In Miami there’s plenty to do and see for any type of traveler. Parents traveling with kids in Miami can find family friendly fun at the different amusement parks, museums and animal attractions. Singles and adults flying solo will be overwhelmed by the array of dining, shopping and entertainment available in South Beach. And anyone looking to spend time outdoors can do so at Miami’s beaches, parks, and wildlife sanctuaries. With so many attractions in Miami, it is easy to see how one can overlook some of the city’s best places. Although not an easy feat, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 things to do in Miami so travelers can see the best the city has to offer.
For some of the best Cuban food in Miami travelers head to Versailles. "The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant" is located on Calle Ocho (or 8th street) in Little Havana and has been around since 1971. This authentic gem serves up top-notch Cuban delicacies like picadillo and plátanos maduros, complemented with crusty Cuban bread. Daily specials are also available throughout the week, and hot sandwiches can be ordered to-go. However the meal goes, it’s best finished with a sugar-spiked Cuban coffee.
What is known today as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was the winter residence of James Deering, a turn of the century industrialist. Built in the early 1900s, the impressive palace-like villa and surrounding gardens, has been preserved over the years and is open to the public for visits and tours. Aside from the breathtaking architecture and landscape, Vizcaya also houses an extensive and diverse art collection consisting of Italian furniture, endangered plants, and ancient statues.
Florida’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, Everglades National Park is the best way to experience nature in Miami. Manatees, birds, and alligators all inhabit the land providing plenty of opportunities for wildlife sightings. Visitors are encouraged to explore the grounds and are able to visit the park in a variety of ways. Hiking and canoeing are both permitted, and private boat tours led by seasoned guides run all year long.
This part restaurant part dance club is a Miami favorite for its high voltage atmosphere that includes live music, a wait staff dressed in full costume and festive merengue and salsa dancing through the night. It is undoubtedly a bit touristy but well worth the flashback to a more flamboyant Miami Beach. Although the show is more of an attraction than the food, staples like fish tacos and mojitos don’t disappoint. Those traveling with kids should come early, as the show gets sexier as the night carries on.
What was once just the Wynwood warehouse district was transformed into a compilation of graffiti street art by Tony Goldman. This unique neighborhood represents a mix of local and international talent whose art is featured streetside on the buildings’ walls. To get the true Wynwood experience, guests can enter the gates into Wynwood Walls between 25th and 26th streets. Here they will walk through a stretch of colorful murals and can continue to explore the area on foot.
Photo by jwinfred/Flickr.
Those with hopes of spotting celebrities in Miami should book a trip with Island Queen Cruises. Their 90-minute narrated cruise takes travelers around Biscayne Bay, and includes sights of Downtown Miami and its skyline, Fisher Island, and the sparkly Millionaire’s Row. Although guests will see more celebrity houses than celebrities, the sightseeing cruise offers a perfect glimpse into the lives of Miami’s rich and famous from the comfort of a boat on the water.
One of the top things to do with kids in Miami is spend the day at the Miami Seaquarium. Admission is reasonably priced and includes access to shows, exhibits, and a wet/dry playground area. Families looking to upgrade their day can take part in additional activities like swimming with the dolphins or seals, or strapping on a dive helmet and exploring the 30,000 gallon tropical reef underwater. (Those traveling to Miami in the summer should look into the Summer Savings Pass, which at just a few dollars more than a day ticket includes admission to nearby attractions, such as Lion Country Safari.)
This sushi restaurant at the Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami is a favorite for its fresh fish and flavorful sauces. In Miami there is a sushi bar around almost every corner, making competition fierce, but Zuma takes the lead. Its izakaya, or casual dining style, creates a brilliant ambiance to serve modern Japanese small plates and creative cocktails. Prices at Zuma are steep and waits can be long, so booking a reservation and arriving early are advised.
Photo by Timothy Valentine/Flickr.
Whether traveled by foot, rollerblade or bike, Miami Beach Boardwalk offers a great way for visitors to experience Miami. From 21st Street to 46th Street the elevated boardwalk provides the perfect path for getting active or sightseeing. To visit the beach in Miami, travelers can stop anywhere along the way since there are many points of entry from the boardwalk.
Those planning a trip to the boardwalk midday are encouraged to wear sunscreen and bring water — the sun is hot and the path’s palm trees provide little shade.