Things To Do

Miami Bucket List: All the things you need to do in Miami before you die

You have to hit the beach when you come to Miami, but there’s a lot more that should be on your to-do list.
You have to hit the beach when you come to Miami, but there’s a lot more that should be on your to-do list.

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

Coral Castle is one of Miami’s weirdest attractions.

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

the view from inside Miami famous 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

The "Save Your Seat" fundraiser for Miami Marine Stadium launched on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Three hundred limited-edition wooden armchairs dating back to 1963 are on sale for $500 a pop, historical value included.

3. Run past the gators at Shark Valley

Shark Valley Trail
Sin lugar el Shark Valley Trail, que te lleva al mismo corazón de los Everglades, es de los más salvajes y auténticos para recorrer en bicicleta.

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

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Shark Valley, in Everglades National Park, reopened Saturday after a three-month closure due to flooding from Hurricane Irma and a wet season.

4. Get drunk at a rooftop bar in the winter

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The rooftop bar at East, Miami.

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

A look at the enchanted things you can find at Santa's Enchanted Forest, Miami's Christmas themed amusement park.

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!

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;

7. Go to Venetian Pool

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Visitors play at Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. The pool is located at 2701 de Soto Boulevard. DANIEL BOCK FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

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

Photo by Rudy Mercado

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

Airboat tour approaches docks at Everglades Holiday Park after a tour in Everglades National Park. Airboat operators are facing charges of feeding alligators. A sign at one of the docks clearly states not to feed the alligators. J. Albert Diaz

You better get out there and check out the wildlife before all those stupid pythons eat everything.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron took reporters on an airboat tour on Thursday, June 29, 2017, to draw attention to high water in the central Everglades.

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

Miami Herald Food Editor Carlos Frias and editor Amy Reyes take you on the must go to croqueta spots around Miami. What are they?

11. Go strawberry picking

Bruce Wilson

Here is a list of our favorite places to pick strawberries.

12. Stand in line for cinnamon buns at Knaus Berry Farms

Knaus Berry Farm, famous for its house-made cinnamon rolls in the Redland, reopens for the 2018 season on Oct. 30. Here's what you need to know before you go:

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;

13. Dance on a table at Mango’s

The bar’s a stage 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

14. Go to Calle Ocho

Performers Rene Rodriguez, center, Lidia Clanos, right, salsa dance for passers-by inside the historic establishment Ball & Chain that helped open Calle Ocho to new food options on Wednesday, January 11, 2016. CARL JUSTE

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

Thousands fill the streets of SW 8th Street for the Carnival Miami Calle Ocho festival in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. CARL JUSTE

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.

Crowds flock to Little Havana's "Calle Ocho" to celebrate Latin culture, music, and food along its 20 block stretch that includes ten stages, food vendors, and street performers on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

16. Get wasted on fruity wine at Schnebly’s

At Schnebly Winery, you can taste wines made from avocados, lychees and mangoes. If you’re brave enough.

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;

17. Go to the Buddhist Temple

Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple
Wat Buddharangsi 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;

18. Go to Miami Broward Carnival

Miami Broward Carnival is a celebration of Caribbean life and culture. But what's the best part about being Caribbean?

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

Robert Moehling’s Robert is Here is the place for great shakes. EILEEN SOLER FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Strawberry key lime smoothie. Enough said.

19200 SW 344th St, Homestead;

20. Visit the nude beach

If you don’t want to see sunbathers in all their wrinkly glory, steer clear of Haulover Beach.

Haulover Beach is where you can let it all hang out.

10800 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

21. Take a photo in Wynwood

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25 year-old Rebecca Sanchez of Hialeah gets pictures of the Wynwood Walls. PATRICK FARRELL MIAMI HERALD STAFF

If you haven’t done this yet, we don’t know what to say.

Street artists commissioned by Wynwood Walls complete their artwork at the annual repainting, a precursor to the events of Miami Art Week on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

22. Swap “kandi” at Ultra Music Festival

Cory Soukenik, 21, from Cleveland, Ohio, wears beads and “kandi” during the first day of the Ultra Music Festival in Bayfront Park on Friday, March 24, 2017

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.

The 2018 Ultra Music Festival marked the 20th iteration of the event in Miami since it was born from a small side party at the Winter Music Conference in 1999.

23. Brunch at Palace Bar

Palace Bar Fantasia
Drag artist Fantasia Royale at the “Last Party-Last Dance” at Palace Bar on its closing day on July 4, 2017. PEDRO PORTAL

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;

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;