5 places to visit after moving to Miami
You have moved to Miami – you’ve unpacked your boxes and settled into your new home. Now you asked yourself – what next? What is there to do in the city? This article will help you pick some of the best things to do and see, and places to visit in Miami, including beautiful art, nightlife, and beaches.
1. Miami Beach
Many people don’t realize this, but Miami Beach is a separate municipality from Miami. It is located on a man-made island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay (which separates the Beach from Miami) and can be accessed by one of a series of bridges. The first of the places to visit on our list features multiple shops, restaurants, and beaches, but beware – it is an expensive tourist place, as well as the district that hides multiple places to see:
- South Beach – one of the most famous neighbors in Miami Beach.
- Art Deco District
- Ocean Drive
One of the most famous neighborhoods in Miami Beach, South Beach is the one many have in mind of when thinking of the scenic seasides of Miami. It is a popular tourist attraction in the summer, while in winter many residents love to take walks in the beautiful scenery.
Art Deco District
Or, as it’s officially called “The Miami Beach Architectural District” is a historical district. If you are a fan of the 1930s Art Deco buildings, brimming with pastel colors and neon signs, it is a place for you.
Running along the oceanfront, it is a major thoroughfare in the South Beach. It is a wonderful place for drive by sightseeing both during the daytime and at night.
2. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Deering Estate
One of the most beautiful places to visit when moving to Miami, the former villa is now a tourist hotspot. The estate was a winter home for businessman James Deering, built in 1916 in Italian Renaissance style, now features more than 70 rooms filled with European furniture and art. The name comes from a Basque word “elevated place”.
The art isn’t the only point of interest. The estate features multiple gardens with Italian and French fountains, pools and statues, spanning 10 acres.
The museum also holds a historical value. It was the venue where President Reagan met Pope John Paul II on 1987, as well as the place where President Bill Clinton convened the important “First Summit of Americas”.
It is located at 3251 South Miami Avenue in Coconut Grove neighborhood and is open to public daily except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, or on their website.
After seeing the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, you can also pay the Deering Estate a visit. The 444-acre estate at Cutler was owned by Charles Deering, the older half-brother of James Deering. Both brothers were art collectors and in their estates, they have gathered many works of the Old Masters.
The estate consists of the Richmond Cottage – a three-story wooden house build in 1900, and a three-story stone mansion. The grounds are also a home to what is thought to be the largest virgin coastal tropical hammock in the continental United States. Visitors can enjoy the gardens or tour the houses.
You can find the estate at 16701 SW 72nd Avenue, or on their website.
3. American Airlines Arena
If you’re a fan of basketball, then American Airlines Arena is a place to be! The arena is the home of the Miami Heat and also houses the Waterfront Theater, Florida’s largest theater. Waterfront can seat between 3000 and 5800 people. The third on our places to visit list also hosts concerts and various other music events and stage shows.
Be careful, though, when visiting by car. Even though there are about 1000 parking spaces, traffic after events can be horrible. We encourage you to use Metrorail, Metromover or Metrobus since parking can be scarce and expensive.
4. The Zoos and Aquariums – great places to visit with kids
Animal lovers have their own places to visit in Miami. Here’s just a short list:
- Zoo Miami
- Jungle Island
- Miami Seaquarium
The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, or Miami Zoo as it is known, is a home for over 3000 animals. The Zoo is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida, but also the only tropical zoo in the Continental United States. The visitors feel like they have embarked on a safari thanks to the cageless environments which house the animals.
Jungle Island (formerly Parrot Jungle) is an interactive zoological park in Watson Island, just east of Downtown Miami. The Jungle Island is the home of Hercules, a 900-pound liger (the mixture of lion and tiger), as well as an exhibition of reptiles, penguins, flamingos and other animals.
Once the jungle tires you, visit the Miami Seaquarium. It is a 38-acre oceanarium located on the island of Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay. Founded in 1955, it is one of the oldest oceanariums in the United States. It is the house of various fish, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles, and manatees. You can visit for a daily show, but the park also hosts overnight camps, boy scout events, and other programs.
One of the most famous places to visit are museums, and there is a number of them in Miami. Here’s our list of some:
- Miami Children’s Museum
- Miami Science Museum
- Pérez Art Museum Miami
- Gold Coast Railroad Museum
If you are moving to Miami with kids, make sure to take them to Miami Children’s Museum. Founded in 1983, it moved to its current location on Watson Island in 2003. Get your kids interested in arts, culture, and communication by visiting the museum.
The Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (or Miami Science Museum) is a museum, planetarium and aquarium, all located in Museum Park in downtown Miami. The museum holds interactive exhibitions on various topics, such as physics, biology, and chemistry.
If you are a fan of contemporary art, right adjacent to the Science Museum is the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Relocated to Museum Park in 2017, the museum collects 20th century and contemporary art. It also focuses on cultures of the Atlantic Rim (Americas, Western Europe, and Africa).
Finally, if you are a fan of the railroad, make sure to visit the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. The museum houses over 30 historic trains and is located next to the Zoo Miami.