You’ve survived the weeks of exams, papers, and projects, and now you have a long weekend to celebrate and relax. Some of you may be going home for fall break or heading down to the Keys, but for those staying in Miami there are many fun things to do.
Go to the beach or the pool. If you haven’t been to South Beach, it’s definitely worth taking at least one trip there and enjoying a nice lunch at one of the hotels on Ocean Drive. If you just want to get away and soak up some sun and some waves check out Bill Baggs State Park at the end of Key Biscayne or Crandon Park Beach. It is not always easy getting to the beach without a car, so remember that the UC pool will be open from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM over the break. The Venetian Pool, which was created from a coral rock quarry and contains waterfalls, caves, and grottos to enjoy and explore is another option. It’s only a quick 8 minutes away according to Google Maps, so find some friends and carpool or take a taxi.
Go Camping. Up north there is Oleta State Park which offers tent camping and cabins. It is a great place to go kayaking through the mangroves and has a nice beach. Down south, there are the Everglades where you can go canoeing or hiking. If you want to see some alligators and water birds, the Everglades is the place to go, but make sure you bring your bug spray at this time of the year! On your way out of the Everglades, be sure to stop at Robert is Here which sells delicious milkshakes and exotic fruits. Camping is fun to do with a group of friends, but a car is necessary and reservations are needed to camp at state parks, so plan ahead.
Discover Beatriz Milhazes’ “Jardim Botânico,” showcasing at the PAMM until January 2015.
Visit the Museums. One of the best museums that Miami has to offer is Vizcaya. It’s a magnificent house on the bay with a barge. Don’t forget to walk through the beautiful gardens. It’s $10 for students if you bring your ID. There’s also a café where you can get lunch if you want to go for the day and it’s easy to take the metro there, just stop off at Vizcaya. If science is your thing, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is located close to Vizcaya. The special exhibit in called the Amazon Voyage, which focuses on research done on the Amazon River. Other unique exhibits are the Sea Lab and the Wildlife Center, and there many interesting exhibits to check out there. There’s plenty to learn at the science museum. For contemporary artists or for those who just love art, visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami in downtown Miami. To get there you can take the metro to Brickell station.
Brickell, the downtown area, is a very lively place to go on a day trip. It’s easy to get around using the metro mover and the trolley. You can walk by the bay and shop to your heart’s content at Bayside, an outdoor shopping mall. It also has nice restaurants if you want to grab lunch. One of the most notable attractions in Brickell is the Freedom Tower which stands as one of Miami’s tallest building, so look out for and don’t miss it. The Freedom Tower has a rich history that is definitely worth researching as well.
Whether you are looking for exotic animals or your favorite animal, the Miami Zoo has it all. The zoo can be reached by bus route and is open every day. An alternative to the zoo is the Seaquarium located on Key Biscayne. The water-loving animals swim around in different parts, so visit with the sea lions, crocodiles, the stingrays and the dolphins. The animals will be sure to love the attention. The Seaquarium is also close to the beach if you wanted do both.
There is so much to do in Miami. Take advantage of the break; get off campus and have some fun!
words_ rachel ronney. photo_courtesy of the perez art museum.