While it's often considered a part of Miami itself, Miami Beach is actually its own separate area, but you'll find just as much excitement and diversity here. Miami Beach blends together a variety of cultures and heritages to create an eclectic, interesting and thrilling place with plenty to do. You'll find a big Latin influence that'll have you dancing until the wee hours of the morning in a nightclub or savoring each bite of a delicious meal at one of Miami Beach's local restaurants.
There's a plethora of culture to take in here as well, from awesome examples of Art Deco architecture to museums depicting the area's history, beautiful artwork and everything in between. When you're not exploring the various attractions, you're sure to spend plenty of time outdoors soaking up the Florida sun on the plethora of beaches or taking a hike and enjoying the natural scenery. With Miami Beach's subtropical climate, it's the perfect place for a winter getaway to escape the dreary cold, but it's great to visit all year round.
Things to Do in Miami Beach
- Bass Museum of Art: Plan a trip to the Bass Museum of Art where you can see masterpieces dating to the Renaissance all the way through modern times. The museum was founded in 1963 by a private donation from John and Johanna Bass. You'll see such artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Ferdinand Bol, Cornelis van Haarlem, Armand Guillaumin and Benjamin West.
- Miami Beach Botanical Garden: Experience the tropical beauty of Miami Beach with a visit to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. You'll find 2.6 acres of green space, originally founded in 1962 and updated in 2001 with a landscape renovation. As you stroll through the grounds, you'll be sure to marvel at the native Floridian plants and trees such as orchids, cycads, palms and bromeliads, among others. Stroll through the Japanese Garden and let the flowing sounds of the ponds and fountains relax you. There's even a wetland with a mangrove and pond apple trees.
- Lincoln Road: You'll want to do some shopping during your trip to Miami Beach, and a great place to get some retail therapy or pick up some souvenirs is Lincoln Road. This pedestrian road is a great place to take a walk and peruse the shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes. You'll find a variety of stores selling clothing, home hoods, bath products, sweets and everything in between. Some shops include American Apparel, LUSH, Dylan's Candy Bar and Aldo, as well as local stores and boutiques. After you've shopped 'til you dropped, swing by an eatery or cafe to refuel with some caffeine or a bite to eat.
- Art Deco Walking Tour: Miami Beach is a haven for Art Deco architecture that is truly a sight to see. Art Deco flourished in the 20th century after World War I. It brought together traditional ideas mixed with imagination that's often characterized by bold, geometric shapes and patterns, rich colors and major ornamentation. Visit the Art Deco Welcome Center to take a 90-minute walking tour where you'll see not only Art Deco but Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern styles of structures throughout the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District.
"'Dining in Miami Beach'"
- OLA: With such a large Latin American and Spanish influence in Miami Beach, dining on food from these regions is a must. OLA offers delicious Latin American cuisine from acclaimed Latin chef Horacio Rivadero. Be sure to try his ceviches, mustard mojo, beef tenderloin churrasco or Florida sweet corn empanada. Pair your meal with a wine from the carefully chosen list by sommelier Albert O'Mahen to complement your bold dishes. Zagat rated OLA as being extraordinary with a 27 rating, and Food and Wine Magazine named Rivadero "best chef for the gulf region 2012."
- Joe's Stone Crab: For 102 years, Joe's Stone Crab has been a staple of Miami Beach pleasing residents and visitors alike with its delicious seafood meals. It'd be a travesty to visit this Florida city without a trip to Joe's, where you'll find a welcoming atmosphere built on a love of food, friends and family. Joe Weiss opened his lunch counter in 1913 where he served up fish sandwiches and fries, and since then the business has become a local favorite where you can sample crab cakes, yellowfin tuna, lobster and mussels. If you're not a fan of seafood, there's still plenty of options here from the chicken to the sirloin burger, rack of lamb, filet mignon and much more.