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Are you planning a vacation in Miami, but don’t know what to do when you get there? The choice of activities, places to see and monuments to visit can make your head spin. Here are five ideas for excursions you can take, all within an hour of Miami, for your peace of mind!
1. Experience Miami by boat
From Biscayne Bay, the lagoon on the Atlantic coast that you can reach from Miami and Miami Beach, board a typical double-decker boat. During the hour-and-a-half cruise, you’ll be able to admire many views of the city of Miami.
Discover the city’s different architectural styles, and contemplate popular points of interest such as Millionaire’s Row, home to some of Miami’s most opulent mansions, and the Floridian city’s port.
Aboard the boat, enjoy comfortable seating, a drink (surcharge) at the bar, and the sound of turquoise water, revealing different species of fish and marine life.
2. Take in the sights of Miami at top speed
If you’d like to discover the city of Miami during your stay, but need a little more thrill than a simple boat trip, I recommend a speedboat tour.
Departing from downtown Miami, from the Bayside Marketplace open-air shopping mall, take a seat in a speedboat capable of speeds of up to 65 km/hr. The boat’s cushioned seats have been designed to ensure optimum passenger comfort, so you can enjoy the excursion and the view to the full. Take a seat and admire some of the city’s most breathtaking sights: Star Island and its famous Millionaire’s Row, the Venetian Islands, Fisher Island, South Point Park, Flager Monument Island, South Beach and Fisherman’s Channel.
Depending on weather conditions, the speedboat’s captain can also take you out into the Atlantic Ocean, so you can enjoy even more thrills and get a good whiff of the sea spray.
3. Discover another side of Miami
Miami, its beaches, its clubs where you can dance the night away, its vibrant colors and its luxury homes… But did you ever think there was more to see?
If you’re looking for an itinerary that’s different from everything you know about Miami and its beach and parties scene, here’s my advice: take an interest in the Art Deco architecture so specific to the Floridian city. To do this, you can book a tour with a city guide who knows his subject inside out. These tours are done in groups of around twenty people, and you’ll need around two hours of walking to admire the buildings presented to you.
You’ll see the magnificent Carlyle Hotel, with its striking architecture that will remind you of the film Scarface, or the Cardozo South Beach, as well as many of the buildings that have been the backdrop for so many stories, blockbusters and TV series.
Punctuate your tour with a visit to the Art Deco Museum, where you’ll learn even more about this distinctive style, present in both 1930s Miami and modern Miami (MiMo).
You may also like Wynwood: the street art district of Miami to visit!
4. Travel to Cuba without leaving Miami !
Miami is known as a colorful, festive and storied city. But did you know that Cuba isn’t all that far away, and in fact quite easily accessible from the coast? What I’m proposing, however, doesn’t involve crossing any borders, but rather traveling without changing cities.
Because of its geographical proximity to Cuba, the city of Miami has a high concentration of inhabitants of Cuban origin. It would be a great shame to miss the Little Havana district, named after the island’s capital.
Here, despite its richness and beauty, you’ll feel very welcome and as if you’re under the Cuban sun, with the spicy smells of traditional or typical dishes and cigars wafting through the air.
Book a gastronomic stroll through Miami’s Cuban neighborhood, with a local expert guide, to discover all the subtleties of Cuban cuisine. Discover restaurants with dishes that will immediately take you on a journey, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a small Cuban town, all without leaving the city of Miami.
5. Admire extraordinary animals
If you’d rather discover Florida’s lush jungle without having to go too far from Miami, I recommend a visit to Jungle Island. This island has been transformed into a zoological park for the enjoyment of young and old alike.
In a seven-hectare park, admire thousands of animals of all species, from the four corners of the globe. Formerly a parrot park, you can still see hundreds of parrots. Today, you can also come across mammals (kangaroos, sloths), reptiles (giant tortoises, pythons), marine animals (such as koi carp), primates (lemurs, capuchins) and a large number of birds (parrots of all kinds, flamingos).
To take full advantage of this jungle in the middle of the city, I recommend you buy a VIP tour ticket, which not only allows you to wander around the park, but also to stop off at the clinic and interact with several of the park’s animals. An unforgettable experience. You can also purchase a “Garden Ticket”, which guarantees access to the entire park and its attractions, but you’ll need to book individual tickets to get up close and personal with the animals.
Whatever your desires and aspirations when on vacation in Miami, you’ll be able to find a wide range of excursions that will give you a change of scenery, teach you more about the city’s history or give you a thrill. All these suggested excursions take place less than an hour from Miami, so you won’t have to devour too many kilometers.