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Top 10 Things to Do in Miami

As any true local knows, the best things to do in Miami extend beyond lounging on the sand—though it goes without saying that spending some time on the best Miami beaches or admiring graffiti walls. Of course, Miami is famous for its Art Deco architecture and has a vibrant cultural scene. In between sunbathing, swimming and sipping cocktails, check off these essential experiences.

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1. Wynwood Walls & Art District

Payal Patel

The Wynwood Walls was conceived by the late Tony Goldman in 2009. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, and he arrived at a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex of six separate buildings, his goal was to create a center where people could gravitate to and explore, and to develop the area’s pedestrian potential.

The Wynwood Walls has brought the world’s greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art genre to Miami. Since its inception, the Wynwood Walls program has seen over 50 artists representing 16 countries and have covered over 80,000 square feet of walls. With each year the Wynwood Walls endeavors to expand its breadth, introduce well known and emerging artists and bring world class art to the community.

2. Trump National Doral Miami

The prestigious 800-acre resort near Miami airport boasts a beautifully designed clubhouse, deluxe accommodations that have the signature Trump luxury brand. Standard rooms showcase golf leaf Spanish revival decor and come with balconies or lanais, frameless showers with rainfall shower heads, Wireless internet access, Nespresso coffee makers and 55-inch flat-screen TVs. The resort also boasts an impressively large spa (48,000 square feet), a palm tree-clad pool with a waterslide, four Har-Tru tennis courts and four championship golf courses. Guests are amazed with every aspect of the property, from the pristine decor to the out-of-this-world customer service. Dining also kicks it up a notch, offering three upscale and casual eateries, including the BLT Prime steakhouse, a crowd favorite. And if you're craving a change of scenery, you'll find that fashionable Miami Beach is about 16 miles east.

3. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Via visionsoftravel.org

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, on Biscayne Bay in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The early 20th century Vizcaya estate also includes: extensive Italian Renaissance gardens; native woodland landscape; and a historic village outbuildings compound. The landscape and architecture were influenced by Veneto and Tuscan Italian Renaissance models and designed in the Mediterranean Revival architecture style, with Baroque elements. Paul Chalfin was the design director.

4. Perez Art Museum Miami

Via gatetoadventures.com

Learn about modern and contemporary, international art at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) with exhibitions highlighting Miami’s diverse community and pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. In addition to exploring the galleries, visitors can: enjoy waterfront dining at Verde restaurant; shop a unique selection of art books, furnishings and handmade items at the museum’s gift store; and take in the spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and the elaborate hanging gardens. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, PAMM provides an educational and civic forum for the County’s residents and visitors alike.

5. American Airlines Arena

Via seatingchartview.com

Miami’s American Airlines Arena is an international, versatile venue in a vibrant waterfront setting that showcases world-class and sophisticated events. Located in Downtown Miami on the waterfront of Biscayne Bay, the Arena is positioned between the skyline of the city, the beautiful beaches and the nightlife of South Beach. It is located in the center of booming Downtown Miami and the Entertainment District, American Airlines Arena hosts 80+ non-basketball events each year. Including A-list concerts, family shows, sporting events, National Conferences, and more.

6. Miami Design District

Via miamidesigndistrict.net

The Miami Design District is a neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, architecture and dining experiences. The Miami Design District is a vibrant destination for residents and visitors with the best shopping, cultural and culinary experiences within an architecturally significant context. The vision for a rejuvenated Design District—responsive to its historic, urban and tropical context—was codified in an urban master plan developed by the award-winning master planners Duany Plater-Zyberk. The Miami Design District embodies a singular dedication to the unity of design, fashion, art and architecture, and a commitment to encourage a neighborhood comprised of creative experiences.

7. Bayfront Park

Via mediacdnopen.cincopa.com!dsLCAwM4EDAfiA/4/Bayfront-Park-Aerial.jpg

Bayfront Park is a 32-acre site located in the epicenter of downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay. It is bounded on the north by Bayside Marketplace (an open-air festival style mall that attracts 23 million people per year), on the south by InterContinental Hotel, and on the west by Biscayne Boulevard.

Bayfront Parks has lush greenery includes a small sand beach, tropical rock garden and waterfall, playground, fountain, Light Tower, and many different monuments. Special event facilities within the park include the Amphitheater and Tina Hills Pavilion. The Bayfront Park Amphitheater is managed and operated by Live Nation, the largest worldwide promoter of live music. The Tina Hills Pavilion is available for smaller concerts, receptions, corporate events, and press conferences. The park recently underwent a renovation of its baywalk.

8. Little Havana

Via images.miamiandbeaches.com

Little Havana is a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, United States. Home to many Cuban exiles, as well as many immigrants from Central and South America, Little Havana is named after Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba. Little Havana is noted as a center of social, cultural, and political activity in Miami. Its festivals, including the Calle Ocho Festival, Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, the Three Kings Parade and others, have been televised to millions of people every year on different continents. It is also known for its landmarks, including Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street/Tamiami Trail), and its Walk of Fame (for famous artists and Latin personalities, including Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, and Gloria Estefan), the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, Plaza de la Cubanidad, Domino Park, the Tower Theater, Jose Marti Park, the Firestone/Walgreens Building, St. John Bosco Catholic Church, Municipio de Santiago de Cuba and others. Little Havana is characterized by its street life, with restaurants, music and other cultural activities, mom and pop enterprises, political passion, and great warmth amongst its residents.

9. Espanola Way

Via southbeachmagazine.com

Take a journey back in time through Old World Europe when you stroll down Miami’s charming Española Way. Tucked away on a palm tree-lined pedestrian street with string lights twinkling overhead, Española Way is a charming Old-World throwback in the heart of South Beach. Conceived as a “historic Spanish village”, the two-block corridor between Washington and Pennsylvania Avenues was designed to resemble the romantic Mediterranean villages of Spain and France. Here, buildings are made of chalky pink stucco with Spanish tile roofs where sidewalk cafes are shaded by striped awnings. It’s a prime area to escape from the hustle and bustle of Washington Avenue, get some shade, go shopping and enjoy lunch or dinner and a cocktail or espresso. However, you’ll never totally forget you’re in Miami with palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze and Art Deco neon lights glittering on the pavement nearby.

10. Collins Avenue/Ocean Drive

Via upload.wikimedia.org

South Beach is central to the story of Miami's evolution as an arts, fashion, cultural, celebrity and entertainment hub. The Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive Shopping District has been an edgy fashion mecca since the late 1980s, when the visionary developer Tony Goldman began buying properties and reshaping this beachfront neighborhood with a mix or restaurants, nightclubs, retailers and hotels. From fashion models to club kids to graffiti artists, Miami draws creatives with its chameleon-like ability to stay on trend. The retail mix appeals to a younger crowd with stores like Zara, Uggs, Free People and now, H&M. Boutique hotels abound, including The Hotel, a completely refurbished property at Collins Avenue and 8th Street.

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