Ever had anyone visit you from out of town and show up with a list of places to visit and you’re ashamed to tell them that you haven’t been there…yet? It’s time to change that! Miami is known as one of the coolest vacation spots in the US with an ever-growing variety of activities for people of all ages. There’s a lot more to Miami than just its beaches, and our cultural city continues to surprise me by the day. Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to do in Miami and places you should put on your summer “to visit” list. (By the way, if you choose the right day or way to visit, you can even visit these places or take advantage of these activities for free!)
The Perez Art Museum:
This modern waterfront building in the heart of downtown houses an interesting contemporary art collection. I particularly love the outside terrace where you can sit on an Adirondack chair or swing and admire the views of the bay. The café outside is a cool spot to have a bite to eat or drink, too. Admission is free every first Thursday between 10 am and 9 pm. The PAMM Student pass grants free admission to any student attending a Miami-Dade Public School, and an accompanying adult, by simply registering here: http://pamm.org/studentpass. They also offer free tours throughout the day with admission.
Yes, there’s a lot of hype around Wynwood these days, but it really has become an amazing spot to visit, day and night. The art that surrounds you at every turn in this open-air museum is truly impressive, especially because this neighborhood has only been on the art scene for less than 10 years. There are fantastic restaurants and food spots of every type, food trucks that offer remarkable choice, festivals and concerts offering live music, art fairs and more. Walking through the Wynwood Walls, the Wynwood Doors, and the Wynwood Garden is free all day, every day. Roaming the streets and hopping in and out of galleries and shops is also free. Visit during the second Saturday of the month for the Wynwood Art Walk where the neighborhood will be filled with extra excitement.
Tour of the Biltmore Hotel:
Built in 1926, this iconic hotel is an integral part of the area’s history and a great destination for a Sunday brunch, lunch or afternoon tea. Though these aren’t anywhere near free, the guided historical tours they offer on Sundays at 1:30 and 2:30 PM are! No need to sign up in advance or even pay for anything while there; you just show up in the lobby of the hotel a few minutes before the tours starts and you can join in.
Free Outdoor Concerts:
There are quite a few spots to visit when it comes to free live music in Miami, so these are just some of the ones I recommend. The museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami offers free concerts the last Friday of the month, and their line up of musicians is quite impressive. You can catch artists like flautist Nestor Torres performing in their outdoor space, and admission to the museum is by donation between 7 and 9 pm. You can also enjoy some live music at Viernes Culturales in Little Havana on the last Friday of the month or in Little Haiti during their Big Night on the third Friday of the month.
Though there’s lots of other cool things to do in Miami, this is just a taste of what you can start to plan out for the summer.
For a list of other museums in the area that offer free admission, check out this link: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/things-to-do/free-things-to-do/free-museum-days. You can also use your MDPLS library card to check out a Museum Pass, which is valid for one week and allows free admission to various museums in Miami for a family of 4.
If you’re a Bank of America credit or debit card holder, you are also eligible for free admission to various museums (not only in Miami) on the first full weekend of the month. You can find details here: https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/arts-and-culture.html#fbid=CM_fPl18Xpe.
Then there’s Culture Shock Miami, offering $5 tickets to teens and young adults and an accompanying person of any age to a number of different performances and museums every month. though not free, you can’t beat the price. Details are found here: www.cultureshockmiami.com.
Now let’s get out there and have some fun this summer! With so much free stuff to do around town, there’s no excuse to stay home!
by Annette Morejon, June 2018