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
Tour Guide Owl. I'm here to help you find fun and interesting
things to do in Miami, Florida.
You may have read some
harsh comments about Miami. We had the
burlesque show cancel, not to mention, the Colorado
congressman who called us a 'Third World country'.
Well, I'm here to tell you otherwise - Miami is
a beautiful place with
lots to see and do.
So here is my how to be a great tour guide host,
with 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
Share your favorite places
I know this is an article about Miami attractions,
but on a larger scale it's about sharing and connecting
are 3 reasons why you need to make sharing your
number one priority for the forthcoming year:
So here we go! These are some things I'd share with you
if I was your personal tour guide planning your trip.
- 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.)
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:
Boat rents power boats in Bayside; Phone (786)
- Fast Track
rents power boats in Miami Beach and Bayside; Phone
Catamarans rents Hobie Cats in Key Biscayne;
Phone (305) 345-4104.
- 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
- 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
- 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. Flats and deep
sea fishing requires a captain with a boat,
so you need to get
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:
Seaquarium is located in Key Biscayne; Phone (305)
of the Sea is located 80 miles south in Islamorada;
Phone (305) 664-2431.
Bonus Tip: Hablas Español? This article is translated
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 or Paddle Board --
Miami offers many places where you can have
a back-to-nature kayak adventure:
Activities on land and in the air
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.
- 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.
Go Skateboarding -- The
boardwalk on Ocean Drive is not limited to just
walking - Skateboarding is also allowed. SDC
Action Sports opperates 3 skate parks in
Miami. Call (786) 537-2016. Find
more skate spots
Have a Paintball Fight --
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
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)
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
Helicopter tours depart from heliports at
Tamiami Airport and Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Seaplane -- Experience Miami Seaplane Tours
and discover Miami from a new perspective. Feel
the exhilaration of taking off from the waters
of Biscayne Bay and enjoy the amazing sights
as far north as Ft. Lauderdale and far West
as the Florida Everglades. Choose from four
tours, lasting from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Phone
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.
Watch a Professional Sport
-- Depending on the season, you can watch :
Hockey, or Heat
a Sightseeing Tour -- A
great way to explore Miami is by taking a narrated
sightseeing tour of the City:
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
Queen leaves the Bahia Mar Docks for a sunset
cruise to their private island, for an all-you-can-eat
BBQ dinner; Phone (954) 462-5596.
Airboat Rides -- It's easy to visit
the Florida Everglades; they're just 35
miles west of Miami.
- Art Deco
Walking Tours -- Learn about South Beach
hotels and other structures with a visit
to a number of interiors.
City Tours -- Experience all of Miami
on these narrated tours. See Bayside, Little
Havana, Coconut Grove, South Beach - and
a Biscayne Bay boat tour.
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.
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.
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 Bahamas Day Cruise
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.
on the Beach -- There are over a dozen
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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;
- 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
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;
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
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.,
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.
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;
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;
Phone (305) 400-7000.
- 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
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
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
Edge features onboard gambling, gourmet buffet,
and live entertainment; Phone (781) 581-7733.
- Jai-Alai -- There are two jai-alai
frontons in South Florida:
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.
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)
- 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;
Phone (954) 454-7000.
and nature preserves
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,
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
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;
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)
River Park is located at 3400 NE 163rd St., North
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 ships
come 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 at Smith &
Pointe Park is located at 1 Washington Ave., Miami
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
Beach is located at 10800 Collins Ave., Miami; Phone
- 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
and Spice Park is located at 24801 SW 187th Ave.,
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 of Biscayne
National Park accessible without a boat; (Map);
Phone (305) 230-7275.
- 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
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.
Museum is located at 980 MacArthur Cswy, Miami;
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;
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.
is located at 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; (Map);
Phone (305) 253-0063
and noteworthy businesses
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 Shops is located at 9601 Collins Ave., Bal
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
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;
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 like Cheesecake 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;
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)
- 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'
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
Swap Shop is located at 3291 W Sunrise Blvd., Fort
Phone (954) 791-7927.
- Miami - located near Dolphin Mall.
- Dania Beach, Ft. Lauderdale -
located at 200 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach; Phone
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.
- 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),
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.
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;
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;
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.
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