By: Kara Franker
Head to these spots for unforgettable views of the Magic City.
From the shores of South Beach and sparkling high-rises of Downtown Miami, to quaint Coral Gables and even the lush farmland of Homestead, there’s no denying that Miami is a beautiful city. But with so much to see, it’s hard to know where to go to get the absolute best views. Regarded as some of the most beautiful places in the Magic City, these locales are sure to give you a peek at a side of Miami like you’ve never seen before.
Everglades National Park
Spread across 1.5 million acres, Everglades National Park is the third-largest National Park in the Continental U.S., and the largest subtropical wilderness across the nation. Designated as a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance, this protected area is also home to a diverse range of rare and endangered species, habitats, miles of hiking, biking and nature trails and fishing areas. Natural bragging rights aside, a unique ecosystem like this is drop dead gorgeous. It’s a veritable maze of lush plant life and water expanding all the way out to the horizon, making it an ideal place to watch the sunset, whether from land, a canoe, an airboat ride, or on a helicopter tour gliding above it.
Views from the Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
The lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County, but climb to the top and you’ll see it’s other asset: those panoramic water views. Surrounded by golden beaches and the deep blue hues of Biscayne Bay, this historic lighthouse overlooks the historic free-standing structures out at Stiltsville. Perched on the sand flats around a mile offshore, Stiltsville is known for its colorful wooden shacks, which seem to hover right above the water.
Views of the Water from South Pointe Park Pier
Notably one of Miami’s most picturesque spots, South Pointe Park is the backdrop of many films and photo shoots. And when you see it, it’s no surprise why. The pier at South Pointe Park features 360-degree ocean views, and borders a lush green park and sandy beaches dotted with contemporary art sculptures, like the “Obstinate Lighthouse” by Tobias Rehberger. Go during sunset, and watch as cruise ships sail past Miami’s glowing horizon. There’s no doubt that the seascape views at South Pointe Park Pier are a sight to behold.
Views from Brickell of Biscayne Bay
With the towering high-rises and mirrored buildings lining Brickell Avenue, Brickell has become the hub of metropolitan living in Miami. Add that to the fact that it lines Biscayne Bay and has its own island, Brickell Key, and you get the best of both worlds. For some of the best views of the area, go straight to the top. The GMCVB Visitor's Center in Brickell on the 27th floor, Area31 at the EPIC Miami and the rooftop at Sugar at EAST, Miami overlook the best sights that Brickell has to offer. To combine that Miami skyline with 360-degree water views, head to the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Situated on Brickell Key, it’s home to some of Miami’s most beautiful backdrops.
Views at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove
Built by famed industrialist James Deering, the mastermind behind Miami’s historic Deering Estate, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a European-inspired estate located on 10 acres of lush tropical gardens on Biscayne Bay. Appropriately named a National Historic Landmark, Vizcaya was first built in the 1910s, and is exudes an ambiance that combines that Gilded and Jazz ages. Wander through its hardwood hammock, gardens and village, and you’ll be awestruck by the views: flowing fountains, antique statues, calm waters and seemingly endless acres of colorful gardens.
Views of the Historic Art Deco District in South Beach
South Beach is famous for its bright-colored Art Deco buildings, and for good reason. Around since the early 1930’s, these historic structures, often not more than three or four stories high, line the streets of Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. Take a walk in the Historic Art Deco District and you’ll find pastel buildings with everything from nautical motifs and dramatic shapes, to angular buildings with porthole windows and vibrant chandeliers. It paints a colorful picture of sunny Miami that is hard to rival.
Views along Miracle Mile in Coral Gables
Miracle Mile, the heart of Downtown Coral Gables, is one of Miami’s most desirable shopping destinations. The brainchild of historic developer George Merrick, the neighborhood has been dubbed “The City Beautiful” because of its unique architecture. Head to the section of Coral Way that runs between Le Jeune Road and Douglas Road, where you’ll find Miracle Mile is lined with Mediterranean-style buildings, lush palms strewn with lights and striking lampposts.
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