The Gold Coast Railroad Museum began in 1956, when train enthusiast William J. Godfrey chanced upon the miles of abandoned railroad track snaking through the pineland of University of Miami’s southern campus. He imported a newly retired steam engine to the premises, and a tribute to railroading history began.
Now in a new location in Miami proper, the museum continues to honor trains’ role in American history, with nine exhibits on locomotives, passenger cars, and the Richmond’s Naval Air Station’s fleet. Visitors can hop aboard a full-size diesel locomotive passenger coach, or take a ride a miniature children’s railroad that’s ideal for transporting shipments of Lincoln logs. Alternatively, they can run motorized or free-wheeling trains through a model railroad, which zips through mountain tunnels and circles around to-scale landscapes.
A nationally sourced all-star roster of professional singers, Seraphic Fire weaves complex vocals and dynamic performance into a shimmering audio-visual tapestry. Their popular Christmas program features English, Spanish, and American carols, sung with classical poise and seasonally appropriate gusto. Patrons can fill their ears amidst flickering candlelight, and enjoy sweeter sounds than those produced by well-intentioned but atonal door-to-door carolers and traveling reindeer choirs.
X-treme Rock Climbing offers a vertical maze of more than 14,000 square feet of climbing. USA Climbing–certified route setters mark basic paths for beginners, along with challenging roofs and overhangs for more experienced scalers. The routes change often, lending a layer of surprise to each return visit. Skilled instructors also teach students to master indoor and outdoor rock-climbing techniques, which they can use to blaze new paths at parks or reach top-shelf cereal boxes in grocery stores. In addition to climbing, X-treme Rock Climbing helps patrons achieve physical-fitness goals with yoga classes, a fitness center, and an onsite pro shop.
A local landmark for more than 50 years, Duffy's entertains patrons with 20 draft beers and an eclectic menu of hearty pub fare staples. A selection of 16 burgers anchor the sumptuous spread, with selections ranging from the jalapeno-topped Mexicali burger ($7.25) to the Italian burger ($7.25), smothered in marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Fish fans can incite a feeding frenzy with an appetizer of fried shrimp ($9.99) perched next to a choice of onion rings, potato salad, or steak or cheese fries, while fried clams ($6) escape an otherwise chowdery death in the company of fries and homemade tartar sauce. Though a food purchase is required with this Groupon, Duffy's offers a full drink menu including domestic, imported and craft beers.
Clattering pins echo across Bird Bowl’s 60 well-oiled lanes, underscoring postgame meals at the sprawling facility’s on-site restaurant and two bars. During competitive bowling bouts ($25+/hour), players lace up multicolored kicks before rolling weighty orbs toward pins beneath the kaleidoscopic grandeur of ocean-themed wall murals. Like text messaging, automatic scoring renders pencils and pens obsolete, ensuring wrists stay loose enough to toggle joysticks and sling air-hockey pucks in the on-site game room.