05 Jan, 2009

Okay, so one day you find yourself in a hotel room in Miami in the United States. You wake up and you want to go on a tour, but where do you think you can go? Your questions will be answered when we present to you through this article some of the places you must visit when you’re spending a vacation in Miami.


South Beach

Miami - South Beach

South Beach is home to several trendy restaurants. They are noted for offering outdoor seating, which makes it possible to do people-watching while sampling the local city cuisine. Restaurants worthy of trying are:

• Tiramesu and Da Leo Trattoria Italian restaurants
• Yucan Restaurant with Cuban cuisine
• Pacific Time offering New World cuisine
• Blues Van Dyke Café
• Joe’s Stone Crab, the oldest restaurants in the area. Over 91 years old, it is a must to visit this restaurant especially during stone crab season.

The restaurants at South Beach are ideal for spending the first day of your holiday in Miami. Use the restaurants and the cafes to acclimate with the local culture and lifestyle.

South Beach is not only known for its restaurants, it’s also known for its beaches. Enjoy miles and miles of white sand beaches, or sit back and relax at the lobbies and bedrooms of one of the many seaside hotels in South Beach.

Of course if you’re into art decorations, South Beach can satisfy that craving of yours. South Beach is where the Miami Design Preservation League built its Art Deco Welcome Center, where you can enjoy guided art deco tours for a fee of $10.

Miami Seaquarium

Miami Seaquarium

If you’re traveling as a family, then you should go and take your kids to the Miami Seaquarium. Your kids will definitely love the opportunity of interacting with the dolphins, one of the cutest and most fascinating marine mammals in the whole world. The seaquarium has an array of dolphin interaction programs including:

• Dolphin encounter
Open to the entire family, the Dolphin Encounter programs starts with an education session in a classroom setting. The tour then moves on to interacting with the dolphins in shallow water; you can even play with the animals or feed them. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on the little ones though.

• Dolphin odyssey
Similar to the Dolphin Encounter program, the Dolphin Odyssey starts with a 15-minute classroom session and then moves on to a 30-minute interaction with the mammals. The difference is that you can move into deeper water or even ride a dolphin. For this reason, participants are required to have a height of at least 5 feet two inches in order to qualify and enjoy this program.

Use this chance to explore the interpersonal capabilities of the dolphin. Make sure to bring your camera along. This is one photo opportunity you definitely would not want to miss.

The Everglades National Park

Miami - Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park is an opportunity to look at the 5,000-year old natural history of the state of Florida. The park measures over 1.5 million acres of land. Most of this is made up of swamps with specimens of American Crocodile – an endangered species – lurk in its jurisdiction. Sub-tropical jungles and saw-grass prairie also occupy portions of the Park. In fact, Everglades is home to 14 endangered species of animals which, aside from the American Crocodile, includes the Florida Panther and West Indian manatee.

Not the entire park is open to visitors because of the dangers associated with exploration. Visitor access is limited to the flat and watery areas of the park. This part is known as the “river of grass.” Researchers and adventurers, however, can probe deeper into the park provided they have a license granted to them.

Parrot Jungle Island

Miami - Parrot Jungle Island

If you’re into birds, then you should definitely check out the Parrot Jungle Island. It has in its exhibits a lot of species, not only birds, but mammals as well. The animals in the exhibits include:

• Penguins
• Flamingos
• Macaws
• Cranes
• Condors
• Tigers
• Llamas
• Several reptile species
• Kangaroos
• Orangutans
• Monkeys
• Chimpanzees
• Baboons

It has three shows that showcase these different species. These shows are:

• Winged Wonders, which can be viewed at 10:30 am, 1:15 pm and 4:15 daily

• Tale of the Tiger, showing daily at 12:30 pm, 3:15 pm daily. An additional show is available on weekends and holidays at 5:40 pm.

• Gator Extreme, showing at 12 noon and 2:35 pm Thursdays until Sundays. Like the Tale of the Tiger, there is an additional show at 5:20 in the afternoon on weekends.

Jungle Parrot Island charges an admission fee of $29.95 for people aged 11 and older, $27.95 for people aged 65 and older and $23.95 for children aged 3 to 11 years old. Babies come free, as well as for military personnel and holders of the Go Miami Card. Family members accompanying military personnel enjoy a 15% discount.

Miami MetroZoo

Miami - Miami MetroZoo

The Miami MetroZoo is another animal sanctuary that you definitely should check out. Its occupants are very diverse; they came from sources like Asia, Australia and Africa. What’s remarkable about this zoo is that they have made an ecosystem that the animals are familiar with: animals from Africa are placed in African-style plains and so on and so forth.

The following species can be found in the Miami MetroZoo:

• One specimen of the engendered black rhino
• One specimen of the addux
• White tigers
• Gibbons
• Cuban crocodiles
• Komodo dragon
• Bears
• Elephants

The zoo also has one specimen of elephant that has a cool trick up its sleeve: it can paint a masterpiece while you watch.

The exhibits are structured according to their safety to the visitors. Rarely could you see cages imprisoning the animals. Instead, friendly animals are placed in open cage exhibits while the more dangerous ones like the carnivores are placed in a controlled environment but are still free to roam around without a cage in that environment.

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One Response to “Miami”

  1. Lovely blog! Thanks for the useful information.

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