Top 5 Unique Places to Visit while in Miami
Have you ever been to the city of Miami? Very well known for its nightlife and partying, I was positively surprised on how much beauty and incredible places there are besides what it is known for. So if you like nature and culture, here are my top things to do when visiting Miami.
Must visit on your next trip to Miami
Walking around Little Havana— the Cuban neighbourhood of Miami.
Home to many Cuban exiles, and plenty of immigrants from Central and South America, Little Havana is named after the city of Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba.
It is quite known for its landmarks, including Calle Ocho and its Walk of Fame, the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, Plaza de la Cubanidad, Domino Park, and many others.
And definitely one of the best ways to dig into Cuban culture is through its food. We ate at Old’s Havana and had a delicious roasted chicken with beans and rice. I loved how big the portions were and I managed to eat it all and felt completely full for the rest of the day!
Little Havana is characterized by its street life, restaurants, music and cultural activities. Viernes Culturales, known in English as Cultural Fridays, are an artistic and cultural fair that takes place on the last Friday of each month in the heart of Calle Ocho. If you happen to be in Miami during the last Friday of the month, definitely go and check it out!
Cubans and Latinos have definitely shaped the city. It is a must place to visit while in Miami, as you can really feel the Latin and Cuban vibes that are so prominent in Miami as a whole, though here is even more.
Check out the Art Deco buildings in Miami & South Beach and relax at the beach.
Art Deco Miami is truly architectural wonder, and what I found more impressive is that this area has the highest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world! And they are so well preserved that you feel you have popped back into the Art Deco time in the 1920’s and 1930’s. And they have actually been preserved due to a group of activists who founded the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) in 1976, thus protecting them from be demolished in order to build new ones.
Walking around the neighbourhood is a must and there are also plenty of restaurants to choose from and of course you have to visit the beach as well! The stretch of sand is huge and you can rent an umbrella and chairs or just arrive and get a space in the sand to get some sun. A must while in Miami!
Visit Biscayne National Park & snorkel at a shipwreck site or a reef
Located south of Miami, Biscayne National Park includes the northernmost region of the Florida Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world. It protects four distinct ecosystems: the shoreline mangrove swamp, the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, the coral limestone keys and the offshore Florida Reef. All of these being very important nurseries for marine animals in the park, including manatees, sea turtles and many types of birds and fish.
We visited Biscayne National Park on a Saturday and it was actually very calm given that it was a weekend. I recommend purchasing your tickets at least a few days before as they sell out very fast. They are priced at $100 per person and if you need some snorkelling gear it is $10dollars extra, however you can bring your own gear if you prefer to. The departure point is Dante Fascell Visitor Center, roughly 50 minutes to an hour from downtown Miami. Once you get there, they will gear you up, and take you on one of their boats with around 15 people in total. Depending on the season and the weather, they have various points within the national park that they can take you to. We were so lucky to have experienced snorkelling on the Mandalay shipwreck, which went down in 1966 and you can see quite clearly the metallic structure of the ship which is now home for many fish and even a couple of nurse sharks! After spending around 45 minutes snorkelling there we went to another site in the marine park: a vibrant coral reef with beautiful seagrass beds around it! They mentioned to us that if you want to go to a particular site you can just ask them and they’ll try to accommodate if possible.
The offshore reefs and waters harbour more than 200 species of fish, pelagic birds, whales and hard corals and it also has a small population of threatened American crocodiles and a few American alligators. Ninety-five percent of the park is water! So being in the water is definitely the best way to explore this National Park.
Stroll around the Coconut Grove neighbourhood & explore it’s many local parks
I did not know what to expect when we were going to Coconut Grove, I had not heard about this place before and it actually really impressed me. I hadn’t seen as much green in other Miami areas as I did in here, and the vibe of the place is definitely worth a visit.
There are a few streets in the main area of the neighbourhood that have beautiful decorations, little coffee shops and book stores that I loved, and lots of beautiful murals around. Though my favourite part was how much green spaces Coconut Grove has. We visited The Barnacle Historic State Park, featuring a house that was built in 1891, offering a glimpse of life when all travel to and from Miami was by sea and not land. Ralph Middleton Munroe, the first owner of this place, was an influential pioneer and he preserved the forest on his land, and so one of the most incredible things here are the many old, majestic trees.
There is also a delicious pizzeria which works with values such as using local ingredients and fresh produce called Harry’s Pizzeria, and it really is delicious!
Drink a refreshing cold beer at Veza Sur Brewery in Wynwood after seeing the vibrant murals
North of Downtown Miami , the Wynwood neighbourhood, famous for its vibrant graffiti murals and art scene, is definitely a place you have to visit while in Miami, especially if you love street art. You can explore the Wynwood Walls to see some of the most spectacular murals, which costs $20 dollars per person or simply stroll around its many streets and find equally incredible murals!
It has also an incredible food and drinks scene, and though I really i’m not a nightlife person, what I love is that I can enjoy a cold nice beer during the day. My absolute favourite place to drink a cold beer is in Veza Sur Brewery. They have a huge selection of different types of beer for you to choose from, and the best one in my opinion is the Lulo Sour Beer, made from a local Colombian fruit, which is a bit sour, hence the name. It is so refreshing, that you would want to have more than one! Though if you don’t like sour ones, there is an extensive menu with different types of beer as well as seasonal ones. By far, my favourite way to end up a nice walk around art is at Veza.
I genuinely enjoyed this city much more than I thought I would, and even though I’d been here before, this activities definitely changed my opinion on the city.
What I loved most though was the proximity it has to many natural wonders & the huge diverse culture from people all over the world 🌎 I hope to be make it to the Everglades next time I visit though, so If I had, that would probably also go on this list 🐊 And always remember to be mindful when exploring, be respectful of the community and the environment 💚
Let me know if you visit any of these places soon or if you have already visited Miami, what are some places you would add to this list?