Local Favorite: Cuban SandwichCuban immigrants have shaped Miami for centuries. From culture to architecture to cuisine, Cuba has played a prominent role in the history of the South Florida city. Arguably, the most famous dish from Miami is the Cuban sandwich. It is authentic Miami cuisine made using freshly baked Cuban bread, succulent roasted pork, yellow mustard, pickles, baked ham, and Swiss cheese. Cuban workers in Florida needed a cheap, easy-to-eat lunch item. This requirement led to workers making and consuming traditional sandwiches that they grew up with in their homeland. Miami is in a long-term feud with fellow Florida city, Tampa, over which destination was the American birthplace of the Cuban sandwich. Miami foodies staunchly refute Tampa's assertions of being the home city of the Floridian staple.
Some of the best things to do in Miami
Maurice A. Ferré Park
Formerly known as Museum Park, Maurice A. Ferré Park is a marvelous park in downtown Miami. In addition to the well-manicured green lawns by the waterfront, the park hosts two museums: The Perez Art Museum, a contemporary art museum, and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The science museum is particularly interesting. It includes a planetarium and a multi-level aquarium which houses a variety of sea creatures, including mahi-mahi, devil rays, and hammerhead sharks. The planetarium seats 250 people and features a 67-foot wide dome screen, 8K projectors, and surround sound to facilitate a 3D immersive experience the museum refers to as “visual joyrides” that educate and thrill.
Away from the museums, the park is separated from the Kaseya Center, host to the Miami Heat games by the Museum Park Marina. The Baywalk at the border offers excellent views of Biscayne Bay and is a great place to take selfies. Two blocks down the road, you’ll find the Freedown Tower, another famous Downtown Miami landmark currently housing a contemporary art museum.
South Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the United States. The shallow waters at the beach offer visitors the chance to swim and play in the warm Florida waters with relative safety.
Famous for featuring in many movies, Ocean Drive is one of Miami’s top attractions. The popular street is known for its proximity to the beach, the seemingly endless row of palm trees, and the numerous sightings of exotic cars that complement the tropical environment. South Beach isn’t just about the shoreline and sand. It has an intriguing collection of historic Art Deco buildings visitors won’t find anywhere else in the United States.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Originally known as the Vizcaya Villa, the building which was constructed as a vacation home for businessman James Deering in 1922, is now a museum owned by Miami-Dade County. Built as an Italian-style villa, complete with Mediterranean Revival architecture, the building still has its well-manicured exterior and courtyard gardens. The museum has a Lake Como villa look, given its styling and location by the waterfront. Visitors get to learn about the history of the building while enjoying the art on the walls of the 34 rooms. It offers a unique story about the history of Miami. The museum, which has been featured in multiple movies, including Bad Boys II and Iron Man 3, is open to the public every day except Tuesdays. It is also available for hosting private events and is a popular wedding venue.
Coral Castle Museum
Coral Castle hosts a collection of intriguing megalithic stone sculptures carved by Edward Leedskalnin between 1923 and 1951. The outdoor museum is open to visitors who appreciate art and others interested in investigating conspiracy theories. The size of the stones has left many wondering if this is really the work of one individual.
It is said that while Ed was alive, he would charge people a few cents to see his creations. Today, tourists can wander around the grounds and marvel at the creativity of the enigmatic artist.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is a 1.5 million acre wilderness of shallow waters and protected species including the Florida panther and the American crocodile.
Travelers who love the great outdoors will find plenty of activities in the Park. Visitors can tour the swamplands on airboats or hike the expansive trails that run through the parklands. There are also campgrounds that allow travelers to get even closer to nature by sleeping under the stars.
Founded all the way back in 1955, the Miami Seaquarium is an oceanarium that's bound to be popular with everyone in your travel group. Located on Virgin Key Island in Biscayne Bay, not too far from downtown Miami, this is a very entertaining place. The Seaquarium is home to sea lions, endangered sea turtles, and manatees that can all be seen up close. The shows and presentations the park staff put together are likely to keep you mesmerized and asking for more. Beyond the fun, the Seaquarium also educates visitors about the animals that call it home.
Miami Children’s Museum
Located on Watson Island along MacArthur Causeway, Miami Children's Museum is the perfect destination for youngsters. The museum is filled with educational and entertaining exhibits made to pique children's curiosity and creativity. It's a great way to make learning fun for the kids. There are also four outdoor exhibits that offer the little ones the chance to run around and have fun. As a bonus for yacht lovers, the museum is close to the super yacht dock on the island, so if you like large yachts, be sure to look to the right as you cross the ICW bridge from downtown. You may just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some marvelous superyachts and mega-yachts.
The Miami River, Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic arguably contribute to the beauty of Miami more than anything else. A great way to enjoy these is to go on a cruise. But you don’t want just any cruise. The best way to enjoy Miami is to charter a yacht to see some of the best views of downtown and South Beach. Chartering a yacht allows you the flexibility to decide where you want to visit and how long the cruise should last. You’ll find time periods ranging from half a day to a full week.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go all the way to the Bahamas on your cruise. Unlike what you’ll find in Europe, where you have to look out for the hidden fees not shown on the charter prices, many yacht charters in Miami have all-inclusive pricing, so you know exactly what you’re paying from the quote. The best views are around Brickell Key and Fisher Island, so be sure to keep that in mind when planning your Itinerary.
The Spanish Monastery is one of the more unique historical venues available to see on a trip to Miami. It is claimed to be one of the oldest buildings in North America and dates back to the 12th century.
Located in North Miami Beach, the monastery was originally built in Sacramenia, Spain. In 1926, William Randolph Hearst purchased the monastery, had it dismantled and shipped to the US. Due to Hearst’s ensuing financial issues, the crates that held the bricks remained in storage for decades before being sold at auction.
Once called 'the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history' by Time Magazine, the monastery's bricks were purchased in the mid-1960s and reassembled. Today, travelers can take guided tours of the Spanish Monastery. It is also a popular wedding venue.
Homestead Miami Speedway
One of the iconic motorsport ovals in America, Homestead's 1.5-mile course has been home to IndyCar, IMSA, and FIA GT Racing. It's still home to several NASCAR events, and the track is alive and bustling on a race day with a 46,000-person capacity. There's plenty to see and do on non-race days, too, with ride-along passenger laps and car experiences.
Hard Rock Stadium
Home to the Miami Dolphins and the Miami college football team, the Hard Rock Stadium is a hub for sporting activities in the city. Make an experience of a gameday by joining in with the famous tailgate parties. The stadium continues expanding its sporting importance to the Magic City, with Formula One’s recent debut as an addition to its annual events.