Out of town visitors… Where do you take them? This question can be frustrating. Sometimes confusing. Yet unavoidable. Because we all want to be a good host.
Hello! I’m here to help you find fun and interesting things to do in Miami, Florida.
101 best attractions for having an awesome time! Think of it as a useful resource to find information about what there is to do. (By the way, when I say “best”, that’s just one owl’s opinion. The world is filled with others who are knowledgeable about the area.)
What’s cool about this list – if you think I missed something – you can add your favorites! You don’t have to be an owl; dogs, cats, fish, visitors, locals, aliens…everybody’s welcome! You could be in Cuba, Colorado, or Katmandu, We don’t give a hoot.
The purpose of this article is to create a growing list of the best local attractions. Our goal is to reach 10,001 tips. When we do, we’ll get together and have a big party, but more on that later.
Share your favorite places
I know this is an article about Miami attractions, but on a larger scale it’s about sharing and connecting with people.
There are 3 reasons why you need to make sharing your number one priority for the forthcoming year:
- Sharing feels good. The more we share information from our own life, and our own personal experiences, the more others around us can progress.
- Sharing creates a circulation of knowledge. Learning from the sum of all experiences makes progress faster, and leads to better decisions.
- Sharing benefits us all. Withholding information is nothing else but the manifestation of selfishness, greed and stinginess – traits often found with pigeons. (I dislike pigeons. I don’t trust their stingy little faces.)
So here we go! These are some things I’d share with you if I was your personal tour guide planning your trip.
A word of warning: don’t be daunted by this list – if you did everything on it, you’d probably fall over from having too much fun. In reality, just 1 of these 101 things could be what’s needed to turn an ordinary visit into a great one.
To make it easy, I broke it up into four categories: Recreation, Attractions, Parks, and Local Businesses. I decided to only talk about attractions that are within a 1-hour drive from Miami.
Let’s get started!
Recreation above and below the water
- Rent a Boat — To really experience South Florida, you must get out on the water. Thankfully, there are some rental companies that offer bareboat charters:
- See Manatees in the Wild — You are most likely to see wild manatees from the shore and along the harbors, canals, and intracoastal. One good place is in Coral Gables at the intersection of Old Cutler, Sunset, and Douglas Road. Other good locations are: Black Point Marina, Oleta Park, and Dante Fascell Visitor Center.
- Experience Backcounty Flats Fishing — Serious anglers should not miss the chance to go fly fishing and light tackle fishing in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. If you’re busy during the day, try night tarpon fishing at secret spots in Downtown Miami.
- Charter a Deep Sea Fishing Trip — There are 4 marinas in Miami where you can find a private fishing charter: Crandon Park, Haulover Park, Bayside Marketplace, and Miami Beach Marina. Deep sea fishing charters cost $500 to $600 for a half day, and they provide everything you need to fish. Got that? Flats and deep sea fishing requires a captain with a boat, so you need toget a charter to take you.If you’re on a budget, you might be better off paying around $30 for passage on a larger drift fishing party boat like Reward; Phone (305) 372-9470, or Sea Legs; Phone (954) 923-2109.
- Scuba Dive Artificial Reefs — There are 10 artificial reefs offshore, with 5 lying between Miami-Dade and Broward county and another 5 between Key Biscayne and Monroe County. Some of the best scuba diving is in less than 100 feet of water and only 2 miles east of Sunny Isles, Miami Beach, and the Key Biscayne shoreline. Contact South Beach Divers for information; Phone (305) 531-6110.
- Take a Snorkel Trip — Eco-Adventure tours are a great way to explore Miami’s parks and wildlife preserves. These narrated tours combine kayaking and snorkeling in the warm waters of Biscayne Bay. Tours are conducted in North Miami at Pelican Harbor Marina and Crandon Park’s Bear Cut Marine Preserve; Phone (305) 365-3018.There’s also a number of snorkel and dive charters in Key Largo.
- Swim with Dolphins — There are two places near Miami where you can swim dolphins:
- Miami Seaquarium is located in Key Biscayne; Phone (305) 365-2531.
- Theater of the Sea is located 80 miles south in Islamorada; Phone (305) 664-2431.
Bonus Tip: Hablas Español? This article is translated in Spanish.
- Rent a Wave Runner — You can find wave runners for rent at Miami Beach Marina with American Water Sports; Phone (305) 538-7549, or take a Jet Ski Tour of Miami where you visit six nearby islands; Phone (305) 345-5770. Rentals are also available right on the beach behind some of the fancier hotels.
- Take a Windsurf Lesson — Key Biscayne is recognized as one of the nation’s best areas to learn windsurfing — the water is warm, the winds are swift, and it’s shallow — only a few feet deep. Sailboards Miami promises to teach you how to windsurf in 2 hours; Phone (305) 361-7245. Miami Kiteboarding offers kitesurfing rentals and lessons at Crandon Park; Phone (305) 345-9974.
- Rent a Kayak — Miami offers many places where you can have a back-to-nature kayak adventure:
- North American Canoes, specializes in Everglades kayaking tours; Phone (239) 695-3299.
- Inside Oleta State Park, Blue Moon rents kayaks by the hour. Phone (305) 957-3040.
- South Beach Kayak has rentals and self guided tours where you can paddle around Key Biscayne, Star Island, Hibiscus Island, and Monument Island; Phone (305) 332-2853.
Activities on land and in the air
- Pamper Yourself — Miami is a great place to relax a stressed-out body and mind. While you’re here, treat yourself to a day spa, or massage. Spa at Mandarin Oriental is an award-winning sanctuary with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bay. The cost for a Deep Tissue Body Massage is $230; Phone (305) 913 8332. If you’re on a budget, Educating Hands massage school offers student clinic massages on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The 50-minute massage is $30; Phone (305) 285-6991.
- Walk down the Boardwalk — Take a stroll down Miami Beach’s four mile boardwalk. The boardwalk runs from 5th to 46th Street. The paved and wooded walkway winds down Ocean Drive and behind the oceanfront hotels, providing views of the hotel pools on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. You can also find boardwalks near the beach in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale.
- Rent a Scooter — Renting a scooter is a popular activity for visitors to do while they’re in South Beach. Note: All riders must be at least 18. A drivers license and credit card card ($300 deposit) is required. Below is a list of rental companies all located within they same vicinity; give them a call and mention you found them on MiamiBeach411.com:
- Go Off-Road Mountain Biking — Oleta State Park has over six miles of singletrack trails that have been developed exclusively for mountain bikes. Blue Moon rents bicycles by the hour; Phone (305) 957-3040. In Broward county, just west of Interstate 595, Markham State Park also has mountain biking trails. I’ve been told, the trails at Markham Park are better than Oleata.
- MIA Skateboard Park — Miami’s only indoor and outdoor skateboard park has a half-pipe, funbox and ledges outside. Inside is a mini ramp, quarter pipes and a big vert ramp. MIA Skatepark is located at 1850 NW 84th Ave., Doral; Phone (305) 599-2172.
- Have a Paintball Party — This paintball facility has two outdoor fields under a canopy of pine trees. The forest-like fields give players an adrenalin rush as they move from bunker to bunker through the thick brush. Ruff N Tuff is located at 13200 NW 43 Ave., Miami; Phone (305) 953-7776.
- Indoor and Outdoor Shooting Ranges — You can shoot a gun at Ace’s indoor shooting range in Doral. Full automatic firearm rentals are available; Phone (305) 717-3277. Trail Glades Range, has outdoor shooting; facilities include: Pistol (25 & 50 yds), Outdoor Rifle (100 yds), Trap, Skeet, and Clays; Phone (305) 226-1823.
- Skydiving Over the Everglades — Located at Homestead Airport, Skydiving Miami has the closest dropzone to Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. They offer solo skydives and tandem parachute jumps where the instructor remains attached to the student during free fall. Skydivers accelerate to a speed of 120 mph, and open the shoot at 6,000 feet. Jumps last about 4 minutes. Phone (305) 759-3483.
- Take a Helicopter Tour — See amazing views of Miami’s most exclusive locations. Helicopter tours depart from heliports at Tamiami Airport and Fort Lauderdale Airport.Ultralight Adventures is a Miami-based tour company and flight school providing ultralight tours and training. Tours start at $70; Phone (305) 361-3909.
- Try Parasailing at the Beach — Parasail up 800 feet over the ocean. Take off and land from a specially designed parasail boat flight deck. Miami Beach Parasail is located right in South Beach; Phone (305) 266-4144.
- X-treme Indoor Rock Climbing — With over 14,000 square feet of climbing space, the X-treme indoor climbing center has special obstacles that make it one of the top climbing gyms in the country; Phone (305) 233-6623.
- Watch an IMAX Movie — The 300-seat IMAX Theater is located inside the Museum of Science in Fort Lauderdale; (Map); Phone (954) 463-4629.
- Miami Heat Game – Watch a Professional Sport — Depending on the season, you can watch : Dolphins Football, Marlins Baseball, Panthers Hockey, or Heat Basketball. (Superforce Tip: If and when you attend this event at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, home of The Miami Heat, you may want to skip the overly-priced street parking in front of the arena. Familiarize yourself with a map of the pedestrian-friendly Bayside Shops, and don’t arrive there after the buzzer sound, and just might make the $15 (updated last on 11-26-2013) roofed parking garage on the side of the arena.)
- Take a Sightseeing Tour — A great way to explore Miami is by taking a narrated sightseeing tour of the City:
- Everglades Airboat Rides — It’s easy to visit the Florida Everglades; they’re just 35 miles west of Miami.
- Art Deco Tour — Learn about South Beach hotels and other structures with a visit to a number of interiors.
- Miami City Tours — Experience all of Miami on these narrated tours. See Bayside, Little Havana, Coconut Grove, South Beach – and a Biscayne Bay boat tour.
- Duck Tour — Miami’s only land and sea tour. Your amphibious vehicle will tour South Beach landmarks, then roll into the water for a Biscayne Bay cruise.
- Take a Boat Cruise — Island Queen offers a 90 minute narrated cruise along Biscayne Bay. You will see the downtown Miami skyline, the Port of Miami, Fisher Island and Millionaires’ Row.
- Eco-Adventure Tours — Miami-Dade County offers many different ways to see Miami by canoe. Paddle through canals on the Coral Gables waterway. Experience a nighttime canoe trip around the Deering Estate. Watch the sun set over Black Point or Crandon Park.
- Miami Cultural Tours — Discover the history and culture of Little Havana, Allapatah, Little Haiti, Downtown Miami, Jewish Heritage, Liberty City, Coconut Grove, and Miami Beach Art Deco Disctict.
- Dr. Paul George is a history teacher and a historian at the Historical Museum of South Florida. He also leads guided tours of Little Havana, Brickell, and Key Biscayne, on themes such as cemeteries and the Miami River. The cost is $17 to $37. Phone (305) 375-1621.
- Take a Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise — The 550 passenger river boat offers narrated tours up the New River where you can see Fort Lauderdale’s famous waterfront homes, and a stop off at the Jungle Queen Indian Village. At 7pm Jungle Queenleaves the Bahia Mar Docks for a sunset cruise to their private island, for an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner; Phone (954) 462-5596.
- Take a Bahamas Day Cruise — Discovery cruise ship offers daily cruises to Grand Bahama Island. One-way Bahamas trips start at $39. Cruises depart daily from the Port in Fort Lauderdale at 7:45am, and return at 10pm.
- Hop on the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi — Broward County Transit provides water taxi service along the Intracoastal, connecting beach attractions and hotels with downtown Fort Lauderdale. Service is offered from 10:30am to 11:30pm. An All Day Pass is $11. On Tuesdays, the Water Taxi offers $19 round trip service to South Beach; (Map and Schedule); Phone (954) 467-6677.
- Picnic on the Beach — There are over a dozen great beaches in Miami many with picnic areas, barbecue grills, and play areas for kids. Some noteworthy beach parks include: Sunny Isles Beach, South Pointe Park, Haulover Beach, Matheson Park, and Crandon Park.
- Drink a Cuban Coffee — Don’t leave Miami without sampling a Cuban-style coffee. It starts with strong, sweet espresso. Add a little steamed milk for a cortadito, and a lot of milk for a café con leche.
- Fly a Kite — Haulover Beach is a great place to fly a kite. The Park gets a strong afternoon ocean breeze. If you don’t have a kite of your own, Skyward Kites sells kites starting at $5; Phone (305) 893-0906.
- Head Over to South Beach — Also called SoBe, this is the southern most section of Miami Beach that encompasses the lower 23 blocks of the island. This area of Miami is the most popular tourist and entertainment destination in the City with hundreds of nightclubs, restaurants, and hotels. The secret to having a great time here is exploring the different sections on the island (Map):
- Art Deco District — South Beach has the world’s largest collection of Streamline Moderne Art Deco architecture. Some noteworthy Art Deco buildings include, Sherbrooke Hotel and the Miami Beach Post Office. Visit the Art Deco Museum on Ocean Drive and ask about their walking tours.
- Ocean Drive — Running in a north-south direction, Ocean Drive is the easternmost street in South Beach, from 1st to 15th Street (Lummus Park). Ocean Drive is responsible for the South Beach aesthetic that visitors expect. It’s also home to several prominent restaurants including News Cafe, Mango’s, Clevelander, and is the site of the infamous Versace House.
- Lincoln Road — An open-air pedestrian mall, considered to be the premiere shopping area in South Beach. Lincoln Road Mall is home to many restaurants, shops, art galleries, as well as retail outlets and the Regal Cinema movie theatre.
- Espanola Way — This street runs from Collins west to Pennsylvania. The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages found in France and Spain. Today it’s home to a yoga studio, art house movie theatre, restaurants, shops, and more.
- Stop by the Versace House — Probably the most photographed landmark in South Beach, Casa Casuarina aka Versace House was built by Gianni Versace in 1993, and is the site of his tragic death. The house was sold to Peter Loftin, and is not open to the public. Casa Casuarina is located at 1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; (Map).
- Visit the Holocaust Memorial — Also in South Beach, this memorial is a world famous sculpture garden honoring the people who perished in the Holocaust. The Convention Center, Botanical Garden, and Visitor Center are within walking distance. Holocaust Memorial is located at 1945 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 538-1663.
- Take a Swim in the Venetian Pool — Formed from a rock quarry in 1923, this is the only swimming pool on the National Register of Historic Places. This chlorine-free pool is fed with cool spring water, and features two waterfalls, a three-story observation tower, coral rock caves, and a palm-fringed island. The pool ranges in depth from four feet to over eight feet near the grand waterfall. There’s also a kiddy pool near the lifeguard station. Venetian Pool is located at 2701 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables; (Map); Phone (305) 460-5306.
- Stroll Around the Fairchild Garden — The 83 acre garden contains an extensive collection of tropical plants. Visitors can enjoy tram, audio and walking tours, as well as a butterfly garden, a bird watching section, and a tropical fruit tree pavilion. There is also a 13-acre palm collection, a green house with orchids, and the only outdoor tropical rainforest in the United States. Fairchild Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; (Map); Phone (305) 667-1651
- Explore the Charles Deering Estate — The estate covers a 440-acre property and mansion. The grounds have the largest coastal tropical hardwood hammock in the United States. Guided day and moonlight canoe tours are available by appointment.Charles Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 235-1668.
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens — Often called “Hearst Castle of the East”, Vizcaya is a 10-acre, Italian Renaissance-style mansion with gardens open to the public. The museum consists of Villa Vizcaya, its grounds, and the museum’s collections.Vizcaya is located at 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 250-9133.
- See the Coral Castle — Located near Homestead, the castle is comprised of numerous coral stones, each weighing several tons. Many of the castle structures are notable, including machines to tell time, home-made air conditioners, and a nine-ton revolving door. Psychic Day is the first Saturday of every month. Coral Castle is located at 28655 South Dixie Hwy., Homestead; (Map); Phone (305) 248-6345.
- Parrot Jungle Island — This animal theme park is minutes from South Beach. The park features exotic wild animals such as the world’s largest crocodile, baby orangutans, tigers, and parrots of every species. There’s also an inflatable water slide for kids. Parrot Jungle is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 248-6345.
- Miami MetroZoo — Just 20 miles from downtown Miami, you’ll find the largest zoological preserve in South Florida. The zoo houses over 900 wild animals and is the only subtropical zoo in the United States. From October to March, the zoo offers nighttime tours that start with a pizza dinner and last 2 hours.MetroZoo is located at 12400 SW 152 St., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 251-0400.
- Miami Seaquarium — Tucked away on Key Biscayne, the Seaquarium was the first marine park attraction in South Florida. In addition to marine mammals, they house fish, sharks, sea turtles, reptiles and manatees. Seaquarium is located at 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne; (Map); Phone (305) 365-2507.
- Lion Country Safari — This drive-through safari-like theme park is 45 miles north of Miami. The Park claims to be the first cageless zoo in the United States. Lion Country Safari is located at 2003 Lion Country Safari Rd., Loxahatchee; Phone (561) 793-1084.
- Gator Park — Just just 35 minutes west of Miami, this Everglades wildlife park offers daily airboat rides and wildlife shows rain or shine. Gator Park is located at 24050 SW 8th St., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 559-2255. (Pictures)
- Boomers — This family amusement center is north of Miami in Dania Beach. The park has miniature golf, batting cages, go-karts, laser tag, a roller coaster, and video game arcade. Boomers is located at 1700 NW 1st St., Dania Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 559-2255.
- Wannado City — Housed in the Sawgrass Mills Mall, this children’s indoor role-playing theme park transports kids to a world where they can take on roles as a firefighter, archaeologist, actor, news reporter, chef, judge, airplane pilot, doctor and a host of other professions. Wannado is located at 12801 Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise; (Map); Phone (954) 838-7100.
Place your bets
- Seminole Hard Rock Casino — Between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, this 86-acre resort has a Vegas-like casino, a tropical pool area with water slides, and a Hard Rock Cafe. Hard Rock is located at 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; (Map); Phone (954) 364-4140.
- Miccosukee Casino — Just 15 minutes west of Miami Airport, Miccosukee Casino is situated along the edge of the Florida Everglades. The Casino has a hotel, and 24-hour-a-day gaming. Miccosukee is located at 500 SW 177th Ave., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 222-4600.
- Horizon’s Edge Casino Cruise — Miami’s only casino cruise departs from Bayside Marketplace 7 days a week. Horizon’s Edgefeatures onboard gambling, gourmet buffet, and live entertainment; Phone (781) 581-7733.
- Jai-Alai — There are two jai-alai frontons in South Florida:
- Miami Jai-Alai is open year-round from noon to 5pm (closed: Tuesdays). Evening matches start at 7pm Mon, Fri and Sat. They also have simulcast wagering, and a card room for poker & dominoes.
- Dania Jai-Alai opens at 7pm Tues. – Sat. The poker room is open 12pm to 12am Tue – Sat. Dania Jai-Alai is set to open its slots room sometime in 2008.
- Greyhound Dog Racing — There are two tracks (with poker rooms) nearby:
- Mardi Gras race track and gaming center is open year round. The casino is the only place in Florida with Class III — traditional — slot machines. Mardi Gras is located at 831 N. Federal Hwy. Hallandale Beach; Phone (954) 924-3200.
- Flagler Dog Track has racing during it’s June to November season, and a poker room that’s open when the track is running. Flagler is just five minutes east of Miami Airport. The track is located at NW 37th Ave., Miami; Phone (305) 649-3000.
- Horse Racing at Gulfstream Park — Gulfstream Park is a casino and horse racing facility with two tracks that feature thoroughbred racing. The casino has 512 slots, and 17 poker tables. The property has 10 restaurants, and is also a popular venue for concerts. The track is open from mid-January through late March. Gulfstream Park is located at 901 South Federal Hwy., Hallandale; (Map); Phone (954) 454-7000.
Parks and nature preserves
- Flamingo Park — Visitors can find a beautiful tree-lined grassy park located in the middle of South Beach. The facilities include a swimming pool with lap lanes, a water playground for kids, dog park, tennis, basketball, and handball courts, and a baseball, football, soccer field, and a gym. Flamingo Park is located at 999 11th Street (Map); Phone (954) 454-7000.
- The Kampong Tropical Gardens — Tucked away at the south end of Coconut Grove is one of Miami’s oldest landmarks, the Kampong. The history of the private garden, as well as the collection of plants, captivates the imagination. Kampong is located at 4013 Douglas Rd, Coconut Grove, FL 33133; Phone (305) 442-7169.
- Everglades National Park — A subtropical climate, a broad, shallow river, and a variety of plant and animal life make this National Park a must visit. Wildlife species include the Florida Panther, American Crocodile, and West Indian Manatee. If you enter through the Flamingo Main Entrance, make sure to stop and take the 45-minute walk around the Anhinga Trail, it’s a partially paved trail with a boardwalk that stretches out over the water. This is a good spot to see alligators in their natural habitat. Everglades National Park is located at 40001 State Rd. 9336, Homestead; (Map); Phone (305) 242-7700.
- John Pennekamp Park — John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park includes approximately 70 nautical square miles of Atlantic Ocean waters. The reefs can be viewed from glass-bottom boats, or by snorkeling or scuba diving. Other activities available in the park are canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, picnicking, swimming and wildlife viewing. The visitor center has a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. John Pennekamp Park is located at 102601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo; Phone (305) 451-1202.
- Quiet Water Park — Located in Deerfield Beach, this county park has cable water skiing, a freshwater swimming beach, a ariety of boats for rent, and an interactive children’s water playground. The park also has a skateboard park and biking trail.Quiet Water Park is located at 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach; (Map); Phone (954) 360-1315
- Matheson Hammock Park — Miami’s oldest and most scenic park, Matheson Hammock has a bathing beach and a popular restaurant, housed in a historic coral-rock building that overlooks the swimming lagoon. The marina has boat slips, a bait-and-tackle shop, and sailing school. Matheson Hammock is located at 9610 Old Cutler Rd., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 665-5475.
- Oleta River State Park — Florida’s largest urban park, Oleta Park offers visitors a variety of recreational activities including kayaking, camping, swimming, fishing, trail walking, picnicking, and six miles of mountain bike trails. Blue Moon rents kayaks, canoes and bikes; Phone (305) 957-3040. Oleta River Park is located at 3400 NE 163rd St., North Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 919-1846.
- South Pointe Park — This park is found at the southernmost end of Miami Beach. It’s a great place to watch the cruise shipscome in and out of the Port of Miami (a good time to see departing ships is Sundays after 3pm). South Pointe also has BBQ pits and pavilions. The park is adjacent to the beach, and has a good supply of metered parking spaces. Valet parking is available atSmith & Wollensky. South Pointe Park is located at 1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 643-7224.
- Domino Park — Maximo Gomez Park, also known as “Domino Park”, is one of the main meeting places in Little Havana. Almost anytime of the day, the park is filled with neighborhood locals playing dominoes and chess. Domino Park is located at 801 SW 15th Ave., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 285-1684.
- Haulover Beach — Situated between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, this 180-acre park boasts sandy beaches, and Miami’s only nude beach. An underground path leads from the Marina parking area to the Beach. Haulover Beachis located at 10800 Collins Ave., Miami; Phone (305) 947-3525.
- Fruit and Spice Park — This unique 35-acre public facility is owned and operated by Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation. The park showcases 125 varieties of mango (orange, green, purple, red, and yellow), 75 varieties of bananas, 70 varieties of bamboo, and many exotic edibles. They also offer a tram tour. Visitors are invited to munch at the tasting counter inside the store. Fruit and Spice Park is located at 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead; (Map); Phone (305) 247-5727.
- Biscayne National Park — Southeast of Miami, this National Park is 99 percent underwater and features colorful coral reefs and undeveloped keys in Biscayne Bay. Three-hour glass-bottom bout tours are offered from 10am to 1pm daily. Reservations are necessary, and six passenger minimum applies. Reminiscent of area pioneer homes, with wooden walks and a metal roof,Dante Fascell Visitor Center has a wide veranda with sweeping views across mangroves and the Bay. The center is the base of operations for the boat tours, and houses a museum that explores the park’s ecosystem. Note: this is the only area ofBiscayne National Park accessible without a boat; (Map); Phone (305) 230-7275.
Museums and art galleries
- Wolfsonian Museum — A must see if you’re visiting Miami Beach, this museum exhibits a collection of propaganda art that includes furniture, paintings, books, prints, industrial and decorative art objects. The Museum explores the role of design at the height of the industrial age (1885-1945) in the context of social, political, and technological issues. Admission is free after 6pm on Friday. Wolfsonian is located at 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 531-1001.
- ArtCenter of South Florida — This public art gallery exists to provide affordable workspace for outstanding visual artists. The gallery encompasses 2 buildings with 52 artists’ studios, exhibition galleries, and art classrooms. Admission is Free. ArtCenter is located at 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 674-8278.
- World Erotic Art Museum — This museum houses an impressive collection of erotic art. Visitors can find 4,000 objects, and pop-culture fare, such as the giant rocking male member used in Stanley Kubrick’s film “A Clockwork Orange”. World Erotic Art is located at 1205 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 532-9336.
- Rubell Family Art Collection — This contemporary art collection is owned by the Miami hotelier family, the Rubell’s. The gallery is housed north of Downtown Miami inside a former Drug Enforcement Agency warehouse. The collection contains more than a thousand works of contemporary art, by artists such as Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul McCarthy, and Charles Ray. The gallery is located at 95 NW 29th St., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 573-6090.
- Historical Museum of Southern Florida — This museum is one of the largest private history museums in the country. The Research Center includes 1,900 maps, and more than one and a half million photographic images. The museum also houses over 12,000 local artifacts, including a lighthouse lens, refugee rafts, a 1920s trolley car, shipwreck treasure, and artifacts from Pan American Airways. Much of the collection illustrates the main themes permeating South Florida history: environmental influences, immigration, maritime industries, aviation, and tourism. Historical Museum is located at 101 W Flagler St., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 375-1492.
- Bay of Pigs Museum — This museum documents memoirs of the Cold War Era, the Bay of Pigs invasion, Operation Mongoose, the Missile Crisis, and contributions made by Cuban exiles. The collection includes artifacts used by brigade members, and secret pictures taken by CIA and foreign news persons stationed in Cuba at the time of the events. Bay of Pigs Museum is located at 1821 SW 9th St., Miami; Phone (305) 649-4719.
- World of Bacardi Museum — Bacardi’s Miami site is home to two amazing structures: an 8-story tower with ceramic tile murals, and a square building with stained glass walls, raised 47 feet off the ground. The museum covers corporate and family history from 1862 through today. Call to schedule a Free Tour. Bacardi Museum is located at 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; Phone (305) 573-8511.
- Gold Coast Railroad Museum — This museum is dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and operating historic railroad equipment. In addition to the railroad engines and cars permanently on display, the historic railroad “rides” are also working educational exhibits. Gold Coast Railroad Museum is located at 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; Phone (305) 253-0063
- Children’s Museum — This facility includes galleries, classrooms, a resource center, and gift shop. The museum has hundreds of bilingual exhibits, programs, classes, and learning materials for children. Children’s Museum is located at 980 MacArthur Cswy, Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 373-5437
- Miami Art Museum — This museum’s art reflects the cosmopolitan makeup of Miami. Art in America magazine called MAM “the quintessential Miami collection”. Exhibitions are both original presentations and exhibitions from other museums. Miami Art Museum is located at 101 West Flagler St., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 375-3000.
- Bass Museum of Art — Art is displayed from the Museum’s permanent collection as well as compilations loaned from National and International exhibitions. Bass Museum is located at 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 253-0063
Shopping and noteworthy businesses
- Bal Harbour Shops — 15 minutes north of Miami Beach, this exclusive outdoor shopping small showcases a collections of boutiques, restaurants and shops. The anchor stores are: Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Other notable shops: Fendi, Armani, Prada, Chanel, Dior, Cartier and, Tiffany. Bal Harbour Shopsis located at 9601 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour; (Map); Phone (305) 866-0311.
- Bayside Market — Near the American Airlines Arena and Port of Miami, this open-air mall features shops, restaurants, a marina, rides, and free entertainment. Bayside is located at 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 577-3344.
- Coco Walk — This open-air shopping mall houses 38 shops, including a movie theatre, and many restaurants. Each night a variety of bars and nightclubs fill the courtyard with live entertainment. Coco Walk is located at 3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove; (Map); Phone (305) 444-0777.
- Las Olas Riverfront — Las Olas Boulevard is a popular thoroughfare in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It is home to many bars and nightclubs, as well as trendy shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, hotels, and a 15 theatre Cinema. Las Olas Riverfront is located at 300 SW 1st Ave., Fort Lauderdale; (Map); Phone (954) 522-6556.
- Sawgrass Mills — This massive outlet mall features more than 350 name-brand stores and outlets; full-service restaurants likeCheesecake Factory; cinemas and entertainment venues. With 2.5 million square feet of retail selling space, it is the fourth largest mall in the United States, the largest in Florida, and the largest outlet mall in the world. Sawgrass Mills is located at 12801 W Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise; (Map); Phone (954) 846-2351.
- Design Center of the Americas — DCOTA is the largest design center of its kind, showcasing 150 showrooms of interior design, fine furniture, fabrics, flooring, lighting, kitchen, bath, art, antiques, accessories, appliances, window treatments, decorative hardware, paint, surfacing and much more. DCOTA is located at 1855 Griffin Rd., Dania Beach; Phone (954) 920-7997.
- Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World — A unique decor brings the outdoors indoors with large aquariums stocked with native fish species, and an extensive collection of museum-quality fish and wildlife mounts. Local historic photos, artifacts and exhibits pay tribute to the area’s great outdoor heritage. There are two Bass Pro Shops‘ nearby:
- Miami – located near Dolphin Mall. Opening 2007.
- Dania Beach, Ft. Lauderdale – located at 200 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach; Phone 954-929-7710.
- Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop — This indoor/outdoor swap meet is one of the world’s largest flea markets in Florida. In addition to acres of vendors selling everything from electronics to underwear, there’s a miniature amusement park, and a 13-screen drive-in movie theater. Swap Shop is located at 3291 W Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; (Map); Phone (954) 791-7927.
- Stone Age Antiques — Located on the Miami River, this one-of-a-kind antique store sells nautical memorabilia ranging from cannons, ship’s wheels, boat parts, rope, cargo nets, model ships, dugout canoes, lobster boats and traps to African masks, drums, wagon wheels, old luggage, and a $30,000 bell. Stone Age is located at 3236 NW South River Dr, Miami; Phone (305) 633-5114.
- Voodoo Shops in Little Haiti — Only in Miami will you find a shopping district with stores selling religious items and handcrafted artifacts used to practice Voodoo and Santeria. These shops, known as Botanicas, are located in Little Haiti on 54th Street and NW 2nd Avenue. (Pictures)
- Hialeah Thrift Stores — Flamingo Plaza is an outdoor shopping complex with 9 thrift stores selling used clothes and furniture. The main entrance is on 62nd Ave. (Martin Luthur King Drive). Flamingo Plaza is located at 901 East 10th Ave., Hialeah.
- Palacio de los Jugos — The Palace of Juices is a colorful open-air food market where you can find all sorts of Cuban fruit juices and stands piled high with fruits. Order a coco frío, and the vendor will crack the coconut with a machete and serve it with a straw to suck out the milk.On Sundays they have an outdoor grill to serve the “after church” crowd. Palace of Juices is located at 5721 W. Flagler St., Miami; Phone (305) 264-4557.
Hotels and restaurants
- Biltmore Hotel — Built in 1924, this majestic hotel is almost shockingly grand — it’s crowned by a 315-foot replica of Seville’s Cathedral Giralda Tower, the lobby is lined with Herculean pillars, and the hotel has the largest swimming pool in the United States. Even if you can’t stay here or pay for a round of golf, you can still have a drink in the Biltmore Bar or hit a bucket of balls at the driving range. Biltmore is located at 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; (Map); Phone (305) 445-1926.
- Loews Hotel — The top family-oriented hotel in South Beach, the Loews offers an abundance of services and amenities whether it’s for an executive attending a conference or a family on vacation. From the oceanfront pool and private beach to the Fitness Center and convention space, this hotel suits a variety of travelers’ needs. Loews is located at 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 604-1601.
- Cheeca Lodge & Spa — Cheeca Lodge is a AAA Four-Diamond, oceanfront resort in the Florida Keys nestled on 27 landscaped acres. With a West Indies style décor, the resort features more than 1,200 feet of palm-fringed beach. Cheeca Lodge is located at 81801 Overseas Hwy.(MM 82), Islamorada; (Map); Phone (305) 664-4651.
- Smith & Wollensky — This restaurant offers some of the most beautiful waterfront dining in Miami. Request a table by the window, or sit outside if the weather is agreeable, and watch cruise ships departing the Port of Miami. Smith & Wollensky is located at 1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 673-2800.
- News Cafe — The News Cafe is a South Beach landmark. For starters, it’s right in the middle of Ocean Drive, which makes it perfect for people watching. In addition to a well-rounded menu, you can also find an extensive collection of national and international newspapers and magazines at the newsstand. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day. News Cafe is located at 800 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 538-6397.
- Le Tub — This modern-day sailor’s dive was awarded best hamburger in the country by GQ magazine. Discarded bathtubs, fishing nets, and ladies underwear give the place a Key West feel. The booths overlooking the Intracoastal offer the best seating. Hamburgers, beer, a pool table, darts, and a good jukebox are the main attractions. Keep an eye open for the giant fish that linger beneath the dock. The bar was also visited by Oprah and her best friend, Gayle. (speaking of friends, please tell all your friends about this article. They’ll love you for it.) Le Tub is located at 1100 N Ocean Dr., Hollywood; (Map); Phone (954) 921-9425.
- Mango’s Tropical Cafe — Mango’s offers a Brazilian Carnivale atmosphere filled with reggae music, salsa dancing and Caribbean-inspired cuisine. With its sexy staff and professional dancers, this place has become a landmark in South Beach. Family friendly performances featuring Latin dancers start at 6pm while the more tantalizing shows start after 10pm. Mango’s is located at 900 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (954) 673-4422.
- Lucky Strike Bowling Alley — This modern bowling alley has Hollywood roots as you see with the decor, food, and entertainment. There are 14 bowling lanes, all with big screen TV’s and score-keeping monitors, billiards, and a restaurant that serves food all day. After 9pm, all guests must be over 21. Lucky Strike is located at 1691 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach; Phone (305) 532-0307.
For adults only
- Club Space — This cavernous nightclub is a venue for some of the world’s hottest DJs. On Saturday and Sunday nights, the party starts at around 2am and extends to the next morning, sometimes as late as 10am. Club Space is located at 34 NE 11St., Miami; (Map); Phone (786) 256-5732.
- Opium Garden — This open-air, two-level nightclub is one of the best places to party in South Beach. The club is decked out with Buddha statues and Chinese lanterns creating an exotic feel. There are a number of dance floors, each spinning different kinds of music. Opium is located 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 531-5535.
- Clevelander — Although it’s under construction until 2008, we had to include Clevelander on this list. Noted as one of the most famous bars in South Beach, Clevelander will have 5 pool side bars, live performances, great music, and partying till the early morning. Clevelander is located 1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; (Map); Phone (305) 531-3485.
- Mac’s Club Deuce — This South Beach watering hole is across the street from T-Mex and Tattos by Lou. It is the only bar in town open from 8am to 5am. the deuce is located 222 14th St., Miami Beach, FL; (Map); Phone (305) 531-6200.
- Miami Velvet Swing Club — The largest adult swing club in Florida with over 18,000 members and over 20,000 square feet of “on-premise” activity. The first floor of the two-story complex is designed like a typical nightclub. The second floor is where the action takes place. Members must disrobe to a towel to go upstairs. Miami Velvet is located 3901 NW 77th Ave., Doral; (Map); Phone (305) 406-1604.
- Tobacco Road — More than eight decades old, this establishment holds the first liquor license in Miami-Dade County. Tobacco Road is Miami’s bar of choice for blues music and food. Over the years, legendary musicians including B.B. King, Koko Taylor and Albert Collins have performed on the main stage. It’s also one of the few places in town where local bands regularly perform. Open until 5am. Tobacco Road is located 626 S Miami Ave., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 374-1198.
- Churchill’s Hideaway — This English-style pub is Miami’s main venue for live music. The bar offers offers a good beer selection and a few pool tables, but the primary reason to visit is the talent that performs nightly on stage. Churchill’s is located at 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; (Map); Phone (305) 758-4481.
AND THIS CONCLUDES THIS ARTICLE OF 101 FUN ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO IN MIAMI
Thanks to the authors of this post:
Guide For Visitors
by Tour Guide Owl