Famed for its lifestyle of partying and hitting the beach, Miami may not seem like a place with an abundance of things to do, but with the fantastic Everglades nearby, the delights of the Vizcaya and the Wolfsonian-FIU or the variety of water activities on offer, Elite Traveler has managed to find plenty to keep their travelers entertained.
South Beach, or SoBe, is the über cool area of Miami that attracts the city’s beautiful people to its most gorgeous beach.
Located on the barrier island of Miami Beach that separates Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, the area is easily accessible via various causeways from the Miami mainland. Roughly the size of 23 blocks, the district has a large collection of restaurants, clubs, boutiques, hotels and, of course, the beach. The large contingents of Europeans and Latin American visitors to South Beach have given the place a cosmopolitan feel; locals and tourists alike converse in a multitude of languages. Expect to see surfers catching the waves, models strolling along the golden sands and even a few celebrities among the ubiquitous hipsters. Look out for the recently re-designed lifeguards stands; the colorful displays are unique to Miami. A great place to just sit and chill out, wander around the shops or enjoy lunch, SoBe is the place to head for if you’re looking to find the scene in Miami.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
A trip to the Everglades National Park is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Miami.
The park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the American crocodile and the West Indian manatee. The Everglades are a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance and there are several different ways to experience the park. There are jet and air boat tours for those looking to enjoy the everglades in style, buggy tours and hiking trips will take you further into the prairies, wetlands and sloughs, kayaking and canoeing tours let you explore off the beaten track with a little fishing thrown in. For those feeling a little more adventurous and wishing to see the Everglades from the skies, there is even a float plane.
+1 305 242 7700
Everglades National Park, 40001 State Road, 9336, Homestead
THE MIAMI HEAT
The American Airlines Arena is home to The Miami Heat, Miami’s resident basketball team.
The Miami Heat are one of the top NBA teams, and feature famous players such as LeBron James. To make the most of this spectacular occasion book a Flagship/Floor seat, considered by many as the best seat available at the American Airlines Arena and offering a fantastic view. This also secures exclusive access to the clubhouse and lounge. Alternatively, choose one of the suites on offer, which come with a whole host of amenities. The basketball season runs from October until April and the team plays roughly four to five times a week, with games scheduled for evening time.
+1 786 777 1000
American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, 33132
TOUR OF VIZCAYA MUSEUM & GARDENS
The historical 50-acre Vizcaya Estate will provide a fantastic trip out for those looking for something other than a day on the beach.
The mansion was built in a European style in 1916 by industrialist James Deering, and the grounds surrounding the mansion blend the garden styles of Tuscany and Île-de-France with the native plant life, creating a beautifully serene retreat. A popular venue for concerts and galas, the estate has also featured in the movies Any Given Sunday and Bad Boys II. A visit to Vizcaya is a perfect day trip, so ask your concierge to arrange one for you.
Executive Director: Joel M. Hoffman
+1 305 860 8423 (for group tours) General number is +1 305 250 9133
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, 33129
For those looking for a quirkier but interesting experience, then The Wolfsonian–FIU Museum will fulfil this desire.
The brainchild of the eccentric collector Mitchell Wolfson Jr, The Wolfsonian–FIU features an eclectic collection of industrial art from 1885 to 1945, and examines the effect of art and design on popular culture. With approximately 120,000 objects, The Wolfsonian–FIU has a wealth of information on display. The top VIP experience on offer is a private tour of the museum, which includes fine wine and a selection of cheeses.
+1 305 535 2631
Wolfsonian Museum, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, 33139
Having undergone a $5 million makeover in November 2007, the Biltmore Golf Course is now one of the finest golf venues in the United States and is frequented by celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world.
The golf course is a startlingly beautiful 18-hole, par 71, 6,700-yard championship course that hosts the annual Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship where Tiger Woods first made a name for himself. The full service golf shop is available for everything that you need, and they offer custom fitting on a wide range of top golfing designers. With a new Bermuda grass irrigation system, state-of-the-art GPS technology, a sophisticated maintenance system, private or group instruction through the John Pallot Golf Academy, the Biltmore Golf Course is an exclusive experience perfectly suited for the sportier Elite Traveler. Once you’ve finished a round or two, head over to the 19th Hole Sports Bar & Grill, a friendly club house that offers a selection of dining options, as well as a full service bar. Tournaments can be organised by groups looking for a memorable golfing holiday.
Justin Briton, Golf Director
+1 305 460 5364
Biltmore Golf, 1201 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, 33134
SOUTH BEACH ART DECO TOURS
A great way to see this historic district of Miami is on the South Beach Art Deco Tour, which is a 90-minute walking tour of the area.
The Miami Design Preservation League offers private guided tours of the area, which are open and flexible and tailored to your requirements. The tour provides an introduction to the style that captured Miami during the 1920s and 30s, and encompasses the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MIMO) styles found within the symbolic Miami Beach Architectural Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
+1 305 672 2014
Art Deco Gift Shop, The Ocean Auditorium, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 33139
TARPOON LAGOON SCUBA DIVING
Fans of scuba diving will not find Miami lacking in dive spots, as the artificial reefs created by the sinking of ships, tanks, aeroplanes and radio antennae has led to the growth of coral and sea life around the Florida coast.
These ‘reefs’ make for some fascinating dives, and present opportunities for unique underwater photographs. Tarpoon Lagoon is one of Miami’s premier operators and can arrange dives on more than 40 different sites, catering the dive to suit your every need, with a private boat and captain, as well as your personal selection of meals and refreshments.
+ 1 305 532 1445
Tarpoon SCUBA Diving Centers, 300 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 33139