The magic city of Miami attracts sun-seekers looking for warm weather, beautiful beaches, and amazing food. The downtown area of Miami offers a rich cultural experience as well that just might surprise you.
Let’s take a look at the top nine exciting things to do in downtown Miami.
1) Explore The Patricia Frost Museum
This massive complex includes the Frost Science Museum, the Frost Aquarium, and the Frost Planetarium. With an Explorer ticket, you’ll have access to all of the Patricia Frost Museum science exhibits, the Frost Aquarium, and a ticket to see one Frost Planetarium show.
The Frost Planetarium is a 250-seat theater with an 8K projection screen and surrounds sound that shows odysseys into outer space.
Exhibits at the Patricia Frost Aquarium include:
The Royal Caribbean Vista top level – An impressive 500,000 gallon, 100-foot wide Gulf Stream aquarium.
The Dive mid-level – Almost 30 aquariums and interactive vessels from the underwater world.
The Deep – The lowest level with a 31-foot oculus lens forming the bottom of the Gulf Stream Aquarium.
2) Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park in downtown Miami is a hidden gem that is fun for the family and a great way to let the kids burn off some energy. Stop at a sandwich shop on the way to pick up a picnic lunch.
There are 32 acres of grass lawn, paved walkways, a sandy beach, a tropical rock garden, waterfalls, and more.
At the park’s south end, you’ll find the Lee & Tina Hills playground, with some unique equipment. A climbing structure in the form of a wave, with a dolphin, a turtle, and a manatee. There is also a pirate ship with slides.
Take a walk around the park to see the monuments designed by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, including Slide Mantra, the Challenger Memorial, and the Light Tower.
3) HistoryMiami Museum
Visit the largest museum in the state of Florida and uncover the history of Miami. The History Miami Museum is part of the downtown Miami Cultural Center Complex.
The History Miami Museum has been sharing extraordinary South Florida history for over 80 years.
In addition to their rotating temporary exhibits, you’ll find an extensive core collection that includes:
Tropical Dreams – The history of South Florida from prehistoric times to the present day.
Whitman Family Gallery – Photographs and objects related to the Whitman Family
Folklife Gallery – Understanding cultural diversity and traditions.
History and Ourselves – Popular Cuban refugee raft and a Seminole dugout canoe artifact.
Miami from the Sky – History of the Miami International Airport.
Miami, The Magic City – Photographs from the late 1800s through the 1980s.
Admission is free on Family Fun Days, the second Saturday of each month.
4) Mary Brickell Village
This exciting shopping center has nearly 50 boutiques and outdoor kiosks with interesting shops and fun restaurants.
Located in the heart of downtown Miami, Mary Brickell Village is a great spot for an afternoon of retail shopping therapy. Later, you can stay for dinner and drinks. This open mall has a great social vibe, with a sensational view of downtown Miami.
Mary Brickell Village is just a stone’s throw away from Brickell City Centre and its luxury shops, in case you are looking for something a bit more extravagant.
5) Freedom Tower At Miami Dade College
The iconic Freedom Tower has been standing in downtown Miami since 1925. Originally built as a newspaper headquarters, the 289-foot-high building served as the Cuban Assistance Center from 1962 to 1974, aiding the Cuban people who were immigrating to America.
The National Historic Landmark Tower is now home to the Museum of Art and Design (MOAD), whose mission is to serve as a Museum Without Boundaries. The MOAD is one of the best art museums to visit in Miami.
The Freedom Tower is also home to the MDC Special Collections, including the Cuban Legacy Gallery, the Kislak Center, and the Exile Experience.
6) Bayside Marketplace
The Bayside Marketplace is a large shopping center overlooking Biscayne Bay with over 60 shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Visitors to the marketplace can explore the Miami Walk of Fame which honors contributions to the “charisma, worldwide prominence and name recognition of Miami through film/television, music, sports or honorary means.”
Kids will enjoy walking through the Dino Safari, with over 25 full-scale animatronic Dinosaur replicas.
Take a ride on the 200-foot-tall Skyview Observation Wheel for an exciting view of the downtown Miami skyline. Riders can relax and enjoy the view from their private, fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola.
7) Brickell City Centre
Brickell Centre is a massive five-story retail, dining, shopping, and lifestyle complex a short walk from the Miami River. The 500,000-square-foot vertical shopping complex includes premium shopping for home decor, beauty, jewelry, apparel, and more.
Brickel City Center includes top luxury brands, and the flagship store is a 107,000-square-foot ultra-modern Saks Fifth Avenue.
After spending an enjoyable afternoon of shopping, visitors can pop into CMX Brickel Center, a VIP Cinema Experience movie theater. The upscale CMX cinema experience includes current-release movies, where guests are served hand-crafted cocktails and chef-crafted cuisine at their seats.
8) Explore Biscayne Bay
Downtown Miami is bordered to the east by Biscayne Bay and the protected Biscayne National Park. Over 90% of the park is covered in water. The bay includes the northernmost point of the Florida Keys, a vibrant living coral reef, and an extensive mangrove forest.
Park visitors can dive into one of the top scuba destinations in the United States, and go fishing, boating, snorkeling, paddling, hiking, and more.
Visitors can take guided tours and participate in ranger-led programs. A top attraction here is the underwater Maritime Heritage Trail, an underwater snorkeling trail through the remains of a shipwreck.
9) Private Luxury Tour
Experience Miami on a private luxury tour that is specially curated for you.
Your tour will include private transportation and an entertaining local guide with over 40 years of background in South Florida. On a Stellar Miami Tour, you’ll experience Miami’s culture, top Miami attractions, and exciting restaurants.
Our private Miami tours are created just right for you, whether you want to explore the downtown area, Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, South Beach, Little Havana, or more. Along the way, your guide will share exciting stories of Miami’s history.