5 Indispensable Miami Attractions

Miami offers several attractions that celebrate the history and cultural diversity of its neighborhoods. From tours guiding visitors through a local culinary excursion, to immersive properties specializing in up-close animal encounters, there are unique experiences for individuals of all ages. In no particular order, here are some destinations representing the arts, culture, and people of the iconic Florida city.

Kicking off the list at #1, Miami Culinary Tours offers daily public and private foodie tours throughout the city's most diverse neighborhoods. From Cuban coffee to Peruvian ceviche, the company showcases unique specialties from South Florida's culinary communities, as well as the cultures and traditions behind those doing the cooking. Guides are well acquainted with local neighborhoods, sharing the best of both fine dining and family-owned ethnic eateries.

Named among the Top 10 Cultural Experiences in The World by Tripadvisor's Travelers' Choice in 2019, the company's Little Havana Food & Cultural Tour explores the rich history and culinary delights of the iconic Florida neighborhood. Visitors may enjoy ice cream crafted with Latin-inspired flavors or an authentic Cuban sandwich at PC Bakery. Elsewhere, the Coconut Grove Food & History Tour guides visitors through the city's earliest neighborhoods, featuring some of the area's top establishments.

Next at #2 is The Bass Museum of Art. The contemporary art museum, located in Miami Beach, connects visitors with international examples of creativity through exciting and educational experiences. Featuring the work of both mid-career and established artists, pieces reflect the spirit and international character of the region. Exhibits explore several disciplines, including design, fashion, and architecture.

Central to the institution's cultural mission, The Bass maintains an education program for visitors of all ages. The IDEAS initiative uses art as a catalyst for creativity and personal growth, with a particular focus on early childhood education. Other events hosted by the institution include painting and collage activities, abstract art, and The Bass Highlights Tour, where guests explore featured collections, current exhibitions, and learn about the Museum's architecture.

Entering the list at #3, Perez Art Museum Miami is a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries. According to the institution, featured exhibitions and programs aim to encourage everyone to see the form as an incentive for genuine human interaction, communication, and cultural exchange. Exhibitions include the sculpture garden, as well as various collections that feature African-American pieces.

Meanwhile, PAMM's Caribbean Cultural Institute promotes the art of the Caribbean and its diasporas through scholarship, exhibitions, fellowships, public programs, and collection development. In addition to exploring the galleries, visitors can enjoy waterfront dining at Verde restaurant, shop a unique selection of art books and other items at the Museum’s gift store, and take in the views of Biscayne Bay and the elaborate hanging gardens.

Coming in at #4, Jungle Island began in 1936 as an aviary for exotic birds, and has since become a landmark zoological park that houses rare animals of all types. Located between Downtown and South Beach, the park invites guests to enjoy engaging wildlife shows and informative exhibits while strolling by streams and waterfalls under a lush canopy of tropical trees. Elsewhere, visitors can participate in hands-on interactions with fascinating animals, or go on guided behind-the-scenes VIP tours.

Jungle Island claims to enrich the lives of park visitors through immersive, real-life experiences centered on adventure, animals, discovery, and play. Activities include encounters with sloths, lemurs, and capybaras, as well as an up-close interaction with flamingos. The Jungle Kids program, meanwhile, provides field trips and camps for school-aged children. Completing the subtropical surroundings are a variety of unusual flora, from African sausage trees to rare cycads.

Lastly, at #5 is the Deering Estate. The 1920s-era property of industrialist, environmentalist, and philanthropist Charles Deering, it now operates as a museum for guests to learn about the figure's contributions. Situated along the coast in South Dade, the property is a cultural asset and historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A variety of signature events, programs, tours, and classes are offered throughout the year.

Educational programs allow children and families to discover the natural world through naturalist training courses, and field trips that cover topics such as archaeology, ecology, biology, and marine science. Elsewhere, visitors have the opportunity to see local wildlife, wetlands, tropical plants, and geological formations while trekking some of the Deering Estate's hiking trails. Finally, a number of cultural programs, concerts, and exhibits engage the public through art and history.