This summer, discover that there’s a lot more to Miami than what meets the eye! Although the beaches are every bit as gorgeous as you may have imagined and the night life every bit as vibrant, what really defines Miami is its multi-cultural history and unique way of life. To kickoff your historic tour of Miami, start with any of these five Miami attractions, each with its own fascinating story.

  1. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

    Welcome to America’s Gilded Age: the early 20th century. This elaborate estate, known as the Vizvaya Museum and Gardens, perfectly captures the essence of a time when the nation’s most wealthy tycoons celebrated their success by building opulent homes to rival the palaces of Europe. Today, this National Historic Landmark offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and welcomes tourists to roam its lush gardens and discover the treasures that lie inside the vast house.
  2. Coral Castle

    This entire "coral castle" was made by one man! This entire "coral castle" was made by one man!
    The Coral Castle has the most delightfully quirky story of all the Miami attractions. It is synonymous with the story of Ed Leedskalnin, a tiny little man obsessed with a woman who did not love him back. Heartbroken by unrequited love, Ed set out to build a monument, made entirely of coral, as a tribute to his lost love—a project that took him the better part of 28 years! Today, you can visit this intricate and quirky attraction, and find out more about Ed’s story.
  3. The Ancient Spanish Monastery

    Once referred to by Time magazine as “the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history,” the Ancient Spanish Monastery has a history that is near unbelievable. The monestary originally resided in Spain, with the construction beginning in 1133 AD! They monestary was occupied by Cistercian monks for 700 years until a social revolution in the 1830s in which the monestary’s Cloisters were seized and sold. After passing through a few hands (you’ll learn the rest of the story when you visit!), two multimillionare American purchased the buildings remains and reconstructed it in the same spot it resides today in Southern Florida.
  4. The Official Art Deco Walking Tour

    One of Miami's art deco masterpieces. One of Miami's art deco masterpieces.
    Art and architecure admirers will enjoy this 90-minute tour through the largest concentration of art deco buildings in the world. Characterized by bold geometry, rich color schemes, and ornate embellishments, the art deco style kicked off in France in the 1920s and became popular in the United States in the 30s before the beginning of World War II put a damper on the movement. The Miami Design Preservation League will enhance your Art Deco Walking Tour experience by offering local historians and architects as guides.
  5. HistoryMiami

    If you’re looking for Miami attractions that present an overview of the city’s dynamic history, HistoryMiami is a must-see attraction. Through multi-disciplinary approach, the attraction boasts collections, exhibitions, tours, classes, publications, and more. In the museum, you’ll find collections ranging from archeology to technology and learn the stories of Miami’s history through interactive, narrative-based exhibits.

Wherever Miami brings you this summer, remember to take a look beyond what meets the eye to the story behind the city.