Located on natural and manmade islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach is Florida’s most trendy vacation destination and is largely the realm of the wealthy and elite.
Miami Beach was incorporated in 1915 and is in close proximity to some of the state’s most visited sites, like Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and the ever popular Florida Keys.
Miami and Miami Beach are particularly famous for their all-night clubs, luxurious eateries, and endless stretches of white beaches. The cities boast stunning art-deco architecture and an interesting and diverse mix of people of all cultures.
1. South Beach
Often referred to as the American Riviera because it’s the playground of the rich and famous, South Beach draws many visitors annually, and has many things to do for travelers of all budgets.
As its name implies, South Beach is famous for its beaches being stunning but it is also full of historic art-deco buildings that are best seen by having a day trip via car.
The food scene in South Beach is renowned for its worldwide influences, though most of the restaurants are prohibitively expensive, there are fairly priced options as well.
2. Miami Children’s Museum
Situated on one of the smaller islands Between South Beach and the city, the Miami Children’s Museum is really a oasis that is family-friendly the midst of a city that’s mostly full of adult-only entertainment.
Featuring a number of educational exhibits, the museum’s highlights consist of a castle that is a mock giant piggy bank, and a music manufacturing studio, all of which encourage kids to play and interact.
Although the museum is fantastic to check out anytime, it is specially welcoming when the South Florida weather isn’t conducive to activities that are outdoor.
Rumor has it that the museum offers one evening that is free month; though you’ll save on the cost of admission, you’ll likely have to take on hordes of other cost-conscious families.
3. Ocean Drive
For lovers of architecture — especially the iconic forms with sleek lines standard in the movement of art-deco, Ocean Drive is worth a check out.
For the average Joe, lots of the hotels and restaurants are out of monetary reach, but it’s nevertheless possible to enjoy this scenic area and get a sense of its history and tradition.
You can also appreciate the historical and architectural insight from a local tour guide, and you may discover a few affordable and relatively undiscovered gems along the way.
4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Positioned in laid-back Coconut Grove, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens isn’t as well-known as a number of Miami Beach’s other attractions, but it packs a punch that is the pure beauty and history and is worth a few hours of your valuable vacation time.
Comprised of nearly 50 acres of professionally cultivated gardens, the grounds have a sensational Italian Renaissance villa with sweeping views regarding the city that is located on a nearby bay.
The location packs an idyllic activity-packed calendar of events, including things like yoga, live entertainment, and arts and crafts shows. With this much selection you are bound to find something for the entire family to choose from
Check their website for events, directions, hours and the price of admission.
5. Spanish Monastery
Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux
Southern Florida is home to the longest continuously inhabited settlement in the nation, and it was Spanish merchants and monks who were among the first to explore and settle in the area.
The Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was originally built in Spain, but was bought in the ’30s by American newsprint magnate William Randolph Hearst, who had it disassembled, shipped to Florida, and reconstructed with a fascinating history dating straight back more than seven centuries.
Consisting of tens of thousands of individual pieces, it was no small task. This traditional Spanish monastery is a true Southern Florida treasure that’s well worth a look.
It’s open every day and is surprisingly cheap for the whole family.