Explore Miami: top 10 attractions to visit

The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park lighthouse on Key Biscayne is open to tour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. everyday except Tuesdays and Thursdays. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

UM students are lucky enough to attend school in what is considered to be a top U.S. vacation destination. With plenty of culture, nature and sights just a short trip from campus, students can explore a multitude of unique locations. Here is a list of the top 10 attractions to visit in Miami.

1. Wynwood Art Walls

Think about putting the most vibrant colors and images you can imagine on a building. When you visit the Wynwood Art Walls, you become fully immersed in the abstract, symbolic minds of the artists who constructed their designs.

The art district is an experience unique to Miami and is sure to spark your imagination. Not only will you leave feeling more connected to Miami culture, but your camera roll will have something to show for your time in the city. Student admission is $5 with a valid student ID.

2. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

This former estate is now an incredible museum and garden. The museum exhibits extravagant European architecture and overlooks the breathtaking waters surrounding the city. With pristine landscaping and beautiful flowers and greenery, this property is nothing short of outstanding.

Be sure to grab a few friends on the weekend to take pictures at this terrific landmark. Tickets are $22 for individuals 13 years and older. Student discounts are available for onsite purchases only.

3. Venetian Pool

In the heart of Coral Gables, Fla. lies the turquoise waters of the Venetian Pool. The 1923 limestone creation is refilled daily by spring water. With waterfalls and grottos, this is definitely a fun experience to offset the hot Miami sun. Escape the UM pool and enjoy one of Miami locals’ favorite attractions. Tickets are $16 for non-residents and $5.50 for residents.

4. The Everglades

Turtles, alligators and birds, oh my! Consider taking a trip to the Everglades National Park to see wildlife and some of Florida’s most majestic nature. The landscape in Florida is incomparable to other U.S. national parks as the largest wetland in North America. With beautiful mangrove trees and lilypads along the water, UM students are close to a national treasure.

Take full advantage of hiking trails and consider paying for an airboat tour to learn from the extremely knowledgeable park rangers.

5. Key Biscayne

You can’t go to school in Miami without taking a trip to the beach! Key Biscayne is home to beautiful white sand beaches with calm blue water away from the swarms of tourists on South Beach.

Crandon Park Beach is a lovely family-friendly park, perfect for barbecues and relaxation.

At the very end of Key Biscayne lies Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which is home to a nearly 200 year-old lighthouse. Entry into the park is $8 per vehicle, and visitors can tour the lighthouse at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with no additional fee. The lighthouse is open every day except for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

6. Brickell City Centre

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy location, Brickell City Centre is the place to be. With shopping, dining and entertainment spots, the Centre quickly became a top attraction in Miami. The city views from the upper levels of the complex can’t be beat and bonus points are allotted to the nighttime Miami lights.

7. Miami Beach Art Deco Historic District

Those iconic pops of color and animated designs of the 1920s and 1930s can be found in Miami Beach. The Historic District is located between 5th Street and 23rd Street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue. A walk or drive through this area will provide eye-catching views of the unique style with pastels, geometric shapes and neon signs.

Be sure to bring your camera and an appetite, because you might want to stop for a bite outside of one of the restaurants in the area. If you’re into people watching, this is a great place to do so. You might even see someone with their old-timey car, which only adds to the visuals of the scene.

8. Miami Design District

If you’re looking to spend some money, look no further than the Miami Design District. Brands like Dior, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Gucci line the modern streets that make up the Design District.

Even if shopping at one of these high-end stores is out of the question, it’s still nice to walk around and take in the pleasant atmosphere. Plus, if you don’t like spending money on materialistic items, splurge on an experience at one of the many restaurants like Baccarat Boutique Bar and Lounge, Cote Miami and the Dior Café. There’s no limit to opulence in the Miami Design District.

9. Little Havana

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Cuban culture, Little Havana is the place to do so. Start your day out with some Cuban coffee from La Colada Gourmet or Versailles Cuban Bakery and be sure to get a Cuban sandwich crafted to perfection from Sanguich de Miami.

Finally, be sure to stop in the art galleries dispersed among the Little Havana Art District to top off your trip to this historic neighborhood.

10. Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace is an outdoor shopping mall right along the waterfront. While there are many chain stores, Bayside has many unique tourist shops which are great places to get some Miami souvenirs.

A newer attraction has gained a lot of popularity for Bayside Marketplace: The Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel. This 15-minute ferris wheel ride offers breathtaking views of Miami and Biscayne Bay. If you’re not too scared of heights, this is a perfect way to see Miami and enjoy a day or night out with your friends.

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Morgan Fry
Morgan Fry is a sophomore from La Grange, IL majoring in management and marketing with a minor in journalism. She began writing for The Hurricane in the first semester of her freshman year and is excited to take on a new role as Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor. Her love of Miami restaurants, site seeing and pop culture translates into her writing, which she is excited grow and share with the A&E section. Outside of the paper, Fry is a team leader for the Management 100 program in the business school and is involved with her sorority, Pi Beta Phi.