Miami – what to see and do
Head to Lincoln Road Mall that runs between Washington Avenue and Alton Road. The Mall which runs for around 8 blocks is also near the Convention Center on 17th Street.
Another good place to shop is at the Bayfront Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Boulevard.
Also if heading to Coral Gables – look for Miracle Mile – a street full of places to shop (See www.shopcoralgables.com located on Coral Way between Le Jeune Rd (SW 42nd Avenue and Douglas Rd (SW 37th Avenue).
CocoWalk – 3015 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove has movie theaters as well as upmarket shopping, restaurants and other things to see. See www.cocowalk.net
If you love the Architecture and seeing amazing places – besides just looking at the Art Deco Buildings take a cruise to see some of the waterside mansions, or visit one or more of the following historic homes –
Architecture and Historic homes –
Ancient Spanish Monastery – This is a must see. While it is not a home, it is a truly amazing building dating back to when it was first built in Spain in 1133 AD (yes, that's correct). In 1924 the Multi-Millionaire, William Randolph Hearst bought it and then had it dismantled and packed into 11,000 wooden crates and transported to New York, where it remained in the crates until 1952, before being sold and shipped to here in Miami and rebuilt. It is located at 16711 West Dixie H'way, North Miami Beach – See www.spanishmonastery.com Tel: 305 945 1461. The beautiful gardens, walkways, stone arches, columns, sculptures, friezes and decor are really incredible. to see.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – this is also a must see Mansion to see if you can. The gardens, house décor, collections inside are amazing. The house is set on 10 acres of grounds on the water's edge located at 3251 South Miami Avenue (See www.vizcaya.org Tel: 305 250 9133). This was the home of James Deering who established the McCormick Hastings Deering farm machinery company. The collection of furniture and antiques, ceramics, lights and house itself are all incredible.
Deering Estate – also owned once by James Deering and here you can see the Stone House, Richmond Cottage and 444 acres of grounds on Biscayne Bay. It is located at 16701 S. W 72nd Avenue in Miami (Tel: 305 235 1668). Here you can picnic, rent a canoe, see butterflies and other wildlife as well as the houses.
Barnacle Historic State Park – The House here was built in 1891 in Coconut Grove by the pioneer developer of the Coconut Grove Estate, Ralph Munroe. It is set on 5 acres of grounds and is located at 3485 Main Highway Miami.
Coral Gables Merrick House – was built by George E. Merrick, who founded the City of Coral Gables setting out the plan for the streets and big homes that are here. The house is located at 907 Coral Way (Tel: 305 460 5361).
Venetian Pool – also in Coral Gables at 2701 De Soto Boulevard. This pool Complex has pools, waterfalls, caves and stone bridges and was first built in 1924. In 2015 during the winter it was restored. Tel: 305 460 5306.
Old Dixie Highway Antiques – at Cauley Square Historic Village – is located about 30 miles south of Miami at 22400 Old Dixie Highway. There are boutiques, cafes, and antique stores all in a nice Historic Village.
Coral Castle Museum in Homestead – A Latvian immigrant, Edward Leedskalnin (1887-1951) spent his time carving limestone to build his castle. It took him from 1923 until his death in 1951 to build it. See it at 28655 South Dixie H'wy Homestead. (See www.coralcastle.com Tel: 305 248 6345). Homestead is a few miles south of Cauley Square.
Bill Baggs Lighthouse – if you like Lighthouses and the scenery around them, head to the Bill Baggs Lighthouse, first built in 1825. See www.keybiscayne.fl.gov Tel: 305 361 5811. Located at 1200 Crandon Boulevard Key Biscayne (Island). There are great beaches here too in Cape Florida State Recreation Area.
Fairchild Garden – this is a great garden environment, with fruits, flowers, butterflies, Palms, rainforest, succulents, water lilies and much more. See www.fairchildgarden.org Tel: 305 667 1651 Located at 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Miami.
Cruises – One of the best ways to see Miami and also Fort Lauderdale (north of Miami) is by getting out on the water on a cruise to see some of the homes of the rich and famous and hear more about what you are seeing – These are some of the Cruise companies -
Island Queen – see www.islandqueencruises.com Tel: 305 379 5119 located at 401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. A regular cruise boat with all the facilities.
Duck Tours – see www.ducktourssouthbeach.com Tel: 877 382 5849 located at 1661 James Avenue, Miami Beach. ALSO at 17 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Tel: 954 761 4002. Great fun.
Miami Pirate Duck Tours – see www.miamipirateducktours.com Tel: 305 623 2637 located at 1680 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach (Symphony Park). Also fun too.
Jungle Queen Riverboat – see www.junglequeen.com Tel: 954 462 5596 located at Bahia Mar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. They run 90 minute cruises up the New River, past waterside mansions, with have day and evening cruises, including dinner cruises.
Water Taxi (Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood) see www.watertaxi.com Tel: 954 467 6677. A much a ferry service as a taxi, it runs to multiple locations around Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood where you can hop off-hop on.
Water Taxi Miami – see www.watertaximiami.com Tel: 305 600 2511.
Jet Boats – see www.jetboatmiami.com at 1635 North Bayshore Drive, Miami Tel: 1 954 397 6079. OR www.islandqueencruises.com/jet-boat-miami Tel: 305 379 5119 at Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Boulevard OR same location www.thrillermiami.com Tel: 786 477 4988.
Boat Charters – there are a number of companies with both yachts and power boats for hire, as well as crews if needed.
Miami Yacht Charters – see www.biscaynelady.com Tel: 305 223 3488
Golden Yacht Charters – see www.goldenyachtcharters.com Tel: 305 532 2628
Miami Luxury Boats – see www.primetimeboats.com Tel: 305 615 8019
VIP Yacht Charters – see www.ychartermiami.com Tel: 305 999 5839
Miami Yacht Charters – see www.1forcharter.com Tel: 305 440 5000
Best Miami Yacht Charter – see www.bestmiamiyachtcharter.com Tel: 866 490 1986
Miami has a number of artificial reefs located off shore. Contact www.grovescuba.com Tel: 305 443 1313. They are located at 2809 SW 27th Avenue in Miami.
Florida is surrounded by water – with estuaries and great breeding grounds for fish and off shore deep sea and big game fishing can be a great day out. In Miami there are a number of Deep Sea Fishing charters and these are some of the main operators –
Miami Fishing Charters – www.miamifishing.com 3400 Pan American Drive Miami Tel: 1 855 627 2833
Double Threat Fishing Charters – www.fishmiamicharters.com also at 3400 Pan American Drive. Tel: 1 786 505 8950
Angling Adventures – www.miami-fishing.com 3109 Grand Avenue Miami. Tel: 1 787 309 2483
The Reward Fleet – www.fishingmiami.com 390 Alton Rd, Miami Beach. Tel: 1 305 372 9470
Jumanji Fishing Charters – www.fishjumanji.com 401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. Tel: 1 786 486 7200.
There are also other charters too, including charters that leave from Fort Lauderdale (see Fort Lauderdale section)
There are a number of Museums and Art Galleries in and around Miami Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale to see and these are some of them –
Miami Children's Museum – see www.miamichildrensmuseum.org located at 980 MacArthur Causeway Miami Tel: 305 373 5437. A great place for younger children to enjoy while learning.
History Miami – see www.historymiami.org located at 101 West Flagler Street, Miami. Tel: 305 375 1492. Learn more about Miami here.
Museum of Contemporary Art – see www.mocanomi.org located at 770 Northeast 125th Street Miami. Tel: 305 893 6211.
Britto Central – see www.britto.com located at 818 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach. See the work of Brazilian Pop-Art artist, Romero Brillo.
World Erotic Art Museum – is located at 1205 Washington Avenue. See www.weam.com Tel: 305 532 9336. Maybe a bit different, but worth a look if you're over 18.
Wolfsonian – see www.wolfsonian.org (part of Florida International University) located at 1001 Washington Avenue Miami Beach. Tel: 305 531 1001. Has over 150,000 objects including furniture, art, graphics and more.
Perez Art Museum – see www.pamm.org located at 1103 Biscayne Avenue, Miami. Tel: 305 375 3000.
Frost Art Museum – see www.thefrostfiu.edu located at 10975 S W 17th Street, Miami.
Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science – see www.miamisci.org located at 3280 South Miami Avenue. Tel: 305 646 4400.
Lowe Art Museum – see www.lowemuseum.org located at 1301 Stanford Drive Coral Gables. Tel: 305 284 3535.
Bass Museum of Art – see www.bassmuseum.org located at 2100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. Tel: 305 673 7530.
Wings over Miami Air Museum – see www.wingsovermiami.com Tel; 305 233 5197 located at 14710 SW 128th St Kendall. See lots of restored historic aircraft.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum – see www.gcrm.org Tel: 305 253 0063 located next to Zoo Miami at 12450 SW 152nd Street.
Holocaust Memorial – see www.holocaustmemorialmiamibeach.org located at 1933-1945 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. Tel: 305 538 1663. Definitely worth seeing but also confronting too.
Jewish Museum of Florida – see www.jmof.fiu.edu located at 301 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. Tel: 305 672 5044.
GALLERIES – also head to Design District – between NE 2nd and NE 40th Streets (see neighborhoods below) and Wynwood (also below )
There are many great park lands in Miami – these are just some of them –
Morningside Park – on Biscayne Bay located at 750 NE 55th Terrace Miami Tel: 305 795 1834, where you can kayak or paddle board as well as just enjoy the park itself
Bayfront Park – 32 acres of park area located at 301 Biscayne Boulevard Tel: 305 358 7550. See www.bayfrontparkmiami.com
Oleta River State Park – 1043 acres in North Miami located at 3400 Northeast 163rd Street, North Miami Beach. To hire a kayak or bike Tel: 305 919 1846. See www.floridastateparks.org/oletariver
Haulover Beach Park – 10800 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach has a great beach and also picnic areas and has the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Intracoastal waterway on the other, and nice palm trees.
Crandon Park Beach – 6747 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne. If you like a quiet beach with white sand and palm trees around you, this is the place to come, where you can look out over the Bay to Miami city in the background.
Kampong – 4113 South Douglas Rd (at Baybridge Ave) in Coconut Grove. Here you will find 11 acres of tropical Botanical gardens, with a Kampong Village house in the center. 'Kampong' is a Malay Bahasa word used to in Malaysia meaning Malay Village. This is a really nice tropical garden to see, with exotic fruit trees, palms, cycads and flowering trees to see. The Kampong is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Animals and Birds –
Zoo Miami – See www.zoomiami.org is located at Zoo Boulevard, 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami. Tel: 305 251 0400. This zoo has a real tropical feel to it, and specialises in animals that live in the tropics.
Miami Seaquarium – See www.miamiseaquarium.com Tel: 305 361 5705. It is located at 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne. It is a big attraction with 38 acres of aquatic animals and sea life to see.
Jungle Island – See www.jungleisland.com Tel: 305 400 7000. It is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami – where you can see birds, primates, penguins and many other animals.
Also remember that the Everglades National Park is about an hour's driving time from Miami – a great place to see. (read about it in the Everglades pages on this website).
You have probably seen TV shows like "Miami Vice" – so be aware that crime does happen and in Miami there are times and places not to go to – so check with your hotel staff if you have a concern or question about safety in Miami.
There are a number of neighborhoods and each has its own ambience.
South Beach –has the great white sand beach, palm trees and action along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, and it attracts crowds of people too. It is where people come to see and be seen. It has the trendy sometimes glamourous beach side atmosphere but can also be trashy as the night progresses, when the bars are full and the drinkers are cruising.
Downtown – This is where high rise buildings dominate the foreshore and business takes place. There are also a number of hotels and resident condominiums here, and even a college campus in one of the high rise buildings. The skyline lights up at night and makes a great photo. Look for the Gusman Performing Arts Center, where there's always a show happening, and the Bayside Marketplace shops, boats in the Bay, as well as the Bayfront Park too. If you like jewelry head to the Seybold Building (see www.seaboltjewelry.com) at 36 NE 1st Street. The building was built in the 1920's and has 10 floors of jewelry stores selling both high end watches, rings, diamonds and cheaper ones too. There are 2 restaurants here too.
Coral Gables – calls itself "City Beautiful" – with its tree lined streets of Banyan trees and a history going back to 1925 when it was first built as a 'planned city'. Head to Aragon Avenue to see 'Books & Books' (at 265 Aragon Ave) and to Coral Way and the 'Miracle Mile' shops. Also look to see 'City Hall' located at 405 Biltmore Way, Balboa Plaza, Venetian Pool (see above) and Merrick House. The historic Hotel Biltmore and golf course is also located in Coral Gables at 1200 Anastasia Avenue (See www.biltmorehotel.com ).
Design District – is located in North Miami between NE 2nd and NE40th Streets. Here you will find design in furniture, home design, kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, interiors, clothing, studios, galleries, food and more on Decorators' Row. This former factory/warehouse area has become a center for design in all its forms. Check out the Buick Building at 3841 NE 2nd St and the Moore Building at 4040 NE 2nd St.
In Wynwood a must see is the Wynwood Walls at 2516 NW 2nd Avenue (between 25th and 26th Streets)– where the Avenue is lined with wall to wall art. Also see the Rubell Family Collection at 95 NW 29th St (See www.rfc.museum ) an amazing art collection, and also the Marguilies Collection at 591 NW 27th St. (great exhibitions of contemporary art) (See www.marguilieswarehouse.com ). For big name music stars, concerts and plays see the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts at 1300 Biscayne Boulevard (See www.drshtcenter.org Tel: 305 949 6722).
Coconut Grove – This is where the 3 day Coconut Grove Arts Festival is held each year on the President's Day weekend (around 14th Feb) with hundreds of artists and crafts people taking part. It is located in the streets around 2700 S. Bayshore Drive. (See www.cgaf.com ). Coconut Grove has restaurants, shops and offices – one of the popular shopping places being CocoWalk (See www.cocowalk.net), another being around the corner of Grand Avenue and McFarlane Road. Also see the Kampong Topical Gardens at 4013 South Douglas Rd, and Barnacle Historic State Park (see Architecture and historic homes above).
Little Havana – "La Pequeña Habana". This is where Cuban culture meets Miami, the main street being "Calle Ocho" (8th Street) between SW 12th and SW 17th Avenues. Head to the small Mάximo Gomez Park, better known as Domino Park (80 SW 15th Avenue) to get a feel for old Cuba, where you can see the game of Dominos still being played. In and around the streets in Little Havana you can get a feel for Cuba, and if you have time take a look at the small community center Bay of Pigs Museum at 1821 SW 9th Street (Tel305 649 4719) dedicated to the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion that took place in 1961. Cuba has Spanish history dating back to 1511 when they first arrived to settle there, following on from Christopher Columbus first sighting the island in 1492. One of the best ways to get a real feel for Little Havana is to take a walking tour – See www.littlehavanawalkingtour.com Tel: 305 814 4058. The bakeries, salsa, fruterias, coffee, cigars, music, coffee counters, flowers, colorful buildings, walkway of the Stars, galleries, boutiques, tourist shops and memorials all make Little Havana a place to see and feel a little piece of Cuba in Miami.
Little Haiti – is also an area of Miami, but sadly is also considered dangerous too. If you do decide to go here, take a tour if you can find one.
One of the interesting things about Little Havana and Little Haitian culture is the religion that is practiced here called 'Santeria' its origins being Afro-cuban. The religion is based on every person having a destiny with God, but to fulfil this destiny, the person must work with 'Orisha' spirits and pay respect to them through dance, drums, food and ceremonies. If you come across a 'botάnica' shop, take a look inside to get a feel for this religion and its practices.
Miccosukee Resort and Gaming – www.miccosukee.com/resort A gaming and resort located at 500 SW 177th Avenue, Miami. Tel: 305 222 4600
Casino Miami Jai-Alai – www.casinomiamijaialai.com 3500 NW 37th Avenue Miami Tel: 305 633 6400
Magic City Casino – www.magiccitycasino.com 450 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Tel: 305 649 3000.
Franklin International Gaming – www.franklingaming.com 5220 NW 72nd Avenue #17 Miami. Tel: 305 463 8998
Calder Casino and Race Course – www.calderracecourse.com 21001 NW 27th Avenue, Miami Tel: 305 625 1311
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com 1 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale. Tel: 866 502 7529.
Seminole Classical Casino – 4150 N. State Rd 7 Fort Lauderdale Tel: 954 961 3220
The big sports arena in Miami is the American Airlines Arena located at 601 Biscayne Boulevard (See www.aaarena.com Tel: 786 777 1000). Here you can see sports games and also big music concerts and other events during the year. Tickets are available through www.ticketmaster.com
Big names teams – include the
Miami Hurricanes football team – see www.hurricanesport.com
Miami Marlins Baseball team www.miamimarlins.nbl.com and
Miami Heat basketball team, see www.nba.com/heat/home
Golf Clubs – there are many Golf Clubs in and around Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The greens and tropical climate make for great courses.
FORT LAUDERDALE –
Fort Lauderdale is located about 23 miles north of Miami along the coast on State Highway A1A – the Scenic Highway which runs all along the coastline from Miami Beach, north past Bal Harbor, past all the beaches in Fort Lauderdale, on to Palm Beach and then eventually to the SE Federal Highway 1. It has to be one of the great scenic roads in the country.
All along the coastline there are hotels facing the beach, so there is certainly no shortage of places to stay or beaches to stop at. Between March and October, depending on which beach you are on, turtles come to lay their eggs in the sand, and certainly the sandy beaches, ocean and beachside activities make anywhere along the coast a great place for holidays.
Fort Lauderdale is a Port City and both passenger cruises and also commercial freighters and oil tankers use the port, what the call "Port Everglades".
Some of the things you might like to see or do if staying in Fort Lauderdale are –
Visitor Center – is located at 101 NE Third Avenue in Fort Lauderdale Tel: 954 765 4466.
Museum of Art- 1 East Las Olas Boulevard. See www.moafl.org
Museum of Discovery and Science – 401 SW 2nd Street, where there is also an IMAX Theater too. Tel: 954 467 6637.
Broward Center for the Performing Arts – 201 SW 5th Avenue. See www.browardcenter.org Tel: 954 462 0222.
Hugh Taylor Birch Park – 3109 East Sunrise Boulevard. Tel: 954 564 4521. A great topical park to visit.
Canal Tours – there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the water, and Fort Lauderdale has miles of canals, calling itself "Little Venice". You can take a cruise on the New River and canals to see some of the mansions of the rich and famous, the yachts and marinas. There are a number of operators. Just two of the many operators are www.carriebcruises.com at 440 N. New River Drive East and www.fortlauderdalesightseeingcruise.com at 300 SW 1st Avenue. There are also water taxis, duck tours and charter yachts available too.
Beach activities – see A1A Beach Activity Center at 17S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard – where you can do lots of water based activities including snorkelling, parasailing, deep sea fishing, rent a jet ski or boat or book a cruise.
Hilboro Beach – just one of many beaches, but this one has the Lighthouse there too.
Cable skiing – see Ski Rixen at Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Rd in Deerfield Beach. Tel: 954 429 0215.
Airtour – one of the best ways to get a feel for the coastline and waterways is to get above it, and take a scenic flights over the beach and also everglades. See www.fortlauderdaleairtours.com at 1401 NE 10th St, Pompano Beach.
Bonnet House – is a historic house, museum and garden located at 900 North Birch Rd in Fort Lauderdale. See www.bonnethouse.org Tel: 954 563 5393.
Fort Lauderdale History Center – is located at 219 SW 2nd Avenue with a house museum in the 1907 house that is there. Tel: 954 463 4431.
Stranahan House – built in 1902 is located at 335 SE 6th Avenue. See www.stranahanhouse.org
Food Tour – see www.ftlauderdalefoodtours.com The tours run mostly on a Saturday or based on demand, but if you want to get a feel for the different food restaurants and food outlets in Fort Lauderdale, this is fun to do.
Deep Sea Fishing –
There are many fishing charter companies operating out of Fort Lauderdale, and these are some of them –
Lauderdale Fishing Trips – www.fishheadquarters.com Tel: 1 754 214 7863 located at 301 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale Fishing – www.lauderdalefishing.com Tel: 1 954 465 9068 located at 301 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Lady Pamela II sport Fishing – www.ladypamela2.com Tel: 1 954 761 8045 located at 5400 North Ocean Drive, Hollywood
Lady Helen Fishing Charters – www.ladyhelencharters.com Tel: 1 954 336 3256 located at 1534 SE 15th Street, Fort Lauderdale.
All inclusive Sport Fishing – www.all-inclusivesportfishing.com Tel: 1 954 761 8202 located at Bahia Mar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Deep Sea Fishing Tours – www.flamingofishing.com Tel: 1 954 462 9194 located at 801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
We hope that you have a great time in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, getting to stay in a great place, meet interesting people and enjoy some of the seafood and other foods that you find.
We also hope you find the information we have written here helpful in your travels.