Downtown is the heart of Miami. By day there's plenty of activity as lawyers and bankers in suits share the sidewalks with Latino merchants wearing open-neck, intricately embroidered shirts called guayaberas. But it gets pretty quiet when all the merchants close up Miami shops for the night.
The Metrorail has stops throughout Miami as well as Miami-Dade County with connections to Tri-Rail to Miami International Airport, all Miami-Dade County bus lines, Tri-Rail and Amtrak. The main bus station in downtown is located in Uptown, in the Omni.
Public Transportation in the downtown area is used more than in any other part of Miami and is a vital part of downtown life. The Metromover free of charge train system runs 3 lines through downtown (the downtown loop, the Omni loop, and the Brickell loop), and the Metrorail, Miami-Dade County's heavy rail system, makes 3 stops in the downtown area at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station, Government Center Station, and the Brickell Station.
Bayfront Park, located at 301 Biscayne Blvd on the southern end of Downtown, is one of Miami's largest parks, with two amphitheaters (one large and a one smaller) and many live performances, classes, and other events. This park also has memorials for the astronauts who perished in the Challenger spaceship accident, former president John F. Kennedy (the JFK Torch of Friendship), and a fountain dedicated to Claude Pepper, a distinguished US congressman. </see>
Bayfront Park's sister park to the north is Bicentennial Park, a 29-acre park that opened in 1976. Currently, it is undergoing a major renovation; among the planned changes are new locations for the Miami Art Museum and the Miami Science Museum, and new outdoor spaces, including a "Baywalk". When the renovations are complete, the park will be renamed Museum Park.
- Perez Art Museum Miami (Miami Art Museum), 1103 Biscayne Blvd (Museum Park), ☎ +1 305 375-3000 ([email protected], fax: +1 305 375-1725), . Tu-W 10AM-6PM Th 10AM-9PM Sa-Su 10AM-6PM. Scheduled to open in December 2013 in the newly renovated and renamed Museum Park, this museum will showcase modern and contemporary works, with a special focus on international art, particularly that of Latin America, and local art of South Florida. The museum will also include a sculpture garden, and will regularly feature special exhibitions. $12, Seniors $10, Youth $6, Students and Members Free.
Central Business District
- Downtown Miami Historic District, (Bounded by Miami Ct, N 3rd St, W 3rd Ave, and S 2nd St). In the very heart of Downtown Miami lies the Downtown Miami Historic District, a collection of some 60 historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the buildings were built during the Florida land boom of the 1920s, although a few pre-1920 pioneer homes remain. Some historic buildings include: (25° 46′ 28.85″ N,80° 11′ 30.86″ W)
- Alfred I. DuPont Building, 169 E Flagler St. Constructed in 1939, this Moderne building was the first skyscraper built in Miami after the County Courthouse in 1928 and thus signifies the city's emergence from the Great Depression. It was the headquarters of the Florida East Coast Railway, the company that practically created Florida's tourist industry.
- Central Baptist Church, 500 NE 1st Ave. Constructed in 1925.
- City National Bank Building, 121 SE 1st St. Built just before a 1926 hurricane abruptly ended Florida's land boom, this classically-inspired building was the home of the J.C. Penney City National Bank and Trust Company before it failed during the Great Depression.
- The Congress Building, 111 NE 2nd Ave. Constructed in 1923.
- David W. Dyer Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 300 NE 1st Ave. Constructed in 1931, this is the largest limestone structure in South Florida.It is a quintessential example of the Mediterranean Revival architecture that dominated South Florida in the 1920s and 1930s and is still popular today.
- Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd. A Miami landmark, this bright yellow, Mediterranean Revival-style skyscraper was constructed in 1925. Originally the headquarters of the Miami News, it was later purchased by the federal government, which used it to process the thousands of Cuban refugees who came to the city during Fidel Castro's regime. Today, it is owned by Miami Dade College and used as a cultural and educational center that has exhibited works by masters such as Dali and Da Vinci, and as a monument to the city's Cuban population.
- Gesu Church, 118 NE 2nd St, ☎ +1 305 379-1424 (fax: +1 305 372-9544), . The oldest Catholic church in Miami, Gesu Church was built in 1896 and, in addition to being a fine example of religious architecture and craftsmanship, played an important role in the religious development and overall growth of Miami.
- Hahn Building, 140 NE 1st Ave. Constructed in 1921.
- Huntington Building (Consolidated Bank Building), 168 SE 1st St. Constructed in 1925.
- Ingraham Building, 25 SE 2nd Ave. Constructed in 1926.
- Meyer-Kiser Building (Dade Commonwealth Building), 139 NE 1st St. Constructed in 1925.
- Miami-Dade County Courthouse, 73 W Flagler St. Completed in 1928, this skyscraper was at one time the tallest building south of Baltimore, and is still in use as the county's main civil courthouse. Despite a significant fundraising effort, the lobby has yet to be restored to its original glory.
- Old U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, 100 NE 1st Ave. One of the older buildings in Downtown Miami (completed in 1914), this building was the headquarters of the Miami Weather Bureau Office for several decades, including during the Great Hurricane of 1926.
- Palm Cottage (Flagler Worker's House), 60 SE 4th St. Built in 1897, this is one of Miami's oldest buildings as well as one of the last associated with the great developer and railroad magnate Henry Flagler. It is believed that the cottage was one of several properties built by Flagler to house workers who were building the Royal Palm Hotel./see> :* <see name="Security Building" alt="Capital Building" address="117 NE 1st Ave" directions="" lat="" long="" phone="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Constructed in 1926.
- Shoreland Arcade (Dade Federal Savings), 120 NE 1st St. Constructed in 1925.
- HistoryMiami, 101 W Flagler St, ☎ +1 305 375-1492 ([email protected]), . Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 12PM-5PM. Previously known as the Historical Museum of South Florida, this museum presents the history of Miami and the South Florida region. Its centerpiece exhibition, Tropical Dreams, showcases the region's history beginning with the arrival of the first Native Americans some 10,000 years ago, and covers topics like the Spanish and French presence in Florida, the early pioneer era, the land boom of the 1920s, and the region's role in immigration from the mid-20th century to the present day. As a member of the Smithsonian Institution's affiliates program, the museum hosts excellent temporary exhibitions. $8, Students and Seniors $7, Children $5, Under 6 Free.
Like the Downtown Miami Historic District, Lummus Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In contrast to the Mediterranean Revival style characteristic of the land boom era, however, the Lummus Park Historic District features buildings from Miami's earliest history, the pioneer days of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Fort Dallas, 404 NW 3rd St (In the western portion of Lummus Park). One of the earliest examples of limestone architecture, Fort Dallas was constructed in 1836, during the Seminole War, and remained in use through the Civil War. It was moved to the park from its original site.
- Scottish Rite Temple.
- Trinity CME Church.
- William Wagner House (Wagner Homestead), 404 NW 3rd St. The oldest known house in Miami-Dade County, this house was built around 1857 by William Wagner, an early pioneer who moved to Florida with his much older Creole wife in the hopes that the area would be more tolerant of his interracial marriage. Like Fort Dallas, it was moved to the park from its original location.
Located just east of Bicentennial Park in Biscayne Bay, Watson Island is accessible from the Dolphin Expressway (I-395) and is home to some of Miami's top tourist attractions, including the Miami Children's Museum and Jungle Island.
- Ichimura Miami - Japanese Garden, 1101 MacArthur Causeway (Watson Island), ☎ +1 305 416-1320 ([email protected]), . Opened in 1961, this garden is currently being redesigned, with plans to reopen as a public park with cultural activities and special events.
- Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Tr (Watson Island), ☎ +1 305 400-7000 (fax: +1 305 400-7291), . M-F 10AM-5PM Sa-Su 10AM-6PM. Originally opened in 1936 in Pinecrest, a small town south of Miami, this attraction opened at its 18-acre current site on Watson Island in 2003. This large, interactive zoo is best known for its parrot population (its original name was "Parrot Jungle"), but it also features a 900-pound liger (a cross between a lion and a tiger), a habitat that recreates the Everglades, and a collection of other animals, from African penguins to lemurs. There are three daily shows presented: "Winged Wonders" features the parks' birds, "Wild Encounters" presents a rotating cast of big cats, and "Dr. Wasabi's Wild Adventures" showcases animals from around the world. $34.95, Seniors $32.95, Children $26.95.
- Miami Children's Museum, 980 MacArthur Causeway (Watson Island), ☎ +1 305 373-5437 (fax: +1 305 373-5431), . Daily 10AM-6PM. This interactive museum includes typical children's museum exhibits like a supermarket, a bank, and a castle, as well as Miami-specific exhibits like a model of a Carnival Cruise Ship, an Everglades Park, and exhibits on the region's history and culture. $16.
- Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E Flagler St, ☎ +1 305 374-2444 (fax: +1 305 374-0303), . Located just down the street from Bayfront Park, the Gusman Center features the magnificent Olympia Theatre, built in 1926 as a silent movie palace. Today, the theatre is home to the Miami Lyric Opera , which performs some of the most famous operas in the Italian and French repertoires. The theater is also available for private events.
- Ultra Music Festival, Bayfront Park, . Every March, electronic music fans from all over the world take over downtown Miami for this massive festival; last year's attracted more than 300,000 attendees. Buy your tickets early as the event sells out well in advance. Usually, the event takes place over two weekends; in 2014, however, it will be shortened to a single weekend, partially as a result of controversy over the widespread drug use at the festival and the burden it places on local residents and businesses. $400.
Boat tours and rentals
- Daysail and Sunset Sailing Trips, 555 NE 15th st #200, ☎ 561-281-2689, . Take a day or evening sailing trip around Downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay.
- Miami Boat Rentals and Yacht Charters, 10800 Collins Avenue (Collins at Haulover Beach Marina), ☎ 305-490-0049, . Fun and affordable Miami boat rentals and yacht charters. Enjoy Miami from the water - charter a yacht today! Visit website for online specials including a free jet ski or free hour on select vessels. Half day and full day yacht charters available.
- Buchwald Jewelers, 36 N.E. 1st street, suite 123, ☎ 305-373-love, . 10-5. The third largest jewelry building in th U.S. over 100 jewelry stores under one roof.
- Acero316, Inc, 36 NE 1st Street #622 (Sixth Floor) (Seybold Building), ☎ 786-494-0096, . 9-5. A jeweler known for their wholesale prices.
- Sabor a Peru, 2923 Biscayne Blvd, ☎ (305) 573-9637, . This place may appear to be a small hole in the wall restaurant but it is extremely well maintained and upkept and usually has a short wait for a table. They also offer take out and delivery. This venue is very popular. If you haven't tried Peruvian food before you must order the Ceviche (Fish/Seafood) and the Lomo Saltado (Beef).
- InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza. (http://www.icmiamihotel.com) 5 Star hotel. A Modern downtown hotel overlooking Biscayne Bay, adjacent to Bayside Marketplace, in the heart of Miami Florida. 641 newly redecorated rooms and 34 suites, offering views of the skyline and Biscayne Bay. 66,000 square feet of meeting space, including 30 meeting and conference rooms.
- Hotel Urbano, 2500 Brickell Ave, . 3 Star boutique style hotel near South Beach.
- Marriott Biscayne Bay, 1633 North Bayshore Drive, ☎ 305-374-3900, . This hotel sits on Biscayne Bay and is centrally located in relationship to South Beach, American Airlines Arena, Bicentennial Park, Midtown, and the Design District. All of the rooms offer some sort of view of the bay with a balcony. This hotel sits East of Biscayne Blvd which is very important since the area west of Biscayne Blvd is a little sketchy. It is under $10 to take a cab to South Beach as well as Port of Miami and the other venues listed above. The hotel is also close to many restaurants that are walking distance or provide delivery.
- Trump National Doral Miami, 4400 NW 87th Avenue, ☎ (305) 592-2000, . A resort offering hotel guestrooms and suites, championship golf, spa services, dining establishments and event facilities.
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