Miami is one of those cities that is perfect for a weekend getaway, in fact it’s a noted hotspot for celebrities looking for a quick mini vacation from the world. Miami has so much to offer that you can cater to almost every personality and interest. The best way to experience Miami is to take in a little bit of everything the city has to offer.
Miami is known for its beaches, one in particular. And any visit to Miami doesn’t feel complete without a trip to the ocean. South Beach is the most noted beach and draws the greatest crowds. It’s the place where people go to see and be seen. And you may see more than you bargained for as topless sunbathing is not uncommon. South beach is convenient to get to and within walking distance to a number of wonderful cafés and restaurants that feature outdoor seating so you can people watch while dining. The other beaches in Miami don’t draw quite the crowds that South Beach does, which has its appeal as well. Miami beaches have it all, whether you’re looking for a place to sun yourself, explore native habitat, windsurf or even camp.
Miami has a thriving art community and there is no shortage of art galleries, museums and events to explore. Although the visual arts may be your first instinct, and there are a number of places to explore the visual and traditional art of the region there are other art forms which attract a crowd and inspire many. The music scene in Miami is thriving and diverse with strong gospel roots, a noted Latin beat and incredible club music. The performing arts make a strong appearance on the local scene with a handful of local performing arts arenas with everything from traditional Shakespeare to interpretive dance. One art form that often gets overlooked but is key to Miami’s personality is the architecture which is mainly art deco in style. But if you’re really interested in architecture the Wolfsonian Museum houses the John and Drew Eberson Architectural Records Archive which is an incredible dive into their work from 1909 through 1988.
Speaking of museums, Miami has a number of museums and one for just about every subject. For families the Children’s Museum is exciting and always changing so that kids can play and learn at the same time. The Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium with more than 60,000 artifacts and a fantastic planetarium. The Lowe Art Museum with an interesting scope of multicultural exhibitions and special events to open your awareness of the artistic world. In addition to these traditional museums Miami has many special interest museums that you won’t find anywhere else, like the American Police Hall of Fame, the Jewish Museum of Florida and the Wolfsonian with its focus on architecture and interior design.
Miami has a unique environment with the everglades, the ocean and its beaches and the incredible wildlife. The Everglades National Park is a wonderful way to explore the natural environment of Florida. The Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the entire United States and is home to many rare and endangered species. Keep your eyes peeled and you’re sure to see an alligator in its natural habitat. For something a little less wild and more controlled, Miami Seaquarium might be the way to experience a little bit of wildlife. This 38 acre tropical paradise is an exciting place to learn more about the sea life around you and enjoy a little entertainment as well. The Miami Zoo is another way to explore the wildlife of the world, it’s Florida’s oldest and largest zoological garden.
Miami is actually a fairly young city as the everglades made it pretty inhospitable until modern building and conveniences turned it into the vacation hotspot that it is today. But that’s not to say that the city doesn’t have its own history that will appeal to history buffs. One of the most beautiful and interesting historical spots in Miami is the Ancient Spanish Monastery. This Ancient Spanish Monastery is actually the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux from Sacramenia in Sergovia Spain. This 1133-1144 monastery was seized and sold to William Randolph Hearst who had it dismantled stone by stone and shipped to Miami. Unfortunately the structure wasn’t rebuilt until the 1950s and wasn’t restored in exactly the right manner. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places the Venetian Pool was created in the 1920s. Fed by underground artesian wells the pool is the largest freshwater pool in the U.S. and is surrounded by vine covered loggias, shady porticos, observation toward and waterfalls. And the Historical Museum of Southern Florida is a must to learn about the history of south Florida and the Caribbean.
Miami for Lovers
And what trip to a tropical destination is complete without a little romance. Miami is known for its cruises and a one day cruise to the Bahamas is an incredible way to spend the day with your loved one. In addition to getting to explore the Bahamas you get all of the amenities of the cruise ship without having to spend most of your vacation locked aboard a ship. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is also a wonderful place to visit for hand in hand walks through this fairytale garden. For fun in the sun and ocean together any of Miami’s beaches can serve up the romance you’re looking for. But for the ultimate in Florida romance you have to take a little trip to Homestead Florida’s Coral Castle, an incredibly romantic structure and garden. This beautiful valentine was created by Ed Leedskalnin over the course of 28 years in honor of the love of his life who left him the day before they were to be wed. And to cap off the night, visit one of the romantic restaurants in Miami for a candlelit dinner for two.
photo credit: Flickr/wyntuition