Miami gets 3,200 hours of sunshine a year, on average. Its winters are so mild that they count as sunny days, too. Not even other southern states keep up with Miami’s sunny cheer. If being able to get up in the morning and going out barefoot in the middle of winter doesn’t sound like enough of a reason to put Miami at the top of your list of places to vacation in, here are 10 other great ones.
1. The beaches
Miami is laid-back and easygoing, as most warm weather beach towns are. While the water does get a bit uncomfortably cold in winter, it’s still possible to take a dip. There are lots of beaches in Miami and each has its own advantages and attractions. North Shore Park Beach, Crandon Park Beach, Golden Beach and South Beach are among the best beaches in Miami.
When I visited Miami last year, I stayed at the hotel near Haulover Beach Park. I just fell in love with that place, since it had also a very relaxing green zone, suitable for picnics. This spectacular 1,5 mile beach is located north of Miami Beach, and is known for its blue water, white soft sand and few visitors. Plus, it has free parking, nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and other entertainments. As long as you wear sunscreen at all times, Miami’s beaches are always a fun possibility.
2. Miami is all about water sports
There’s a lot more to do on Miami’s beaches than sunbathing and swimming. Miami has some of the best developed facilities anywhere for water sports and related activities. Among other things, you get to go kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. Take a few lessons of windsurfing or parasailing! I was fortunate to have a very experienced and savvy windsurfing instructor that helped me to ride the waves like a pro!
Do you want to admire breathtaking sunsets and marvelous dawns? Private charters are definitely for you in this case! Nothing could be more romantic than having a dinner on a sailboat while admiring the views of a great city. Another kind of experience that you will never forget is swimming with dolphins! Even though this entertainment is rather costly, it’s worth it. Miami Seaquarium will provide you with some information about these magnificent marine mammals before you will put on your wetsuit and start swimming with dolphins. Just imagine, you will have a chance to touch, hug, dance and even kiss those friendly dolphins!
3. The Everglades
The Everglades, the tropical wetlands that stretch across southern Florida, are right outside Miami. The Everglades are a home to numerous rare and endangered species such as manatee, American crocodile and Florida panther. These aren’t waters that you’d want to swim in – they are infested with crocodiles. The Everglades are a wonderful place to observe nature, though. An airboat tour is the best and easiest way to explore and admire the truly unequalled and vibrant environment of the Everglades!
When visiting the Everglades, head to an alligator farm to enjoy an alligator show. This is truly one-of-a-kind and thrilling experience! Knowledgeable experts will teach you how to handle these creatures of the swamp and show some simple catching technics. What can be more exciting than feeding an alligator and taking a photo with him? Caimans and snakes are other creatures you will get acquainted with at the Everglades.
4. The Florida Keys
The Keys are a string of large, coral islands that start 15 miles from the south of Miami and go nearly all the way to Cuba. You can easily find an island to yourself and spend the day there. Key West, Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada and Key Largo are the major places to visit. The Keys have a lot to offer, from outdoor artistry, festivals, museums, to galleries and visual arts. What I love most about the Keys is that they are perfect place to escape from the busy and hectic life of Miami. It’s the perfect place to spend your getaway or vacation!
5. Miami is an important destination for art
From the Dina Mitrani Gallery to the 6th Street Container, Miami is a hotbed of artistic experimentation. The Perez Art Museum of Miami on Biscayne Bay, a popular new art destination, is one of the latest additions to the city’s art circuit. Increasingly, Miami is becoming an excellent destination for important artists and art galleries from around the country. Miami’s Art Galleries and museums aren’t stuffy or intimidating – they are friendly places that anyone can learn something about art in. Connoisseurs of art cannot miss Miami Art Week – the first week of December, when thousands of collectors, dealers, artists and guests arrive in the city. It’s one of the most important contemporary art events in the US that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime.
6. The Art Deco District
Art Deco, the feel-good architectural style of the 20s, has proved to be of lasting value. Today, many people consider it retro fabulous. Miami’s South Beach is home to the Art Deco District – an entire area of perfectly preserved low-rise buildings built on the Art Deco architectural style. A walk around this charming district can make anyone feel instantly better. The most stunning examples of the Art Deco style are concentrated along the Collins Avenue, Ocean Drive, and Washington Avenue.
7. Lincoln Road
Lincoln Road started out as a magnet for up-and-coming artists in the 80s. Today, it is mostly a shopping street full of charming little stores. You get chic bookstores, cafés and clothing stores to have fun around.
8. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
The Vizcaya on Biscayne Bay was built by John Deere founder James Deering. The estate has acre upon acre of beautifully landscaped European gardens, fountains and statues that can easily transport you to a time when architecture used to be elegant and was about beauty, rather than function.
9. Miami is a nonstop party
Miami’s endless warm weather puts people in a party mood. With celebrities making regular appearances, the city’s clubs are always decked out in celebration mode. No matter how down-to-earth or fancy you want to get, Miami has a party for it.
10. Jungle Island
Known as Parrot Jungle at one time, Jungle Island is a beautiful, accessible place to take your children to, to introduce them to tropical birds in surroundings that are very close to their natural habitat. Monkey Jungle is another great destination to enjoy nature in. As their tagline goes, it’s where humans are caged, and the monkeys run wild.
Miami is one of the most cheerful destinations that you can go to. With Miami’s climate, it isn’t hard to understand how the city manages it.