Believe it or not, Miami is more than crazy nightlife and a beach. It’s a city rich in history, full of art and excitement, ready to be explored in your time away from WordCamp. Plus, you’ll be there at the perfect time, with average temperatures of 78 degrees in March. But shh…don’t tell your boss about how much fun you’re going to have—they might think you’re just going for a vacay.
Here are 8 spots to hit up while you’re not pressing on at WordCamp Miami.
1) Little Havana
You can’t go to Miami without getting a taste of some Cuban flavor. This spot west of Downtown is the perfect place to see some local art, find some fantastic restaurants, and knock back a couple cocktails. Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s main drag, is where you’ll find giant painted roosters and a Walk of Fame for famous Cubans. Foodie highlights of the district include Versailles Restaurant and the adjacent Versailles Cuban Bakery, and Azucar Ice Cream Company, home to unique flavors like Plantano Maduro, or sweet plantain.
2) Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Visiting Miami without visiting the Vizcaya is like going to Paris and missing the Eiffel Tower. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic landmark located south of Downtown Miami on the Deering Channel. Once the winter home of businessman James Deering in the 1910s, the estate is now a portal to the past, with 34 preserved rooms full of European antiquities, as well as an extensive collection of art, from ancient Roman sculpture to Chinese ceramics and early-twentieth century paintings. Outside, stroll through a garden of orchids and unusual and endangered native plants.
3) The Art Deco District
For some good, old-fashioned sightseeing, take a drive, a walk, or a bike-ride down the iconic Ocean Drive and through the Art Deco District. Over 800 buildings on the southern tip of Miami Beach make up what some call the world’s first 20th-century historic district. This is where every film or TV show that takes place in Miami inevitably traverses. Every building is steeped in history, so book a tour or do some research before taking off for the afternoon.
4) Check out a Contemporary Art Museum
Miami is host to two of the country’s top contemporary art museums. The Pérez Art Museum Miami, or PAMM, is a relative newcomer on the scene, only collecting art since 1994 (which is a really short time in art museum years). Located right on Bay Biscayne, PAMM is a 200,000 square-foot concrete structure that features 67 hanging and vertical gardens. Committed to accurately representing Miami’s cultural diversity, PAMM displays a notable collection of African-American, Latinx, and Caribbean-American art.
If the PAMM isn’t enough for you, just hop on over to Miami Beach to The Bass. The Bass is a stepping stone to the US for many international artists, with rotating single-artist exhibitions throughout the year. The Bass often incorporates design, fashion, and architecture into their exhibition program, so don’t expect to just go stare at some paintings on the wall.
5) Hit the Beach
Okay, you probably could’ve come up with this one on your own. But, not all of Miami’s plethora of beaches are the same. There’s South Beach, obviously, if you don’t mind the crowds and the partiers (after all, March is just about Spring Break season). But if you’re already spending the day in the Art Deco District or at The Bass, then South Beach might just be the most convenient spot. Or, you could take a trip slightly north to the 21st-45th Street Beach, a local hangout free of South Beach chaos.
For an escape from town, try the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. It’s like a slice of the Northeast in Florida, with a wide boardwalk and vintage feel. Or go all the way to the southern tip of Key Biscayne to BIll Baggs Cape Florida State Park, home of the Cape Florida Lighthouse and a great spot to picnic and lay in the sun.
6) Bayside Marketplace
If you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop, then Bayside Marketplace might be a good place to start. This two-story, open-air festival center right on the water is home to over 150 shops and 12 restaurants, as well as a stage for Miami’s local musicians. From the marketplace, you can also embark on a tour of the bay (pirate-themed cruise, anyone?), or hop on a water taxi to Key Biscayne or Miami Beach Marina.
7) Paddle-board or Kayak the Bay Biscayne
Looking to get some exercise, or just chill on the water? There are plenty of spots up and down the beach to rent a paddleboard or kayak. Some rental shops also offer guided kayak trips that will take you to the more remote keys only accessible by water. Picture it: just you, your kayak, the water lit by sunset, a dolphin or two…
8) Wynwood Walls
Wynwood Walls is a unique outdoor museum featuring giant murals on the faces of abandoned warehouses. Since its inception in 2009, over 50 street artists from around the world have been given the honor of painting its walls. The success of Wynwood Walls led to the opening of Wynwood Doors in the adjacent lot, where the museum’s founders installed metal roll-down gates to display smaller-scale artists who worked with mediums like canvas, rather than on a mural scale. The entire project has gained international acclaim and made Wynwood one of America’s “hippest” neighborhoods, according to Forbes.
No matter where you end up in Miami, you’re sure to have a good time. After all, that’s what the city’s known for! Are you headed to WordCamp Miami? Michelle Keefer (@MKdoesmktg) will be there representing the Pressable team, along with reps from our partners WP Buffs, Shephards Loft and Lockr. Find Michelle or tweet to us during the conference. We’d love to hear from you!