Things to do in Miami

Miami, located on the southeast side of the Florida Peninsula offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking to dine, drink, shop, party, relax on the beach, sightsee or enjoy the wonders of the natural world, Miami has it all.

Below are some of the must see attractions for visitors to Miami.

Beaches & Districts

With its gorgeous sunny climate and long sandy beaches, Miami has become a top holiday destination for US citizens and international travelers alike.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is actually a separate municipality located on an island, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. Known for its popular beaches and over 800 beautiful Art Deco buildings, many of which front Ocean Drive, the main thoroughfare located along the seafront, packed with artists, models, businesses, nightclubs, restaurants, tourists and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Ocean Drive also passes through one of Miami’s most quintessentially iconic hotspots, South Beach. With its cosmopolitan atmosphere, designer shopping, upbeat restaurants and hectic nightlife. South Beach itself boasts white sands, palm trees and dazzling blue sea, making it a popular destination for surfing and other water sports. Undertaking a Segway tour can be a really fun way of exploring both South Beach and the Art Deco district.

The beaches of Key Biscayne are a very popular choice for families and are a little more serene than those of Miami Beach.

Coconut Grove

Located on the edge of Biscayne Bay, south of downtown Miami, is one of the city's oldest bohemian neighbourhoods, full of colourful galleries, theatres, nightclubs, fine restaurants, hip sidewalk cafés and shops.

Coral Gables

An elegant Mediterranean-style residential district and home to iconic sights such as the Viscaya Estate, a beautiful Italian Renaissance-style palace set in 10 acres of picturesque formal gardens and the Venetian Pool, one of the world’s most beautiful outdoor swimming pools, filled daily with clear cool spring water and featuring caves and waterfalls. The pool was built in the 1920s and is carved out of coral rock and surrounded by Venetian-style buildings.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is the commercial heart of the city, with its sleek imposing skyscrapers, impressive government buildings and cultural centres and is edged by the Port of Miami, the world's largest cruise port.

Little Havana

Little Havana is the colourful Cuban district of Miami, filled with restaurants, specialty food shops, Latin music, small cigar factories and is home to 800,000 Cuban Americans. It sprung up after Cuban refugees fled from their homeland after Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

Wildlife & Nature

Everglades National Park

With 1.5 million acres of swamps, saw-grass prairies and sub-tropical jungles, Everglades National Park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile, the Florida Panther and the West Indian Manatee.

The Everglades Safari Park is Miami’s most all-encompassing alligator experience. Visitors can tear around the tall saw grass of the Everglades in an airboat or swamp buggy, allowing them to observe the alligators in their natural habitat. Back on shore, you can catch an alligator wrestling show and even pet the baby alligators!

The Shark Valley Visitor Center is located in the center of an expansive river of grass. Visitors can opt to take the tram tour, bike or walk and can encounter full-grown alligators, key deer, snakes, turtles and native Florida birds.

Jungle Island

Jungle Island is a bird sanctuary, wildlife habitat, and botanical garden with over 1,100 birds living in a tropical forest setting. The gardens contain around 2,000 varieties of exotic plants, while the site is also home to a variety of other animals including tigers, baboons, alligators, tortoises, monkeys and orangutans.

Many of the inhabitants of Jungle Island also take part in shows for visitors which include a parrot riding a miniature bike and the Winged Wonders show featuring singing Amazons and Andean condors.

Monkey Jungle

Monkey Jungle is a truly unique park where the humans are caged and the monkeys run wild. Visitors walk through carefully constructed wire pathways, while many species of primates scamper overhead, swinging through trees providing a truly once in a lifetime close up experience.

Miami Seaquarium

With daily shows featuring dolphins, killer whales, seals and other ocean dwellers, the Seaaquarium offers fun for the whole family. Observation tanks contain alligators, sharks and tropical fish. The facility also offers a "swim with dolphins" program.

Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is fast becoming one of the best zoos in the United States. Its climate allows it to keep a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa. It is a state-of-the-art cageless zoo, with animals from more than 310 species roaming the 116-hectare (290-acre) grounds, separated by moats from spectators, so providing a real safari experience. The Zoo also features wildlife shows, a petting zoo, tram tours and a monorail.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

This lush and meticulously maintained 33-hectare (83-acre) botanical garden is located just south of Coconut Grove and contains an extensive collection of rare tropical plants.

Places of cultural and educational interest

As you might expect from a city the size of Miami, there are plenty of Museums catering to many different ages and interest areas. These include.

Perez Art Museum

Formerly known as the Miami Art Museum, the museum focuses on international contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century.

Wolfsonian Museum

Specialising in “propaganda arts” this one-of-a-kind museum addresses 19th- and 20th-century political themes, displaying the arts and crafts that were created to persuade, nationalise or rally citizens.

History Miami

This museum offers a fascinating insight into the region's past covering 10,000 years of Florida history from the first settlers to the present day.

Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium

This nationally renowned museum features interactive scientific exhibits on physics, electricity, light, sound and anatomy, as well as daily astronomy and laser shows in the adjacent planetarium. It also houses South Florida's largest natural history collection and a wildlife centre that houses rescued birds of prey and reptiles, and displays more than 175 live animals.

Miami children’s Museum

For those with children (and for fun-loving adults), the museum offers an exciting playground with many interactive displays. Educational and entertaining exhibits are designed to appeal to children's curiosity and creativity. Highlights include a variety of themed galleries that revolve around arts, culture, community, and communication. Look out for the teddy bear exhibit and television studio.