Known around the world for its starring roles in blockbuster movies and famous TV shows, including The Bodyguard, Casino Royale, Scarface and Miami Vice, chances are, you’ll recognise many of Miami’s landmarks already. Miami is a vibrant seaport city with warm weather, beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. The city lies along Biscayne Bay and is famous for its Atlantic Ocean beaches, which are a drawcard that makes it one of the most visited cities in the USA.
Besides sun, sand and salsa, Miami’s neighbourhoods are brimming with character, culture and architecture. And Miami landmarks come in different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of landmarks to identify Miami, from Art Deco buildings and museums to parks, memorials and beaches. Here are our top 20 Miami landmarks to get you started.
- Miami Landmarks
- 20 Landmarks in Miami
- 1- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- 2- Venetian Pool
- 3- Bayside Marketplace
- 4- Bayfront Park
- 5- Holocaust Memorial
- 6- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
- 7- Crandon Park
- 8- Little Havana
- 9- Miami Art Deco District
- 10- Ocean Drive
- 11- South Beach Lifeguard Post
- 12- Cape Florida Lighthouse
- 13- Coral Castle
- 14- Freedom Tower
- 15- Miami Children’s Museum
- 16- Deering Estate
- 17- MacArthur Causeway Bridge
- 18- Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
- 19- FTX Arena
- 20- Gold Coast Railroad Museum
- 20 Landmarks in Miami
20 Landmarks in Miami
1- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a treasure of the city and a National Historic Landmark.
The lovely museum was once the winter home of 20th-century industrialist James Deering.
Constructed in 1916, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a 28-acre (11.3 ha) estate with 34 rooms around the central courtyard.
The Italian Renaissance-style villa has beautiful European furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to 19th centuries.
Around 1,100 artisans and workers constructed this estate, many of whom were brought over from Europe to contribute to the authentic European design.
Impressive flower beds, trees, and shrubs dot the property, and the grounds contain beautiful French and Italian fountains and figures.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is at 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129.
2- Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool is a Miami landmark and the largest freshwater swimming pool in the United States.
The historic aquatic facility dates back to the 1920s and was constructed from an abandoned rock quarry.
The fresh spring water pool has a Mediterranean feel, with an island, two waterfalls and caves.
Interestingly, it is the only public swimming pool worldwide on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Venetian Pool is at 405 University Drive, Coral Gables, FL.
3- Bayside Marketplace
A blend of shopping, dining and entertainment options are available at Bayside Marketplace.
The massive outdoor-style mall has more than 150 shops, chain stores, cafes, restaurants and entertainment options spread across multiple zones.
Bayside Marketplace is one of the most popular places in the city, and its waterfront location on Biscayne Bay makes it one of the most popular Miami landmarks to visit.
Bayside Marketplace is at 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
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4- Bayfront Park
On the east of Biscayne Boulevard is another famous Miami landmark, Bayfront Park.
The green urban park covers more than 32 acres (13 ha) and has a children’s playground, amphitheatre, light tower and several monuments and sculptures.
The highlight is the electronically-controlled Pepper Fountain, which attracts the attention of most visitors.
Another monument within the park is the Challenger Memorial, which commemorates the Challenger spacecraft crew.
Bayfront Park is at 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
5- Holocaust Memorial
Established in 1990, the Holocaust Memorial is a tribute to those who suffered during the Holocaust and was an initiative of Holocaust survivors.
It has a collection of statues, architectural pieces, a meditation garden, and a poignant memorial wall.
One of the memorial’s highlights is the Sculpture of Love and Anguish, a colossal bronze depiction of an arm, stretching from the earth towards the heavens.
The entire area has vignettes of family members trying to help each other as the final act of love.
The memorial offers tours, lectures, and seminars and organises special programs to commemorate important dates on the Jewish calendar.
The Holocaust Memorial is around the intersection of Dade Boulevard and Meridian Avenue at 1933-1945 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
6- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
Established in 1938, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens is an 84-acre (34 ha) land filled with tropical plants, flowering trees, palms, vines, and fruit trees.
The garden has over 6,000 plant species (many are endangered) growing in native habitats.
This botanic garden is much more than a garden as it’s also a museum, learning centre, laboratory and conservation research facility which mainly aims to preserve biodiversity.
The garden hosts many festivals, including an orchid festival, butterfly festival, a food and garden festival, and the popular Edible Garden Festival.
The site also hosts various events and concerts. There is a gift shop and two restaurants in the garden.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens is at 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156.
7- Crandon Park
Covering the northern part of Key Biscayne, Crandon Park is a sprawling urban park, more than 808 acres (326 ha) in size.
The lovely beach park has excellent spots for picnics and natural areas to explore.
You can hike through sandy dunes, kayak around the roots of the mangroves and feel the power of the surf crash into the offshore sandbar.
The park’s facilities include a golf course, marina, a family amusement centre, a nature centre and a tennis centre.
The Bear Cut Preserve covers a section of the park to focus on natural environment studies of the area.
Crandon Park is at 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149.
8- Little Havana
Little Havana is Miami’s Cuban district and is well-loved for its rich heritage, culture, cuisine and music.
The neighbourhood grew from the 1960s when Fidel Castro came into power.
Little Havana surrounds Calle Ocho (Southwest Eighth Street), a bustling thoroughfare full of Latin-inspired eateries, bakeshops, bars, cigar shops, art galleries, and music venues.
Other important landmarks in Little Havana are the Walgreens Building, the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, the Tower Theater, St. John Bosco Catholic Church, Domino Park, Plaza de la Cubanidad, and Walk of Fame.
In 2015, the district became a part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation list and was declared a national treasure in 2017.
9- Miami Art Deco District
Also known as the Miami Beach Architectural District, due to its high concentration of Art Deco buildings, the district was the first 20th-century neighbourhood to be part of the National Register of Historic Places list.
With structures of historical significance constructed between 1923 and 1943, the area has a retro vibe and about 800 art deco-style pastel stucco buildings.
Famous buildings include the Celino Hotel, the Carlyle, the Breakwater, the Plymouth and the Clevelander.
Visit the Art Deco Museum to learn more about that design era and go on a walking tour through the neighbourhood.
The Miami Art Deco District is at the southern end of South Beach.
10- Ocean Drive
Miami Beach is a resort area on the barrier islands, between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, with quiet neighbourhoods, entertainment hotspots and beautiful stretches of soft-sand beaches.
It’s connected through bridges to the mainland and has numerous Miami landmarks, including South Beach and Art Deco District.
This resort city oozes luxury, and there are unlimited fun things to do.
There is a host of luxurious restaurants and bars, many of which offer beachside dining.
The most famous street here is Ocean Drive, a part of the road along the oceanfront that houses some impressive Art Deco buildings.
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11- South Beach Lifeguard Post
Right at the southeastern end of Miami Beach is South Beach, or SoBe, which is one of the must-visit places to visit in the city.
South Beach is easily accessible by foot and the best part is the southernmost area through Lummus Park, running along Ocean Drive from the 5th to 15th streets.
This gorgeous stretch of sand is exceptionally extensive and lapped by turquoise waves.
Hundreds of shacks, boutiques and clubs line the beach.
It has been used as a background in movies, TV shows and is packed in summer.
The Southbeach lifeguard post is one of the brightly coloured timber buildings along the beach that adds character to this famous stretch of sand.
12- Cape Florida Lighthouse
Standing majestically at the south end of Key Biscayne, Cape Florida Lighthouse is the oldest structure in Miami-Dade.
It was constructed in 1825 and was used to guide mariners around Florida Reef, helping them to avoid any unfortunate accident.
This landmark has survived almost a hundred years of erosion, many hurricanes, the attack by Seminole Native Americans, and an explosion of gun powder and oil.
Today, it’s a cultural landmark that deserves its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
There’s a lovely view over Key Biscayne and Miami Beach from the lighthouse.
Cape Florida Light is at Cape Florida Lighthouse, 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149.
13- Coral Castle
Located between Leisure City and Homestead, Coral Castle is the work of one man’s dedication to 28 years of carving.
Latvian immigrant Edward Leedskalnin built this limestone creation between 1923 and 1951, transforming over 1,000 tons of coral rock into a phantasmagorical stone sculpture garden with furniture, walls, carvings and a tower.
Highlights include a 9-ton gate that opens with a touch of a finger, stone rocking chairs and a stone telescope.
The property joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 under its original name of Rock Gate Park.
Billy Idol’s song ‘Sweet Sixteen’ was a tribute to Edward and Coral Castle. And he shot the music video on-location at the castle.
Coral Castle is at 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033, United States.
14- Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College is another famous landmark in Miami.
It is among the oldest skyscrapers in the Southeastern USA and served as the HQ of the Miami Daily News for several years.
This 17-story building acted as the immigration centre for immigrants coming from Cuba between 1962 and 1974.
The building is also notable for its incredible Spanish Renaissance Revival architectural style, influenced by Bertram Goodhue’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego.
Today, the tower stands as a tribute to Cuban immigration and functions as a contemporary art museum.
Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College is at 600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
15- Miami Children’s Museum
Located on Watson Island, Miami Children’s Museum is an educational institution that occupies a vast contemporary space.
It is a fantastic place for kids to be educated and entertained.
The museum opened its door in 1983 at a different site but moved to its current location in 2003.
14 themed galleries cover arts, culture and community, while four outdoor exhibits allow kids to play and enjoy their time outside.
Miami Children’s Museum is at 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132.
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16- Deering Estate
Protecting the endangered pine Rockland habitat, Deering Estate at Cutler was the former home of the American businessman and philanthropist Charles Deering, brother of James Deering.
The estate covers 444 acres (180 ha) of land designated as an environmental and archaeological preservation facility, earning its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
It houses Richmond Cottage, which served as a hotel, historic structures dating from 1896 to 1922, and an American Indian burial space dating back to 1500.
The estate also hosts events of all kinds, offering exhibitions, concerts, and movie screenings.
Deering Estate is at 16701 SW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33157.
17- MacArthur Causeway Bridge
General Douglas MacArthur Causeway is not just an ordinary bridge; it’s a gigantic six-way engineering masterpiece that links the city and the lively Miami Beach.
The causeway crosses the serene Biscayne Bay while linking the islands to the mainland and offering beautiful views of the city skyline.
Its construction started in 1917 when town planners realised that the Venetian Causeway, formerly called Collins Bridge, was the only connection between Miami and the Barrier Islands.
As Miami Beach became famous for its Art Deco buildings, the city needed another bridge and got an engineering masterpiece.
18- Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
In the north of Downtown Miami is the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, formerly called Miami Science Museum.
Opened in 1949, it is a science museum featuring various hands-on exhibits relating to science and technology.
It has extensive exhibitions covering everything from insects and dinosaurs to space flight.
Besides interactive exhibits, the museum also has a huge aquarium and a planetarium with interesting 3D films taking the onlookers to the outer edges of the world.
This museum is at 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
19- FTX Arena
FTX Arena is a sporting and entertainment complex along Biscayne Bay.
This famous sporting landmark in Miami was built in 1999 to hold over 19,000 people in luxury suites and private boxes.
The arena is home to National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat.
It hosts numerous events, including wrestling shows, NBA matches, music concerts, and other entertainment-related programs.
The structure itself has been awarded the LEED Green Building Certification for being an energy-efficient facility.
FTX Arena is at 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132.
20- Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Gold Coast Railroad Museum is an excellent museum on American railway history.
Founded in 1956 on the former Naval Air Station Richmond (NASR), one of the unique things about this museum is that it occupies the USA’s second-largest WWII airship base.
The museum became one of the three official Florida State Railroad Museums in 1984.
As it promotes historical trains and railroads, there are around 40 historic rail cars, including Florida East Coast Steam Locomotive “153”, Western Pacific “Silver Crescent”, and Presidential Rail Car “Ferdinand Magellan”.
The museum also features a model railroad room, Thomas play tables, a NASR exhibit, and various displays of rail equipment.
One of the highlights is the vintage train rides, where you’ll get a taste of the past.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum is at 2450 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177.
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