It's easy to forget amid all of the concrete and neon, but Miami is an ancient place. Eons before the first modern residents began to move into the Coconut Grove cemetery, indigenous people were shielding themselves from the elements using the region's natural rock ridge and sunless tanning salons. Today, Ghost Tours Miami visits the restless spirits that have gathered here over the centuries, including the specters in the windows of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Pirates, pilots, gangsters, and those too close to gangsters have all met their ultimate fate in this tropical cove, and the photographs and stories of spooked tour guests testify to their continued presence.
Seaplane Tours uses a fleet of Cessna 206s to whisk flightless sightseers into the sky enabling them to view Miami's perpetual realness from a rarely seen vantage point. Settle in with up to three of your closest friends for a 15-minute Miami-area sky tour and marvel at the breathtaking scenery of downtown Miami, South Beach, Star Island, and Fisher Island. Each passenger will soar equipped with a personal viewing window and headset to speak with the pilot or pretend to be working at the world's first airborne drive-thru.
The Event Depot's team will do anything to take a party to the next level—they'll even build a snow-covered mountain in the host's backyard. Their snow services transform pockets of Miami into winter wonderlands, converting yards into snowy peaks for sledding or building full-fledged ice-skating arenas.
They also furnish parties with less frosty accessories. Kids frolic in bounce houses and inflatables, and waterslides and dunk tanks keep parties wet and wild. Hosts can even rent the company's indoor and outdoor party venues, saving them the hassle of post-party clean-up and dropping leftover balloon animals off at the pound.
A two-day pass aboard the Hop On Hop Off Tour provides riders with accessible transit and the cranial expansion of local knowledge. Throughout the route, a narration crafted by expert locals will keep you up to speed on where you are, where you are going, and where to direct your photographic and human irises. Non-English-speaking guests or bilingually curious natives can tune in to multilingual headsets along the ride. In addition to directing rubberneckers, the local good-times gurus at Gray Line lead wide-eyed wonderers into cultural hotbeds and fashionable storefronts. Riders who want to simply sink into the sun-soaked sand can browse the beach buffet out their window, hopping off when the bus reaches a towel-worthy strip.
As you stroll across Fruit and Spice Park's grassy fields, an occasional piece of fruit falls from a neighboring tree. But it's not an apple or a berry you can easily find in a local supermarket—rather, it may be a specimen native to the Caribbean or South America, its shape foreign to your teeth, which want so badly to bite into its juicy flesh but aren't sure how. At Fruit and Spice Park, seasoned gardeners grow abundant specimens from tropical areas around the world, including 70 kinds of bamboo, 15 types of jackfruit trees, and edibles such as Fiji longan and jaboticaba across 39 acres.
Visitors meander freely through banana groves and African baobab trees, and they can also follow a guide during tours to learn more about plant species and which fruit seeds bear an uncanny likeness to Abraham Lincoln's silhouette. Throughout strolls, guests may help themselves to any of Mother Nature's home cooking that has naturally fallen to the ground, including mangoes, dragon fruit, and papayas, or venture to the tasting table at the entryway to sample the season's bounty.
Park staffers also gather visitors for a range of events such as stargazing, outdoor festivals, and plant-use tutorials, where they divulge helpful information such as which plants are medicinal and how to play dead during tree attacks. During regular park hours, chefs at the Mango Café pile plates with casual fare, often using the park's own fruit and vegetables, and the gift shop lets guests bring home harvest jams and aromatic teas.
True to its name, more than 95% of Biscayne National Underwater Park is covered by water, resulting in a submerged, verdant landscape. In the shallows of Biscayne Bay, explorers can catch sight of waving fields of underwater grass as well as the occasional manatee, sea turtle, or wild submarine. Kayaks paddle out to the more than 30 islands dotting the park’s expanse, reaching destinations such as a 1930s lighthouse. Venturing out from the shore filled with lush mangrove forests, snorkelers dive into living reefs to see fish and turtles gluing the coral together.