Miami Beach is located on a barrier island. It’s connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. This area has quiet neighborhoods, lively entertainment, and soft-sand beaches.
Among the top attractions is the Art Deco Historic District which has pastel buildings dating from the 1930s and early 1940s.
Ocean Drive is the main street in Miami Beach and stretches along the oceanfront.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark. It was once the luxurious winter home of 20th-century industrialist James Deering, This Italian Renaissance-style villa has 34 rooms arranged around a central courtyard. The gardens and grounds have lovely Italian and French fountains, pools, and sculptures.
The Freedom Tower on Biscayne Boulevard was built in 1925. It is one of the oldest skyscrapers in the southeastern US. For years it was the headquarters of the Miami Daily News. Today it stands as a tribute to Cuban immigrations and is partly used as a contemporary art museum.
The Bayside Marketplace is a large outdoor mall that has over 120 specialty and tourist shops, cafes, and restaurants. It features live entertainment. The mall is located at the waterfront with views of boats and docks.
For awesome views ride the Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel rising 200 feet into the air. This Ferris wheel has 42 climate-controlled passenger gondolas as well as one glass-floored VIP version.
Enjoy Bayfront Park adjacent to the Bayside Marketplace. The park has interesting sculptures and monuments. Among its outstanding features is the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain.
Other highlights include the Challenger Memorial commemorating the crew of the Challenger spacecraft.
There is also the Solar Amphitheater, an amphitheater featuring musical performances. There is a children’s playground and you can walk along the paved trails.
Enjoy Little Havana the Cuban district of Miami. It is a vibrant place with specialty food shops and restaurants as Latin music fills the air.
Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare that runs through this district.
Every March the district hosts the Calle Ocho Festival which is a celebration of Cuban culture and is the largest of its kind in the world.
The Perez Art Museum/PAMM is located on the waterfront. The museum features artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries. From inside the museum, you can get spectacular views of Biscayne Bay. You’ll find permanent exhibits on the first and second floors with temporary exhibits on the second floor.
The museum is also known for its on-site restaurant Verde. You can dine inside or outside on the patio with great views across the water.
The Miami Seaquarium is located on the Rickenbacker Causeway. It is home to such marine animals as killer whales, dolphins, stingrays, seals, and penguins. Among the highlights are the sea lion shows. Visitors also have the option to interact with dolphins, with penguins, and to swim with seals.
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a museum with an aquarium featuring the ocean and focusing on South Florida and a planetarium where you can learn about the solar system through interactive displays and shows. In the North and West wings are permanent and traveling exhibits.
The Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens can be toured by taking a 45-minute-long tram ride with a guide. The gardens feature 27 exhibits. Most of the attractions are in the southwest area. There is a pathway that takes you past interesting viewpoints.
The Richard H. Simmons Rainforest is an interesting place to stroll with mist snakes along the pathway and rain showers among the plants. Other highlights include the Clinton Family Conservatory and the Wings of Tropic exhibit with colorful tropical flowers and butterflies. Throughout the gardens are eleven sculptures among them two by acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly.
Zoo Miami is home to over 3,000 wild animals among them 40 endangered species. The animals live in natural habitats. Among the highlights is feeding the giraffes. This is the only US zoo located in a subtropical climate. The grounds have 1,000 species of plants and trees as well as a large orchid collection. For children, there are play areas and a water-themed play area.
Deering Estate on Biscayne Bay is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate protects globally endangered pine rockland habitat, coastal tropical hardwood rockland hammocks, mangrove forests, salt marshes, and a coastal dune island.
It is home to the Richmond Cottage and an American Indian burial ground.
The Artist Village at the estate has become an important cultural center that features art and artists’ programs. Charles Deering and his brother James were great art collectors, collecting the artwork of the Old Masters. Charles Deerling was also a painter and you can find his artworks on display.
Take a look at the amazing warehouse district Wynwood where the exteriors of warehouses have been transformed into colorful works of art. This district has drawn the attention of big names in the world of street art across North America and around the world. Walking about there is plenty of art to see.
The Wynwood Walls Museum is a gated area with 35 walls, retail shops, and galleries. Here you can see the artwork of famous name artists and also purchase prints.
The Miami Children’s Museum is housed in a colorful and creatively designed building. It features entertaining and educational exhibits. Fourteen-themed galleries revolve around the arts, culture, community, and communication. The museum also includes four outdoor exhibits where children can play like exploring a cruise ship and exploring the Port of Miami.
Key Biscayne is a small community with beautiful beaches and parks.
Crandon Park has an offshore reef that protects the shoreline from big waves. Visitors can enjoy a Family Amusement Center and a Nature Center. On windy days kite boarders rip across the waves.
The FTX Arena was formerly the American Airlines Arena. Today it is home of the NBA’s Miami Heat. It is also a venue for large concerts and special events. The structure has been awarded the Leed Green Building Certification for being an energy-efficient building. The arena stands by Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami.
Just south of Miami, you’ll find the lovely city of Coral Gables. Among the highlights here is the historic Venetian Pool. The water in the pool is fed from an underground spring. Each day the 820,000-gallon pool is drained and refilled by the spring. The area surrounding the pool has bridges, towers, and small plazas. Other highlights include caves, grottoes, and two waterfalls.
Enjoy the work of one man over 28 years at Coral Castle. All the features here were carved by Edward Leedskalnin with homemade tools between 1923 and 1951. He was a Latvian immigrant and self-taught engineer. The property can be toured with the most famous structure being a giant stone gate. There are also carvings of chairs, stone tables, unique figures, and other pieces. In 1984 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.