The list of things you need to do in order to reach Peak Miami is long. But let’s make this the year that we all try to do all of the things that we say we’re going to do every year (but never do). Here is your Miami bucket list.
1. Visit Coral Castle
It’s far as heck and it’s weird, but you gotta hit Coral Castle at least once. Built by Edward Leedskalnin between 1923 and 1951, Coral Castle consists of over 1,100 tons of mysteriously sculpted coral rock – all supposedly created by Leedskalnin alone. Some say he built Coral Castle as a tribute to unrequited love. Others think he had supernatural assistance. Either way, the Coral Castle is an only-in-Miami experience that you have to cross off your list.
Coral Castle Museum, 28655 South Dixie Hwy., Miami; 305-248-6345
2. Tag Miami Marine Stadium
We are not advocating vandalism. OK, maybe we are. Miami Marine Stadium, located on Virginia Key, is just another of Miami’s unique architectural gems that was thrown by the wayside. Condemned since 1992, the outdoor arena been taken over by graffiti artists who have tagged almost every inch of the structure. Someday it may get restored it to its former glory but in the meantime, you can sneak in and add your name to the list of vandals who have turned it into one of Miami’s coolest graffiti galleries. Just don’t go messing up someone else’s nice mural while you are there.
3501 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne
3. Run past the gators at Shark Valley
The 15-mile loop inside Everglades National Park is a favorite with bikers, hikers and runners and the stars of the show are the lazy alligators that make cameos along the path. Do not mess with them, but enjoy their presence as you work on your fitness.
36000 SW Eighth Street, on the Tamiami Trail; 305-221-8455 or visit http://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com/
4. Get drunk at a rooftop bar in the winter
There’s probably no satisfaction greater than drinking five mojitos with a panoramic view of Miami while enjoying the balmy 76 degree weather in January. Well, texting a photo of yourself doing said activity to your friends up north will make it that much sweeter. Here are some of our favorite rooftop spots.
5. Go to Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Miami’s only Christmas theme park is a must. It’s got rides, games, nativities, carnies, horny teenagers, Santa, a thousand strollers filled with kids that should really be in bed, elephant ears and more!
7900 SW 40th St, Miami; http://www.santasenchantedforest.com/
6. Take a tour of Vizcaya
Don’t just show up with your friends, take a few instagram photos in the garden, then bounce. Actually listen to those smart ladies telling you about how James Deering’s fine china sank in the Titanic and look at that cool bath tub that would pump up sea water from the bay so he could soak his achy limbs.
3251 S Miami Ave, Miami; vizcaya.org
7. Go to Venetian Pool
Miami Beach pool hotels can’t mess with Venetian Pool. Built in 1923 from a coral rock quarry, the pool is fed from spring water from an underground aquifer and is drained daily in the spring and summer. So if some kid pees in there, the next day it’s like brand new.
2701 de Soto Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305-460-5306
8. Take a tour of Stiltsville
Stiltsville is like the Statue of Liberty in that most locals have never seen it close up. The seven houses perched in the shallows of Biscayne Bay are an architectural oddity that’s days are numbered. If you have a friend with a boat, you can cruise around the area and check them out, but a better way is to take HistoryMiami’s tour and learn some fun facts while you are out there.
9. Take an airboat ride in the Everglades
You better get out there and check out the wildlife before all those stupid pythons eat everything.
10. Have coffee and pastelitos at Versailles
Yeah, you can go to Sergio’s or La Carreta. But if you haven’t hit Versailles at least once in your life, make sure you get it in.
3501 SW 8th St, Miami; 305-441-2500
11. Go strawberry picking
Here is a list of our favorite places to pick strawberries.
12. Stand in line for cinnamon buns at Knaus Berry Farms
The seasonal purveyor of Miami’s sticky sweet buns is so great it has been placed on the National Culinary Heritage Register.
15980 SW 248th St, Homestead; http://www.knausberryfarm.com/
13. Dance on a table at Mango’s
Another one that locals scoff at, but a night out at Mango’s never disappoints. The Latin hot spot has been running things on Ocean Drive more than 25 years and outlasted all the bottles and models clubs that come and go. If you get a chance to dance on top of the counter, you should take it.
900 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-673-4422 or www.mangos.com/miami.
14. Go to Calle Ocho
Dance salsa at Ball & Chain or hang out and hear some nostalgic Cuban son at Hoy Como Ayer. Hit the Domino Park and smoke a cigar and have the most Miami day possible.
15. Go to Calle Ocho Street Festival
The main strip of Little Havana gets shut down on the second Sunday of March, making way for 10 stages, food vendors and cultural activities galore in what is the largest celebration of Latin culture in the country.
16. Get wasted on fruity wine at Schnebly’s
South Florida is not exactly wine country. Our boggy swamp isn’t hospitable for growing fancy grapes. Instead, Schnebly’s bottles wines made from lychee, avocado, mango and other fruits that grow in our patios. Just be careful of the sweet wine hangover.
30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead; www.schneblywinery.com/
17. Go to the Buddhist Temple
You didn’t even know we had a Buddhist temple, did you? Well, you can go visit and try to get your life right. They offer meditation workshops on the weekend.
15200 SW 240th St, Homestead; http://thaitemplemiami.com
18. Go to Miami Broward Carnival
There’s no better option for fully immersing yourself in South Florida’s vibrant Caribbean culture. Find food, music and dancing, plus a huge showing of love and pride in the Caribbean massive.
19. Have a shake at Robert is Here
Strawberry key lime smoothie. Enough said.
19200 SW 344th St, Homestead; https://www.robertishere.com/
20. Visit the nude beach
Haulover Beach is where you can let it all hang out.
10800 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
21. Take a photo in Wynwood
If you haven’t done this yet, we don’t know what to say.
22. Swap “kandi” at Ultra Music Festival
Sharing Kandi is one of the cherished traditions of this weekend-long electronic music festival. But if EDM isn’t quite your speed, attend any one of the many music festivals in town.
23. Brunch at Palace Bar
The Queens have finally been relocated to their new home, so the Palace’s famous drag brunch can continue on Ocean Drive. Watch as Miami’s fiercest ladies get all done up and werk it while you drink mimosas.
1052 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach; http://palacesouthbeach.com/
24. Rock out at a Frost Science laser show
The laser shows were a popular staple of the old science museum when it was located in Coconut Grove. But now located in Museum Park in downtown Miami, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum offers the latest in cutting-edge technology timed to a classic rock beat.
1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; https://www.frostscience.org/