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City Break Travel Ideas USA

5 Alternative Ideas for a Visit to Miami

I’m not much of a beach person, so when planning my trip to Miami, I was looking for alternative ideas, featuring culture, special attractions, and general quirkiness.

Luckily, the city has a thriving creative scene — probably drawn by the great weather — and several neighbourhoods to explore that are both charming and distinctive.

Do an Art Deco Walking Tour of Miami

I love architecture, especially of the historical variety, and Art Deco is a particular favourite. I couldn’t wait to have a look at the historic Art Deco district of Miami Beach.

Apparently, this district has the largest concentration of buildings from the 1930s in the country. Free walking tours and self-guided audio tours of the Art Deco Historic District around Ocean Drive are available, where you’ll find a good range of hotels for your stay in Miami.

If you’re interested in modern design, then the The Wolfsonian-Florida International University Museum will be up your street. The museum seeks to show the power of art and design in modern times and has an impressive collection of objects dating from 1885 to 1945.

Art Deco Hotel

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Art Deco Historic District

Neighbourhood: Ocean Drive, 10th Street

Public Transportation: Bus line 123 on Washington Avenue

Visit a Cigar Factory in Little Havana

Little Havana is a vibrant, un-American experience in itself, and a recommended activity is the cigar factory. Here, three generations of expat Cubans hand-roll cigars, and you’ll find a nice smoking lounge if you want to try the products.

Little Havana

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Little Havana Cigar Factory

Neighbourhood: East Little Havana

Public Transportation: Metrorail Vizcaya

Check Out the Street Art in Wynwood

Wynwood is Miami’s arts district with ever-changing street art. Huge, colourful murals by international graffiti artists and locals are everywhere. Don’t miss the Wynwood Walls, the outdoor gallery with the most famous street art creations.

Wynwood Walls

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Wynwood Walls

Neighbourhood: Northwest Second Avenue

Public Transportation: Bus Line 02

Go Ape at Monkey Jungle

Wander through a lush rainforest setting and find yourself in the unusual position of being caged while close to 400 monkeys roam free around you. At Monkey Jungle, you’ll find regular exhibitions that are both educational and entertaining while you get up close to some fascinating primates.


Image via Flickr by b.jornwatland

Monkey Jungle

Neighbourhood: Southwest 216th Street

Have a Drink With James Bond in Miami

James Bond films make many references to Miami, with “Goldfinger” probably being the most famous film. The Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel takes a brief leading role as the setting for Bond’s game of gin rummy with Auric Goldfinger. This 1950s beauty on Millionaire’s Row is still one of the most luxurious hotels in town, so what could be better than a martini at the bar there?

You’ll also find a James Bond museum in North Miami. The Dezer Collection owns one of the largest collections of Bond objects in the world, including the famous golden gun.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel Morris Lapidus 1954

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Fontainebleau Miami Beach 

Neighbourhood: Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Public Transportation: Bus Lines 112 and 119

Enjoy these alternative attractions in Miami the next time that you visit.

By Natasha von Geldern

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