So you’re going to Miami, and playing in your mind are sunny skies, beaches, and the lines of this 1997 hit by Will Smith:
“Party in the city where the heat is on, All night on the beach ‘til the break of dawn Welcome to Miami (Bienvenido a Miami)”
While you’re probably already singing along, a truly cool traveler would not let his spirits be dampened by the possibility of rain. After all, the very next line says ‘Yo I heard the rain storms ain’t nothing to mess with.’ See? You’ve been forewarned by Will Smith himself.
So while it might rain, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the heat somewhere else. Here are the ten best options. Read on to find out what to do in Miami when it rains.
1. Sharpen your detective skills with the Mystery, Mayhem, and Vice Crime Bus Tour
Want to see the stomping grounds of “Scarface”, the crime scene of the tragic Versace Murder, the setting of a...Posted by HistoryMiami Museum on Monday, 17 August 2015
“Say hello to my little friend!” We’re all intrigued by the world of scandalous crimes, which is why those six words from the film Scarface are one of the most famous in film history. The three hour Mystery, Mayhem, and Vice Crime Bus Tour with historian Paul George unravels the stories of Miami vice for you, including a glimpse of Palm Island where Al ‘Scarface’ Capone himself lived. An intriguing journey through Miami’s most notorious crimes from the 1800s, from the sites of the murder sprees of the Ashley Gang to the South Beach doorstep of the ill-fated designer Gianni Versace who was murdered in 1997, including some sites where the original “Miami Vice” was filmed.
Mystery, Mayhem and Vice Crime Bus Tour
Address: 101 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130
Price: from 50 USD
Opening Hours: Twice a year, usually in April and October
Duration: 3 hours
Access: Leaves from Dade Cultural Center
2. Take the best pictures at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens!
Charles Deering, a prolific designer, was an avid explorer and this is translated in the Vizcaya, a Renaissance-inspired estate that captures European extravagance on American ground. It took 1,000 workers to bring Deering’s dream home to life, with its extravagant marble, stained glass doors, and motifs. The Main House is surrounded by a 10 acre (~4 hectare) garden with thick columns that stay true to its European aesthetic, while its rare orchids lend a distinct Miami flair. Even if it’s raining outdoors, the indoor mansion is worth spending a tranquil 2.5 hours in its photogenic settings. Don’t forget to hashtag your pictures #soMiami.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Address: 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33129
Price: from 18 USD
Opening Hours: Daily except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Duration: Around 1-2 hours required.
Access: By Metrorail: Proceed to Vizcaya station. Cross US 1 on the pedestrian bridge. Continue in the same direction, one block to South Miami Avenue. Cross SW 32 Road and proceed to the crosswalk. Cross South Miami Avenue to enter Vizcaya.
Website: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
3. Visit the luxurious Biltmore Hotel
In its heyday, the luxurious Biltmore Hotel was a sanctuary for prominent heads of states and famous celebrities, including Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and the Roosevelts, but that doesn’t mean ordinary people like you and me can’t get a taste of its luxury. Every Sunday, free tours let you explore the hotel’s rich charm and character. There was a time in the 1930s when the hotel hosted aquatic galas where guests would watch alligator wrestling and a boy wonder who could dive eighty-five feet from a platform and it is still said that its corridors are haunted by the spirit of Thomas Walsh. Perhaps a spirit of those charming times still lives in hotel’s walls.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Walking Tour
Address: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Price: from 15 USD
Opening Hours: Sundays at 2 p.m.
Duration: 1-¾ hours
Contact: 855 311 6903
Website: Biltmore Hotel Walking Tour
4. Contemplate the past and present at Wolfsonian
Another place to explore history is at the Wolfsonian, a museum that displays artifacts from the late 19th and 20th centuries. Beyond art for art’s sake, the displays in the Wolfsonian are a reflection of society and economy in historical times, as can be seen in its eclectic mix of political propaganda posters and vintage furniture and vacuum cleaners.
Address: 1001 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139
Price: from 10 USD
Opening Hours: Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat: 10 am–6 pm; Wed: Closed; Fri: 10 am–9 pm (free 6–9 pm); Sun: noon–6 pm
Duration: around 1-2 hours required.
Contact: 305 531 1001
Website: Wolfsonian Museum
5. Uncover the story of Miami’s origins at History Miami
Learn about the humble beginnings of the city. Located in downtown Miami, the museum exhibits 10,000 years of history and culture of the region and is easily accessible by Metrorail (Government Center Station). The Museum’s store is also a treasure trove of unique Florida-themed books and gifts.
History Miami (formerly called the Historical Museum of Southern Florida)
Address: 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33130
Price: from 5 USD
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Third Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday: noon to 5 p.m.
Duration: around 1-2 hours required.
Access: By Metrorail. Get off at Government Center Station, walk south across NW 1st Street and go up the stairs on the north side of the Cultural Center, or use the ramp on the south side. The entrance is on the plaza.
Website: History Miami
6. Interact with animals at Jungle Island
Jungle Island is a great way to enjoy nature indoors, even if it’s pouring outside. Located between downtown Miami and South Beach, the 19-acre (7.7 hectare) park features an Everglades exhibit, a petting zoo, and several theaters, jungle trails, and aviaries with parrots, lemurs, kangaroos, and penguins that’s bound to keep children and adults enchanted all day.
Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, Florida 33132
Price: from 32.95 USD
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 10 am to 5 pm. Saturday & Sunday 10 am to 6 pm
Duration: around 6 hours required.
Access: Visit Miami-Dade transit at www.miamidade.gov/transit or call (305) 770-3131 for detailed route information. Routes C, M, S, and 120 all provide bus service to Jungle Island.
Contact: 305 400 7000
Website: Jungle Island
7. Thrill your inner child (or let your kids be kids) at GameTime
Another playground for the young and young at heart is Steven Spielberg’s GameTime, a 33,000 foot (10,058 m) wide multi-level indoor playground at Sunset Place. From vintage arcade games to virtual reality arenas, GameTime will have you swooshing down ski trails, throwing darts, and fighting off Jurassic Park dinosaurs in true quality fun time for the whole family.
GameTime Miami Arcade, Restaurant & Sports Bar
Address: Shops at Sunset Place Mall, 5701 Sunset Dr Suite 330, Miami, FL 33143
Price: 15 USD for 1 hour
Opening Hours: Monday: 11 am-11 pm. Tuesday: 11 am-11 pm. Wednesday: 11 am-11 pm. Thursday: 11 am-12 am. Friday: 11 am-2 am. Saturday: 10 am-2 am. Sunday: 10 am-11 pm
Contact: 305 667 4263
Website: Game Time
8. Shop with style at Aventura Mall
If you’re looking for a top shopping destination in the city, Aventura Mall is it. With six department stores and all the big brands from H&M and Apple to Louis Vuitton, Aventura has all the variety you need for a fulfilling day of shopping.
Address: 19501 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura, FL 33180
Opening Hours: 10 am to 9.30 pm daily.
Contact: 305 935 1110
Website: Aventura Mall
9. Bask in the lively Cuban atmosphere in Little Havana
This is the neighborhood to say “hola” to a slice of Cuban culture, with its Cuban-inspired cafes, restaurants, venues, and markets. Here, locals have fresh fruit batido and debate politics over a game of dominoes. To get to the heart and soul of Little Havana, follow the sounds of Latin music and dance your way to Calle Ocho from the SW 12th to 16th Avenues, a neighborhood which has been described as an open-air cultural museum. With the scent of rich tobacco wafting from the hand-rolled cigar shops and the Latin music streaming from its record stores, this kitschy neighborhood of Cuban exiles will prove to be memorable. Take note of the events at Little Havana, including Salsa nights, a cultural night every Friday, and the annual weekend festival, Carnaval.
Little Havana Welcome Center
Address: 1442 Sw 8th St, Miami
Access: To get to Little Havana, take the Route 8 or 8A bus South. It will take you to SW 7th St., which runs parallel to Calle Ocho (SW 8 St.). Get off near 15 Ave. and walk one block (left) to SW 8th St.
Contact: 305 643 5500
Website: Little Havana Welcome Center
10. Have coffee at Versailles or La Carreta
Versailles Restaurant and la Carreta are the most popular Cuban cafeterias, thronged by locals and tourists alike. Here, the food is as important as the atmosphere, with the voices of Cuban exiles discussing the things they care about. For Versailles, its 40 year reputation is built on both its good food and on being an iconic meeting place for Cubans. The jury is still out on Versailles vs La Carreta, but perhaps for its iconic reputation as the place to be, Versailles still tops most lists with La Carreta a close second. But there are no rules against trying both to judge for yourself.
Address: 3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am - 1:00 am; Friday-Saturday: 8:00 am - 2:30 am; Sunday: 9:00 am - 1:00 am
Contact: 305 441 2500
Website: Versailles Restaurant
Address: 3632 SW 8th St, Miami, Florida 33135
Opening Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 8 am-12am; Friday: 8 am-2 pm; Saturday: 8 am-3 pm
Contact: 305 444 7501
Website: La Carreta
Charm, culture, fun
Sun or no sun, Miami offers so much beyond its beautiful beaches — with its charming museums, tours, and venues offering a little bit of culture and a little bit of fun for everyone.
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