Top Miami Outdoor Activities

15 February 2013

It's no secret that Florida has a terrific year round climate. This is the perfect American state to experience a plethora of outdoor activities. And there is no better city than Miami, to appreciate the sun's glorious rays, while enjoying the various attractions on offer. Hit the beaches – see and be seen at the Lummus Park stretch on South Beach along Ocean Drive – or spend a day exploring the zoo, safari park, Jungle Island, and Miami's famous Seaquarium.

Here are our top Miami outdoor activities.

Miami Ocean Drive, Miami

Outdoor Dining
In Miami, everything tastes better outside. Year long summers mean al fresco is best. Head to the extremely hip and happening Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, decorated by world famous graffiti street artists and offering fresh, simple dishes in an open, urban setting. Enjoy American cuisine, ingredients sourced locally, on the river at Red Light Little River, or classic Italian underneath the beautiful Silver Buttonwood trees, in the elegant courtyard setting of Cecconi's Miami Beach, on Collins Avenue. 

Zoo Miami & Jungle Island
The only zoo in the USA set in a subtropical climate, Zoo Miami – Metrozoo – promises to intrigue and delight visitors of all ages. See Komodo Dragons, tree kangaroos and clouded leopards, as well as lions, gorillas, giraffes, and brightly coloured birds. And if it's birds you love, you'll love Jungle Island, located off MacArthur Causeway. With over 1 100 species of tropical birds, and shows featuring snakes, crocodiles and alligators, Jungle Island has to be seen to be believed.

Seaquarium & Everglades Safari Park
If you're old enough to remember it, you'll recognise Miami's Seaquarium from the popular television series, Flipper. See the dolphin show and the killer whale show, and check out the endangered animal exhibits. You can even swim with the dolphins; it's a rare opportunity to bond with these gentle, intelligent creatures. For something completely different, get up close and personal with the alligators on an Everglades Safari Park tour.

Parks and Gardens
Miami's many local parks and public spaces offer a slice of low-key tropical life. Biscayne National Park lays claim to America's first underwater park; ninety-five percent of the park is underwater, making it a snorkeller's paradise. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, with its pathways and a free tram, offers sprawling grounds over 2 acres, comprising ferns, palms and exotic fruit trees year-round. For a bit of authentic South Beach action, head to Flamingo Park, and for a spot of people watching and the odd celebrity encounter, to Lummus Park Beach, otherwise known as South Beach on Ocean Drive.

Extreme Sports
Miami boasts a wide variety of extreme sports. Take the adrenaline up a notch when you go parasailing, paragliding, bungee jumping or abseiling. Play paintball or lasertag. Try zorbing – rolling rapidly down an incline inside a transparent ball – or skydiving. If it's water sports you're into, go snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, wakeboarding, kiteboarding and jetskiing. Learn to fly a helicopter, go camping, trekking, mountain biking and mountaineering.

Xanthe Coward

Xanthe's favourite travel destinations are the Greek Islands, Indonesia, Fiji and Vanuatu. With a background in performing arts, fine food, wine and good times, Xanthe enjoys travel that brings her close to the locals and their leisure activities. Being a theatre reviewer means that Xanthe will always do dinner and a show before checking out the late night city scene and still be up early to find the markets and a decent pot of chai.