Miami - Sightseeing
With so many different things to see, do and experience, it can be difficult deciding what to do first. Between the beautiful beaches, stunning landscape, glorious sights to behold and not to mention amazing shopping and dining facilities; Miami will show you the time of your life.
Aside from living the beach life, there’s something else that Miami prides itself on; shopping. This city surely is a shopper’s paradise offering all you shopaholics some of the best venues to help you embrace your passion. So whether you want designer threads at affordable prices, cheap and cheerful souvenirs, or some wondrous bargains and trinkets on the street markets, the city has surprising delights for you around every corner.
If you’re looking for malls that exude glitz and glamour from every corner, then head toward Miami Beach. Here you’ll find an abundance of residential and leisure developments along the barrier island off Miami’s coastline, providing some of the best shopping facilities this side of Hollywood.
Head to the north of the island and visit Bal Harbour. Here you’ll find a complex of designer boutiques alongside designer brands (including Oscar De La Renta and Marc Jacobs), homeware shops, gift stores, cosmetics outlets, shops catering for children and an abundance of dining facilities. Here you’ll also find two favourite US speciality department stores in the shape of Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Back on the mainland within the Kendall area of the city, you’ll find another shopping mall that caters for everything highbrow. The Falls is home to multiple stores, including Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pandora and Swarovski, as well as American stalwarts Bloomingdales and Macy’s. With many more boutiques, jewellers, cosmetics shops, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and a cinema; this is a shopping experience that’ll fill the day.
If you’re looking for bargains on everything from sportswear and shoes, to designer pieces, cosmetics and gifts; then Sawgrass Mills outlet stores provide you with a whole range of amazing discounted goods. With 350 shops ranging from Adidas and Converse to Burberry and Calvin Klein, as well as the likes of GAP, Gucci, Hot Topic and a Barneys outlet; this is Florida’s biggest and most comprehensive shopping mall.
Best of the rest
There are various other malls throughout Miami, including the huge Dolphin Mall filled with major stores such as Bloomingdales, GAP, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, in addition to more than 200 smaller unique shops. Areas like Coconut Grove, add a distinct character offering the chance to peruse the unique local arts and craft stores, galleries and markets in this lively bo-ho neighbourhood.
For something a little more unusual then check out Bayside Marketplace, which is close enough to the Port of Miami to enjoy its street entertainers, local stalls and famous clothing brands, alongside a whole host of waterside restaurants.
Like we said there’s so much to do in this city, you’re pretty spoilt for choice.
South Beach is popular with both tourists and locals alike, with something always going on, the fun time vibes emit throughout the entire city.
Complete with its own historic district, swanky hotels, night clubs and a spectacular palm tree lined beach at Ocean Drive, you can see why it’s a favourite amongst those from far and wide. With people striving to look their best at every given opportunity here, people watching has become an everyday sport. Espanola Way is one of the best places to sit and observe the world go by, with hacienda style houses to look at and amazing al fresco restaurants to dine in. However, you can get to know the area better by taking one of the free daily tours, which depart from the Art Deco Center at 1200 Ocean Drive.
If you want even better beaches then head to Key Biscayne, which is linked to the mainland by the Rickenbacker Causeway. Alongside these sand filled paradises you’ll also find huge blissfully peaceful parks, such as the beautiful Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Crandon Park. Whilst here you can even visit the Key Biscayne aquarium, where you can observe and learn about the region’s marine life.
At the southernmost point of Miami Beach you’ll find Bayfront Park, which is an amazing place to just wander through and take in the surrounding scenery. With perfectly manicured lawns for as far as you can see, alongside delightful coffee shops, galleries and idyllic picnic spots, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported into a another world in this peaceful side of the city.
If you want to delve into the culture of the city a little more, take a trip to the joyful Little Havana, where you can experience the authentic Latin soul flowing through the area. You’ll be able to enjoy a variety of wonderful things from Cuban cigars to fabulously piquant salsas with a seafood lunch, alongside the passionate Latin rhythms that flow from the area’s vibrant bars.
Drive half an hour south of downtown Miami and visit the stunning Coral Gables. This beautifully planned garden suburb for the stars was created during the 1920s, and is now home to an array of upscale stores, fine dining and beautiful hotels. Amongst these hotels you’ll find the Biltmore Hotel, complete with a Venetian pool - the only one that appears on the National Register of Historic Places.
With so much water surrounding this beautiful city, taking a Miami boat tour gives you the amazing opportunity to observe the city from a completely different angle, and creep up alongside some of the city’s stunning waterfront properties. If you don’t fancy creeping, and want a bit more adventure on your Miami water tour, then you can try the ‘thriller’ option, with a 60mph speed boat. These trips from the Bayside Marina and various points along the coast, offer the perfect opportunity to view Miami’s twinkling skyline, peaceful islands, pods of dolphins, and even the Everglades.
If you head over to Richmond you’ll find the amazing Miami Zoo. This well-respected institution has a thorough and impressive programme that cares for endangered, rare and ‘at risk’ animals including tigers, crocodiles, exotic birds and Komodo Dragons.
Children are also catered for in this wondrous city, with places like the Game Works at Coral Gables offering up an electronic paradise. With amazing features - which includes state-of-the-art shoot ‘em ups, virtual reality simulators and numerous other thrilling computer games - they’ll be occupied for hours on end.
Fairchild Tropical Garden
For stunning beauty, head to the Fairchild Tropical Garden on Old Cutler Road. This is a true natural gem, which features a piece of rainforest, stunning waterfalls, a sunken garden and breathtaking views.