Best Things to Do in Miami

No Matter The Season, Miami's 10Best Attractions Are Hot Year-Round

The perfect weather year round, the miles of beaches that stretch on endlessly - the list of reasons why Miami is an attractive destination are endless. However, most are centered around our phenomenal beaches. Sure, you can come here and sit in the sun sipping mojitos for the duration of your stay (and we recommend you do so at least once on the infamous Lummus Park Beach), but there is so much more to Miami, which makes it worth your while to get out and explore.

Nature takes the forefront, with several places in the Everglades offering the opportunity to come within feet of a Florida alligator. At Shark Valley, you'll have the chance to walk or bike down one of the longest stretches of mostly untouched Everglades without having to put on snake boots and wade in the sawgrass. But if that's a bit too up close for you, Everglades Safari Park offers airboat rides, which is surely the funnest way to get around in the Everglades.

Then there are spots like Zoo Miami, who bring the best of wildlife from all over the world and are constantly evolving and incorporating new exhibits, shows, and exciting animal encounters. You'll have the chance to feed giraffes, watch tigers getting fed, listen to the songs of the howler monkeys, and more. And don't forget to check out some older and newer additions to our atractions list, focused on bringing new art experiences to the masses! There's never a dull moment in the Magic City.


Holocaust Memorial
Photo courtesy of used in book.

Intensely moving, this memorial created by artist-architect Kenneth Treister honors victims and offers solace to survivors of the horrors of the Holocaust of the Jewish people in Europe. Included in its design are an arbor that depicts the history of the Holocaust in black granite and a tunnel that opens up to "The Sculpture of Love and Anguish." This enormous bronze arm, with its base of writhing human forms, is variously interpreted as a symbol of despair or hope. The memorial also encompasses a reflecting pool and walls inscribed with the names of thousands of victims. The overall effect is visually and emotionally stunning.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Everyone goes to Miami for the beaches. Gain knowledge and understanding at this important memorial for a meaningful change of pace.

Priscilla's expert tip: This experience is both chilling and uplifting. The memorial frequently hosts Holocaust survivors, who deliver speeches and personal experiences to visitors. Check the Holocaust Memorial website for the dates of special events such as these.

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Those who grew up in Miami in the 80s and 90s have fond memories of field trips and visits to the old Miami Science Museum. But these days, we're more than thrilled to take the next generation to visit the newer iteration: The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Located in the heart of downtown Miami, this 250,000-square-foot museum features a variety of experiences and exhibitions dedicated to science and innovation. Ocean lovers will be thrilled by the multi-level Aquarium, each level dedicated to different habitats and a variety of aquatic creatures from mahi-mahi and mangroves, to coral reefs and jellyfish, and beyond. The 250-seat Planetarium is the perfect place to see the planets, stars, and galaxies in a whole new way. And what science museum would be complete without a few dinosaurs? Visitors will love learning all about Pterosaurs–"the flying reptilian creatures that once roamed the earth–"in the current Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit, the largest exhibition of its kind in the States (open through September).

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Frost's committment to raising a new generation of thinkers, explorers, and innovators shines via fun, interactive exhibitions.

Priscilla's expert tip: Check the weather report prior to visiting. One of the Aquarium levels and the rooftop terraces are both exposed so you'll want to be prepared with weather-appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

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Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Constructed in 1916 for industrialist James Deering, this Italianate palace is often referred to as the Hearst Castle of the East. Intended to appear centuries-old at completion, it is absolutely rife with architectural detail and elaborate accents. In fact, more than a thousand artisans took five-plus years to complete the ornate flourishes. Deering was fascinated by 16th-century art and architecture, and most of his fine collection remains on display within the mansion. The beautifully landscaped grounds aptly complement the building, whose name remembers the Basque term for a raised site. Built on the bay, you'll also appreciate beautiful views of the water while touring the estate.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Along with Miami Beach's Art Deco buildings, this is the most interesting architecture you'll find in Miami proper. Beautiful to behold.

Priscilla's expert tip: On the eve of the full moon each month, Vizcaya hosts moonlight garden tours complete with live music and refreshments in the Courtyard.

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The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami first opened to the public in 1996. The facility has 23,000 square feet of exhibition space, and houses more than 400 permanent installations from artists such as Larry Rivers, Claes Oldenburg, and Jasper Johns. With eight to ten changing exhibits annually, even more artists are represented. Special programs on offer include a jazz concert series on the last Friday of every month, workshops for kids and adults, lectures and discussions with artists like Frank Stella, video and film screenings, and classical music concerts. The Museum Shop is open during regular museum hours.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: MOCA's commitment to innovative art and education that inspires and challenges the community at large is second to none.

Priscilla's expert tip: Hit up the free jazz concerts held once a month on Fridays, and make sure to bring a picnic while you're at it.

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If you're looking for an immersive and progressive experience in the Magic City, you've found it at Artechouse. Located right on Collins Avenue, you wouldn't really know what to expect when first walking up to the white building. But once you step inside, you'll be mesmerized by the exhibitions that blend art with science and technology in wholly innovative ways. Through videos, light displays, and other forms of installations, there's never a dull moment (and always an Instagrammable one). This permanent SoBe fixture features rotating exhibitions–"the current one is Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies, which celebrates the Black experience on a social, historical, and cultural level. Check it out through

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Cutting edge technology meets art and science to create immersive exhibitions meant to inspire, educate, and entertain Miamians in a refreshing way.

Priscilla's expert tip: Check out their website to see when the next exhibit is to come, and don't forget to check out other Artechouses in NYC and Washington DC.

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Shark Valley Visitor Center
Photo courtesy of Everglades National Park

Part of the Everglades National Park, the Shark Valley Visitor Center is located in the center of an expansive river of grass, punctuated only by a 15-mile asphalt trail. Visitors can opt to take the tram tour, bike or walk. There are no fences here, and full-grown alligators often sunbathe in the middle of the trail. Key deer can be seen bobbing around, as can snakes, turtles and native Florida birds. At the midway point, a water tower can be easily climbed and the silence and sheer beauty found at the top is absolutely astounding. Alligator calls echo as a slight breeze blows over the grass. This is the place to really see the Everglades as it is meant to be seen - untouched and pristine.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Everglades takes up the majority of South Florida and is a true natural wonder, a breath of fresh air from Miami's mostly urban sprawl.

Priscilla's expert tip: Bike rentals are available, however they go extremely quickly. The trail opens at 9:15 a.m. and closes at 5:15 p.m. As the trail takes an average of four hours to complete, getting into the park early to secure a bike rental is advisable.

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South Dade

The only US zoo set in a subtropical climate, ZooMiami mesmerizes visitors with remarkable, open air exhibits and exotic creatures from around the world. Favorite animals among zoo-goers include clouded leopards, Komodo dragons, ring-tailed lemurs and tree kangaroos. They get ample competition from standard wildlife like giraffes, lions, meerkats, koalas, gorillas and colorful birds. When the heat starts to take its toll, Dr. Wilde's World provides a rainforest-themed, air-conditioned refuge for hands-on fun, or you can always just hop on the monorail and get a bird's eye view of the whole park. A petting zoo and wildlife shows also keep kids engaged, plus a fun splash zone and even swan and duck boat rides.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Considered one of the best zoos in the country, with an plethora of wildlife and even a monorail, ZooMiami is our local pride and joy.

Priscilla's expert tip: Check schedules prior to arrival for animal shows and feeding times. Some of the coolest experiences you'll have at the zoo revolve around these two things.

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Allapattah has changed and grown in recent years with new restaurants, shops, and more moving into the neighborhood. One of the latest additions is Superblue--a 50,000 square foot installation space that's dedicated to experimental art. Opened this past Spring, Superblue is home to some of the most awe-inspiring, large-scale works of art that will delight all your senses. Lose yourself (and your pandemic worries) underneath kinetic sculptures, step into dream-like rooms filled with bubbles, view imaginative, interactive videos and more at this one-of-a-kind art hub. Whether you're seeking a whimsical new kind of date night, an exciting outings with friends, some solo time to take in some culture, or a fun-filled family adventure, everyone will find something to love at Superblue.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: This immersive and interactive large-scale art installation in the heart of Allapattah is especially perfect for those hot-and-muggy or much-too-rainy Miami days.

Priscilla's expert tip: Don't forget to buy your add-on ticket for Massless Clouds Between Sculpture and Life--an experience you won't want to miss!

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Because South Beach is such a broad description, and because the varying beaches here go on for miles, we thought we'd narrow it down. Lummus Park, the area of the beach located along Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th Street, is the all-encompassing South Beach experience. This is the strip of sand that is always the most crowded, which makes for excellent people watching. There is a mini playground before the entrance to the beach for children ages two through 5, but they may be just as happy splashing on the shore. With Brazilian bikinis and fluorescent tans as far as the eye can see, adults will likely tire their necks from spinning around doing a double take at colorful locals. Once you've soaked up all of the sun you can possibly fit into one day, the strip of restaurants and bars lining Ocean Drive are close at hand.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: This is the main reason folks flock to Miami and South Beach. Have you seen these beaches? Blue water, soft sand, and proximity to nightlife!

Priscilla's expert tip: To beat the heat in your car and have a better chance of finding a spot, opt to park in one of the city parking garages. Most charge $2 per hour (with the 7th and Collins garage being the closest). Or try 5th and Alton (which is free for the first 2 hours) if you don't mind a 10-12 minute walk!

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Biscayne National Park, the largest marine park in the National Park System, offers a reprieve from the heavy crowds that you find at most other area attractions. That's because this hidden treasure is mostly underwater (the majority (95%) of its over 170,000 acres). On the land that remains above water, you have the option of camping, picnicking, and walking along nature trails. Or head to the underwater portion for unbeatable snorkeling or scuba diving tours. Sunset cruises, glass-bottom boat tours, and canoe tours are just some of the boat trips available.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: In our COVID-conscious world, this beautifully pristine national park gives us a respite with snorkling, hiking, paddling and more in a safe, uncrowded environment.

Priscilla's expert tip: Keep an eye out for wildlife! This national park is home to dolphins, manatees, sting rays, sea turtles, and other amazing creatures!

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Meet Priscilla Blossom

Pris Blossom is a freelance writer and feminist mama with a love for travel, writing, music, film, yoga, museums, cultural anthropology, and her awesome kid.

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