea, making Haulover Beach’s hatchery one of the biggest sea turtle rescue programs in Florida.
In recent years, Haulover has benefited from vital reforestation efforts thanks to the Million Trees Miami campaign. The campaign has a goal of planting one million trees by 2020 and increasing the County’s tree canopy by 30 percent.
Other community partners are key to the park becoming even more lush and beautiful. BioPlanet USA, an international environmental non-profit, has given a total of 400 trees to the park, in cooperation with the Women’s International Zionist Organization South Florida Chapter. Eighty-five of those trees were given on behalf of fashion designer and animal lover Stella McCartney and were planted in the Haulover Dog Park.
Above content provided by Parks-Foundation of Miami-Dade and Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation