Miami Things To Do

Miami Things To Do #1:

By Dee from Florida - One of my favorite vacation ideas was a trip to the Coconut Grove area of Miami, Florida. My daughter and I stayed in a room in the Mayfair Hotel which is located directly across the street from the Coco Walk shopping area in Coconut Grove. At the time of our visit the hotel was in the process of being remodeled, which was rather inconvenient.

However, our room had already received the benefit of the renovation so it was lovely, complete with beautiful ceramic floor tile and a large, flat screen television.

The best thing about staying at the Mayfair Hotel was its convenience to the shopping, entertainment, and dining options in Coconut Grove generally, but to Coco Walk in particular.

We were able to walk across the street to Coco Walk and shop in the stores and just saunter back across the street with our packages. If our high heels got to be too much, we slipped back to our room and changed into sandals.

In addition, we were able to enjoy wine or cocktails in the restaurants with our meals and cocktails in the bars in Coco Walk in the evening without worrying about driving back to the hotel or the need to take a taxi cab back to the hotel.

This was great because we spent several evenings enjoying the beautiful spring weather in Miami, drinking cocktails, relaxing and listening to outdoor musicians and watching other outdoor entertainment at Coco Walk. We commented several times on how happy we were that the Mayfair was just across the street.

For those times when we decided to visit other destinations in Miami, such as the Vizcaya estate we found it easy to hop into our car and drive to those destinations. We would, however, love to visit Coconut Grove and the Mayfair Hotel again in the future and highly recommend it for visitors who enjoy shopping, dining, and outdoor "street" entertainment.

Miami Things To Do #2:

Take a walking tour to see some the 1200 or so art deco buildings in Miami. The main place you will find them is the Art Deco Historic District which is along Washington Ave, Collins Ave and Ocean Dr. between 8th and 14th Streets.

It’s a lot of fun to see all the wonderfully colorful buildings. Some stylish, some wacky, all beautiful. You can explore the area on your own. A good starting point is the small Art Deco Welcome Center at 10th & Ocean Dr. If you prefer to have a guide you can join a group heading out from the welcome center.

Be sure to stop at the Wolfsonian Museum FIU. They have an extensive collection of art deco pieces. Some classic art deco hotels here are the Edison Hotel, Colony Hotel, Winter Haven Hotel and the Leslie.

Miami Things To Do #3:

If you are looking for vacation ideas for the family in Miami, take the kids to the Miami Metrozoo. See over 2,000 exotic animals like Komodo dragons, jaguars and Howler monkeys. There an aviary that includes a 40-foot dinosaur skeleton.

At the Children’s Zoo the kids can pet the animals, ride a camel or the Wildlife Carousel and watch shows that include reptiles, birds and animals. The zoo has lots of fun exhibits that the kids will enjoy.

The Miami Metrozoo is in South Miami and while you are there, you can stop at the Monkey Jungle nearby. At the Monkey Jungle the monkeys run freely through a jungle setting. You can watch them from trails that are covered with screens to protect the visitors.

Miami Things To Do #4:

Miami’s beaches are, of course world famous. There are 7 themed areas of beach and here’s a brief overview. For family beach goers the best beaches are the ones north of 21st St. Surfers prefer the waves South Pointe Park and Haulover Beach. To the south, windsurfers and other water sport enthusiasts like Hobie Beach, aka “Windsurfing Beach” and also Virginia Key Beach North.

The sands between 5th St. and South Pointe are popular with Latino families. Gays migrate to South Beach. While most of Miami’s beaches are very tolerant of brief beach attire, if you want to see or show off skin then South Beach between 5th and 21st streets is the place to go.

And if complete (and legal) nudity is what you seek for a beach experience then head to Haulover Beach Park. There is a gay section which is to the north of the lifeguard tower. For a more secluded beach experience, try Virginia Key Beach South which is down in the direction of Key Biscayne.

Miami Things To Do #5:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant sights, sounds and tastes of Cuban culture with a visit to Miami’s Little Havana district. Just head due west of downtown Miami to Calle Ocho (8th Street). The Cuban salsa music and the food are exciting. One of the best and most popular restaurants is the Versailles serving up classic Cuban dishes.

Once a month (the last Friday) the community holds a wonderful street fair where Latino performers, artists and musicians show off their talents in the streets and on the sidewalks. Watch Cuban-style cigars being hand (and buy a box to take home) at the famous El Credito Cigar Factory. Cuban heroes are celebrated and remembered with memorials that you can see as you travel down Cuban Memorial Boulevard (13th Ave).

Learn about important Cuban historical events with stops at the Bay of Pigs Museum & Library and the Casa Elian. Along 8th St. is the Walkway of Stars where the sidewalk is is embedded with stars celebrating famous Latino personalities. For a wild and fun Cuban style street party experience, plan your vacation for March. This is when the annual Calle Ocho Festival is held.

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