Carol Klopfer: Miami's mix of nearby natural wonders and family-friendly attractions offer visitors a chance to see this eclectic multicultural city in another light.
A visit to Miami would not be complete without a trip to Everglades National Park, a 1.
5 million acre natural wonder, whose swamps and jungles are home to a unique combination of plants and endangered animals.
The Biscayne National Park is an aquatic natural wonder that showcases a myriad of sea life nestled amidst its coral reefs. Archeology, that's where we wanted to tour, the nearby daring estate, where fossils of extinct animals like python and mammoth have been found, and horticulture enthusiasts will appreciate the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, which draw thousands annually for a glimpse of its rare tropical plants.
For hands on fun, check-out the city's collection of interactive attractions. The Miami Children's Museum is perfect for little ones and features a miniature supermarket crew ship and giant sandcastle slide. For large scale animal fun, don't miss Miami's nationally acclaimed Zoo Miami, or the nearby Monkey Jungle, home to endangered primates running free across a 30 acre reserve. You can spend a day at Jungle Island, a theme park home to more than 3000 exotic animals, or at Miami's Aquarium where you can swim with the dolphins and feed the sharks.
History bus will find plenty to do in Miami, thanks to a multitude of attractions tracing the areas roots back several hundred years. Learn about transportation at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. You can even witness centuries old culture, and the Miccosukee Indian Village and be sure to pay a visit to the Coral Castle carved over 50 years ago by one man using homemade tools.
Miami's undeniable sense of multiculturalism is apparent in its galleries and impressive display of public arts. The Vizcaya Museum and Garden, a lavish waterfront Italian Renaissance structure, housing priceless art and furnishings is one of Miami's greatest historical treasures, and is itself a work of art.
And when you need to step out of the sun, step into the cool surroundings and myriad of art offerings at venues like the Wolfsonian Museum, the Miami art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
When you need a break from the salt and chlorine, the Venation Pool and Coral Gables is one of the world's most unique public swimming pools fed by spring water and surrounded by coral rock. Locals and tourists alike, flock here to keep cool year round.
Miami's unique attractions offer the chance to experience natural and manmade wonders that capture the essence of this exciting city with a mix of history, education and hands-on fun.