15 Best Things to Do in North Miami, FL

North Miami, FL
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Between 1926 and 1931, North Miami went by “Town of Miami Shores” after 38 out of 47 registered voters agreed to form an official town.

After incorporation, the government issued $287,000 in bonds to help build sidewalks, a town hall, fire protection, and a water system.

By 1945, soldiers who fought in World War II brought their families to North Miami and ushered in a period of tremendous growth.

For decades, the town built homes, shops, stores, and office buildings.

The town had grown so quickly that in just six years, North Miami became one of the fastest-growing towns in the country.

North Miami, now a city, is home to a large contingent of Haitian-Americans. Prominent Haitian-Americans have served as mayors, too.

For example, the Republican Josaphat Celestin became its first Haitian-American mayor in 2001.

Another Haitian immigrant, Philippe Bien-Aime, became mayor in 2019.

Today, North Miami remains a bustling hive of activity and tourism. It’s got plenty of attractions to give you a good time and an unforgettable stay.

Do you want to know more about North Miami, FL?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in the city:

Bring Your Camera to the Oleta River State Park

Beach entrance of Oleta River State Park
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You can find the largest urban park in Florida at the Oleta River State Park.

When you enter, you’ll feel the embrace of the stillness as you navigate the mangroves at this protected estuary.

Scenic view of Oleta River State Park
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Over 1,000 acres of greenery offer tourists a bevy of possible activities.

For example, you can go kayaking, biking, camping, swimming, or hiking here.

Rows of kayak boats at Oleta River State Park
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Whatever you do, bring your camera because you’ll never know when an osprey will come swooping into your field of view.

History buffs would also appreciate knowing that the Tequesta Indians had settled in this area before the Europeans arrived.

Sunny day at Oleta River State Park
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Have Fun Indoors at Dezerland Park

If you want to stay indoors, you can bring the family to Dezerland Park in North Miami.

This new complex spans 250,000 square feet and provides dozens of indoor entertainment options and attractions.

For example, you can bring your kids to the Virtual Reality Park or the Miami Arcade, featuring over 200 games.

Likewise, you can take them go-kart racing, rock climbing, or a bumper car driving.

These engaging activities make the complex a terrific venue for corporate team-building events or plain and simple family fun.

Check Out Masterpieces at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

Exterior of Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
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The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami houses over 400 artworks in its permanent collection.

Many of these artworks come from some of the world’s best contemporary artists, like Keith Haring.

The MOCA has also loaned out this collection to the world’s biggest galleries and museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Every year, the MOCA also displays eight to ten art installations on the grounds, showing its commitment to featuring only the most innovative and provocative art.

Besides its collections, the MOCA also hosts programs such as artist forums, lectures, and art classes.

Learn Native American History at the Arch Creek Park & Nature Center

Like many other cities in the US, North Miami has a rich Native American history.

You can start your education at the Arch Creek Park & Nature Center.

This place gets its name from the natural bridge that crossed a small creek that flowed to Biscayne Bay from the Florida Everglades.

Before the European settlers arrived, the Tequesta Indians lived in the area, and they crossed the bridge to get around in the 19th century.

This limestone bridge collapsed in the 1970s, but the city built a replica to remind tourists about this part of history.

The nature center is also quite small, at only nine acres, but it offers city dwellers a way to explore the great outdoors without going too far.

Follow the half-mile trail to see a grove of gumbo limbo trees, strangler figs, and live oaks.

Likewise, the creek is also home to birds like the kingfisher and the egret.

The nature center also hosts exhibits on the Tequesta Indians and the early European settlers in Miami.

Bring Your Kids to the Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park

Your kids will surely enjoy frolicking at the Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park, and not just because of its charming name.

You’ll find 22 acres of forest canopies, native wildlife, and a scenic landscape filled with subtropical plants when you enter.

The park also sits on the border of Arch Creek, and it features butterfly gardens, horse stables, and a monument to the pillars of the LGBT community of Greater Miami.

Bring your kids to the playground or let them run around the open fields.

You can observe the butterflies in their gardens or enter the nature center for educational programs for kids.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Historic Art Deco District

The road of Historic Art Deco District
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Just 19 minutes from North Miami lies the historic Art Deco District in Miami Beach.

This district contains the highest number of Art Deco-designed buildings anywhere in the United States, numbering 800 buildings in all.

Colorful sunset at Historic Art Deco District
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You can join guided walking tours with the Miami Design Preservation League. Likewise, you can do a self-guided tour if you want to keep your privacy.

Besides Art Deco buildings, you’ll also find many buildings in the Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern (MiMo) styles.

Don’t be afraid of missing the tours, too, because they run every day.

Exterior of buildings at Historic Art Deco District
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Learn Art History at the Art Deco Museum

Exterior of Art Deco Museum
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Thanks to its diverse population, Miami Beach has a rich community culture with a strong architectural heritage.

If you want to know more, visit the Art Deco Museum.

You’ll learn everything you need to know about the three major design philosophies that animate the neighborhoods and districts of Miami Beach.

View of Art Deco Museum from across the street
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These would be the Mediterranean Revival, the Miami Modern (MiMo), and the Art Deco styles.

Find out what makes Miami Beach a unique architectural marvel that other cities have trouble replicating.

The museum carries engaging and entertaining exhibits about these styles, reflecting what makes Miami Beach special and attractive to travelers.

Reflect on the Past at the Miami Holocaust Memorial

Outstretched hand sculpture at Miami Holocaust Memorial
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Miami is home to a sizable Jewish population, including a group of Holocaust survivors.

These survivors conceived of the idea to build a Holocaust memorial in 1984.

Memorial wall of Miami Holocaust Memorial
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After nearly a decade, the Holocaust Memorial Committee opened the Miami Holocaust Memorial to the public in 1990.

If you want to reflect on the violence of history, drop by this memorial.

One of the main features of the complex is the Memorial Wall, listing the names of the people whom the Nazis killed during the Holocaust.

Figures of victims at Miami Holocaust Memorial
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You’ll also find an imposing bronze sculpture in the middle of the complex.

The sculpture is of an outstretched hand, with a tattoo of an Auschwitz number, with bronze figures of the victims surrounding it.

Figures of victims at Miami Holocaust Memorial
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Commune with Nature at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Name sign of Miami Beach Botanical Garden
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Even though it covers three acres, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden teems with plant life.

You’ll find over 100 various species of palm, orchids, and other native plants, including the corky stem.

The number and variety of plants also attract native insects like the striped zebra longwing butterfly, the official state butterfly of Florida.

Tree near a body of water at Miami Beach Botanical Garden
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Don’t worry if you don’t know much about plants.

You can simply explore the grounds and immerse yourself in this tropical oasis in the middle of Miami Beach.

Likewise, you can ponder the mysteries of life at the Japanese Garden, with an accompanying serene koi pond.

Butterfly at Miami Beach Botanical Garden
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Hold Your Next Event at the Milander Center for Arts & Entertainment

On the other hand, Hialeah also offers the Milander Center for Arts & Entertainment, your one-stop shop for special events and occasions.

The center has various amenities that fit any event, from corporate meetings to weddings, baby showers, and family reunions.

Likewise, the facility is spacious enough to hold up to 800 people.

You can have a brief corporate meeting with ten people or fill the space with an extravagant wedding reception.

If you’ve ever thought about holding a special event out of town, the Milander Center might be your best bet.

Splash around at the Venetian Pool

The waters of Venetian Pool
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This time, drive 20 minutes away from North Miami to arrive at the nearby Coral Gables, where you can find the popular Venetian Pool.

This place cements a unique moment in Miami history, making it an unmissable attraction.

The sheer beauty of the Venetian Pool might make it hard to believe, but this place was once a rock quarry.

In 1924, the real estate developer George Merrick took his Mediterranean inspiration and built Coral Gables.

People swimming on the Venetian Pool
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Coral Gables’ centerpiece was the Venetian Pool, carved out of a sheer rock face, where locals could hang out and socialize.

The Venetian Pool contains 820,000 gallons of fresh water drawn from underground aquifers and artesian wells.

Likewise, you can find palm trees decorating the area, along with coral rocks and waterfalls.

You can even explore some caves there.

Entrance gate of Venetian Pool
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Pick a Horse at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

Horse racing enthusiasts from all over the country have called the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino one of the United States’ top racetracks.

When you go there, you’ll see why.

The park complex has a gorgeous casino on the grounds, which houses over 800 game machines, covering blackjack to electronic roulette.

You’ll also find 33 poker tables so that you can try out your poker face at any of them.

When your stomach grumbles, head to the various restaurant and bar choices.

The pari-mutuel betting at this complex also runs all year.

Study Urban Art at the Wynwood Walls Museum

Entrance of Wynwood Walls Museum
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After traveling just 15 minutes down from North Miami, you’ll reach downtown Miami, the crown jewel of South Florida.

You might want to visit Wynwood Walls before you go anywhere else, though.

This collection of graffiti shows tourists another dimension to the glossy and glamorous Miami.

In the early 2000s, the radical entrepreneur and patron of the arts, Tony Goldman, decided to revive the Wynwood district.

Colorful art piece at Wynwood Walls Museum
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His company, Goldman Properties, turned the failing district into an open-air art gallery.

Today, you can’t turn your head in Wynwood without seeing a piece of urban art on the buildings or the walls.

The murals covering the walls and buildings also change regularly, reflecting the artists' creative journeys who go through Wynwood for inspiration.

Entrance of Wynwood Walls Museum
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Explore the Garden of the Arts

Hialeah, Florida, sits just 15 minutes from North Miami, providing its twist to the art gallery with the open-air museum called the Garden of the Arts.

The Miami-Dade County Building Better Communities Bond Program built the Garden to inspire artists to create and express themselves.

When you enter, you’ll find a system of paved trails and a lot of green spaces.

You’ll also find historical murals, benches, and monuments to Hialeah’s past.

The place also has an amphitheater, a raised stage, and turf seating.

Blow Some Glass at Hollywood Hot Glass

Exterior of Hollywood Hot Glass
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If you think your North Miami trip can’t get more exciting, think again.

Just drive 16 minutes from North Miami, and you’ll reach Hollywood, Florida, where you can find the Hollywood Hot Glass studio.

Treat your eyes and imagination to the awe-inspiring feat of glassblowing, turning pieces of glass into eye-catching vases, bowls, and lamps.

Sunny day at Hollywood Hot Glass
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You can even learn the basics of glassblowing from the master craftsmen and women onsite.

While working with these master artisans, you can craft your glass wonder in just 20 minutes.

What better way to grab a souvenir than making one yourself?

Final Thoughts

North Miami and its surrounding locales have various activity and entertainment options for the curious tourist.

You can learn more about art and history in a single weekend here than you might anywhere else.

Likewise, these places offer terrific places to beat the summer heat that are as beautiful as they are refreshing.

Besides, you don’t even have to drive very far to reach these places.

Why wait?

Book your North Miami trip today!