Miami with Teens: A Perfect Family Day
Miami, Florida is a sprawling wonderland of tourist attractions, natural beauty and superb shopping and dining destinations – an ideal spot to visit for an exciting family vacation. Check out these tips on the top things to do in Miami with teens, and you will experience the best activities this beautiful city has to offer.
If you're looking for a family adventure in Miami, be prepared for an astounding number of fun options for you and your teens. Start off by having a hearty breakfast at News Café, (800 Ocean Drive, 305-538-6397, open 24 hours), located in South Beach's famous Art Deco District. News Café has a full breakfast menu and is open 24 hours, making it perfect for getting an early start to your day in Miami. Your teens will love the fruit-topped waffles, and mom and dad can enjoy some delicious mimosas.
Work off your breakfast by taking a stroll along Ocean Drive toward South Pointe Park, seeing the cruise ships at the Port of Miami across the way. You'll see locals jogging, walking their dogs or spending the day with a picnic or BBQ at one of the pavilions along the water. Española Way (Washington and 15th Street) is another great option for breakfast and browsing, as it offers unique boutiques for shopping as well as a wide variety of cafes.
While you're on the beach, visit Lincoln Road to see the shops, cafes and galleries for which South Beach is known. From here, you can stay in Miami Beach and visit the Bass Museum (2121 Park Avenue, 305-673-7530, noon-5PM Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday-Tuesday, $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with ID, free for children under 6), Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Avenue, 305-531-1001, summer hours through September 15: noon-6PM Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, noon-9PM Fridays, closed Monday-Wednesday, $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, students with ID and children 6-12, free after 6PM on Fridays), or Jewish Museum (301 Washington Avenue, 305-672-5044, 10AM-5PM Tuesday-Sunday, $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, free for children under 12) and soak up some culture. The Bass Museum features numerous local works as well as borrowed collections. Permanent collections include Renaissance and Baroque paintings, Rococo pieces and English portraits, among others. The Wolfsonian belongs to Florida International University and features collections primarily from North America and Europe. It focuses on design in various social, political and technological contexts and has works in a variety of media, such as glass, metal and ceramic. The Jewish Museum is located in a former synagogue and has 80 stained-glass windows and a beautiful copper dome. Here, you will learn about the important roles of the Jewish people in Floridian and American history. If your kids can handle all of these stops, they are a perfect way to inject some education into your Miami family vacation.
When visiting Miami with teens, though, you may prefer to spend the day outdoors. Drive up to Oleta River State Park (3400 Northeast 163rd Street, Miami, 305-919-1846, 8AM-sundown 365 days a year, $6 per vehicle, $4 per single occupant vehicle/motorcycle, $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists) in North Miami and enjoy kayaking, swimming, canoeing or even mountain biking. Equipment rentals are available at Blue Moon Miami (3400 North Blue Street, 305-957-3040, 9AM-5:15PM seven days a week). You can also swim with the dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, 305-361-5705, 9:30AM-6PM 365 days a year, $37.95 general admission, $27.95 for children 3-9), the experience of a lifetime and one way to ensure your family will never forget this Miami family vacation. Teens will love this experience, as they will probably be the first of their friends to have done this. Luckily, with Miami's year-round temperate climate, summer isn't the only opportunity to do this. The Seaquarium is home to a variety of fish, dolphins, manatees, tortoises, sharks and whales. Reservations are available for dolphin, sea lion and killer-whale shows throughout the day. If you want a more low-key outdoor experience, head over to Biscayne National Park (9700 SW 328th Street, Homestead, FL, (305) 230-7275) for a glass-bottom boat tour. Reservations are required to tour the park's diverse ecosystem, which is mostly underwater. Visitors can see colorful coral reefs and developing islands accessible only by boat, making this one of the more unique experiences in Miami.
Family adventures can build an appetite, so take the group to Bayside Marketplace (401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, 305-577-3344) to dine at one of the numerous restaurants on the premises. Treat your kids to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (401 Biscayne Boulevard, 305-379-8866, 10:30AM-11PM Sunday-Thursday, 10AM-midnight Friday-Saturday) or enjoy a juicy churrasco at Los Ranchos Steakhouse (401 Biscayne Boulevard, 305-375-8188). Browse the music memorabilia at the Hard Rock Café (401 Biscayne Boulevard, R-200, 305-377-3110, 11AM-midnight Monday-Sunday), or gather around Let's Make a Daiquiri (305-372-5117) to listen to the live music. Parents can enjoy a much needed cocktail after an adventure-filled day in Miami, and teens can have a smoothie to cool off. Bayside is reminiscent of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and offers lots of food and dining options. For something more casual, they have an extensive food court and various kiosks to stop at as you browse the shops.
If it's still light and you didn't take advantage of the outdoors earlier, you still have a chance to make a splash with Miami Jet Ski Rental (401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, 305-457-1619). They offer hassle-free rentals and are located on Pier 5, where you can take a cruise along the bay on one of the many tour boats available. Walking around Bayside is a favorite activity for local high school students, so your teens will be happy taking a stroll around the marketplace and soaking up the atmosphere. Live music is prevalent, and street performers are common. A peaceful, yet entertaining evening enjoying the sights of Bayside is the perfect way to top off a perfect family vacation in Miami with teens.
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