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10 best things to see and do in Miami

Miami Beach, Art Deco, Little Havana: we explore 10 of the best things to see and do in the 'Capital of Latin America’. Welcome to Miami.

1. Sunbathe and celeb-spot on South Beach

Known as SoBe to locals, South Beach is the most famous and arguably the coolest part of Miami. Here are miles of white sand, beach bars, water sports facilities, shopping promenades and restaurants. As well as topping up your tan, it’s a great place for people-watching – there’s always a chance of spotting a celeb.

Address: 33139 – the beach runs alongside Downtown.

Miami Beach

2. Admire the architecture in the Art Deco Historic District

The Historic District has 960 colourful art deco buildings from the 1920s and ’30s within a single square mile. Hire an audio kit from the Art Deco Welcome Center, so you can go on a self-guided tour of the Art Deco District.

Address: 1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

3. Go shopping on Lincoln Road

‘The Road’ is Miami’s answer to New York’s 5th Avenue. A pedestrian-only promenade, it boasts retail offerings from Victoria’s Secret to Macy’s, Armani to Oakley. There are loads of eating options on the prom to fuel your bargain hunting, from seafood to tacos, gourmet pizza to Argentine steak.

Address: Lincoln Rd Mall, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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4. Monkey around at Jungle Island

Jungle Island used to be called Parrot Jungle, but it’s been upgraded and is now home to monkeys, leopards, llamas, tigers, warthogs, reptiles, lemurs, orang-utans, marmosets and many more. It’s an interactive zoo experience where you can get up close and personal and even feed some of the inhabitants.

Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132 Opening times: 10am – 5pm Cost: $39.95 per adult, $32.95 per child

5. Go clubbing

As Will Smith once sang, "Party in the city where the heat is on. All night on the beach ’til the break of dawn..." Home to the Winter Music Conference, the biggest dance music gathering outside Ibiza, Miami is clubbing central. To live the celeb lifestyle, check out Miami beach clubs such as Club Space, Cameo, LIV, Set and Lounge and Mansion where you’ll find everything from A-List DJs to dancers in giant martini glasses. Just remember that a lot of these places have a strict dress code, so be sure to get changed out of the flip-flops!

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6. Go museum-hopping

If you’re more into culture than clubbing, Miami is home to some amazing museums, such as the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MoCA) and the Museum of Science which features a planetarium and birds of prey.

7. Hang out in Little Havana

Little Havana is Miami’s Latin quarter, home, as the name might suggest, to a large Cuban community. Take a walk down the main road Calle Ocho and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Havana. If you’re visiting in March, look out for the huge annual street party which is a singing, dancing and feasting spectacular.

8. Have a whale of a time at Miami Seaquarium

Visit America’s oldest oceanarium, open since 1955 and former home of movie superstar dolphin Flipper. See sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, turtles, tropical birds, sea lions and killer whales, with eight shows daily.

Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149 Opening times: 10am – 6pm Cost: $59.99 per adult, $49.99 per child

9. Visit the Everglades

If you love the great outdoors, take a trip out of Miami to the Everglades National Park. Its 1.5 million acres of wild swampland and forests is home to alligators, tree frogs, manatees and birds such as the pretty-in-pink roseate spoonbill. For a fast-paced sightseeing tour, take an airboat ride, although getting close to the rarest creatures takes a little more patience.

Address: 40001 State Road 9336 Homestead, FL 33034 Cost: $20 per vehicle. Tours with airboats can be booked in Downtown Miami.

Roseate spoonbill, Everglades

10. Be amazed by Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

This incredible site was built for millionaire bachelor James Deering in 1916. He was obsessed with the idea of living in a place that looked like a 16th century Italian villa, so he hired 1000 people to construct the house and garden, a task which took over seven years. You can wander around the 34 lavish, antique-filled rooms, while imagining the parties that Deering hosted for film stars. After you’ve toured the villa, take a stroll around the landscaped gardens decorated with statues, fountains and lakes.

Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129 Opening times: 9.30am – 4.30pm Cost: $18

Ready for Cuban sandwiches, days on the beach and nights (and days) out clubbing? Book your flight to Miami now.

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