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Top 10 Things to do in Miami Florida

Updated on January 19, 2012

Miami has a lot to offer to tourists or locals. A trip to Florida will not be complete without visiting Miami's grand array of activities geared towards enjoyment. Miami has all the ingredients for one of the best vacations Florida offers. Whether you are visiting Florida for the theme parks in the wonderful Orlando area or in Tampa or just for beaches, Miami is a must visit at least for a day or two. Miami is a vibrant, energetic city all throughout the year and nightlife in Miami is second to none. Miami city is alive with tourists from throughout the world at any time of year.

The City of Miami known as the "Magic City" is located in Southeast Florida, in Miami-Dade County on the Miami River, between the Florida Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. Since its incorporation in 1896, the City has grown tremendously, transforming it into one of the world's renowned centers where people can work, live and play while enjoying a high quality of life. Miami which is known as the Gateway to Latin America attracts a tremendous amount of foreign born people, resulting in a large Latin American population that includes Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Puerto Ricans, Argentineans, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, Dominicans, Haitians and Mexicans.

Here's my top 10 exciting things to do while you are in Miami. Purchasing the Go Miami Card if you plan to go around the city will save you quite a bit of money. You will receive free admission to popular Miami attractions and it offers many discounts for shopping and dining around the city.

1. South Beach:

People travel to Miami from all around the world to visit the great South Beach (also known as SoBe). South Beach is one of the hottest and best-known areas of Miami; therefore, the clubs of South Beach are trendy and exclusive places that require reservations and often enforce strict dress codes and rules of conduct. Anyone who does not adhere to these guidelines can find himself or herself sitting outside with nothing to do. It is extremely crowded during spring break and getting a hotel room will be a challenge. It will be hot during summer, so do not forget to take your sunscreen. You will also find having comfortable shoes or sandals, swimwear and some extra clothes for cover up very useful when in the beach. Also known as Miami beach, it is known for its vibrant atmosphere, celebrity guestlist, with many hot nightclubs, trendy shops and fabulous restaurants. Listing of top 10 restaurants demands a separate hub. If you like seafood, you have plenty of choices to choose from. Joe's Stone Crab, Quinn's, AltaMar, Fish Joynt are some great restaurants that you could find some fresh premium seafood at.


Jungle Island Miami
Jungle Island Miami

2. Jungle Island: is located in the heart of Miami, off of I-395 between Downtown Miami and South Beach. Parrot Jungle offers visitors a fun, educational opportunity to get an up-close look at tropical birds in replicas of their natural habitats. The attraction routinely hosts field trips and offers frequent educational programs. About 1000 macaws, parrots and other winged friends and giant reptiles and exotic primates are found in the Jungle Island to add excitement to the attractions. There are about 500 species of plants and flowers. Be sure to catch a performance - the sight of a parrot riding a miniature bike is enough to make you smile. Other shows include Winged Wonders (singing Amazons and Andean condors), Reptile Giants (snakes, alligators, crocodiles) and Wild Encounters (apes, tigers, even a liger). Jungle Island is open 365 days a year, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Miami florida.

Miami Seaquarium
Miami Seaquarium

3. Miami Seaquarium:

Located right in the middle of downtown Miami and Miami Beach, it's a fabulous stop where you can witness an outdoor aquarium experience. A place where dolphins walk on water and killer whales fly through the air. Where sea lions delight children of all ages and endangered sea turtles and manatees find a safe haven. Enjoy a world-class marine-life entertainment park with eight different marine animal shows and astonishing daily presentations. Miami Seaquarium® is a place of inspiration, education - and fun!

4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens:

No visit to Miami is complete without a stop at the historical 50-acre Vizcaya estate. Constructed in 1916 for industrialist James Deering, this Italianate palace is often referred to as the Hearst Castle of the East. Intended to appear centuries-old at completion, it is absolutely rife with architectural detail and elaborate accents. In fact, more than a thousand artisans took five-plus years to complete the ornate flourishes. Deering was fascinated by 16th-century art and architecture, and most of his fine collection remains on display. The beautifully landscaped grounds aptly complement the building, whose name remembers the Basque term for a raised site. This European-style mansion offers a glimpse at life in turn-of-the-century South Florida. This mansion is unusual among the great country houses in the US. It could be compared to a European palace for its beauty and dimension. This mansion was built at the time when millionaires of the beginning of the 20 th century wanted to put their imprint and leave a legacy to generations to follow. They started to build palatial mansions, strongly inspired by the European architecture, mostly Italian and French.

Miami metrozoo
Miami metrozoo

5. Miami Metrozoo:

Miami MetroZoo is the only zoo in the US set in a subtropical climate. Metrozoo mesmerizes visitors with remarkable exhibits and creatures from around the world. Favorite animals include clouded leopards, Komodo dragons and tree kangaroos. They also have animals like giraffes, lions, meerkats, koalas, gorillas and colorful birds. When the heat starts to take its toll, Dr. Wilde's World provides a rainforest-themed, air-conditioned refuge for hands-on fun. A petting zoo and wildlife shows also keep kids engaged.Its climate allows it to keep a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa like no other zoo in the country. One of the first free-range zoos in the country, the exhibits are entirely cageless. Animals are grouped according to their geographic territory and animals that live together peacefully in the wild are placed in exhibits together.

Miami Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Miami Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

6. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden:

This botanic garden has a wide range of tropical plants. Established in 1938, the 83-acre garden is among the region's most popular visitor attractions and offers a variety of programs in environmental education, conservation and horticulture. An international leader in tropical plant research, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden plays an important part in preserving the biodiversity of the tropical environment. Also offers an arboretum and rainforest, and it houses a world-renowned research facility. It is the largest U.S collection with more than 700 living plants. The collection serves an important safeguard against extinction and a resource for research. It also has a small museum, gift shop and cafe.

7. Miami Duck Tour

The Most Exciting Way To Tour The Magic City of Miami! 90-Minute Land & Sea Adventure. Now departing from South Beach (1665 Washington Avenue - located between Lincoln Road and 17th Street), the amphibious vehicles tour famous Miami landmarks before a dramatic "SPLASH DOWN" into beautiful Biscayne Bay for a close up look at the many homes of the "Rich & Famous" on Star Island.

8. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

You can enjoy everything and anything in this resort, from dining in the Hard Rock Café to entertainment in the casinos and live concert venues.

Hard Rock Casino:

This 130,000 square foot casino is one of a few gaming hot spots found in South Florida. It is opened 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides its guest with over 2,100 machines such as Video Poker, Double Diamond, Texas Tea, Enchanted Unicorn, and Monopoly among others. It also has fifty tables of live-action poker such as Seven-Card Stud and Texas Hold'em.

Miami Deering Estate
Miami Deering Estate

9. Deering Estate at Old Cutler

Deering Estate is a Miami attraction that is rich with history and offers visitors and locals the opportunity to see nature in a way they cannot in the cities. Its goal is to transport the visitors of the Estate to a simpler time in Florida's history and give them a break from the frantic pace of the cities. Excavations at the bayfront compound originally owned by Charles Deering have uncovered the remains of prehistoric animals, and evidence suggests that Paleo-Indians were here more than 10,000 years ago. Deering is an educational place with a solid commitment of teaching its history by allowing schools to tour the lands, as well as having some curriculum for the kids to work on. The tours offered include Bird Walks, Butterfly Hikes, and Canoe Tours on Biscayne Bay. With so much variety and history, Deering Estate is an ideal place for any family looking for fun and out-of-the-ordinary things to do in Miami.

10. Miami Children's Museum

Founded in 1983, visitors of all ages are encouraged to play together, learn, imagine and create. The 56,500 square-foot facility includes 12 galleries, classrooms, parent/teacher resource center, Kid Smart educational gift shop, 200-seat auditorium and Subway restaurant. The museum offers hundreds of bilingual, interactive exhibits; programs and classes and learning materials related to arts, culture, community and communication.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you forgot many of the best places to go in Miami, such as BAYSIDE marketplace, University of Miami, the new Dolphin Mall, tours of Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, Monkey Jungle, and the Everglades boat rides, all of which could clearly be in the top ten, over and above a duck tour and a casino, not to mention the new plans for a planetarium downtown and a new tunnel to the port of Miami....

    • lazko profile image


      8 years ago from the Earth

      Since Miami is my dream destination i do thank you for this hub, nice , really nice work! Thank you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      With so many things to do I think I'll give the city more than a day or two to experience all the great attractions it has to offer. Thanks for the info!

    • Cameron Dean profile image

      Cameron Dean 

      8 years ago from New York

      I like Miami Beach so much, I go every year - (I visit my Mom in Fort Lauderdale)- I could seat one of the many establishments on Ocean Drive for hours, people watching and enjoying a cocktail or two, just seating there is plenty of entertainment.

    • omcj1234 profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice list. Sounds really good for families.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      miami was so wonderful wow its many things to do in miami

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I live in miami and was doing a little big of research on what is considered the top hot spots of our fun city.. and I have to say this list is so disappointing. Yes, all of those places are fun to travel to, when you are in grade school. Deering estate, while beautiful, is nothing but a backyard.. the zoo is stifling hot and is now actually called Zoo Miami. Vizcaya is historically enchanting but half the people that live here just go there to take fifteens photos. When you come here.. enjoy the culture, the fun, the music. Open you senses and go to all of the renowned restaurants and nightlife spots. That is what we are known for.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I think kids will love it the the Miami metro zoo. Nice list, will surely check them off one by one when I get the time to tour around Miami. :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow thanks for the heads up on things to do in Miami. I recently went on a trip and didn't prepare well and wasted a lot of time. Thanks

    • ponywriter profile image


      10 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Oh, I must go to Deering Estate! I don't usually have an interest in Miami but will soon have occasion to visit, and now places to go.


    • 02SmithA profile image


      11 years ago from Ohio

      The seaquarium looks neat. Nice hub!


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