Westside, often referred to as Sunkist Grove, is a small neighborhood in central North Miami. It is located near the north campus of Miami Dade College as well as the Opa Icka Airport. The community is made up of middle-class homes in what feels like a pleasant southern Florida suburb, though the area is still close to several amenities and attractions in North Miami.
The weather in Miami is stereotypically hot and humid and its location along the coast means that tourism in this area is common. The average climate in the summertime is fairly mild with extreme temperatures only popping up a few days a year. The winters in Miami are nothing to worry about and there are no chances of snow this far south. If you and your dog are walking around in the summer heat, ensure that you have enough water to keep you hydrated and safe.
The terrain in Sunkist Grove is extremely flat which is the stereotypical terrain of almost all of southern Florida. You and your dog will not encounter any hills or shifts in elevation on a walk, making it very easy terrain to traverse and navigate. The area is densely populated with small, one-story homes packed tightly together along palm tree-lined streets.
This is not a high-traffic neighborhood in North Miami, but you will still have to deal with some foot and street traffic during regular rush hour times. Its location near I-95 and two local high schools means that most of the traffic will be coming from commuters or parents and students who are driving to and from school. After normal school hours, many children play outdoors or walk to and from school as well, but none of these factors should deter you from walking with your dog.
There are plenty of parks and greenways in and around Westside/Sunkist Grove, making it a great location for dog walkers to explore. There are four diamond-shaped parks all within the boundaries of the neighborhood: Westside Community Center Park, Sasso Park, Kiwanis Park, and Oleander Park. These parks are all small in size, but they each have different amounts of open green space and walking opportunities to explore.
Ben Franklin Park and Claude Pepper Park are both larger greenways which are located in the northwest corner of the neighborhood. Claude Pepper Park is especially noteworthy because it is the largest park in the neighborhood and has several athletic facilities along with its open green spaces. Dogs are welcome in the park, but the staff would prefer that you keep them on a leash at all times so other options would be better to check out for off-leash walking.