Miami, FL

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Explore Miami, FL

Because it’s so close to the Caribbean, Miami, Florida is by reputation the world’s cruise capital. Rev up for your Carnival cruise from Miami with the city’s nonstop action, from party-ready South Beach and spicy Little Havana to the Mediterranean style of Coral Gables. Once you’ve experienced all the architectural beauty, energetic street life, and sun-kissed beaches, you may want to extend your stay in town after your Miami cruise returns.

  • Drink up the sizzling nightlife on boisterous Ocean Drive.
  • See the classic architecture in the South Beach Art Deco historic district.
  • Grab a cafecito and a Cubano sandwich on Calle Ocho in Little Havana.
  • Dive into the coral Venetian Pool before your Carnival cruise from Miami.
  • Glide past gators on an airboat ride in the Everglades.


Things To Do

Local Attractions

Before your Carnival cruise from Miami sails, hit South Beach for surfside fun and hot nightlife. Consider an exploration of Caribbean neighborhoods like Little Havana, which hums to an island beat, as preparation for your Caribbean cruise. If you want to feel sugary sand beneath your feet before your cruise, then head to Key Biscayne for Miami, Florida’s finest beaches.

  • Smell the fragrances of rare blooming flowers at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
  • Start a late night out and end it at dawn in a South Beach club.
  • Wander into cigar factories and Cuban memorials on a tour of Little Havana.
  • Choose your favorite beach on the city’s many sandy islands.
  • Make friends with the dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium.

Fun Facts

  • An underground aquifer drains and replenishes the 800,000 gallons of water in the Venetian Pool on a nightly basis, during summer months.
  • Many of the Art Deco buildings of South Beach were on the verge of demolition back in the 1970s, before concerned citizens formed the Miami Design Preservation League and helped save—and revitalize—the district.
  • The Fontainebleau Hotel was used as a setting in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

Within Walking Distance

Botanical Gardens

Bayfront Park on Biscayne Bay is near the departure point for Carnival cruises from Miami. The park has great views, a small beach, a tropical garden, and a double-helix memorial dedicated to the crew of the Challenger space shuttle.

Beyond the Port Area

The famous South Beach Art Deco District is a magnet for visitors, photographers, scenesters, and visiting celebs. The pastel hues, ornamental details, and historic hotel signage lend the entire neighborhood a chic vintage feel. Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Lincoln Road are the best for spotting architecture from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. For a look at even older art forms, step into the district’s Bass Museum of Art to see works by European masters Rubens and Botticelli. The Little Havana neighborhood centers on the shops and cafes of 8th Street, or Calle Ocho, a Cuban culture hot spot. On a neighborhood walking tour, you can see nimble cigar rollers creating authentic Cuban cigars, sip a cafecito with your Cuban pork sandwich at lunch, and learn a few tricks to the locals’ favorite game, dominoes.

Gallery

Step through the elaborate stone gateways heralding the entrance to Mediterranean-styled Coral Gables. Once inside this “City Beautiful,” head for the spa or golf course at the elaborate Biltmore Hotel. For lush greenery, lose yourself in the Fairchild Tropical Garden, which holds a conservatory, a rainforest, and a surprising number of succulent plants. For a midday respite from the hot Miami sun, plunge beneath the cooling waterfalls at the Venetian Pool, a manmade coral lagoon surrounded by lush palm trees and Italian-style buildings from the 1920s. Just across the causeway on an offshore key, you can swim with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium.

Inland of Miami, Florida are the famous Everglades wetlands. An airboat tour of the Everglades puts you on a low-riding cruise through the marshy swamps and grassy waters, home to American alligators.

Beaches in Miami

Caribbean Beaches

Beach life is Miami. Miami Beach runs 10 miles, from the Art Deco lifeguard huts of South Beach to the wide, surf-friendly sands of Bal Harbour and Haulover Beach. The best spots to sizzle in the Miami, Florida sun are Key Biscayne, which also has the historic lighthouse of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach; the lagoon-like Crandon Park Beach; and the Virginia Key Beach Park.

Shopping in Miami

shopping

The waterfront Bayside Marketplace is the closest shopping scene to where Miami cruises dock; look for cigars, stylish sunglasses, and colorful handbags in the specialty shops or sip a Cuban daiquiri in an outdoor restaurant while gazing into the turquoise bay. Hip local boutiques and fashionable art galleries fill South Beach’s Lincoln Road and the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.

Dining & Nightlife in Miami

The hottest dining and nightlife scene in Miami, Florida is on Ocean Drive in South Beach. Though restaurants and clubs that attract the brightest visiting stars are nearly impossible to get into, you’ll have plenty of options and low-key places to choose from. A bit north, the grand Fontainebleau Hotel is like an entertainment district to itself, holding a dozen restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Travel Tips

TRAVEL TIPS

  • Miami cruises depart from the Port of Miami on Dodge Island, across Port Boulevard and a short trip from downtown.
  • South Florida’s tropical climate attracts plenty of visitors in winter, when the region gets little rainfall and plenty of warm days. Average winter highs are in the upper 70s, while the rest of the year, they average in the 80s (and up to 90 degrees in summer).