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Traveling is going to look very different this year for most families, as we’re still navigating during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many people are staying in the U.S. this year, and when they are traveling, they’re taking additional safety precautions such as wearing facial coverings.
Miami is one destination you might be considering, and if so, there are certain things to keep in mind if you are traveling as a family. Here is everything you need to know about navigating Miami with kids: what to do, how to get around, where to eat and where to stay.
Miami with Kids
Getting Around in Miami
If you’re driving to Miami, then you’ll use your car to get around. If not, you might want to rent a car, which makes getting around simpler than getting a taxi with kids. If you’re staying at a resort with a lot of onsite dining and entertainment options, you only need to think about how to get from the airport to the resort, and probably won’t need a rental car, unless you are planning a day trip out of the city.
A taxi from the airport to many areas of the city will cost around $50 each way. If you’re staying in an area like Miami Beach, you will be able to walk to restaurants and other attractions without having to pay for a rental car or an Uber.
There are trolleys that run in Miami, but with kids, this might not be the most reliable option because they tend to run late. It is a fun thing to do with kids though – just plan in some extra time.
There’s also the Metrorail that will take you to Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and South Miami for around $5 round trip.
Where to Stay in Miami
The area of Miami that most people think of first is Miami Beach, as well as South Beach. The beaches are beautiful and there are wonderful family-friendly resorts in this area like Loews Miami Beach. With that being said, you should also be aware that this area can get raucous and has a party vibe.
If you want the beach, but you want to be in a quieter area, you might think about heading to Key Biscayne.
A fabulous family-friendly hotel that’s in a more residential area is the Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables. Coral Gables has beautiful old homes, and the hotel itself is stunning architecturally. It also has one of the largest pools in the country.
If you want to splurge, there’s the Fisher Island Hotel & Resort which is located on a private island in Biscayne Bay. The hotel has plenty of amenities include multiple outdoor pools, 18 tennis courts, and a nine-hole golf course. The rooms and suites are spacious and work well for families, and you can get a cottage with a kitchenette, which always comes in handy when traveling with kids.
If you want an urban environment, stay in downtown Miami. The Miami Kimpton EPIC is a good option, and most rooms have double beds. There are junior suites with pull-out sofa beds, too.
Where to Eat in Miami
If you can deal with sugar overload, for a fun restaurant think about the Sugar Factory on Ocean Drive. It’s a massive 3,000 square feet restaurant with a patio overlooking South Beach located inside the Hotel Victor, with an adjacent sweets store, as the name suggests.
The menu is extremely kid-friendly, and the focus is on the crazy drinks and deserts.
The Wharf is a venue on the Miami River and you’ll find different food pop-ups from local chefs. You can have a scenic lunch during the day, and in the evenings there’s often music and even dancing. Children can go to the Wharf until sundown on the weekends.
Joe’s Stone Crab is an icon in Miami since 1913. It’s very family-friendly and the seafood is wonderful and fresh because the owners of the restaurant have their own fisheries.
What to Do in Miami with kids
You won’t be bored in Miami, that’s certain. There are beaches, of course, but there’s more to the city than that if you’re traveling with kids.
If you rent a car, there are a number of Florida road trips you can take from Miami. A popular day trip is going to the Everglades. If you opt for that, you can take an airboat tour in Everglades National Park.
Other things to do with kids in Miami include:
- For a cultural experience and delicious food, go to Little Havana. You can get authentic Cuban fare and stop for ice cream with flavors like coconut flan.
- The Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach is popular for families. You can walk down the pedestrian street, and there’s a farmer’s market on the weekends.
- The Seaquarium is located on Virginia Key and there is a 300,000-gallon tropical reef, as well as a pirate playground, sea turtles, sea lions, and flamingos.
- The Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventure leaves from Downtown. You can take a boat ride of a 55-foot catamaran that goes at speeds up to 50 MPH. You might see South Beach, the Cape Florida Lighthouse, and Fisher Island, depending on the specific tour you take.
- Key Biscayne is quiet and beautiful. Crandon Park is a must-do with kids. This two-mile beach has calm water, you can rent a cabana, and there’s a beach playground. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is also on Key Biscayne, and you can climb to the top of the Cape Florida Lighthouse.
- Coconut Grove features the CocoWalk outdoor shopping center, and there’s Peacock Park.
- The Venetian Pool is in Coral Gables and it’s the most luxurious public pool you might ever see. It’s also the only pool on the National Register of Historic Places. It features Mediterranean architecture, a water cave, and a waterfall.
- Also in Coral Gables is Matheson Hammock Park. The beach has no waves because it’s a human-made atoll pool, so it’s a good option even for young children. There’s a snack bar, and a restaurant made in coral at the park. There are also nature trails.
Miami might not be the first place you think of for a vacation with your kids, but it can actually make a great option. There’s natural beauty, culture, energy, and fantastic food.
Photo Credit: All photos used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Kobra Mural by Arthur T. LaBar; (2) Miami Trolley by Phillip Pessar; (3) Loews Miami by Bob B. Brown; (4) Joe’s Stone Crab by Wally Gobetz; (5) Green Iguana in Coral Gables by Judy Gallagher