Are you looking for things to do in Miami on your next vacation? Miami Beach is a great travel location for families and singles alike. While the beaches are gorgeous, Miami Beach has more to offer than just scenic shorelines. The area also has a lively arts scene. The Art Deco Historic district offers more Art Deco architecture than any other city in the world and the preeminent New World Symphony orchestra performs throughout the year in a gorgeous new building designed by Frank Gehry, the architect of the Guggenheim museum. While there’s a huge amount to do in Miami Beach, the following five attractions simply can’t be missed. Make sure to make room for each of them during your next Florida vacation. If you’re on a budget, check out our Ways to Save Money During Travel
before you go on vacation.
Things to Do in Miami Beach
1. South Beach
While some individual locations in South Beach also made our list of things to do in Miami, the Beach is such a unique location that it deserves its own spot. South Beach, also known as SoBe, is one of Miami Beach’s best known neighborhoods and home to some of the best that Miami has to offer in terms of art, culture and nightlife. It is home to the Miami City Ballet and the New World Symphony Orchestra and host to Miami Fashion week in March and the White Party in the spring. There’s always a party going on at the strip, with a huge number of clubs and bars to choose from.
2. Jungle Island
Jungle Island is a great place for the whole family, though you’re sure to enjoy its wondrous collections of tropical animals even if you’re flying solo. It’s an actual island that has been converted into a zoological park and is connected to Miami Beach by the MacArthur Causeway. The island boasts a huge selection of creatures including parrots, penguins, flamingos, monkeys, llamas, kangaroos and condors as well as a diverse group of fish and plants. Jungle Island offers daily shows featuring birds, alligators and tigers. Admission is $29.95 for adults, $23.95 for children between 3-10 (it’s free for kids under 2) and $27.95 for seniors. Free admission is offered to active duty military, and their family members receive a 15% discount.
3. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Located in the heart of South Beach, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden offers green space and a slice of serenity in the midst of the bustling neighborhood. The 4.5 acre garden features orchids, tropical trees and plants and a Japanese Garden. Best of all, admittance to the Botanical Gardens is free, which makes this a great attraction for vacationers on a budget.
4. Bass Museum of Art
The Bass Museum of Art is widely regarded as one of Miami’s finest museums. It offers a wide selection of art from the Renaissance to the modern era and the collection is particularly strong in contemporary art, 19th century painting and Asian art. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is eight dollars for adults and children over the age of six, free for children five and under and six dollars for seniors and students. Admission includes a free museum tour, though you must schedule the tour in advance. This is definitely among affordable things to do in Miami!
5. The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial
Dedicated in 1990, this well-known memorial of the holocaust is a sobering reminder of one of history’s darkest moments. A large sculpture garden, the memorial is dominated by a 42-foot-high bronze sculpture depicting a hundred figures of holocaust victims, from the midst of which rises a hand bearing one of the numbers tattooed on camp victims.
For more information on Miami Beach, check out the visitor’s section of the official website of the City of Miami Beach. Have you visited Miami Beach? What were your favorite things to do in Miami?
About the author
Courtney Lynn is a Costa Rica vacations expert. She works as a full-time writer and travel agent in San Jose, Costa Rica.
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Updated January 2014 by Kimberly