Planning a family vacation To Miami

After its record 15.5 million visitors in 2015, Miami easily holds its status as one of the premier tourist cities in the US. And that’s not surprising at all, given its warm, sunny climate, beautiful white sand beaches, and abundance of popular historic sites and entertainment stops. We’ve visited Miami many times, and have learned there’s much more to this destination than the glamour of South Beach.

grown up getaway miami

Add to that numerous nature-focused, “eco-tourism” adventures in or not far from Miami, and it’s easy to see why families with kids are flocking to Miami for the tourist experience of a lifetime.

But getting there can be long and tedious, especially with kids on board, and really especially if you’re driving or going by bus from distance starting points like New York, Chicago, or L.A. Traveling the major airlines can be challenging as well. That’s one reason why taking your family to Miami on a private jet charter flight is such an attractive alternative. Yes, you’ve been hearing about private charters, and yes, they’re within reach for ‘regular’ families.



But regardless of how you get there, here are some great ideas on what to do that the whole family can enjoy:

1. Start At Bayside Marketplace

Not all shopping experiences are entertaining enough for kids, but the shops of Bayside Marketplace are a clear exception. Buy fossils, rock formations, and glow in the dark paraphernalia at “Art By God.” Then stop by Freedom Tower just a couple blocks north to learn of Miami’s fascinating Cuban heritage, just before eating lunch at Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana or hopping on a Biscayne Bay boat tour at Miamarina at Bayside.

2. Stop Off At Miami Science Museum

Museums may try kids’ patience in most instances, but Miami Science Museum will fascinate them. The natural history section, birds of prey zone, planetarium, and “laser show” are always favorites. Big Pink, a great burger/pizza joint that won’t cost an arm and a leg is not far away.

3. See The Seaquarium

In business since 1955, Miami Seaquarium is a true classic. Your kids can take in a show featuring whales, sea lions, or dolphins, get up close and personal with a manatee, and gaze in amazement while watching “shark feeding time” happen.

4. Venture Off To Jungle Island

Jungle Island is a kid’s paradise. A more than 20-acre rainforest full of all kinds of plant, bird, and other (non-dangerous) species – plus dramatic waterfalls, it will hold kids spellbound. The bird show and petting zoo are also key components of this “transplanted jungle” experience.

5. See The 3 Biggest Attractions Of The Region

After just an hour or so drive west from Miami, you can visit Everglades National Park. An airboat ride and a stop at Everglades Alligator Farm will ensure you see some significant wildlife.

Go south from Miami instead, and you can hit Bahia Honda State Park, not so far a drive as Key West and still an amazing drive. Also see the mostly underwater John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in the same vicinity: you can snorkel, dive, canoe, motor boat, or ride on a glass-bottomed tourist vessel over the reef area.

Finally, don’t overlook Miami Beach, where besides the beach and boardwalk, you’ll find (toddler-friendly) Miami Children’s Museum, a place where kids can floss gigantic teeth and record their own music in a studio. Jungle Island (mentioned earlier) is also here. And a family bike ride down the boardwalk of nearby Hollywood and a stop at Taco Beach Shack (or a picnic on the sand, with picnic table) is also a memorable event.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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