Image Credit: Unsplash | Antonio Cuellar
Any beach lovers out there? You’ve come to the right place! Miami has 16 lovely beaches to choose from that offer white, baby-soft sand, and turquoise-colored, lukewarm waters to dive into. If you want a fab vacation, rejuvenate, and recharge your batteries, you’ll find no better place to do so in the US. But don’t think that going to the beach is the only thing you can do while vacationing here: there are so many other great things to explore in this spectacular city. We’ll get to those sights later. For now, let’s start with the most renowned beach the Miami area is famous for.
South Beach: to See and Be Seen
You have probably heard the expression about New York City, that it’s “the city that never sleeps.” Well, South Beach is the beach that never sleeps. Besides being a great retreat from the buzzing world, it offers many eating-out options: cafes, bars, restaurants, as well as trendy nightclubs, all right there on the shore overlooking the calm, emerald waters. What could be better than taking a bite of the juicy steak on a star-studded summer night, and enjoying the view South Beach has to offer, including many beautiful, fit people passing by right on the street next to your table. It’s sort of a sport to me to just people-watch, especially since I know I may run into a movie star or a famous singer (many celebrities own property in Miami).
There are so many things to do in South Beach for all those sports enthusiasts out there (including the author): of course, swimming (goes without saying), playing volleyball, rollerskating, biking, and many other summer sports options. You can start playing in a team of two and pretty soon it might grow by other beachgoers joining in the action. Or you can join a team that is already actively playing, you won’t be shooed away, don’t worry, Miami is full of happy, friendly people! I bet you would be too if you lived in a city that has at least 80 percent of sunny, clear days in a year, wouldn’t you?
Not feeling like working out? You can just take a stroll along the infamous Ocean avenue and take a look at peculiar Art Deco-style buildings. With buildings painted in all the colors of the rainbow, it will be a very pleasant and informative sight to see, especially if you are an art aficionado, who spends a lot of free time in galleries and museums. And speaking of, let’s hop on a free trolley to stop at another sight worthy of visiting by anybody who appreciates fine art.
Wynwood Walls: Immersing into the Art World
This is where graffiti becomes something more than just a drawing on a wall. This neighborhood used to be a warehouse district and needed a little pick-me-up to make living in the community a pleasant experience. And that’s how local artists got a chance to show off their skills for the world to see.
You will be able to observe paintings with unrealistic, alien-like creatures co-existing with nature, paintings that look like something you would see in a dream (strange, not making much sense, but magical at the same time), famous singers/movie stars, even random people, somebody you would just meet on the street.
Amongst walls of artwork, you will find some freshly-mowed laws to rest on and stretch your tired limbs from all the walking around you did, while listening to an informative art lecture or admiring more art by some local newbie painters. After observing some skillfully painted animal creatures, you might want to visit the real ones and get a real interactive experience at Miami’s oldest aquarium.
Miami Seaquarium: Make a New Marine Friend
What can be more fun for the whole family than spending time with some friendly sea creatures, and making lasting, precious memories? Welcome to one of the oldest oceanariums in the US, which was founded in 1955. If you have kids, the Miami Seaquarium is a must-see place, hands down.
You can swim with the dolphins, give a penguin a high-five, experience what it feels like to be an oceanologist and mingle with the ocean creatures, as well as feed the cutest sea lions and seals, and even take part in an animal training session for a hands-on interactive experience you will never forget! While some activities offered by the seaquarium would be more fun for kids, the adults (particularly moms) can have fun shopping at an open-air mall in Downtown Miami.
Bayside Marketplace: Passion for Fashion
A woman can never have too many dresses, right girls? If you got some passion for fashion, take a trip to the Bayside Marketplace and indulge in a designer paradise ranging from mass-market brands to high-end stores. Options are abundant for any type of budget and wallet size.
While mommy shops, dad can take the kids and go listen to some live artists performing right there on the mall premises and then grab a quick bite at a pizzeria or enjoy some delish ice cream, which comes in handy on a scorching hot day.
Afterward, the whole family can go out to dinner at one of the mall’s fab restaurants, with some of them even offering waterfront seating for a spectacular view of the ocean.
If you still have vacation days left and feel like you want to visit another country without going to another country, I recommend a day trip to the Little Havana neighborhood, influenced by Cuban culture and having an all-around Latin-American flare.
Little Havana: a Little Taste of Cuban Life
Feeling like going for a cup of Cuban coffee? Or dancing to salsa and fiery mamba music? Come to the Little Havana area and you will find what you are looking for and more! This area has it all: great Cuban coffee shops, live musicians entertaining pedestrians, friendly Cuban cigar rollers, and various art galleries with vibrant and passionate Latin artwork.
If you know a word or two of Spanish-you will feel like you belong here. Walk the streets and soak in the festive, inviting environment. You can either take a tour or just go explore it yourself; in either case, you will make unforgettable memories.
Miami offers so much to explore and have a great time! It welcomes millions of visitors every year, both domestic and international, especially during September through May (the best months to visit, as it is not so scorching hot out, compared to the summer season). Let the ocean call you, the waves calm you, and the island music captivate you to feel the vacation vibe. Let it all go and allow yourself to take in the relaxing beach atmosphere, you deserve it.
Have a great, most splendid trip!