Cruise ships depart from and dock in Miami every day. Often, cruisers will have time before or after their cruise in which they can explore Miami. If you’ve never been there, it can be difficult to decide what to do first, especially since the attractions range from family-friendly to adults-only. Use this guide to help you find some of the best options so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Spend a Day at the Beach
Chances are you’ll see or did see plenty of beaches on your cruises from Miami, but you can’t skip the gorgeous turquoise water and white sand that the beaches of Miami offer. Pack a picnic lunch, grab your gear, and make your way to one of the many sandy spots that the city has to offer. Hanging with friends? Head to South Beach, which is known as a party hot spot. Planning to spend the afternoon with family? Crandon Park is family-oriented and the perfect place to splash around. Don’t forget to get out on the water when you’re out and about. Rent jet skis, go snorkeling, or even go kayaking on the ocean waves.
Check Out Some of the Food
Miami has some of the best restaurants in the country if you know where to look. Skip the chain spots in favor of checking out some of the local flavors. Wanna try some Cuban fare? Head to Versailles on SW 8th Street. A go-to spot since the early 1970s, the shop is perfect for eating a hearty Cuban breakfast while people-watching.
Ready for lunch? Check out the tapas-style menu at Wynwood Kitchen on NW 2nd Avenue. Situated in the artsy Wynwood District, the restaurant has a cool, creative, and multilingual crowd. After lunch, head outside to check out the surrounding mural park. When dinner time comes around, head to South Beach and check out any of the hot, popular eateries in the area.
Who doesn’t love to do a little shopping while they’re on vacation? If you like shopping, you can’t visit Miami without visiting Bayside Marketplace. The waterfront spot is home to more than 150 stores for you to browse through. Whether you want kitschy souvenirs to take home to your friends or you’re interested in finding trendy clothes, you’re sure to find what you need in this spot. It’s also home to some of the best restaurants in the city, so make a day of your shopping excursion and be sure to stop for lunch. You can watch the boats coming into the harbor as you eat.
Visit Some Adorable Animals
If you’re on a family-friendly vacation (or even if you’re not!), head to Jungle Island when it opens at 10:00 a.m. The 18-acre park is located on Watson Island and features a wide variety of exhibits with various interesting animals. As you make your way through the exhibits, you’ll be able to wander through subtropical habitats and gorgeous gardens. Be sure to stop by the Superflight attraction if you’ve ever wanted to skydive. The vertical wind tunnel is a safe way to simulate skydiving and get that adrenaline rush that you crave.
Go Bird Watching
Because Miami is near both the ocean and the Everglades, it’s an interesting ecological area that has become home to various birds. Look for Blue Herons, pelicans, and a wide variety of other birds in their natural habitats. Look for the birds in small waterfront parks since this is where they feed on small fish throughout the day. Deering Point is a public park on 176th Street that is perfect for a birdwatching excursion.
Whether you’re a nature lover or prefer to keep your excursions indoors, there is something for everyone in the port city. Head out a day early or extend your trip for a day to be sure that you can take in all that Miami has to offer.