Miami Attractions Guide
There is a lot to do and see in sunny Miami, Florida. If you are planning to come in a few days earlier, or stay a few days later outside of the Orientation schedule, we invite you to explore the many attractions that make Miami such a famous tourist destination.
To help guide you, here are some of the top places to visit, in no particular order:
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – This lovely historical attraction is often called "Hearst Castle of the East". Vizcaya is a 10-acre, Italian Renaissance-style mansion with gardens open to the public. Thousands of people visit Vizcaya every year for its elegant beauty, many photo opts, and wonderful museum collection. Vizcaya is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Vizcaya is located at 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33129 - Phone (305) 250-9133.
- South Beach - One of the more popular destinations for the younger crowd, South Beach (AKA SoBe) is part of Miami Beach, and is made up of 23 blocks, which is great for those who love to walk and sightsee. South Beach is an extremely popular tourist destination with many nightclubs, nice restaurants, and Art Deco style hotels. Here are a few key spots to check out during your time in SoBe:
- Art Deco District – Walk around South Beach and see the amazing collection of Art Deco architecture. Stroll over to the Art Deco Museum on Ocean Drive and ask about their walking tours. The museum is located at 1001 Ocean Dr - Phone: (305) 672-2014.
- Ocean Drive - Ocean Drive is located right alongside the Atlantic Ocean, extending from 1st to 15th Street. Walk the 15 blocks and see some of the most beautiful pieces of Art Deco architecture. Sit and relax in an outside seating area at some of the notable restaurants including News Cafe, Mango's, and the Clevelander. Ocean Drive is also the location of Versace Mansion. Although the mansion is not open to the public, many tourist love to take a quick snapshot of this famous location.
- Lincoln Road – One of the best places to people watch, this 14 block open-air mall is a premiere shopping area in South Beach. Lincoln Road Mall offers many restaurants, shops, art galleries, and a movie theatre.
- Española Way – North of 14th Street between Washington and Pennsylvania Avenues, Española Way offers a picturesque stroll of what seems to be a village in Europe. Visit the little cafes and shops that make up this pedestrian-only brick road. Española Way is also known for its low-key atmosphere, and offers many outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy a nice meal or drink.
- The Biltmore Hotel – This grandiose hotel was built in 1924, and is a historic resort in the Coral Gables area. Although you might not be staying here, it is such a beautiful place to visit - hand-painted frescos, brilliant travertine floors, fine marble columns, elaborate glass fixtures, carved mahogany furnishings and beautiful gardens. The swimming pool is even a site to see, spanning 150- by 225-feet. Biltmore is located at 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, FL - Phone (305) 445-1926.
- Jungle Island – Once called Parrot Jungle (and some locals still refer to it by that name), Jungle Island is home of exotic animals - Ligers, Tigers, and Penguins, oh my! Step through the front gates and be transported into a tropical jungle. Families enjoy their time together as they learn about birds, monkeys, tigers, reptiles, fish and more! Visitors can take pictures with parrots, monkeys, snakes, and there is even a play pen to pet and feed kangaroos. Jungle Island is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132 – Phone (305) 400-7000.
- Calle Ocho (8th street) – If you want a more authentic Miami experience, then visiting Calle Ocho should be at the top of your list. On 8th street between 12th and 27th Avenues discover an old-time Cuba atmosphere. With many authentic Cuban restaurants, you are sure to find a delicious meal. Versailles Restaurant is one of the more famous Cuban restaurants located at 3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135 – Phone: 305-444-0240
- Beaches of Miami – You cannot visit Miami without exploring the beautiful white sandy beaches. The most famous of the many beaches is Miami Beach, which is located on the island across Biscayne Bay. This island is also home to the popular destination, South Beach, located at the southernmost point of Miami Beach. Please visit the official Miami Beach website for directions or more information.