With the revival of Downtown Miami showing no signs of slowing, it’s definitely worth a day trip for all travelers. Downtown’s mix of old and new architecture is the perfect spot to explore the hidden treasures that lie around each corner.
Gone are the days when Downtown was a sleepy central business district. Its population has doubled in less than 10 years. With the new residents came a ton of new museums, restaurants, bars, parks and some great shopping. It may not yet have the reputation of South Beach or Wynwood but it’s definitely worth a day to explore. And what’s even better, the free Metromover makes it easy to get yourself around the neighborhood.
Here, we have put together a list of top attractions for your day trip to Downtown.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
1103 Biscayne Blvd
One of the most important cultural institutions in the city makes its home in Downtown. The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is full of the hottest modern and contemporary exhibitions in town. The museum holds over 1,800 works from great artists including Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella and Ana Mendieta. Its temporary exhibitions often explore Miami’s role as a bridge between Latin and North America.
WPH recommends joining one of the free 45-minute tours to get all the history behind the art from knowledgeable guides. After exploring the exhibits, relax at the waterfront Verde restaurant, shop for unique books and gifts at the museum store, or admire the hanging gardens and views of Biscayne Bay. See what exhibits are on now. Feeling like getting a bite after? Check out our top spots to eat near the museum.
600 Biscayne Blvd
This architectural gem was constructed in 1925 as the original home of The Miami News. It has played a pivotal role in the city’s history housing celebrities, refugees and iconic art throughout its life. It was a refugee processing center for Cuban exiles fleeing the Castro regime during the cold war. La Torre de Libertad, as it’s known in Spanish, is part of the stories passed down by Cuban refugees to their children and grandchildren. The building became a US National Historic Landmark in 2008, three years after it was donated to Miami Dade College. Now, it is one of the city’s top art and design museums and features permanent exhibits, Cuban Exile Experience and the Cuban Diaspora Cultural Legacy Gallery. Get more information on exhibits here.
301 Biscayne Blvd
Bayfront Park is one of Miami’s hippest open spaces with stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown skyline. A cultural epicenter, it hosts a bunch of concerts, ethnic festivals and huge Independence Day, New Year's Eve and Winter Holiday celebrations. It’s a great spot to chill and take a break from exploring Downtown. Take your swimsuit! There is beach access as well as a bunch of marine activities like fishing and standup paddle boarding. Or why not check to see what events are on? A Bayfront Park event is the perfect way to end a day of exploring Downtown.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
1101 Biscayne Blvd
Located in Downtown Miami’s waterfront Museum Park, the new science museum is one of the hottest spots in the city right now. The long-awaited museum seems to have a magnetic force attracting far more visitors than expected since its opening in May 2017. The massive exhibition space is split into four buildings that offer a scientific journey through an amazing aquarium, galaxy-crossing planetarium and exhibits exploring living systems, biology and the human body. The aquarium is the highlight. It crosses three levels and includes an incredible 500,000-gallon Gulf Stream aquarium full of sea life. Open all year round, entry costs $28. It is well worth it. Get more information and buy tickets here.