Things to do in Miami

Hidden Gems Miami

These hidden gems in Miami take you beyond the typical beaches and shine as brightly as our show’s pyrotechnics.

We love Miami, where palm trees line the streets, and the parties never seem to end. Whether you're a foodie, a history fan, a nature lover, or an art enthusiast, you'll find hidden gems in Miami that whisper promises of an unforgettable time.

Everything about the city feels lively and bold with an air of dreaminess, just like our Miami shows, and we're here for it. While most people think of white sand beaches and lazy days sipping drinks in the sun, there are endless things to do in Miami.

Explore everything the city has to offer and let the sights, smells, sounds, and experiences inspire and stretch your imagination to its limits while you await one of our heart-stopping performances.

Culinary Delights

We think one of the most exciting parts of traveling is exploring the local food scene. Tantalizing tastes abound everywhere you go in Miami, thanks to the rich and diverse culture. These culinary delights, however, take the cake as hidden gems that deserve a bit of your time.

1. Las Olas Cafe

Las Olas Cafe may be a fast food restaurant, but it's also an iconic part of South Beach. The cafe serves up everything from coffee before the sun comes up to delicious, house-made braised lamb shank for dinner.

Batches of prepared hearty Cuban food are ready to serve within minutes. Eat inside and marvel at the scrumptious smells, sit outside to soak in the Miami sunshine, or take the food with you. This is one restaurant you won't want to skip.

A word of caution for those eager to tempt their taste buds — you'll need cash on hand to eat here. The restaurant doesn't process any card payments.

2. Wet Willie's

Nothing says beachside vacation quite like shaved ice and frozen drinks while basking in the sun. Wet Willie's in South Beach takes that idea and pushes it to the extreme.

This bar has a prime location just steps from the beach and serves up a range of innovative daiquiri combinations that are as colorful as our costumes.

Not feeling any of the drinks as they come? Mix and match to create your own custom cup of frozen heaven. Pick from their munchies menu to get some food in your belly before drinking — the slushies are strong!

While you can't take your drinks off-site, you can still appreciate the salty breeze and catch sight of Miami Beach from the deck for a memorable drinking and dining experience.

Nature and Gardens

From dreamy, serene gardens carefully cultivated to evoke the senses to outdoor parks, there's far more to the nature scene in Miami than beaches. We love the otherworldly feel of these gardens, forests, and parks.

3. Miami Beach Botanical Garden

While waiting for one of our shows to start, why not appreciate some fresh horticulture?

The Miami Beach Botanical Garden features three acres of stunning landscaping with numerous gardens to explore, including a Japanese garden, one full of native plants, and an edible garden.

We love seeing the dreamy, almost ethereal scenes that evoke a sense of serenity just being in their presence. It's free to visit, and you can even bring a little piece of nature home with you by purchasing propagated plants in the Botanical Boutique.

Photographer: Luis Santiago

4. Oleta River State Park

If you need a bit more excitement in your outdoor adventures, the Oleta River State Park is a great choice. You can explore everything Miami's natural areas have to offer with over more than 1,000 acres of wilderness.

Throughout the park, you'll find 15 miles of off-road biking trails and a river lined with mangrove forests where you can paddle. It's the perfect paradise for outdoorsy people looking to get their bodies moving while appreciating the fresh air.

The Oleta River Outdoor Center offers rentals for equipment, such as bikes and paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes, so if you're just passing through Miami, you can still participate in the seemingly limitless things to do here.

Plan to arrive early, especially on nice days and weekends. Once the park hits capacity, which happens frequently, no one else will be admitted for the rest of the day.

5. Arch Creek Park

At Arch Creek Park, the natural environment is interwoven with remnants of history. While small, the story the park tells is vast, dating back to pre-colonial era Native Americans who used a natural limestone bridge formation as part of their trails.

The bridge collapsed in 1970, but the park still memorializes it. The natural life is as captivating as the park's history. You could discover all sorts of lizards and birds, including anoles, cardinals, and kingfishers, on your journey.

Once you've explored the natural areas to your heart's content, don't forget to pop by the museum on-site, where you'll discover all sorts of Native American artifacts left behind by tribes that once inhabited the area.

6. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Cape Florida got its name from explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513 during the first Spanish expedition in the area, and from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, you can admire oceanic views.

Today, the eye-catching Cape Florida Lighthouse, built in 1825, remains, and you can climb up the 100-plus stairs to reach the top and catch a glimpse of the sea, Cape Florida, and Key Biscayne.

At sunset, the views are spectacular as the sky becomes painted with bright colors reflecting off the sea and clouds. When you've gotten your fill of admiring the bird's-eye view, check out Bill Baggs Beach for one of the best beaches in the nation.

Plan to arrive early because the park has a maximum capacity, and people will be turned away once it's reached.

Photographer: Jan Tang

Cultural Spots

Sure, Miami has its urban clubs, vast shopping centers, and other touristy destinations. The locals, however, know these cultural spots are true hidden gems, unassuming at a glance but cultivating a whole new view of the city.

Check out these pedestrian-only plazas, where you can enjoy the weather, savor a nice treat, and get a bit of shopping done in true Miami fashion.

7. Española Way

Stepping into Española Way feels like you're suddenly transported into a Mediterranean village far from the heart of Miami. The entire street is lined with trees and sparkling string lights that illuminate the area when the sun goes down.

Ripe with restaurants featuring a range of delectable cuisines, it's a great place to people-watch and be swept away by the scenery. The street was initially developed to be an artistic colony, and it achieved this with its beautifully paved roads and peach-colored buildings that mimic the colors of the sunset.

Today, it's full of dining, three hotels, and unique boutiques and specialty stores, all just waiting to be discovered. Public events, ranging from street dancing to guided yoga classes, take place almost daily.

If you've got free time during your stay in Miami, this hidden gem is a great place to spend an afternoon.

8. Giralda Plaza

Giralda Plaza takes you out of the streets brimming with cars and plops you into a pedestrian walkway lined with some of the best food the city has to offer. It sits on the 100 block of Giralda Avenue, which was transformed into what it is today back in 2017.

If you've ever had a hankering for Peruvian food, you can pick it up here, or you can opt for Greek, Thai, Italian, or Mexican cuisine. Long story short, if you're hungry and in the area, this is a great place to go for alfresco dining, especially if you want to check out some of the art exhibitions afterward.

Unique Attractions

These Miami hidden gems take everything you know about the city and push it to the extreme, just like we do when our performers soar through the air and defy limits. We love these unique things to do in Miami for the immersive experiences they create, leaving you with unforgettable memories.

9. Venetian Pool

This picturesque swimming pool looks like it was plucked from the Mediterranean itself, with palm trees, waterfalls, and stone grottos lining the water, and it's one of the coolest secret places in Miami. It also gives off rustic charm with its quaint terra-cotta roof buildings.

The Venetian Pool is filled with spring water that comes from the Biscayne Aquifer, and it's drained and refilled daily while it's open during the summer months.

It beckons those looking to beat the hot summer heat, and a small sandy beach offers a fun place to sunbathe while children build castles. Those who prefer to stay off the ground can rent lounge chairs.

You can always purchase tickets on-site, but we recommend buying them at least a day in advance to ensure you get spots, because this is one hidden gem you won't want to miss.

10. Club Space

Every weekend, Club Space invites electronic music lovers to an out-of-this-world party that ends long after the sun comes up. It opens at 11 p.m. on weekends and hosts an all-night rave that goes well into the morning.

What really brings this venue to the forefront is its clear ceiling. Dancers can get lost in the music as they watch the sky herald a new day. Inside, the ambiance is heady with the constant thrum of music, shimmering lights, and the buzzing of energy from the crowd.

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Historical and Scenic Locations

We love historical locations that transport you to another world. Explore rich stories of the past and present and appreciate the authentic beauty of the city by visiting these hidden places in Miami.

11. Star Island

Some of the biggest celebrities in Miami reside on Star Island. This man-made island in Biscayne Bay is home to stunning, multi-million dollar houses on waterfront properties.

While it's technically a public island, the community is gated with just two access points. You can enter from Bridge Road or via boat, although you need a guard's permission. However, some guided tours in Miami go through or around this neighborhood, giving you a glimpse into celebrity living.

Photographer: Avi Werde

12. Gold Coast Railroad Museum

History and railroad lovers will delight in the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. It's home to more than 40 historic trains and railcars, all sitting on the site of the former Naval Air Station Richmond.

We love the Ferdinand Magellan, a custom-built railcar created specifically for the President in 1929. It has a badge on the front with the seal of the President of the United States.

Former presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Reagan all used this car while in office, and you'll be able to witness this relic in all its glory.

For young railroad lovers, it also has a massive model train exhibit and train tables featuring Thomas the Tank Engine. You and your mini conductors can even take a train ride on the weekend.

13. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was the winter home of renowned builder James Deering in the early 1900s. He designed the structure himself, daring to dream beyond traditional homes.

Deering drew inspiration from Renaissance-style aesthetics while incorporating modern technology and amenities for the time. It took 1,000 workers to erect it, and the interior design drew from the best antiques and furnishings he and his design partner, Paul Chalfin, could source in Europe.

Today, it serves as a museum and garden, evoking awe with marble statues and other pieces of historic artistry alongside 10 acres of serene gardens, mesmerizing mazes, and bright orchids.

Photographer: Nick Fewings

Arts and Entertainment

Movie lovers, get ready to celebrate in style! We adore this hidden gem of a theater.

14. O Cinema South Beach

If you're a big independent film fan, the O Cinema South Beach is where you want to be. It's situated in the Historic City Hall and features a boldly designed room with flashy red and black seats inspired by European design.

The cinema specializes in showing films you won't readily find in chain theaters. Watch artistry come to life on the big screen with independent, foreign, and art films all year round.

Spiritual Sites

Spiritual sites can be some of the most unforgettable places to explore within cities, offering a glimpse into a whole new culture. The reverence that goes into designing and maintaining them is unparalleled. There's one in Miami you won't want to miss.

15. Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple

Miami may be home to all sorts of distinctive architecture, but the Wat Buddharangsi Thai Temple stands out with its ornate gold accents and pagodas along the rooftops. This temple is located in the Miami Redlands and serves as a place of worship for Thai Buddhists.

This hidden gem was built in 1979 and is open to the public. We appreciate the intricate designs, both inside and out. Keep in mind that this is a place of worship, and respect is paramount.

Experience and explore the grace and serenity of the temple without disrupting those who are there to meditate or for religious purposes.

Unveiling Miami's Hidden Wonders: A Journey Beyond the Ordinary

We can relate a lot to Miami. At first glance, we both may appear to be like other cities (or in our case, shows), but looking beneath the surface, you discover there's so much more to us than meets the eye.

Miami is laden with hidden gems all over the city, just begging to be discovered. While you wait for our shows in Miami, we recommend checking some of them out. You won't be disappointed.

Like Miami, we defy conformity with our shows. We push — and break — limits without a second thought. We take elements of circus acts with extreme athleticism, stunning special effects, and stellar soundtracks and weave them together with fantastic stories to coax you into our world.

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