5 Spots To Check Out In Miami That Don’t Involve The Beach

Lined with Art Deco hotels and upscale bars, Miami’s beaches are what draw tourists, models, and celebs alike year-round

Photo: Unsplash/@dryanparker

Photo: Unsplash/@dryanparker

Lined with Art Deco hotels and upscale bars, Miami’s beaches are what draw tourists, models, and celebs alike year-round. A visit to the 305 just isn’t complete without a stroll on the sand, after all. Many visitors, however, make the mistake not to venture off the beach and into the mainland. And the thing is, Miami is home to numerous other areas and experiences that will leave you feeling way less salty than sipping $18 margaritas in the ocean breeze. Whether you’re already over South Beach or you just want to try going off the beaten path, these are places worth checking out next time you’re in the MIA.

Little Havana

For a taste of authentic Cuban culture, you have to go inland to Little Havana. This small east-side neighborhood is home to numerous Cuban restaurants and cafeterias from which you can order any combination of cafecito and tostada (that’s buttered toast, not tortilla), or arroz con pollo you desire. Try scheduling your visit during Viernes Culturales, their monthly art walk, and ending the night at either Hoy Como Ayer or Ball & Chain, two of the area’s best night clubs. PS. If you’re still not convinced, Anthony Bourdain gave it a solid thumbs up on The Layover.

The Redlands and Homestead

Did you know Miami-Dade has a large agricultural scene where you can often pick strawberries or grab fresh milkshakes and smoothies by the side of the road? If you’re visiting in the fall and winter months, stop in for the infamous cinnamon rolls at Knaus Berry Farm. Then venture further south to Homestead to check out the Everglades Outpost (wildlife sanctuary) or the Robert Is Here fruit stand for fresh produce, local honey and jams, a petting zoo, and a splash pad for kiddos. Oh, and don’t leave without stopping in for some unbelievably good Mexican food at La Cruzada followed by a performance at the Seminole Theater.

The Everglades

Our River of Grass is massive and you can explore it in many different ways: biking, hiking, kayaking, and of course, by air boat. I personally prefer the latter experience, which you can enjoy yourself at Coopertown Airboat Rides (or any other number of airboat attractions). You’ll still want to do a bit of walking around the trails inside Everglades National Park as you’ll have a much better chance of seeing gators and crocs, anhingas, ibises, snakes, tortoises, and more. Make sure to stop in at the visitor centers for more background info on our beautiful, local national park and maybe even score a souvenir.

Wynwood

Wynwood has become the second more popular attraction in Miami outside of the beaches, and with good reason. This small artistic enclave is home to dozens of vibrant street murals, burgeoning art galleries, eclectic shops, plus plenty of nightlife to go around. Breweries like J. Wakefield, bars like Gramps, and dining experiences like The Wynwood Yard, all make their home in this neck of the woods, and they’re all worth a visit. Oh, it’s also the place to be to see some of the best street artists of the world in action during the annual Art Basel festival.

Coral Gables

For something completely different, there’s the Gables. This posh little community in the heart of Miami-Dade has everything from a fresh-water public pool built out of coral rock (Venetian Pool), to incredible indie hotspots like Books & Books and the Coral Gables Art Cinema, plus a hot shopping and gallery scene all along Miracle Mile. You can also take a tour of the historic Biltmore Hotel (or maybe even book a room there), stroll along the Fairchild Tropical Garden, or hit up any number of events (from lectures to ball games) on the University of Miami Campus.

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