8 Iconic Miami Spots You Probably Haven’t Been to Yet
Wynwood, South Beach, downtown and Brickell—been there, done that. But there are some less traveled spots that can be equally captivating. Here are the eight most iconic places in Miami that you didn’t know about (until now).
The Freedom Tower
Built in 1925, this downtown Miami building was inspired by the Giralda cathedral bell tower in Seville, Spain. It’s most famously known as a former government reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974, earning its nickname the “Ellis Island of the South.” Today, the Freedom Tower is open to the public as an art museum.
The Villa at Casa Casuarina
You no longer have to tune into American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace to peek into one of the most luxurious and mysterious properties in Miami. You also don’t have to shell out a million bucks to have dinner at the mansion-turned-hotel’s signature restaurant, Gianni’s. Pro tip: Get an all-access pass into the villa by sipping on a cocktail at the hotel’s Onyx bar.
Less than an hour from the neon lights of South Beach you'll find small-town vibes and lush pastoral landscapes. Don't miss fruit picking and cinnamon rolls at Knaus Berry Farm, wine and beer tasting tours at Schnebly Redland’s Winery, fruit smoothies at Robert Is Here and an alligator show at the Everglades Alligator Farm.
Biscayne National Park
Did you know Miami-Dade County is home to the third largest park system in the nation? That’s right—there are more than 280 public green spaces ready for a visit. Among them is Biscayne National Park. It’s definitely not your average park, either. More than 90 percent of it lies underwater, preserving South Florida’s coastal barrier reefs. See for yourself with a tour on a glass-bottom boat, which begins at the park’s visitor center. You’ll marvel at manatees, sea turtles, limestone corals and thousands of other sea creatures.
Did you know Miami has its own Italian estate replete with waterfront views and beautiful winding gardens? Do yourself a favor: Pull over and enjoy a guided tour of the property, from the exotic plants to the indoor and outdoor art installations.
The Venetian Pool
This bright blue, 820,000-gallon swimming pool—built out of a coral rock quarry—has been around since the 1920s. Swim in and around Mediterranean-style grottos and waterfalls. As far as your social media followers know, you’re definitely not in Miami anymore.
About a mile south of Cape Florida, you’ll find a cluster of seven pastel-colored wood-frame houses. Dating back to the 1930s, the houses were known to host wild parties during Prohibition. Now vacant, the area makes for the coolest history tour in the 305. And no pesky tourists in sight.
Kennedy Space Center
You caught us—this isn’t exactly in Miami. But it’s worth noting how cool it is to have the Kennedy Space Center only a drive away. So if you have the time, it’s totally worth the trek. Spend the day at NASA, see the Rocket Garden and, if you’re lucky, catch a live rocket launch. (Check out the schedule.)