Miami’s bustling downtown area offers activities and events for locals and tourists alike. From world-class museums to state-of-the-art theaters, shopping, restaurants and an incredible arena, downtown Miami has it all. Spend the day perusing art, standing under a four-story shark tank, strolling Bayside shops, relaxing on a bay cruise, enjoying a Broadway show or cheering on the Miami Heat. Here are some of the best attraction in downtown Miami.
Perez Art Museum Miami
As stunning on the outside as it is on the inside, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) collects and exhibits international art from the 20th and 21st centuries. As Miami’s flagship art museum, PAMM provides a multisensory experience and an opportunity for guests to share in Miami’s rich cultural diversity through art. In addition to exploring the galleries, enjoy sweeping views of Biscayne Bay, grab a bite at Starr Catering Group’s chic Verde restaurant, shop a unique selection of art books, furnishings and handmade items at the museum’s gift store and take in the spectacular beauty of the museum’s one-of-a-kind hanging gardens. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, PAMM provides an educational and civic forum for guests from all over the world. Moreover, PAMM hosts numerous happy hours and activities weekly and one of the most unique and fun-filled galas every year.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Located in downtown Miami’s Museum Park, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a cutting-edge science museum dedicated to “sharing the power of science, sparking wonder and investigation, and fueling innovation for the future.” The stunning, 250,000-square-foot waterfront museum, sits on four acres and is divided into four distinct buildings: Frost Planetarium, Aquarium and the North and West Wings. Spend the day marveling at sea life: sharks, seahorses, colorful fish of all species and sizes and octopi; then pet stingrays and sea stars. Stand beneath the four-story glass shark tank or watch the creatures from above. Also enjoy a taste of the Everglades while meandering among alligators and wild birds before exploring hands-on exhibits and a dance floor that lights up under your feet. Cool off and journey through space in the planetarium, where you can also catch laser light shows on select evenings. Children of all ages will realize just how much fun learning can be at the Frost Science Museum.
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
For more than a decade, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, has been delighting audiences with concerts, Broadway shows, symphonies, the ballet and just about every sort of performance imaginable. Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a world-leader in performing arts venues, has presented cutting-edge programming that reflects and embraces South Florida’s diversity and has served as a catalyst for the booming development in the downtown area. The Center presents almost 400 events each year across its flexible, state-of-the-art performance spaces. Among the Center’s Signature Series are its Broadway Series, with shows such as “Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Lion King” and the highly-anticipated “On Your Feet,” which chronicles the life of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; the largest jazz series in South Florida and a major annual Flamenco Festival. The Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) also showcases several of its vibrant events and concerts at the Center. As Miami’s new Town Square, the Arsht Center also houses BRAVA by Brad Kilgore, a fine dining restaurant; the Café at Books & Books in the historic Carnival Tower and a weekly farmers market.
Tourist destinations are such for a reason. Where else can you stroll along Biscayne Bay, shop, sip cocktails, dine, listen to all types of music and even hop aboard a tour ship to explore Miami from the water? If it’s a thrill ride you fancy, ride the Thriller, for a 45-minute adventure aboard a speedboat. The pirate ship, El Loro, is another tour boat option as is the party boat. Be sure to stop into the Hard Rock Café to check out Rock and Roll memorabilia, grab a bite and savor a few cocktails after a busy day of shopping and strolling through Bayside.
The AAA is most well-known for housing our beloved Miami Heat games, during which you can feel the energy emanating from the arena even as you drive by. Yet, this state of the art venue is also the optimal place for concerts, including performances by Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Lady Gaga; live awards shows including “Premios Tu Mundo” and family entertainment such as Disney on Ice. Even Oprah chose this versatile, waterfront, indoor stadium to host “The Life you Want Weekend” a couple of years ago. At the AAA there are no bad seats, and dining options and views of the bay and skyline abound.