When Miami, an American city where some admires its weather, sea, and entertaining activities and some shows displeasure, is in question the holders of the opposite views come to agree that this place means a ‘lifelong vacation.’
No doubt that Miami is one of the most dashing cities on earth; however, it is also full of surprises for those who underestimate this place as a must-see destination. What if we say that Miami harbors one of the oldest structures in the Western Hemisphere! Or let’s say that one of the most impressive art deco collections of the country is here! How about we say that swimming in a giant freshwater pool built in a shallow rock quarry utilizing a large amount of coral is not a dream! It might be surprising but the city is full of interesting and significant historical structures. It’s architecture, geography, and historical parks might make you feel dizzy when you dive deep into its eclectic history. So, you shall experience the world famous beaches and the striking night life and we shall give recommendations so you will discover that there is so much more in Miami…
Green and calm
It is true that Miami is full of craziness… However, if you want to escape this chaos, there are numerous places to recommend. It is possible to spend a calm day between the greens in the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, which is one of the largest tropical botanic gardens of the country. This place has a butterfly garden, a tropical plant conservatory, and an ambience where you can find peace facing the landscape of the marshes and the islands. Did you say art? The impressive art installations by famous artists such as Roy Lichtenstein are often seen here. It is possible to see the whole park by a 45-minute free tramway tour. There are also easy to follow walking trails for those who love walking.
Walking to art
If you are thinking that everyone in Miami is after having fun, you are wrong. You will see the examples of the urban art blossoming through graffiti in the middle of worn concrete blocks and tarnished warehouses. The Wynwood Walls is a district that consists of graffiti and street art along with its extraordinary colors and location. The exhibition will be a surprise and it will be interesting for sure. If you are curious about the latest graffiti, you can participate in the Wynwood Walls walks organized by the street artists. The second Saturday of each month when the Wynwood Art Walk is done is the best time to see the most cheerful state of the district. Most of the surrounding galleries of Wynwood host special events and exhibition openings. Food trucks and thematic markets are the extras of this art festival along with live music; however, you will have to endure the crowd. The Design District is also worth seeing.
As if it came from the past
Located in the gallant district of the city, Coral Gables, the Biltmore Hotel, among the most impressive large hotels of the American Jazz Age, invites you to a travel in time as if it came out of a historical novel. The hotel, which is full of legends, spirits, and rumors, has a lot to tell… The famous guests of the hotel used to ride the gondolas in the canal behind the hotel. The canal does not exist any more; however, the largest hotel pool of the American continent, resembling the water garden of the sultan in the One Thousand and One Nights, is still there. Staying at this hotel is beyond everyone’s depth but the daily use of the pool is possible with a fee.
Celebrities of the ocean
Miami Seaquarium, located in Biscayne Bay, is the longest operating ocean aquarium in America. Meet with the stars of the Southern Florida waters; Salty the sea lion, Lolita the killer whale, Flipper the dolphin, and Calypso the baby dolphin. There are eight shows organized everyday. This place is also the home of sea turtles, manatees, stingrays, tropical birds, and other residents of the natural life. Tropical fish aquarium, shark canal, Salty’s Pirate Playground, and Sharky’s Sky Trail are not to be missed.
A concert with a view
There are not so many parks intertwined this much with turquoise in America. It is one thing that makes the people of this city lucky. Two performance venues are noteworthy in the city: the Klipsch Amphitheater with a great view of the Biscayne Bay for live music performances and the Tina Hills Pavilion where 800 guests, including those who sit on the lawn, can watch the spring shows for free.
From a villa to a museum
Coconut Grove, right across the Biscayne Bay, harbors the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, which used to be the former villa and estate of the businessman James Deering. The estate which is positioned on the 10-acre coastal line was faithfully restored. The main building is magnificent with the European antiques and artworks. The complex is surrounded with well maintained tropical gardens. You can take a break at the Vizcaya Cafe.
A monastery to reassemble
It is a medieval Spanish monastery. It is believed to be the oldest structure in the Western Hemisphere. This is in fact a treasure that takes place in the Northern Coast of Miami. It was originally built in Segovia, Spain in 1141. The priests of the monastery had lived there for about 700 years. Following a social revolution in the 1830s, the monastery was sold and turned into a wheat silo and a barn. William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper owner, bought the building annex in 1925 and had its stones separated in Spain. The pieces were collected in over 11 thousand wooden crates and sent to America. About 30 years later, the entrepreneurs of Miami had undertaken the task of reassembling the monastery where it is located today.
The art deco of the world
It is possible to see the widest art deco collection of the world in the Art Deco district in Miami Beach. The structures with white facades, neon lights, and stylish designs, Ocean Drive is in fact one of the most exciting streets in America. Some of the most iconic and photographed boutique hotels of America are also located here, including those seen in Scarface and Bad Boys.
A Cuban breeze
Experience the flavors of a multicultural Miami in Little Havana, breath in the Cuban air. You can become familiar with the unique architecture and culture of Cuba without even visiting this country. The colorful center of the Hispanic culture in Miami is full of cafes with Latin inspirations, restaurants, museums, street vendors, and markets. You might run into people talking about politics while playing domino or tables set with the Latin American dishes accompanied by Cuban music. Little Havana hosts the ‘Viernes Culturales’ (Cultural Fridays) on the last Friday of each month for those who want to know the culture and arts of the neighborhood better. The best time to visit this neighborhood is the evenings.
Such a pool
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is the largest freshwater pool in the world. It is not easy to find its similar; the pool water is replaced daily in summers to keep it clean. This public swimming pool, inspired by a cave in Venice and built over a shallow rock quarry utilizing a huge amount of coral in 1924, has almost brought a Mediterranean ambience to the American continent. There used to be a bridge with a view, built out of posts so the gondolas could dock to the pool, but later it was removed. The pool connects to a series of natural caves, the exploration of which is very exciting. It is always clean and blue, owing it to its natural filtering system.