Many visitors to Florida split their time between the theme park attractions around Orlando and an alternative holiday base, giving them a chance to see a little more of Florida than just Walt Disney World. A frequent choice for that alternative is in and around Miami. Miami is located on the south-eastern coast of Florida, on the Atlantic coast and is a city of 500,000 people at the centre of a metropolitan area with a total population of nearly 5.5m. Miami has a tropical monsoon climate, with hot, humid summers and warm dry winters, making it a favoured destination for those snowbirds seeking to escape the worst of the North American winter. As well as its many other attractions the Port of Miami is famous for its cruises, riding the recent popularity for cruises to become the number one cruise port in the world.
Here are 10 things to do in Miami, not necessarily the most obvious;
#1 - Lock and Load Miami
Located just a short walk from mid-town Miami, this shooting gallery focuses on automatic weapons, providing packages for parties to experience the thrill of firing fully automatic firearms, in a safe and well ordered environment. Avoid if guns are not your thing!
#2 – American Airlines Arena
Where the NBA’s Miami Heat play, architecturally amazing and the atmosphere during a tight game has to be seen to be believed.
#3 – Vizcaya Museums and Gardens
Described as a palace by the sea, this museum is built in the Italian style, instantly transporting you to the beauty of Florence or the magnificence of imperial Rome. It also houses some very important artworks and objects.
#4 – Zoo Miami
A fantastic zoo, featuring a wide range of animals, many of whom are endangered, including crocodiles and the Komodo Dragon.
#5 – Marlins Park
Another one for the sports lover, this time American baseball, Marlins Park is home to the Miami Marlins and provides a fantastic venue. The atmosphere during the game is second to none and the retractable roof ensures the game always gets played.
#6 – Miami Trolley
Part of the Miami transport system (albeit a fairly recent addition) the Trolley is a good way to get around Miami and take in the sights. It isn’t expensive either but make sure you bring plenty of small change!
#7 – Lumus Park Beach
Lumus Park is a City of Miami beach with adjoining park to be found in the South Beach area, running along Ocean Drive. The beach itself is beautiful with stunning white sand and crystal clear water. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards and you can hire sun beds and umbrellas.
#8 – Olympia Theater at Gusman Center
A fantastic and historic place to visit, this venue was originally opened in 1926 as Miami’s finest silent movie house and is now the home of a variety of films, live performances and other social events.
#9 – Miami Design District
The Miami Design District is an area of the city focusing on the creative arts as well as housing extensive shopping and dining opportunities. Look out for the wide variety of art, fashion and architecture.
#10 – Miami Exotic Auto Racing
If you are into motor sport this might be the place for you. Featuring a professional race track, visitors can hire an exotic car (the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini) and take it for a spin under the expert tutelage of a professional race driver.