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Miami outdoor activities

Miami? It’s all boats and beaches right? Well yes, it’s true that the city does offer both in abundance but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the great outdoors here, from mountain biking and hiking to city walks and croc spotting. Miami is a perfect city for walking around and people watching, enjoying as it does, stunning scenery and a fabulous eclectic mix of nationalities – the term “melting pot” is often over-used, but in this case it sums it up perfectly.

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Get me to the Everglades and make it snappy!

The Everglades National Park is as synonymous with Miami as its wonderful art deco architecture. Stretching over some 1.5 million acres of subtropical wilderness it’s one of the largest wetlands in the world, and to underline just how wet it is, it records some 150cm of rain a year – almost double that of Seattle. So, dress appropriately! The park, which is about an hour’s drive outside the city center in Miami is home not just to numerous crocodiles and alligators but a rare species of panther and over 360 kinds of birds. And if all that nature isn’t enough to satisfy you, it’s also home to a fascinatingly preserved Cold War missile base.

Everglades National Park

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The writing’s on the wall

If there’s one area that captures its alternative essence it’s Wynwood, which has come to be regarded as the epicenter of Miami in recent years. That is largely down to the artistic crowd that has transformed the place, and the proliferation of graffiti-covered walls. The makeover was the brainwave of real estate developer Tony Goldman. He came up with the concept of creating an “outdoor museum,” consisting of numerous large walls decorated with enormous graffiti artwork. For a curated look, visit the Wynwood Walls museum. The works give the area its unique flavor and make it well worth a wonder around during your stay.

Wynwood Walls

2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

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Mountain biking in Virginia Key Park

One of the best things about Miami is that if you want to escape the crowds and embrace nature, it’s not hard to find it a short distance away. For mountain biking enthusiasts there are plenty of great trails to suit all levels in many of the national parks that surround the city. Oleta river State Park is one good option, while Virginia Key Beach North Point Park, near Key Biscayne, has carved a reputation as one of the best places to head for in Miami. Perfect for all levels of rider, it will deliver on its promise for an adrenaline-pumped few hours in the great outdoors.

Virginia Key Beach North Point Park

3801 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami

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Sailing in Miami

It’s obvious to want to head out on a boat during a trip to Miami. And the options here are endless with every kind of vessel imaginable. For adrenaline junkies there is all manner of speedboats large or small, but for a more active experience, the sea around the city is perfect for sailing. There are several places around the city where you can join a charter, including Miamarina, Miami Beach Marina and Coconut Grove Marina to name just three. If you fancy combining a sea adventure with some bird watching, head for the Pelican Harbour Marina in North Bay Village, which is in a bird sanctuary on a 10-acre island.

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Wildlife watching in Biscayne National Park

You can see Miami across the bay from the Biscayne National Park, but once there it’s like being in another world. The park, mainly accessible by boat, is a fabulous place to give yourself a breather away from the bustling city. And you won’t be short of things to do, from water-based activities like snorkeling, sailing and diving to hiking and bird watching. Biscayne National Park is home to a huge diversity of tropical and subtropical animals and plants including over 500 species of reef fish, numerous neo-tropical water birds and plenty of endangered species.

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park, Miami

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Game Fishing in Miami

Few would argue that Miami is a fisherman’s paradise, offering offshore and inshore fishing for nearly every Atlantic gamefish species. For decades, the chance of reeling in sailfish, swordfish, wahoo and mahi has attracted anglers from all over the world. A great all year around option, spring and summer in particular, are especially popular as migratory species start arriving in the area. There are countless marinas and starting points to join what is an unforgettable adventure.

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