How many of you have gone to Miami and made your way straight to South Beach?
Most of those who arrive in Miami immediately head to enjoy the world-famous South Beach without giving too much thought to the rest of the city. Let me tell you something, friends: even if the beach is nice, it is too crowded and way too touristy.
Miami is a beautiful city with a lot of history. It is a gem of the Art Deco period of the 1960s and 1970s, and a ton of iconic original structures are still up and fully functional throughout the city. If you’re looking for popular attractions with the appeal of South Beach (but a bit more of a local vibe), definitely take the time to venture out to Brickell and Downtown Miami. . Trust me – you won’t regret it.
If you are into museums, there are two museums you do not want to miss. Even if they’re not usually your thing, I totally recommend giving them a chance.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
The museum is an amazing adventure for the whole family. Boasting 6 levels and 250,00sq ft to explore, it’s a marvel in and of itself I definitely recommend starting off at the 6th level observatory, which gives you stunning views of the entire city, and working your way down. On level 4 you will find different animals, and you even can touch the stingrays if you are courageous enough. On level 3 you will see jellyfish, and sharks, and have the opportunity to touch starfish if you want.
On level 2, you will reach the bottom of the aquarium and on the last level, there is the planetarium, where you can watch shows at different hours of the day on a 360 screen. On the first level, you will also find a bunch of interactive games for younger children.
The Frost Science Museum is a great surprise. There are so many activities and fun things to do for kids. This is a wonderful place for families.
Perez Art Museum
Right next to the Frost Science Museum, you will find the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). What an amazing view you have from the museum! The PAMM is a contemporary and modern art museum. The main exhibitor during my visit was Beatriz Gonzales, a Colombian artist. I recommend that you make sure to visit the website to see who the exhibitor is when you plan to visit since one of the exciting aspects of this museum is that they change pretty often. The gallery is very bright and inviting. Take pictures with the swings and the blue string installation outside in the front of the museum. Throughout, you’ll find that there are a lot of fun pictures to take #forthegram.
If you are hungry, try Verde, the little restaurant attached to the museum. You will have a wonderful lunch with an incredible view of the bay. I personally can’t get enough of the palm trees and the turquoise water.
The food is also delish! We tried different dishes including the burrata, the salmon eggs benedict, and the spring blossom pizza (just typing it out makes me hungry again!).
Only a couple of minutes from the museum park, you will find Brickell, Miami’s finance center and a major hot-spot for young local nightlife and residencies. A couple of years ago, you wouldn’t want to walk down downtown Miami after 5 pm. Since then, the area has been completely remodeled and is now a very attractive part of the city. It is forever changing, and new buildings are popping up like mushrooms.
Brickell City Center
The Brickell City Center is the newest mall in Downtown Miami. The architecture of the building is unbelievably innovative, with three levels of shopping, dining, and entertainment. This unique mall has an open canopy roof. It keeps the sun away but allows the natural light to enter the place – through this and through its rainwater collection technology, it’s an environmentally friendly pastime for people of all ages to enjoy. . A fun fact is that this Climate Ribbon allows Brickell City Centre to run without the air conditioning. The construction took 4 years, cost $30 million, and was the fruit of a collaboration between Arquitectonica and Hugh Dutton Associés. If you don’t care about shopping, the unique architecture of the BCC is more than enough to make a visit worthwhile. This is certainly something you will not find everywhere.
You can check the Brickell City Centre website to see all the stores and restaurants you can find here https://www.brickellcitycentre.com/whats-here/directory
There is a movie theater, the CMX Brickell that offers you complimentary popcorn with each movie ticket purchased and even a farmer’s market on Saturday.
You can take cooking classes as we did at La Centrale which is an Italian Food Hall. We made pizza and it was a lot of fun. I had never taken any cooking classes before – it was a really fun experience.
You can definitely find activities at the Brickell City Center for everyone in the family.
Don’t worry about getting around; the city of Miami has you covered. You can take Brightline (now Virgin Train USA) from West Palm Beach to Miami. The fast train can be a great option to visit Miami for a day or two if you are staying in a city between West Palm and Miami. The line is supposed to link Miami to Orlando by 2022. I can’t wait for it to happen – more trips to Miami will definitely be in store!
Once you get to the city, I highly recommend that you hop on the complimentary Metromover that is operating seven days a week. The Metromover will help you get around in Downtown, Brickell, Park West, and the Art & Entertainment District. And there is air-conditioning, which is great to know if you don’t want to walk under the signature Miami heat.
One last (but not least!) way to travel around downtown Miami is the scooters. They are everywhere – you just need to download the app of the providers (Lime, Lyft…) and get on one of those electric scooters. They go pretty fast and are super useful to cover short-distance trips within the Downtown and Brickell area.
Now you are more than ready to visit Downtown Miami and enjoy your time in this beautiful city. Have you been to Miami? I would love to hear stories about your experiences and recommendations!