A list for those who have been to Miami many times or those who avoid tourist traps like the plague:
Shark Valley Visitor Center
Only a small part of the 1.5-million-acre Everglades National Park wetlands. Contrary to what the name might suggest, this center is filled with all kinds of native Florida wildlife and not sharks. You can expect the typical wildlife brochures, info sessions explained by the park’s rangers and souvenir shop, but what’s unique here is that you can walk next to and photograph wild alligators (or gators in Floridian). This isn’t the zoo and there aren’t gates or glass keeping you away from the wildlife. You can take a Disney like tram to the the park’s 65-foot high observation tower, where you’ll get the same panoramic views of the sawgrass marsh the natives had over 300 years ago. Or if you’re truly daring, you can bike the looped Tram Road to the observation tower where you will have to sometimes dismount in order to walk around gators that are happily sunbathing with their freshly filled bellies.
Formally a forgotten warehouse district in downtown Miami has now been reborn as a vibrant art district with restaurants, galleries, breweries, stores, bars and dance clubs all covered in beautiful murals by both local and international artists. Most people come here during the monthly art walks which are filled with music, lots of people, food trucks and art galleries open late. If you want a more relaxed tour of this art-filled distract visit during the week and make sure not to miss the famous Wynwood Walls.
A little taste of what made Cuba famous in the 1940s, dinner and a show. Burlesque, delicious cocktails, live music and a modern take on Latin cuisine, El Tucán is a supper club that brings all the glitz and glamour with a contemporary edge. The venue is small which adds an element of intimacy, like the show is just for you. If you’d like a table make sure to book one in advance, otherwise the standing room area is right by the bar which offers spectacular cocktails fast!
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Vizcaya is a historical hidden gem in a modern city that’s world famous for beaches and partying. The villa and estate of James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune. Architecturally it’s a building built in a baroque style mixed with a little bit of a spanish flare. As a matter a fact the whole estate is built in this manner because Deering was a very well traveled man who enjoyed bring back bits and pieces from his travels and incorporating them into his home decor, both indoor and outdoor. The lavish interiors of each individual room covered in matching fabrics, precious pieces of art and marble are equally matched by the meticulously kept grounds featuring classical statues, hidden balcony and benches, and fountains.
Located in the city of Coral Gables which it helped build, this lavish public pool was born from the leftovers of a coral rock quarry in 1923. The rock taken from the area was used to build the walls that border the city as well as, some of the neighboring buildings. The pool is filled with spring water that comes from an underground aquifer and is beautifully decorated with a couple of waterfalls and a grotto that keep visitors entertained. It also boasts many mediterranean features in its decor, like the venetian style stripped wooden poles usually used to tie gondolas in place in the waterways of Venice here they are light poles or the charming bridge which sits just above the water.