Some may say bucket lists are overrated, but if you had a bucket list of things to do in Miami, these five things would be on it. In a city packed with must-dos from the beaches to shopping to barhopping, this list has the things you might overlook, like the city’s rich history, iconic art and over-the-top beauty, with a Florida delicacy thrown into the mix.
- Grab a Mallet: Because the surprisingly strong shell of a Florida stone crab claw can only be cracked with that or a hammer. After the sharp shards are cleared away, however, you’re left with firm, sweet-tasting meat that looks and tastes like lobster. Tie on a bib and sample this Florida delicacy at the swanky South Beach institution Joe’s Stone Crab, which serves it boiled and chilled with a mustard sauce or melted butter. Joe’s doesn’t take reservations, but it claims the wait at the bar is a “legendary see-and-be-seen experience.” If you care about eating more than eye candy, arrive before 7 p.m. or come on a weekday. The wait can take hours. Note that stone crab is only available in season, from October 15 through May 15.
- Walk Streets Lined with Art: You think you know what graffiti is, and then you go to the Wynwood Arts District. What used to be a neighborhood of run-down warehouses and factories is now home to one of the world’s largest open-air street art installations. Art’s everywhere here — in galleries and museums, in restaurants and bars, as well as on exterior walls as huge murals and graffiti. It’s even on the sidewalks. Go for an Art Walk, held from 6-10 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month.
- Watch the World’s Fastest Game: Because the hard rubber ball can be thrown faster than 180 miles per hour, Jai-alai is known for its fast pace. Watch it at the 6,500-seat Casino Miami. Formerly called Miami Jai-Alai, this place has been described as the “Yankee Stadium of Jai Alai.”
- Swim in a Historic Pool: You’ve probably never dipped in a public pool quite like this. Famous for resembling a natural lagoon in Venice, Coral Gables’ Venetian Pool is carved out of coral, has waterfalls, caves, a bridge and is lined with palm trees. At 820,000 gallons, it’s the country’s largest freshwater pool, and it’s been here since 1923.
- See the Sunrise over South Beach: If you haven’t been up all night taking advantage of South Beach nightlife, set your alarm and get to the top of the parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road for the sunrise. The place offers views from every angle (so you can watch the sunset here, too). The striking, $65 million concrete and glass structure, more work of art than parking garage, houses 16 shops, a home, an eye-catching open-air event space and restaurants. And, of course, 300 parking spaces.