Top 10 Attractions in Miami

Top 10 Attractions in Miami
Miami has long been popular as a vacation spot, offering spectacular natural wonders and very impressive man-made ones. For the adventurer, there are wonderful opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking and swimming. For the wildlife lover, the birds are spectacular and, if you are lucky, you will see dolphins, alligators and manatees in the wild as well. Miami offers a vibrant nightlife. While there you can also learn about the Native Americans who resided here and enjoy jai lai, a Latin American sport.

Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

This project is not complete at this point, but 60 miles of bike trails currently exist. The trail starts one hour south of Miami International Airport in Key Largo and will eventually extend all the way to Key West, linking six national parks, wildlife refuges or marine sanctuaries and 10 state parks. Here you can bike, hike, fish, skate, kayak, paddle, snorkel, swim, hike and dive. Some of the state parks have limited camping facilities.


South Beach

This 23-block area features one of the largest collections of classic Art Deco buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. South Beach is arguably the trendiest beach in the United States and the site of many fashion shots and movies. It's a wonderful place to swim, soak up the sun and people watch. Come shop in the upscale stores and partake in the legendary nightlife.

Everglades National Park

Every trip to Miami should include a visit to Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, boasting rare and endangered species. The Everglades has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and Wetland of International Importance.

Here you can have a complete wildlife experience including camping, boating and hiking. There are more than 156 miles of canoe/kayak and walking trails, and 47 designated wilderness campsites.


This mansion was the winter residence of James Deering, Vice President of International Harvester from 1916 to 1925. Viscaya is an Italian estate featuring 34 decorated rooms with 15th- through 19th-century antiques and art objects. Be sure to stroll through the incredible property, which include pools, fountains and themed gardens.

Miccosukee Indian Village

The Miccosukee Indian Village is located 30 minutes west of the Florida turnpike in the Everglades. Visit the museum. See demonstrations of intricate patchwork sewing, woodwork doll making and basket weaving. Visit the cooking house and watch an alligator demonstration. Explore the Everglades on an airboat with an Indian guide, stopping at an authentic Indian camp. Learn more about the species of local birds, plants and alligators. You can stay at a modern resort offering golf and a casino.

Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park is Florida's largest urban park and is located on Biscayne Bay. It offers off-road bike trails, ranging from novice to challenging. Canoe or kayak through the mangrove forest. You can rent kayaks, canoes and bikes here. Swimming and saltwater fishing are also popular.

The park has rustic but air-conditioned cabins. Bird watchers should find some interesting species, too. You may also find dolphin and manatees here. There is a restaurant and an interpretive center.

Monkey Jungle

Located just off U.S. 1 in South Dade, Monkey Jungle is home to approximately 400 primates from 30 different species, most running free on a 30-acre reserve. It is one of the few protected habitats for endangered primates in the United States and the only one that the general public can explore. You can visit the swimming pool to watch the monkeys fish and play. Hang with the orangutans while the ape trainer goes through a training session. And you can tour the rainforest environment. Be sure to visit the aviary, a sanctuary for captive parrots

Miami Metro Zoo

The zoo features over 100 exhibits on 740 acres. See more than 2,000 animals representing 400 species. Visit the Wings of Asia Aviary with more than 70 species of birds. Tour the new "Amazon and Beyond" exhibit, which features animals of the rainforest. Hike some of the 3 miles of walkways to see the more than 1,000 species of trees, palms and other plants, as well as the hundreds of orchids.

Miami Jai Lai

The popular Latin American sport, jai alai, has been called the fastest game in the world. There are matinees daily (except Tuesdays) and Friday and Saturday evenings. Admission is free and children under 16 are not admitted. The Miami Jai Lai features some of the world's best players and is the largest in the world. The facility also boasts the record for attendance. Gambling is legal here and you can also play cards in the Crystal Cardroom.

Coral Gables Venetian Pool

The Venetian Pool was built in the 1920s and holds 800,000 gallons of fresh spring water. Though it appears on the list of the National Registry of Historic Places, this is not just a beautifully restored historical site, but a functioning swimming pool where you can swim.

Prices are reasonable. Spend a leisurely afternoon in a beautiful, historic site enjoying the a swim. Children must be 38 inches tall and 3 years old or provide a birth certificate to enter the facility and pool.


Article Written By Lynn Farris

Lynn Farris has been conducting management studies, writing technical articles and contributing to local newspapers since 1984. Having traveled throughout the world, Farris now lives in Costa Rica, teaches English and writes a column for the "National Examiner" on Costa Rica. Farris holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in speech communications and psychology from Case Western Reserve University.

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