We will be in Miami a day before and after our cruise in January. Any suggestions for restaurants/activities that we should try to hit? Our hotel is mid-beach but we are open to travel. Kids have only been to the ocean a couple of other times so we might decide to just lay on the beach all day (weather permitting).
You could do the Frost Museum of Science or Children’s Museum as well.
Thanks! I will check those out!
I think it’s tough to beat Miami beaches in January - one of the few places in the USA with tolerable ocean temps at that time, other than Hawaii. But Little Havana is also interesting for older kids, with lots of cool shops, restaurants, and street artists, and relatively inexpensive.
Thank you for the recommendation! We will have DD15 and DS8 with us. DD15 has an ocean phobia so I don’t know if she’ll get in the water but she does like walking the beach searching for shells, etc. I’ll look into Little Havana!
Your daughter has ocean-phobia and you are taking her on a cruise?..do she know that…well…she will be surrounded by her worst nightmare the entire time?
Anyways, I always recommend to take the art deco walking tour that starts from the art deco visitor’s center on ocean drive. The tour is given by long-time locals and really helps appreciating some of the finer details of art deco arquitecture.
Little Havana/Calle Ocho is a good place to go too but I advise against just taking an uber and “walking it”. Take a walking tour like the “Litlle Havana Walking Tour” (https://littlehavanawalkingtour.com/) instead otherwise you will miss the richness of the history.
I also always recommend that if you want to swim with dolphins, seal, stingrays, etc to skip the cruise excursion and save a few hundreds by doing it at the Miami Seaquarium, follow them on insta or groupon for discounts.
I recommend to avoid the Frost and Children’s museum. There’s nothing original about them other that they are in Miami but they are just like any other sicence/children’s museum in the country.
If your kids are up for it, the treetop trekking at Jungle Island is also fun.
Ha! Luckily she is just afraid to get IN the ocean (with sharks, jellyfish, and particularly barracudas). We took our first cruise in Jan. 2020, it stopped at Key West and we went to the beach at the state park there. The first thing we saw was a big board listing all of the dangerous animals in the ocean. You can imagine how well that went over. But being on the ocean has so far been okay.
Thank you for all of the suggestions! I will check out the walking tours and Jungle Island!
We were in Miami a year ago for a couple of days. We really enjoyed eating the fried chicken at Yardbird. Miami - Yardbird. We said it was the best fried chicken we have ever had! We even ordered another 1/2 a chicken…
We also enjoyed Puerto Sagua for Cuban food. We had the ox tail, ropa vieja, and a fried whole fish. They were all so delicious. But our most favorite are the Cuban Black Beans. They are tasty, creamy. and rich but supposedly vegetarian. https://www.yelp.com/biz/puerto-sagua-restaurant-miami-beach.
The only other restaurant we tried and would recommend is Joe’s Stone Crab. It will be stone crab season in January still and a unique experience if you are into seafood. We didn’t care for it because we are used to Dungeness Crab in the SF Bay Area. Dungeness are deliciously sweet!
Thank you! We will check out those restaurants! Was looking forward to good Cuban food and Puerto Sagua sounds amazing!
I would give yourself full permission to spend the time on the beach (or the walking areas like Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road if not the actual beach). I don’t find anything on the mainland that compelling for that short of a visit to make it worth the car time (I say this as someone who grew up on the mainland lol).
Jungle Island is fun and convenient with some beautiful animals but I find it super up-salesy and it gets really expensive really quickly (and I say THAT part as a frequent WDW spender lol).
Why is so much easier to justify those Disney dollars?! That is good to know though about Jungle!
Totally! If it is part of your overall Disney vacation though maybe the conversion works differently!
I think this is the wrong way to think about it. Animal encounters, treetop treking, and garden admission are all advertised as separate experiences and paying for one does not require paying for the other one. You can have a great experience just focusing on one without feeling short-changed for not doing the other one. This is why my specific recommendation was for treetop trekking exclusively which in my opinion is the only one worth it at the time since the island was closed to public for two more years and even now shows and exhibits haven’t come back.
I always find it weird that this forum is so adverse to up-selling but throws buckets loads of money for dessert parties, ILL, G+, park hoppers, etc.
I’m sorry, I did not mean to be dismissive of your suggestion and admit that your specific recommendation (of the treetop journey) is not something that I can speak to. We do something similar locally and love it
I should have mentioned that my past experiences were mostly pre-2020 (there was also a weird visit we made since but it was not officially open at the time so not representative).
I just have always come away from there feeling a bit like a death from a thousand papercuts (this or that animal encounter, tip for the parrot guy etc etc) and spending almost Disney ticket money for about 2 hours of entertainment.
No doubt someone could do better with some more effort but just sharing my experience.