Vacationing in Miami offers a great variety of Attractions for travelers including Art, Architecture, Historic and Cultural Adventures. Our guide to South Florida Attractions makes it easy to explore everything fun under the sun!
Ancient Spanish Monastery
The St. Bernard de Clairvaux Monastery was built in Spain in the XII century and purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1925. The structures were dismantled and shipped to the United States where they remained in a Brooklyn, NY warehouse until Hearst’s financial problems necessitated their sale. They were later donated to the parish of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. The monastery remains very popular for high-end wedding ceremonies. Open Mon.-Sat, 9am-5pm; Sunday 2pm-4pm (may close early on the weekends if there are special events). Adults $5; seniors (65+) and students with ID are $2.50; children under 12 are $2. 16711 West Dixie Highway / North Miami Beach, FL / (305) 945-1462
Art Deco District Guided Tours
The Miami Design Preservation League offers walking tours (approx. 90 minutes) of Ocean Drive and beyond to introduce guests to the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and MiMo styles found in South Beach. Tours depart the Art Deco Welcome Center Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30am, and Thursdays at 6:30pm. $20/person: $15 for seniors 65+ and children under 15; free to members of Miami Design Preservation League. Private tours can also be arranged. Deco Underworld Tours: An overview of Prohibition, Gambling and Al Capone in Miami Beach. 1001 Ocean Drive / Miami Beach, FL / (305) 672-2014
Coral Castle Museum
One of South Florida’s most popular oddities is Coral Castle, a coral rock structure built entirely by hand by an eccentric Latvian man named Edward Leedskalnin during the last 28 years of his life. Inspiring many local legends, this “American Stonehenge” was said to be a lifelong tribute to his long lost childhood love. Throughout the 1940s, Leedskalnin lived in the castle and led tours through the grounds for 10 cents a guest.
After he died, the property was officially transformed into a tourist attraction which continues to appeal to travelers who want to believe there are supernatural powers at work in the 1,100 tons of meticulously crafted rock. Thirty minute state of the art audio tour in English, Spanish, French or German. Open daily, 7am to 8pm. $9.75 adults; children 7-12, $5; 6 and under 7 are free; seniors 62+ $6.50. 28655 S. Dixie Highway / Homestead, FL / (305) 248-6345
This unique park includes Indian Burial grounds areas where 50,000 year old fossils have been discovered, historic buildings and the most famous winter estate of industrialist Charles Deering. Try a guided walking tour, canoe tour, or explore on your own. Open daily (except Christmas and Thanksgiving) 10am to 5pm (box office until 4pm). Adults, $7; children 14 and under, $5; ages 3 and under, free. Admission includes three guided tours and parking. 16701 SW Old Cutler Road / Miami, FL / (305) 235-1668
Duck Tours South Beach
This tour is a 90 minute land-sea adventure conducted in an amphibious vehicle. The tour departs from South Beach/Miami Beach and hits the Art Deco District, downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay, Star Island, Millionaire’s Row and more. Lots of fun for the whole family. 1661 James Avenue / Miami Beach, FL 33139 / 305-673-2217 www.ducktourssouthbeach.com
Everglades National Park
From the moment visitors enter this unique Federal reservation, about an hour’s drive south of Miami, they are amazed at this fascinating 1,400,533-acre nature sanctuary. There’s a world of difference for tourists here in the country’s third-largest national park.
This sub-tropical wilderness is covered with broad expanses of sawgrass dotted with hammocks (isolated clusters of trees and associated vegetation), bald cypress, pinelands and dense mangroves. Some one thousand species of flowering plants grow undisturbed here. Branches of trees are adorned with orchids and ferns. Intricate waterways, many of which remain unexplored, lace their way throughout the region.
Accommodations are also available at Flamingo Lodge. Main entrance (Homestead) is open 24 hours, everyday. $ 10/car; $10 at Shark Valley entrance (Highway 4, also known as the Tamiami Trail), open 8:30am-5:30pm. 40001 State Road 9336 / Homestead, FL / (305) 242-7700
Everglades Safari Park
Airboat tours, eco-adventure tours, alligator and wildlife nature shows. Observe South Florida’s delicate ecological system with breath-taking airboat ride through nature’s wildlife. See alligators, crocodiles and other exotic wildlife in their natural habitat. Park also has jungle walking trails, observation platforms and exhibits, and a restaurant, souvenir-gift shop. Open everyday 9am-Spm. $20 adults; $10 children 5-11.
Admission to Everglades Safari Park also includes an Eco-Adventure Airboat ride, and Alligator Wildlife Nature show. Tours and excursions introduce visitors to Everglades flora and fauna, wildlife and natural surroundings. Canoe and kayak tours, snorkeling, tours to the Everglades and bird watching. 26700 Tamiami Trail (SW 8th St.) / Miami, FL / (305) 226-6923
LITTLE HAVANA / 1400-1700 South West Eighth Street (Calle Ocho), Miami / 305-643-5500
Known to be the cultural center for the exile Cuban Community in Miami, Little Havana’s Calle Ocho is a Hispanic neighborhood named after the capital of Cuba. Home to a number of small ethnic storefront shops, Latin restaurants and cigar factories, the district comes to life on the last Friday of every month when Cultural Fridays (www.ViernesCulturales.org) bring out crowds of visitors who tour small art galleries, bodegas and dance halls starting at 7pm. At the center of the area, Domino Park is a gathering place for older gentlemen who join in competitive games, reminisce about the old country and argue over local politics. Musicians perform at the park and at the landmark Tower Theater.
Fairchild Tropical Garden
Fairchild Tropical Garden is an 83 acre botanical garden containing one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of rare, tropical plants. The Garden also contains a display conservatory; a sunken garden and a rain forest display. A cafe and bookstore are also available. Open daily (except Christmas) 9:30am-4:30pm. Adults, $10; children 3-12, $5; children under 3, free; seniors $9. Admission includes narrated tram tours. Special events during the year. Disabled access available. 10901 Old Cutler Road / Coral Gables, FL / (305) 667-1651
Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Located next to Miami’s MetroZoo, the Railraod Museum’s exhibits include the Ferdinand Magellan, a private railroad car built for President Franklin Roosevelt, and other historic trains. Open weekdays, 10am-4pm; weekends, 11am-4pm. Adults $5; children under 11, $3 (under 3, free). Train rides (Sat. & Sun. only), noon, I pm, 2pm, 3pm, $2 additional; cab train every 1/2 hour, $10 additional and you can ride with the conductor. Every second weekend, the coach train runs, $5 additional. 12450 SW 152nd Street / Miami, FL / (305) 253-0063
Jungle Island is now established in its new home on Miami’s Watson Island in a lush jungle setting of orchids, bromeliads and heliconias. There are more than 1200 animal types, from crocodiles and flamingos to orangutans and over 1,000 parrots. Watson Island on the MacArthur Causeway / Miami, FL
Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise
From Ft. Lauderdale’s Bahia Mar Yacht Bain the Jungle Queen sails at 7pm through the “Venice of America” area to a tropical island for an all-you can-et dinner and variety show ($30.95). Daily sightseeing cruises at 10am and 2pm to Miami Beach’s “Millionaire’s Row” and the Jungle Queen island ($13.50). Miami Cruise, 9:15am-5pm: Day trips to Bayside Marketplace return at 5pm and includes the Millionaire’s Row cruise ($16.95) Reservations are required for all cruises. A1A, North of the 17th St. Causeway / Ft. Lauderdale, FL / (305) 947-6597
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Colorful bromeliads, orchid, vine and heliconia collections. More than 80 varieties of tropical palms, trees and plants. Garden and walking tours available. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Free. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to play together, learn, imagine and create. 2000 Convention Center Drive / Miami Beach, FL / (305) 673-7256
Miami Culinary Tour
Grace Della invites you to join her and her dedicated staff of foodies on a Miami Culinary Tour around South Beach or the Cuban restaurants at Calle Ocho in Downtown Miami. Depending upon your particular interests, small groups walk with a guide through the streets of South Florida texperience the tastes, sounds and fascinating aromas of the city’s best restaurants. Meet the chefs, see the sights and encounter a unique group of professional restaurateurs who work each day to bring their passions to the table.
Miami is the melting pot of Latin American cultures. South Beach attracts some of the biggest names in the culinary scene. Miami Culinary Tours bring those distinct elements together so diners can experience both 5 star gourmet cuisine and the “Mom & Pop” ethnic bites that comprise the full gamut of South Florida food. Walking from place to place, tour members consume a multi-course meal one restaurant at a time. Miami Beach, FL / (786) 942-8856 / www.miamiculinarytours.com
Miami MetroZoo contains more than 1,200 animals in a cage-less setting that approximates the animals’ natural habitats and provides visitors the feel of a safari. Large open air exhibits, a children’s zoo, tram rides, family cycles, a monorail and interactive exhibits make Miami Metrozoo, also named one of America’s Best Zoos and the number one Zoo for Pachyderms in 2008 by The Intrepid Traveler, a unique experience for visitors of all ages. General Zoo Admission is: $15.95 per Adult and $11.95 per Child (3-12), plus tax. Hours are 9:30 am – 5:30 pm; ticket booths close at 4 pm. 2400 SW 152nd Street / Miami, FL 33177 / (305) 251-0400
The Miami Seaquarium is South Florida’s largest marine aquarium and is home to Lolita, the killer whale, dolphin superstar Flipper, and more than 10,000 creatures of the sea. Scores of Tiger, Bull, Nurse and Lemon Sharks cruise the shark channel. Grouper, Sawfish Moray Eels and Sea Turtles pack the tanks.
Open daily 9:30am to 6pm (including holidays), box office closes at 4:30pm. Shows continue throughout the day. Adults $24.95 + tax, children ages 3-9, $19.95 + tax, under age 3, free. The Miami Seaquarium’s WA.D.E. program allows guests to interact with dolphins and observe their training and care. 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway / Key Biscayne, FL / (305) 361-5705
Miccosukee Indian Village
The Miccosukee Indian Village is located 25 miles west of Miami on the Tamiami Trail (US 41), and presents visitors with an actual Miccosukee village where tribal craftsmen exhibit patchwork and basketry. Alligator wrestling, Airboat rides, along with shopping and dining are also available. Special events at the Village include an Indian Arts & Crafts festival and a music festival. Open daily gam-4:30pm. Adults are $5, children 6-12 are $3.50, children 5 and under are free. 25 miles West of Miami on Tamiami Trail / (305) 223-8380
Dating back to 1916, Villa Vizcaya was the winter residence of American millionaire James Deering who crafted a European style estate with formal gardens in the tropical reaches of South Florida to use as his winter home. The city of Miami had just 10,000 residents at the time but nearly 1,000 were employed to help build the Vizcaya project which once comprised over 180 acres of what is now the city of Coconut Grove. Damaged by two major hurricanes, the bayside estate fell into disrepair but was painstakingly restored and currently serves as a museum and national landmark. Open daily except Tuesdays, the museum remains a significant architectural wonder. Open daily (except Christmas day) 9:30am to 5pm (gardens close 5:30pm; ticket booth, 4:30pm). Adults, $12; children 612, $5; under 6, free. 3251 South Miami Avenue / Miami, FL / (305) 250-9133