Activities & Sports
There is absolutely no shortage of activities for the restless visitor. Everything you can think of can be found here. The following is a short list of options:
- Canoe trips, kayaking, fishing, diving and snorkeling. And everything else that can be done in water.
- Those wanting to stay on firm ground can go hiking in national parks, rock climbing, or do bike tours.
- Horse rides at the Tropical Park Equestrian Center.
- Plenty of companies offering eco-adventure tours.
- Golf, golf and more golf. There are more than 50 private and public golf courses in the Miami area, including several PGA Tour championship golf courses. A few suggestions include the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, the Fontainebleau Golf Club, the Miami Beach Golf Club and the Palmetto Golf Course.
The Historical Museum of Southern Florida is a historical museum located in Miami, which gives information about the history of South Florida and The Caribbean. Visit the Research Center which houses prints, antique maps, books and over a million historic photographs. Other exhibits display archaeological materials from 10,000 years ago to the early 20th century: Seminole and Miccosukee Indian objects, Pan American Airways artifacts; musical instruments and religious items.
The Miami Circle is an archaeological site in downtown Miami. It consists of a perfect circle of 24 holes or basins cut into the limestone bedrock, on a coastal spit of land, surrounded by a large number of other minor holes. It is believed to have been the location of a structure, built by the Tequesta Indians, in what was possibly their capital. It is believed to be somewhere between 1700 and 2000 years old, though some have questioned both its age and its authenticity.
Attractions & Sights
Here is but a sampling list of some of the top attractions in Miami by district:
South Beach is a district in Miami Beach that consists of several distinct neighbourhoods: Oceanfront, Bayshore, City Center, Flamingo/Lummus, South Pointe, Venetian Islands, West Ave. and Star, Palm & Hibiscus Islands. There is plenty to see at South Beach and not enough time to see it all.
- Casa Casuarina aka Versace House: Built by Gianni Versace in 1993 and the site of his tragic death is the most photographed landmark and was sold to Peter Loftin and it is not open to the public.
- Art Deco District: World's largest collection of modern Art Deco architecture.
- Espanola Way: Modeled after Mediterranean villages found in France and Spain.
- Miami Beach Cultural Campus: Known as the museum district which includes the Miami City ballet building, the Bass Museum, Miami Beach Regional Library and Collins Park.
- Miami Beach Botanical Garden: A collection of subtropical palms and plants and includes a Japanese Garden, orchid collection, exotic plants and subtropical palms.
- Jewish Holocaust Memorial: An idea conceived by Holocaust survivors in Miami and was funded by a private, non-profit organization.
- Maurice Gibb Memorial Park, Flamingo Park, Lummus Park, South Pointe Park.
Brickell, which includes the Financial District, is home to the majority of the big corporation and large businesses in Miami. Along Brickell Avenue, you will find headquarters for major banks, real estate and law firms. However, there are plenty of places to eat and relax by beautiful Biscayne Bay. Brickell Key, also known as Claughton Island, is a small community attached to Brickell by a pedestrian friendly bridge.
Little Havana is located just west of downtown Miami. It is also referred to as the Latin Quarter. It has many authentic Latin shops and restaurants on Calle Ocho, a perfect experience for tourists visiting the city to get an authentic feel of Latin American culture. The population speaks Spanish almost completely, but there are many bilingual speaking persons as well. It is advised to not wander into the neighbourhoods at night.
The Coconut Grove area has the lovely Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This European inspired estate includes a main house filled with art and furnishings and ten acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay. Also found in Cocnut Grove is the Miami Museum of Science. The museum is home to the Bird of Prey Research Center and the Weintraub Observatory.
Downtown Miami area is home to the Miami Children's Museum where kids can play, learn, imagine and create through a variety of interactive exhibits.
In Homestead/Florida City there is the Coral Castle, a truly unique monument. This attraction was built by a Latvian-born Miami resident as a monument to his lover.
Nightlife in Miami consists of upscale hotel clubs, independent bars frequented by locals and nightclubs. Most hotel bars and independent bars turn the other cheek at your physical appearance, but you have to be dressed to impress to get into a nightclub. Also remember to never insult the doormen, attempt to tip, or touch the velvet ropes...either of which guarantees you will not see the inside of the club. Popular drinks in Miami include the Cuba Libre and the Mojito.
The concentration of clubs is on South Beach along Washington Avenue, Lincoln Road Mall, and Ocean Drive. Other areas include Little Havana and Coconut Grove. Looking for something a bit quieter? Try the many lobby bars at South Beach's art deco hotels or other large hotels.
Home to some of the world's most famous nightclubs, the hip places to go include: Mansion, Twilo, Ink, Cameo, Space, and Opium Garden.
Two great day trip options are Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys.
For information on Fort Lauderdale please visit the Fort-Lauderdale section of this travel guide for a complete listing of things to see and do.
The Keys are an archipelago of about 1700 islands extending south and southwest of the Florida mainland. The major islands are Big Pine Key, Islamorada, Key Largo, Key West and Marathon. Most travellers visit:
Wildlife Rescue of the Florida Keys, McCoy Indigenous Park, Ghosts and Legends of Key West walking tour, Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West AIDS Memorial, Key West City Cemetery, Swim with Dolphins, and Glass Bottom Boat.
Activities such as diving, snorkeling, boating, sailing, fishing and watersport are all available.
Pennekamp State Park and casino boats
. Key Largo calls itself the "Diving Capital of the World". Other activities such snorkeling, glass bottom boat tours, para-sailing and fishing are all available.