As David Guetta’s popular song proclaims, I’m in Miami, bitch… so put your hands in the air for this awesome party destination. Miami Beach is home to the rich and the famous, and you’ll find sexy beaches, hot babes and expensive cars wherever you go. It’s a bachelor’s paradise, but you and your partner will also find plenty to see and do in the Magic City. However, if you’re looking for something a little more family-friendly or that requires less exertion than partying all night, this list gives a number of interesting sites and scenes around Miami Beach.
Most people might think that Miami is part of Miami Florida, but it’s actually its very own municipality. Located on the barrier island east of Miami and Biscayne Bay, it is home to a large number of beach resorts, and it’s definitely one of the most popular party destinations in the world.
So, apart from having wild parties on those sexy beaches, what else can you see at Miami Beach?
Places to See at Miami Beach
Star Island Miami
Star Island is an artificial island within Miami Beach. It is located in Biscayne Bay, Miami.
A bridge connects the main city to this Island.
As the name suggests, the houses on Star Island are or once were homes to celebrities like Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Lenny Kravitz, Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, P. Diddy and many more.
If you are planning a trip to Miami, this is a good bit of free sightseeing to do.
Venetian Pool Coral Gables
The Venetian Pool is generally open from 11 am to 5 pm every day, but you should call to verify hours before going. In the 1920s, Denman Dink transformed this limestone quarry into a pool with a waterfall, an area for kids and an area for adults.
The water in this pool comes from a spring and is drained daily. In addition to the swimming facilities, there is a snack bar (you cannot bring outside food into the Venetian Pool) and lockers. Swimming lessons are also offered here.
The Venetian Pool is best known for having Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller (the silver screen’s first Tarzan) swim here. The prices are as follows: between November and March – $6 for persons 13 years and older, $3 for children under 13; between April and October – $9 for persons 13 years and older, $5 for children under 13.
Frost Art Museum
The Frost Art Museum is generally open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm, and on Sundays from 12 pm to 5 pm. Located at Florida International University, the Frost Art Museum has a large variety of 1960s and 1970s American photography, pre-Columbian artifacts dating back to 200 to 500 AD, ancient African and Asian bronzes, and a growing number of Caribbean and Latin American paintings and artwork.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Here you can find a European-inspired estate in America. A tour includes the main house, which is filled with art and furnishings and ten acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay. It costs $12 for adults; $9 for Miami-Dade residents with ID, patrons using wheelchairs, seniors 62 years of age or older with ID and students with ID; and $5 children aged 6-12. Admission is free for children 5 years of age or younger.
The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
The zoo is open daily from 9:30 pm to 5:30 pm. It is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida. This zoo houses over 1,200 wild animals, and is a free range zoo. Its climate makes the zoo like no other, allowing a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa to live comfortably in appropriate weather conditions.
Oleta River State Recreation Park
If you are nature lover and want to have some fun in Miami, then this place is for you.
The park is open daily from 8 am to sunset. It is the largest urban park in Florida and has trails for biking, a beach for swimming, picnic areas and a playground for kids. Get a canoe or kayak to row to a mangrove island within the park. Several animals, such as eagles and fiddler crabs, also make their home here. Fourteen cabins with air conditioning are also on the premises, but bathrooms, showers and grills are located outside the cabins and guests should bring their own linens. Entry is at $5 for a vehicle carrying up to eight passengers, and $1 for bicyclists, pedestrians and extra passengers ($50.85 a night in a cabin).
Jungle Island Miami
This is a lush tropical garden that features animal shows and exhibits. It can be a great outing for the family to enjoy.
Miami Sea Aquarium
This 38 acre tropical island paradise features marine shows and marine life exhibits. Expect to stay around two to three hours at the large aquarium. It’s located just ten minutes from down-town Miami.
Ancient Spanish Monastery
This Spanish Monastery was originally built in Segovia, Spain, in 1141. The monastery was supposed to be part of William Randolph Hearst’s property in California, but he encountered some problems importing the building.
Partly because he ran out of money and partly because the United States would not allow the monastery to be built in California, the monastery remained in New York Harbor until 1954, when a couple of businessmen bought the property and assembled it in Miami.
Parts of the monastery have not been assembled because the government removed the pieces from numbered boxes and then placed the wrong pieces in the wrong boxes. Today, the monastery is a church as well as a popular marriage location. As seen on the History Channel show, Weird U.S., adult admission is $5, senior and student admission (with valid ID)is $2.50, and child admission is $2.