The appeal of greater Miami goes beyond sun-soaked beaches and a world-renowned climate. The youthful destination also has diverse neighborhoods, cultural richness and some of the best shopping and dinning in the world. Read on for a full list of the best things to do in this magical county.
1. VIZCAYA MUSEUM GARDENS
Experience Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a breathtaking Gilded Age estate on Biscayne Bay surrounded by ten acres of formal gardens, a mangrove shoreline and rockland hammock. Be inspired by Vizcaya’s natural beauty, connect with Miami’s past and discover this unique cultural gem. A National Historic Landmark, Vizcaya offers an experience to delight your senses.
2. SOUTH BEACH
South Beach is known for its beaches and the glamorous scene around its happening nightspots and celebrity-chef eateries. Chain stores and indie fashion shops line pedestrian shopping strip Lincoln Road Mall. On Ocean Drive, known for its well-preserved art deco architecture, outdoor cafes offer a ringside view of the scene. Museums include the Wolfsonian-FIU, which has a collection of modern art and objects.
3. PEREZ ART MUSEUM
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Exhibitions highlight Miami’s diverse community and pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. In addition to exploring the galleries, visitors can: enjoy waterfront dining at Verde restaurant; shop a unique selection of art books, furnishings and handmade items at the museum’s gift store; and take in the spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and the elaborate hanging gardens. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, PAMM provides an educational and civic forum for the County’s residents and visitors alike.
4. WYNWOOD WALLS
The Wynwood Walls was conceived by the renowned community revitalizer and placemaker, the late Tony Goldman in 2009. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, and he arrived at a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex of six separate buildings, his goal was to create a center where people could gravitate to and explore, and to develop the area’s pedestrian potential.
5. FOUNTAIN BLEU HOTEL
Designed in the 1950s by architect Morris Lapidus, this buzzy, iconic hotel on Miami Beach is 11.8 miles from Miami airport and 3.1 miles from the Art Deco Historic District. Situated on oceanfront Collins Avenue in the heart of Millionaire's Row, Fontainebleau Miami Beach is one of the most historically and architecturally significant hotels on Miami Beach. Amenities include hip boutique shops, trendy bars and lively nightclubs, plus several upscale dining options, including a steakhouse, a Chinese restaurant and an Italian eatery. There's also a posh spa with ocean views, along with 3 elegant ballrooms.
6. EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species. This park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. All these areas offer a wide range of activities! You can take a short walk on the Anhinga Trail to spot abundant wildlife--turtles, herons and alligators! Climb atop Shark Valley's 65-foot observation tower for a bird's eye view of the glades. Glide over Florida Bay by tour boat or kayak for a chance to glimpse a crocodile, manatee, or dolphin. Watch as the sun sets over Flamingo, the southernmost point in mainland Florida. Explore the pinelands by bike, paddle amongst the mangroves on Nine-Mile Pond, or tour the historic Nike Hercules missile base. Join a ranger on a slough slog deep into the heart of a cypress dome. Find solitude on your own on a week-long canoe trip, camping along the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway.