Widely known for its beaches, nightlife and endless shopping opportunities, Miami doesn’t really need an introduction. However, any true local will tell you that the best things Miami has to offer, extend beyond the previously mentioned. Without further ado, here are some of the most enjoyable places to visit in Miami.
Parks and nature
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located in the Coral Gables area of Miami and is a perfect place to visit on a sunny day. You will be engulfed in the amazing diversity of tropical flora, and have an opportunity to gaze at the wide variety of exotic fish. It also provides educational programs to all age groups, including simple horticultural studies. In a new exhibit named Wings of the Tropics, thousands of butterflies from Central and South America fly freely all over the Clinton Family Observatory. Be sure to explore it as much as possible.
- Jungle Island, formerly known as Parrot Jungle, was founded in 1936 and is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Miami. Jungle Theater is covered by sails, which are the theme park’s landmark. In there, you can enjoy the “Tale of the Tiger”, featuring some big cats and wildlife. Also, don’t miss the zip lines, escape rooms, pop-up waterslides, and an outdoor wind tunnel flight experience. So, be sure to put it on your ”Places to visit in Miami” list.
- You can find Bayfront Park on the east side of Biscayne Boulevard. In the 1980s it underwent a major redesign and got a fresh new look. Once there, you can marvel at the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain and a tower for laser illumination. One of the most visited events is certainly city’s annual “America’s Birthday Bash” on Independence Day. It also hosts the city’s official New Year’s Eve party, so try not to miss it if you happen to be there.
Museums, architecture, and culture
Miami Beach Architectural District, popularly called Miami Art Deco District, grew significantly in the 1930s. You can find this historic district in the South Beach. It has more than 800 examples of Art Deco architecture – buildings that are protected and preserved. If you desire a walking tour, this is the place to go since guides are available. You can also set off on your own and try to find the Plymouth or the McAlpin, the iconic landmarks.
A true small piece of Cuba, Little Havana is known as the center of social, cultural, and political activity in Miami. It is home to many Cuban exiles, so don’t be surprised to hear Spanish at every turn. An inevitable part of Miami life is definitely latin music which will fill your ears, and street art will make the culture feel tangible. Calle Ocho, the heart of Little Havana, has the Tower Theater. This Art Deco building still shows movies with Spanish subtitles.
One of the places to visit in Miami should definitely be the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. You can come across this science museum, planetarium, and aquarium in Museum Park in the downtown area. Better put on your walking shoes for its 250,000 square feet surface. You can visit all of its four buildings – the North and West Wings, the Frost Planetarium and the Aquarium. And don’t worry about entertainment, since you can find year-round exhibits which are a treat for curious minds of all ages.
Wynwood walls was an idea of community revitalizer Tony Goldman. He wanted to transform the warehouse district by doing something big. So, it became an enormous outdoor exhibition of street art. You can walk by the six main buildings and gaze at their canvas-like walls. Over 50 artists from around the world worked on this wonderful collection of visual art. Since the whole area is pedestrian friendly, the best way to experience it is by foot, even though you can get a view from your car.
Some smaller places to visit in Miami
- Knaus Berry Farm is a nice place for a family visit. It will give you a taste of the old Homestead due to its abundance of fruit orchards and crop fields. Although most people come to pay a visit to the charming bakery, you can also pick your own strawberries and tomatoes here. Cinnamon rolls, fruit milkshakes, and pineapple upside-down cake are a must. Come by anytime from November through April.
- Venetian Pool may be one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the world. It features foliage, waterfalls and Italian architecture. Back when it was built in the 1920s, there were gondolas and orchestras, while movie stars were frequent visitors. If all this is to your liking, you should know that it is open seven days a week. Try to avoid weekend if possible, since it is overrun with toddlers. Having said that, it’s great for kids. There are towers, waterfalls, cave-like grottos as well as its signature bridge. The pool is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer, and changed daily, so you don’t have to worry about the cleanliness.
- Possibly lesser known of the places to visit in Miami would be Robert is Here. This is a true throwback to Florida’s fruit stands of old. Robert started this in 1959 with his family. They sold homegrown cucumbers from a roadside table. Since then, they have outgrown their six stands, and now sell lots of exotic fruit and vegetables. Even though they import most of the items, they also grow lots of products locally.
- Suzy Batlle started Azucar Ice Cream Company in regards to her childhood memory. She makes some of the best combinations out there, and really represents ”Cuban” ice cream scene. Don’t miss out on Maria crackers and Abuela Maria—vanilla ice cream. Most recent creation combines Knaus Berry Farm cinnamon buns and bourbon.
And now you know
Out of all the places to visit in Miami, these should give you a head start in getting to know a city as big and colorful as this one. You wouldn’t want to rush anything, so making a clear plan and schedule for your visit means that you’ll be more efficient with your time. It is understandable that you’d want to see as much as possible during your stay in Miami, but the priority should always be given to enjoying yourself and taking the time to soak everything in. In the end, don’t be afraid to also stray from the main road a bit, if you want to really feel the city’s spirit. Doing your own exploring could bring you some valuable and unique experiences, and, after all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?