Miami's tropical climate lends itself to year-round outdoor activity. Whether you prefer hitting the beach or hiking in the Everglades, there's bound to be an outdoor recreation opportunity that interests you! Here are a few of my favorite things to do under the Miami sun.
With 1.5 million acres of swamps, saw-grass prairies and sub-tropical jungles, Everglades National Park is one of the most unusual public parks in the United States. Located on the southern tip of Florida, the park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile, the Florida Panther and the West Indian Manatee. A large portion of the park is primitive, explored only by adventurists and researchers – but visitors have ample opportunity to walk, camp and canoe.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden provides residents and visitors with a uniquely South Florida garden experience. Dedicated to preserving the diversity of tropical plants, Fairchild features some of the world's best collections of palms, cycads, flowering trees, vines and fruit trees along with other tropical plants. The garden also contains a 2-acre tropical rainforest, a fruit pavilion and a new exhibit entitled Jewels of the Caribbean.
Miami residents are always looking for a great way to beat the heat and there’s no better way to do that than take a dip in the pool! If you aren't fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard, Miami offers a number of public swimming pools that are accessible to residents for a nominal fee.
"Where the humans are caged and the monkeys run wild" - it's more than a catch-phrase. Monkey Jungle in southern Miami-Dade County is a truly unique park. While homo sapiens walk through carefully constructed wire pathways, many species of primates scamper above your head, swing through trees and interact with each other in ways difficult to observe in captivity. Keep your eyes open; you never know who's hanging around!
7. Coral Castle
Coral Castle is truly a monument to the uniqueness of Miami! This attractions was built by a Latvian-born Miami resident named Ed Leedskalnin as a monument to his lover. After 28 years of effort, he introduced his 1100-ton coral creation to the world. It's a bit of a trip from downtown, but well worth the time.
Miami MetroZoo is fast becoming one of the best zoos in the nation. Its climate allows it to keep a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa like no other zoo in the country. One of the first free-range zoos in the country, the exhibits are entirely cageless. Animals are grouped according to their geographic territory and animals that live together peacefully in the wild are placed in exhibits together.
The Miami Seaquarium is located right in the middle of the tourist area, on the causeway between downtown Miami and Miami Beach. It's a fabulous stop where you can witness an outdoor aquarium experience that's only possible in our tropical climate. Be sure to budget enough time to spend at least half a day there!
10. Tour South Beach
Since the 1920s, Miami Beach has been synonymous with glamour, glitz and non-stop sun. The epicenter of the beach is really on the barrier island’s south end, which is why South Beach is really what people mean when they refer to Miami Beach. At 17 blocks long and 12 blocks wide, South Beach is a perfect place for a walk.