A white sail propels a 50-foot sailing catamaran out into Biscayne Bay. The wind-powered watercraft belongs to Playtime Watersports, whose captains narrate ocean sailing tours or host private and corporate events as sunsets paint the sky. Elsewhere on the bay, wave runners and pontoon boats—two of Playtime Watersports' other rental watercraft options—churn up water as they drag race with thrill-seeking dolphins.
Despite its name, Playtime Watersports doesn't limit itself to on-water revelry. The staff hosts corporate outings such as Beach Olympics, with events including beach volleyball, sand sculpting, and scavenger hunts.
Sporting Miami-Dade's oldest liquor license, Tobacco Road has been the city's quintessential bar for more than 100 years. A speakeasy where Al Capone reportedly once drank and gambled, Tobacco Road now specializes in what Frommer's lauds as "good and greasy bar fare." Bites range from houesmade empanadas and smoked baby-back ribs to the "death burger"—Angus beef crowned with grilled onions, jalapenos, and jack cheese.
As bartenders pour top-shelf liquors and beers, musicians rock out every night on the same stage once graced by blues luminaries, such as John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy. The party lasts until 5 a.m. every night, leaving just enough time for Tobacco Road's vampire maintenance crew to clean up before sunrise.
Thanks to a generous $35 million donation, the Miami Art Museum is now called the Perez Art Museum Miami, and has a shiny new home to match the label change. The Museum serves as the anchor to new 29-acre Museum Park, which overlooks glimmering Biscayne Bay. The updated digs were designed by Pritzker-Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron and are dedicated to international art of the 20th and 21st centuries, laid out across three stories. At more than triple the floor space of their previous home, the Perez is modern and contemporary, housing more than 1,300 works across a range of media. There is also Verde, a lovely waterfront restaurant and bar, where the menu is locally-inspired and created with seasonal ingredients.
HistoryMiami celebrates Miami's unique legacy with rotating exhibits tracing the area’s history from prehistoric times to the modern day. On the first Wednesday of every month, HistoryMiami throws down an open smorgasbord of live jams, fine wine, and tempting tidbits to flutter the wings of local social butterflies. July's Wine Down Wednesday celebrates the new Aviation in Miami exhibit with a special performance by the Oscar Fuentes Combo, whose poetic, Latin-fused rhythms evoke the history of Florida's skies, from Howard Gill's cardinal flight a century ago to today's majestic herds of domesticated clouds. Imbibe from the open wine and food bar while enjoying access to the museum galleries, outdoor courtyard, and spectral Crockett and Tubbs. Free parking is available at Cultural Parking Garage at 50 Northwest Second Avenue.
From its humble beginnings in 1949, the Miami Science Museum has expanded into a sprawling facility that includes informative exhibits, the Planetarium, and the Wildlife Center. Many current exhibits teach kids about scientific principles using interactive elements. Visitors literally light up the dance floor at the Energy Tracker exhibit— boogying down helps power neon lights underneath the glass floor. At Moving Things, youngsters can learn about the physics of moving objects by dropping objects of different shapes into flowing water, or they can challenge their spatial reasoning skills by packing blocks into perfect cubes.
The four-story dome at the Planetarium has a daily schedule of stargazing shows. Some of these take audiences on informative expeditions through the solar system and various constellations they might not typically see, such as the elusive Medium Dipper.
The Wildlife Center, meanwhile, is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of raptors; here, guests can encounter an owl, falcon, and eagle.
The Miami Children’s Museum is the one place you will never hear adults telling kids not to touch stuff. This safe space for young ones is all about interacting with the exhibits and having fun, by way of some fourteen galleries that boast permanent exhibits including a six-foot piggy bank and a 900-gallon marine tank in the ocean odyssey section. In addition to the permanent exhibits, there is a constant rotation of traveling showpieces, which have included all manner of educational entertainment, including a literacy adventure through childhood, where the worlds of seven picture books come to life. And one weekend a month the museum hosts Sensory Saturday, an environment specifically created for children with special needs to come and explore the museum.