Zoo Miami#3 in Best Things To Do in Miami
This beautiful zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, representing more than 500 different species. It's famous for providing a natural environment for its residents without the use of cages – rather, the zoo employs strategically placed moats to separate the animals from the visitors.
Petting zoos and plenty of "edutainment" programs are sure to keep your little ones interested. The whole family will enjoy the giraffe feeding and mild rides. Recent visitors praise the zoo's cleanliness, the generous amount of space the animals have to roam and the friendly and knowledgeable employees. When planning your visit, keep a few traveler tips in mind: The zoo is large, meaning you'll be walking a fair amount, which will be alleviated by a good pair of sneakers. To avoid the crowds, get to the zoo right when it opens at 10 a.m. If you're visiting in the warmer months, you'll be happy to hear there are plenty of water fountains, misters and shaded play areas.
You'll find the zoo in South Miami, about 20 miles southwest from downtown. Driving is definitely the best way to get here, as it's the least hassle and parking is free. Public transportation is available via the Coral Reef Max bus, which provides service from the zoo to the Dadeland South Metrorail station. For more information on mass transit, click here.
The zoo is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., though you should make sure to arrive before 4 p.m. when the ticket booth closes. Basic admission ranges from $18.95 to $22.95, and there are discounts available for large groups, AAA members, military personnel and seniors. For more information, visit Zoo Miami's website.
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#1 Miami Beach
Travelers go to Miami mainly for Miami Beach and they go to Miami Beach mainly for South Beach, the region's unrivaled crown jewel, which visitors say they can't get enough of. Here, the art deco history of the city meets the bright lights and vibrant nightlife of the younger generation.
There's something for everyone in Miami Beach – and a lot of it. White sand, an eclectic dining scene, prime shopping, luxurious spas and world-class nightlife are all staples in Miami Beach. Just make sure to bring plenty of loot – Miami Beach can be done on a budget, but you'll severely limit your options and it won't be nearly as fun.