Editor's Note: You may prefer to read our latest article: 20 Best Things To Do in Miami.
Miami, Florida is a unique vacation destination where visitors can have it all - beautiful beaches, pristine nature and the excitement of a big city. To the south and west of the city, Everglades National Park provides a 1.5 million acre play area for outdoor enthusiasts. Biscayne National Park features living coral reefs, colorful sea life and plants.
The Art Deco District, located at the southern end of Miami Beach, is home to more than 800 architecturally protected buildings from the 1930s and 1940s. South Beach offers day and night entertainment as well as numerous dining venues. Hip and whimsical hotels include The Tides and the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. Then there is the ultra-luxurious The Setai South Beach, the more affordable Hotel of South Beach and the elegant SLS Hotel South Beach.
There are several great hotels in Miami, located close to museums, shopping and attractions. If you want to get pampered at a spa, stay at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, Mandarin Oriental or the Viceroy. JW Marriott Marquis has a basketball arena and other unique fitness facilities.
Museums in Miami
Miami has many museums and numerous cultural attractions, including Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove, and Bass Museum.
After you've enjoyed Miami's beaches and pools, get to know Miami's many cultural attractions. While South Beach with its Art Deco Architecture is in itself a cultural icon, the area also offers the Wolfsonian Museum, home to the Mitchell Wolfson Jr. collection.
Located in the South Beach Art Deco District in a historic landmark building, Wolfsonian Museum is home to the Mitchell Wolfson Jr. collection. The collection consists of more than 70,000 artifacts including furniture, industrial-design objects, glass, ceramics, and metalwork, rare books, periodicals, ephemera, works on paper, paintings, textiles, and medals primarily of North American and European origin. The works date from 1885-1945.
The Jewish Museum of Florida
You can also visit the Bass Museum and the Jewish Museum of Florida. The Jewish Museum of Florida is housed in a beautifully restored 1936 synagogue. The Museum is located at 301 Washington Avenue in the historic South Beach Art Deco District. The Jewish Museum of Florida is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, and closed Mondays and Jewish Holidays. For more information, call the museum at 305-672-5044.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCa)
For contemporary art scene, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami is a must-see. The museum opened to the public in February, 1996. It is housed in a 23,000 square foot structure designed by Charles Gwathmey. MoCa features provocative and innovative exhibitions, presenting 8 to 10 exhibitions annually. The permanent collection features more than 400 works by emerging and established contemporary artists.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 11 am to 5 pm, and Sundays from Noon to 5 pm. MoCa is closed on Mondays. To confirm opening times, call 305-893-6211.
Miami Art Museum (MAM)
Downtown, you will find Miami Art Museum and the Historical Museum of South Florida. Miami Art Museum (MAM) features a collection of Western Hemisphere works of art from 1940 to present. Founded in 1984 as a site solely for temporary exhibitions, Miami Art Museum began building its permanent collection dedicated to international art in 1996. For more information, call 305-375-3000.
The Historical Museum of Southern Florida
The Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami is adjacent to Miami Art Museum. The museum is dedicated to Florida's history, featuring numerous interactive displays, fun for the whole family. The plaza where the museum is located resembles a Spanish fortress and covers an entire city block. For more information, call 305-375-1492.
Lowe Art Museum
Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami houses priceless art ranging from Egyptian times to present. The Lowe Art Museum is located 5 miles south of Miami on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, Florida. The museum houses several permament collections, such as a collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, Renaissance and Baroque Art, European paintings, 19th and 20th Century U.S. Art, Native American Art, Art of Ancient Americas, Asia and Africa. For more information, call 305-284-3535.
For kids and adults alike, the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, features hands-on exhibits and hourly star shows. The Miami Children's Museum received its new home in 2003. Occupying 56,500 square feet on two levels makes the Miami Children's Museum one of the ten largest children's museums in the United States.
One of Miami's greatest treasures is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove.
Miami Beach Tours
Miami Beach Visitors Center offers morning walking tours of the historic Miami Beach Art Deco district. Tours give visitors a chance to explore the architecture, shops, cafes and museums. Other tours offered by the Visitors Center include kayaking, bus tours and cultural tours. Call 305-672-1270 or visit www.ci.miami-beach.fl.us for more information.
Best Time to Go & Getting There
Book between October and May to avoid humidity and heat of the summer months. Miami International Airport is serviced by major airlines. Taxis are available at the airport (be sure to ask for the flat rate to South Beach).
Miami Vacation Packages
- The Dolce Vita Cabana in Miami from $525: Plan a luxury getaway to Miami Beach, Florida and save with one of the specials and packages at Acqualina. The Dolce Vita Cabana special includes a plush cabana, $75 dining credit, $40 spa access, and complimentary access to children's program. From $775. If you are planning a honeymoon, take a look at the The Honeymoon offer at Acqualina which includes dinner for two, massage, rose petals, champagne. Rates starting from $1125. The Staycation offer is available during the low season in June, August and September. Get 50% off rate on Wednesday or Sunday when staying a minimum of 3 nights, Valet Parking, Daily $40 spa credit, Complimentary Access to Children's Program. Rates starting at $525. The resort offers a variety of specials for couples, families and girlfriends.
- $99 Luxury Spa Treatments in Miami: If you think that Miami is too hot and humid to visit in the summer, you may be right. But if you are a spa junkie, the Spa Month will make you change your mind. Organized by the Greater Miami Convention & Bureau, this program lets you sample the most luxurious spa treatments for only $99. Whether you want to visit the famous Canyon Ranch spa, the large The Ritz-Carlton Spa, South Beach or The Spa at The Setai, you are sure to find the perfect treatments to feel rejuvenated after your trip. We counted 15 luxury participants in South Beach area alone. If you prefer a more quiet getaway, choose from spas at Doral, Turnberry Isle or The Ritz-Carlton Spa Key Biscayne. For a full list of participants, visit www.miamispamonth.com or the Tourism web site hwww.miamiandbeaches.com. The Spa Month is actually a 2-month event which takes place from July 1 to August 31. If you are a golfer, you can expect to find great deals at the top golf courses in the summer as well.
- Family Fun in Miami: Kids Eat Free and Other Amenities: Spend a few nights at a stylish resort near Miami with these deals. The Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables is offering packages for families, couples and more. The "Family Fun Package" includes breakfast, kids under 12 eat free, milk & cookies, 20% off at the spa and golf. The "Spa Splendor" includes room upgrade, $200 spa credit, town car transportation so that you can go shopping and sightseeing. The wellness center offers a choice of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments, perfect for a weekend or a girlfriend's trip. "Stay for 4 Nights, Pay for 3" gives you 4 nights for the price of 3.