Fancy a well-deserved getaway? Well I highly recommend you head to beautiful Miami, Florida! It is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.
This sprawling area, known as Greater Miami, is found in Southeast Florida and is a travel destination like no other. From its beautiful, legendary beaches to its unique multicultural neighborhoods, bustling arts and active nightlife scenes – it offers endless fun experiences for everyone!
Miami’s reputation for being a 24-hour party spot may be true, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of family-friendly activities for visitors of all ages. This magical city is full of green spaces and public parks. They have over 800 parks and it is the only city in the United States that is bordered by two separate national parks – Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.
Here are some interesting facts about this subtropical paradise: it was actually a mangrove forest before its development began in the 1920s; It is the only large city in the USA to have been founded by a woman (Julia Tuttle); The beautiful stretch of beach here is known as the “Riviera of America”; The South Beach Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world; It was ranked # 1 cleanest city in America by Forbes magazine; And Miami has the world’s largest and busiest cruise port!
Here are some of the fun activities we did on my last trip:
Miami sightseeing by water – We felt like a character from the TV series “Miami Vice” as we drove on the Outboard thriller and viewed Miami from the boat’s unique perspective – the open ocean. This trip begins at Bayside Market and is the only tour boat in Florida that can provide you with an experience off multiple beaches. We especially enjoyed seeing all of the homes of the rich and famous on Star Island. It was an adrenaline-filled tour and it’s one of Miami’s most popular attractions.
The Wynwood Art District – This very unique neighborhood is home to over 10 art galleries, museums and collections, and is known for its creative and colorful street art. It used to be a collection of warehouses, but in recent years it has been transformed into one of the hippest hangouts in the world. Filled with eclectic restaurants, bars and shops, Wynwood also offers the best of international contemporary art, in the galleries and on the street, where colorful murals make it a cultural hub.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach – Want to relax? It is one of Miami’s most relaxing beaches and a quaint, sunny slice of paradise. Located at the east end of Key Biscayne, this beach is the perfect place for a family picnic, a day of biking by the sea, or a quiet afternoon by the sea. bikes and quads for rent at their concession stand and plenty of trails to hike. Fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling are all options here. The historic lighthouse was built in 1825 and is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County.
The Everglades Alligator Farm – This is a wildlife park and Miami’s most complete alligator experience, and it’s sure to be the experience you come home to and tell all your friends about. It is the oldest alligator farm in South Florida and there are hourly alligator, snake and wildlife shows. Our favorite part was the airboat ride. We wandered through the tall grass of the huge Everglades while speeding up in an airboat. It was very exciting! This experience allows you to observe alligators in their natural habitat while maintaining a presumably safe distance.
Robert is there – This place has a strange name but is well known as Florida’s most famous fruit stand. Here you can taste the unusual as they have hundreds of different types of fruit… all year round. This is a long-standing, family-owned fruit stand specializing in rare and exotic fruits and vegetables. When visiting make sure and come back they have the most interesting little farm. It is teeming with a wide variety of animals and countless large active turtles. Although it started out as a literal fruit stand on the side of the road, it has grown into a full tourist destination as it sits near the entrance to Everglades National Park. It’s a fun stop and it really is a step back in time!
Fruit and spice park – It is the only such public garden in the United States. It is a 37 acre subtropical paradise nestled in the heart of the historic community of Redland. Surrounded by thousands of acres of tropical agriculture, the park is a gem of South Florida’s farming community drawing more than 50,000 visitors a year to its gardens and festivals. Over 500 varieties of exotic fruits, herbs, spices and nuts from all over the world are grown and maintained here. If you go, be sure to sign up for one of their daily tours.
Biltmore Coral Gables – This is an iconic Miami beach resort and also a National Historic Landmark. The vast Biltmore was built in 1926 and has a fascinating history. Imagine a dreamlike setting with exquisite hand-painted frescoes on barrel-vaulted ceilings, gleaming travertine floors, slender marble columns, intricate lead glass fixtures, carved mahogany furniture, and lavish gardens. It looks like a Spanish castle and a Venetian palace. This was George Merrick’s vision for Coral Gables as he focused on Italian, Moorish and Spanish architectural influences. This awe-inspiring structure sits on 150 acres of lush tropical landscape. Visitors have included countless celebrities and dignitaries over the years, but my favorite is Franklin D. Roosevelt who had set up a temporary White House office at the hotel when he was vacationing there. One of their claims to fame is the massive 2,300 square meter outdoor swimming pool known as the “Venetian Pool” and it is nothing short of spectacular! There used to be water shows there and former TV star Tarzan even gave diving and swimming lessons to hotel guests. Along with this epic swimming pool, facilities include a full-service spa, an 18-hole golf course, and 10 floodlit tennis courts.
Little Havana – This is a well-known and lively area of Miami. It is home to Cuban exiles, as well as immigrants from Central and South America. You can’t go to Little Havana and not eat at one of their many authentic restaurants, there are a lot of great options… and don’t forget to try the classic Cuban coffee. We loved dining at Versailles, known as the most famous Cuban restaurant in the world. Or discover the art of the Cuban cigar. In Little Havana, you’ll find plenty of family-owned cigar shops with centuries-old aficionados who roll traditional Cuban cigars just like their fathers and grandfathers once did in Cuba.
Isn’t it easy to understand now why “Miami is so beautiful? No wonder this is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States – and around the world !!!
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