The Metropolis of Miami lies along the southeastern coast of the state between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades. Millions arrive each year of boarding an ocean cruise or spending time on the beach and participate in the exciting nightlife opportunities, and thousands more love the city so much they never leave. However, Miami also offers outdoor enthusiasts some fun and fascinating adventures.
1 Jungle Island
The 18-acre site brings visitors face-to-face with hundreds of exotic animals from Australia, Madagascar, South America, and other world destinations. Unlike most zoos and sanctuaries, the island provides the chance to have close encounters with many of the jungle creatures. See live demonstrations and shows featuring their amazing animals. Adrenaline lovers have the opportunity to experience being weightless while skydiving at the Superflight exhibit. Get a bird’s eye view of the city and beyond when careening down the 600-foot zip line. The facility is open seven days a week from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
- Adults $39.95
- Children 3 to 10-$32.95
2 Coopertown Airboat Tours
Explore the amazing world that lurks within the Everglades by taking an airboat tour. Venture miles into the Everglades National Park over the “river of grass” that serves as home to a wide selection of wildlife. Perhaps catch a glimpse of an alligator. Gaze in awe at the Purple Gallinule birds. Grackles, herons, raccoons, turtles and other creatures might make an appearance to say hello. Tours are available during park hours, which is open seven days a week from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Admission and tour prices:
- Everglades National Park fee-$3.00
- Adult tour-$23.00
- Child tour-$11.00
3 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
The 83-acre site is the largest botanical garden in the United States. The expansive property offers tram tours. The garden is divided into the highlands and the lowlands. Each is also subdivided into ecological terrains to resemble the exotic plants in their country of origin. Stroll through the Lisa D. Anness South Florida Butterfly Garden where more than 40 species flutter around collecting nectar. Venture through the Richard H. Simons Rainforest to see an array of tropical plants, streams, and waterfalls. The Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion houses rare trees that produce chocolate and vanilla beans, durian, mangosteen, and other fruits. The garden is open daily from 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
- Senior citizens-$18
- Children 6 to 17-$12
4 Biscayne National Park
The park encompasses 174,000 acres. However, 95 percent of the area is covered by water, which makes it an ideal location for water-based activities. The area boasts a history that dates back 10,000 years and includes tales of pirates and shipwrecks. Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are popular here along with swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Anglers and campers are also welcome. Beneath the crystal clear blue waters, coral reefs, sponges and a large selection of tropical fish thrive. Glass bottom boat tours are available. Charter a boat and go deep sea fishing or lobster hunting. Various islands within the park once had pineapple plantations but now offer campsites. The park does not require entrance fees and remains open 24/7, all year round. However, fees are required for camping and boat docking.
5 Zoo Miami
The 750-acre facility houses more than 3,000 birds, mammals, and reptiles representing 500 species from Africa, Asia, Australia, and other world countries. Each outdoor exhibit is designed to replicate the animal’s natural environment and provides ample freedom to roam and run while keeping visitors safe. Meet the zookeepers and experience live animal encounters and demonstrations. Trams offer guided tours. Guests also have the option of touring the facility via four-wheeled cycles. Perhaps embark on an Everglade adventure aboard the Lostman’s River Ride. The zoo is open all year-round from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
- Children 3 to 12-$18.95
6 Take a Yoga Class
Take a break from sightseeing or engaging in other adventures and rejuvenate. Many locations throughout the city offer outdoor yoga classes. Simply bring a mat. Enjoy the views and breathe the fresh air. Free and donation only classes are held in Bayfront Park, Maurice A. Ferré Park and Jose Marti Park on different days of the week. Class times are 6 P.M. during the week and 9 A.M. on the weekend.
As you can see, Miami is so much more than clubs and tourist traps. There are many reasons why people are moving to Miami in droves. It has everything. All you have to do is come down and see it for yourself.