Downtown Miami / Brickell / Miami River
Part museum, part gallery space and educational center, HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., continues its mission of gathering, preserving and celebrating Miami’s rich history. One way it achieves this is through City Tours, a variety of specialized tours that explore neighborhoods and landmarks across Dade County by walking, cycling, on a boat, coach bus, or even the Metro Mover.
Among its most popular is the Miami River Boat tour, which takes passengers through the river’s winding waterways. The next tour is scheduled for Oct. 20. There will also be a boat tour on Nov. 10 to Stiltsville, a collection of wood stilt houses in the middle of Biscayne Bay dating back to the 1930s. The cost is from $250 to $600 per guide/per tour (for groups). For individual tours and more details, visit www.historymiami.org.
Design District / Wynwood
Did you know Miami is home to three of the top art collections in the world? Susana Baker, founder of The Art Experience, has the scoop on that and much more in the Design District and Wynwood.
“We take you off the beaten path,” Baker said. “We want to take you to places you would not dare venture on your own.”
One of the most impressive stops is the Wynwood Walls, an outside gallery featuring graffiti art by some of the most respected, contemporary artists in the world. The tour visits galleries and world-renowned collections. Another neat factor is getting to visit the Wynwood Lofts, where some of the artists actually live and work. The Art Experience pairs the art tours with lunch or dinner at some of the area’s most celebrated restaurants. There are several packages available. The cost ranges from $65 to $125. For more details, visit www.theartexperience.com.
To learn about the history, development and architecture of Miami Beach, visit the Miami Design Preservation League office on Ocean Drive and sign up for a guided Art Deco Walking Tour for $20. The self-guided iPod-based tour, $15, offers flexibility and the opportunity to see it all at your own pace. The self-guided tour is available in four languages, seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other tours include Jewish Miami Beach, MiMo, Gay and Lesbian, and South Beach Food Tour. For details, visit www.mdpl.org.
For nearly 20 years, every January, Robert Burr and the Dade Heritage Trust present Rob’s Redland Riot Road Rallye, coined “a fruity, tropical history tour through Miami’s bountiful countryside.” This guided automobile excursion takes a caravan of motor vehicles through Redland with checkpoints at several farms and historical landmarks, including Knaus Berry Farm, Fruit & Spice Park, Florida Pioneer Museum, Robert is Here, and Schnebly Winery, among others. Last year’s newcomer was Phil’s Berry Farm.
“We always go in January because the strawberries are ripe and all the places are open,” said Burr. “It’s a great time to remind people to visit the countryside.”
It’s also a contest. The cost to participate is $10 per car/team to receive a sealed envelope with contest questions and route map. The first team to turn in the most correct answers before 5 p.m. wins a basket of gift certificates. The next Riot Road Rallye begins at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18.
Can’t wait that long? No problem. Visit the event page at www.redlandriot.com and print the map for free for a do-it-yourself adventure anytime.