Choose from 37 Fun Things to Do in Miami
- The Art Deco Historic District is a must for architecture aficionados.
- Restrooms and other amenities are available at the Art Deco Welcome Center, but once you start on a walking tour, there are few public facilities along the way.
- The welcome center houses an art deco museum and gift shop.
- Those with special mobility needs should contact the Art Deco Welcome Center 72 hours in advance of any tour to seek assistance.
All across America are wealthy suburbs, where the houses are big and new and designed to resemble European abodes. But Coral Gables, called the City Beautiful, was the first. For in the posh neighborhood, you’ll see Italianate villas, Mediterranean mansion, mini-Alhambras, and cookie-cutter Cordobas, shaded and lovely under lving walls of banyan grove and ficus copse.
After you’ve spent some time driving around looking at all the beautiful homes, head up Granada Boulevard to Anastasia Avenue to marvel at the palatial landmark Biltmore Hotel. Then zip up the diagonal Desoto Boulevard, past the gurgling stone fountain of DeSoto Plaza to the perfectly sculpted landscaping, waterfalls, palm groves, and shaded pavilions of Venetian Pool. For a little respite, head east past wedding-cake houses and an organic pavilion of banyan branches to Miracle Mile, a sparkling stretch of the Gables’ finest shopping outlets.
To the south is the University of Miami, where the gorgeous grounds and its student body inject a nice dose of punky youth into this aristocratic neighborhood. Art lovers should stop at the Lowe Art Museum to see the stunning collection of pre-Columbia and Mesoamerican art. The museum also has a lovely collection of Renaissance and Baroque art.
Coral Gables is located southwest of downtown Miami and borders Coconut Grove and Little Havana. The City Beautiful is packed with dining establishments and gourmet shops, along many international retailers.
You can easily spend an entire day here sightseeing, shopping, and eating. Though you can get here by public transportation, you’ll get the most of your visit by car, as you can easily see more sites.
- Much of Miami Beach is pedestrian friendly, but you can cover more ground by car, or by taking a city sightseeing bus tour or boat tour.
- The most crowded beaches run from about 5th Street to 21st Street in the South Beach area.
- Families with kids should head north of 21st Street, especially to the beaches at 53rd Street or 73rd Street, or to Matheson Hammock Park or South Pointe Park.
- Aventura Mall is a must-do for shopping aficionados.
- On-site restaurants include a food court and more than 15 sit-down spots, including the Cheesecake Factory, Le Pain Quotidien, and Serafina Miami.
- Parking is available, along with a valet service.
- The mall is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get to Miami
Your ship will be docked at the port on Dodge Island, just a couple of miles from downtown. It’s a 15-minute walk to the Bayside Marketplace shopping and dining center. Most other Miami attractions require a cab, which you’ll find near the port.
One Day in Miami
The beach is a must, but first, head inland to explore one of Miami’s most colorful neighborhoods, Little Havana, just west of downtown. Wander down 8th Street (or ‘Calle Ocho’), where you can watch cigars being rolled, try a Cubano sandwich and see several memorial statues along Cuban Memorial Boulevard.
Next, hop in a cab and head to the Miami Seaquarium, an aquatic park spread across nearly 40 acres (16 hectares) on Biscayne Bay. Watch sharks being fed, manatees being brought back to health, dolphins showing off their tricks and rescued turtles enjoying some rehabilitation.
Now it’s time to visit Miami Beach, which is reached easiest by cab. Ask the driver to drop you off around Ocean Drive and 10th Street, which puts you in the heart of the Art Deco District. Walk around for a bit to admire the historic buildings that put Miami on the architecture map, and then kick off your shoes and spend the rest of the afternoon on the white sands of South Beach.
- Allow at least four hours to see the Seaquarium and all four daily shows.
- Frequent shows include killer whale, dolphin, and sea lion performances.
- Dolphin Harbor is an especially fun venue for watching marine mammals play and show off.
- Ample paid parking is available on-site.
- In the evenings and on weekends, the market’s atmosphere often gets energetic with dancing and live music.
- Vehicle parking, handicapped parking, and stroller parking are all available.
- Aside from many restaurants, there is a food court serving more fast, casual dining options.