This post is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove campaign.
Miami is most famous for its South Beach, made glamorous in equal parts by its golden shoreline and the bronzed bodies that spend hours sprawling on it. But when you’ve had enough of beach time listening to the sound of the waves (or the loud music of beach bars), the city steps up with its scenic trails, interesting neighborhoods and thriving arts and culture scene. When you’re ready to let go of the comfort of the beach that many hotels in Miami offer and explore the rest of the city, consider this list to get you started.
Photo by Michael Boro via Trover.com
Explore Miami’s Diverse Neighborhoods
Miami is home to a medley of cultures and exploring the city’s different neighborhoods is a great way to tap into the local culture that results from their coexistence.
Spend an afternoon in Little Havana, Miami’s own Cuban neighborhood that formed when thousands of Cubans fled their country as a result of Fidel Castro’s coming to power in 1959. From typical Cuban style homes painted in light muted shades, historical reminders on Memorial Boulevard and the drifting tobacco smell from cigars to irresistibly foot-tapping Cuban Salsa beats that call out as you stroll on Calle Ocho, the main street, you’ll find that most Cuban clichés abound in Little Havana. Elderly Cuban men gather at Máximo Gómez Park, also known as ‘Domino Park’, playing dominoes and chess, and spending their evenings in relaxed conversations and banter. Don’t miss the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame that recognizes respected Cuban celebrities.
Head to Coconut Grove, home to the city’s oldest community of bohemians and freethinkers- artists, intellectuals and writers. Visit Peacock Park to enjoy nice views of the Biscayne Bay from this 9.4 acre public park dedicated to Charles and Isabella Peacock, founders of Miami’s first hotel, the Bay View House.
Lincoln Road Mall
At Lincoln Rd Mall, there’s plenty to do besides shop, but if you’re looking to shop, you’ll find everything from one-of-a-kind design pieces to retro fashion. Spending time here means lots of people watching- this is where the glamorous residents of the city hang out at restaurants, pubs, clubs and cultural venues. Noteworthy buildings are the Lincoln theatre and the Tropical Art Deco Colony Theater. If you like art, don’t forget to check out the work of local and international artists at the Art Center. Shop for unique vintage finds and memorabilia at the Antique & Collectible Market, held every second Sunday from October to May.
To appreciate Miami’s famous Art Deco architecture, take a walking tour of the Art Deco District to see plush 1920s style hotels and other buildings from the 1930s and ‘40s. Noteworthy hotels are the Park Central Hotel, Colony Hotel & Winterhaven Hotel.
Go Swimming in the Venetian Pool
Photo by Lauren Bassart via Trover.com
Take a dip in one of the most beautiful public pools in the world at Miami’s Venetian Pool in Coral Gables. With a quaint setting of coral rock cave grottos, gushing waterfalls and Mediterranean design touches such as porticos, this freshwater pool is best enjoyed on weekdays away from the noisy weekend crowds. Created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry, the pool also offers great views from its two historic towers.
Get On A Nature Trail
Photo by travelbug via Trover.com
Why lie on the beach all day when you can get some exercise and enjoy nature on one of the city’s fantastic trails? There are both guided and self-guided nature trails at Crandon Park, home to a variety of wildlife and mangroves. A hike in the 100-year-old Simpson Park offers a glimpse into the natural flora that is native to the area since centuries. To hike among an exquisite collection of wild flora, rare tropical fruit and flower trees, and other exotic vegetation, head to the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden.
Have you been to Miami? What was your favorite thing to do there and what would you add to this list?