The waterfront and beach are for an almost limitless choice of water sports and boat tours. Then, of course, there are the usual tourist attractions like zoos and water parks. But vacations in Miami can be so much more when you include some unexpected places to see.
When you visit Miami, you will be able to participate in more outdoor activities than you could ever fit into a single vacation due to the city’s abundance of beautiful beaches, incredible shopping, and authentic Cuban cultural experiences. Furthermore, since this city takes advantage of its excellent climate by spending as much time as possible outside, Miami is home to some of the most stunning natural attractions in the world.
Here are some interesting, educational, beautiful, and even inspiring unexpected places to visit you may otherwise miss.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Address: 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida
Do you find that architecture motivates you? There is more to Miami than just its Art Deco architecture. A trip to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, located at 3251 South Miami Avenue, is like stepping into an exquisite paradise designed in the manner of Europe. This remodeled mansion is set in a gorgeous setting and boasts beautifully landscaped grounds.
Visit the fantastic gardens and soak in some culture simultaneously by going to the art displays. In addition, during the year, this National Historic Landmark plays home to several activities, such as a film series and moonlight tours of the gardens.
The magnificent holiday house of 20th-century entrepreneur James Deering, located on 28 acres, is now a National Historic Landmark. The home, built-in 1916, has 34 rooms organized around a central courtyard.
The Vizcaya project required around 1,100 laborers and artisans, many of whom were recruited from Europe to assure design accuracy. The outstanding European furniture and decorative arts collection from the 15th to 19th centuries is housed in the Italian Renaissance-style home.
Beautiful Italian and French fountains, ponds, and statues may be seen throughout the grounds and gardens. In addition, an ornately carved barge with female figures serves as a barrier at the foot of the stairs going into Biscayne Bay.
Art Center South Florida
The Art Center South Florida is an institution that functions as much more than a simple neighborhood art gallery. In this stunning location, you will be able to discover the magnificent work of skilled local artists. Still, you will also have the opportunity to learn more about the art of creating jewelry, sketching, photography, and other creative endeavors.
In this neighborhood of Miami, you can find a variety of restaurants and cafés where you can easily spend an entire day. In addition, brunches serve as a traditional way to break in new exhibitions before they open to the public. This hidden gem is located at 924 Lincoln Road, Suite 205, and may be found by you there.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Address: 1200 South Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, Florida
Why push to the trouble of traveling to Miami only to see a state park? The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park beach isn’t as busy as some of the other beaches in the area, and it’s easier to locate a spot to spread out a blanket here than at other beaches. But, unfortunately, one must take the Rickenbacker Causeway to the very tip of Key Biscayne to reach this untouched stretch of beach.
Once you reach your destination, you may go swimming, kayaking, or snorkeling, or you can relax and soak in the more laid-back ambiance. During your time there, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to take a tour of the lighthouse and the keeper’s quarters.
Miami is lucky in that it is just a short bridge ride away from one of Florida’s most gorgeous state parks. Bill Baggs saved this brilliantly preserved environment from development in the 1960s, making it ideal for a family beach day excursion. The 1.25-mile-long soft-sand beach, which offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the primary attractions.
The park is long and narrow, and where you park is determined by what you want to accomplish. Park at access #6 if you merely want to go to the beach. Park at access #7 if you want to go to the beach and see the ancient lighthouse. Are you more of a fisherman? Park near the washrooms at the far end of the road, stroll out to the fishing docks or pitch up camp on the seawall.
The park is also a haven for migrating birds. Walk Robin’s Birding Trail to increase your chances of observing birds.
Key Biscayne and Crandon Park
Address: 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Key Biscayne, located south of Miami Beach and across the Rickenbacker Causeway, is a tiny hamlet with beautiful beaches and parks. Crandon Park, in particular, is notable for its offshore reef, which protects the beach from large waves and makes it ideal for swimming.
The park has a Family Amusement Center and a Nature Center, making it especially popular with families. There is usually plenty of parking, excellent amenities, chair rentals, and lifeguards on duty.
Kiteboarders tearing through the waves, propelled by their multicolored kites, may be seen on windy days.
Miami Children’s Museum
If you’re visiting this Florida city with your kids, don’t miss the Miami Children’s Museum, one of the finest and most entertaining places to visit for kids. The museum spans 56,000 square feet and has fourteen galleries and four outdoor exhibitions, each with a unique topic spanning from communication to the arts.
The museum first opened its doors in 1983 at a previous site, but relocated to its present home in 2003, and has been a go-to for inquisitive kids who love to learn and explore in fun and engaging ways ever since.
Because many of the exhibits include interactive elements, they may be a lot of fun for youngsters!
Wynwood Arts District
This area of Miami, which was once used as a warehouse neighborhood, has recently become one of the city’s primary hubs for the arts. The Wynwood Arts Districts consist of a collection of hundreds of galleries and the Wynwood Walls, a group of graffiti art created by local artists, and some yearly events, concerts, and festivals.
The Wynwood Arts District may no longer be regarded as “unexpected” by some people. However, it is still highly recommended that you include it in your itinerary if you have the opportunity. Even anyone with merely a passing interest in the arts will find the works of art and excellent meals in the area memorable and pleasurable experiences due to their uniqueness and quality.
Wynwood Walls Street Art
Address: 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Wynwood’s warehouse neighborhood has converted the once drab exterior warehouse walls into bright works of art. The Wynwood Walls, which are covered with street art or graffiti as it is often known, have breathed fresh life into the area.
Tony Goldman founded the neighborhood in 2009. It has attracted well-known figures in street art from all around North America and the world. Since its inception, this unique art form has graced over 80,000 square feet of wall space with paintings.
The whole neighborhood is covered with vibrant street art. You may wander around on your own or join up for a guided tour to learn more about the murals. The Wynwood Walls Museum is a great place to go if you want to view prominent painters and buy prints. There are 35 walls, retail stores, and galleries within this guarded neighborhood. This location used to be free, but there is an entrance charge now.
Little Havana and Calle Ocho
Cuban culture is vivid and colorful, yet it is less recognized in the United States and elsewhere. However, you can learn more about it in this neighborhood, which has restaurants, cafés, murals, and stores devoted to this often-overlooked Miami influence’s cuisine, music, and culture. The main street in Little Havana is Calle Ocho. However, other minor lanes off of it have some fantastic businesses to explore.
This is the spot to go exploring and wandering. This neighborhood has some of Miami’s most outstanding and unusual restaurants, so follow your nose or observe what the locals eat before deciding on a restaurant or café. If you’re in town for the Calle Ocho Event in March, don’t miss out on this street festival that honors Latin American cultures. It’s an excellent starting place for learning more about a vastly different culture and way of life.
The walls of buildings are adorned with murals representing notable Cuban figures and scenes from ordinary life. Calle Ocho, the district’s main thoroughfare, is where most of the activity occurs. At the same time, Little Havana stretches well beyond it into the surrounding streets and avenues. There are lots of people-watching options in the area. Of course, this is the place to go for Cuban food or, as most tourists are surprised to learn, a terrific haircut at one of the many barber shops.
The Calle Ocho Festival, which takes place in March, is the world’s most incredible celebration of Cuban culture. This street festival has grown to incorporate more Latin American cultures over the years. It is now a fantastic chance to sample Latin American music and Caribbean food.
If you plan a luxury vacation house in rental Miami, it is always best to plan far enough ahead. The city features many luxury properties and hotels for even the most discriminating, like
Once you have your accommodations, adding some unusual and unexpected side trips can help make your visit more memorable. Step beyond the clubs and nightlife of South Beach and explore some of Miami’s hidden treasures that many visitors miss.