From Dubai to Miami: five cool must-see sights in the Florida city

From some of the world's best street art to an overload of nature, here's what not to miss on a visit to the Magic City

Emirates has launched direct flights from Dubai to Miami with the airline now flying visitors between the cities four times per week. Now that you can easily travel direct to Miami from Dubai, the famed city may be worth adding to your visit list.

Known for its white sandy beaches, endless sunshine and thriving arts scene, Miami has something for everyone.

The National travelled on Emirates' first direct flight to the Dubai airline's newest destination in the US on July 22.

After spending time exploring the city and checking out what there is to do and see, we have rounded up five of the coolest things you won't want to miss on a trip to Miami.

From world-renowned street art and immersive museums, to escaping into a nature-filled wonderland, here's our round-up of Miami must-dos:

Street art at Wynwood Walls

Whether you're an art connoisseur or are simply seeking a cool background for your holiday pictures, Wynwood is the place to go.

A little over 10 minutes drive from downtown Miami, this funky neighbourhood is full of colour.

Street art, murals and graffiti plaster the pavements, building facades and walls.

Also known as "The 305", in reference to its area code, the Wynwood neighbourhood has some of the best street art, not only in Miami, but in the world.

Conceived in 2009 by Tony Goldman, the late real estate visionary who also helped put New York's SoHo on the map, Wynwood Walls has transformed the former warehouse district of Wynwood into something much bigger.

Since its inception, the Wynwood Walls programme has hosted over 50 artists from 16 countries, with each adding their own mark to more than 7,400 square metres of wall space.

Every day, thousands of visitors flock to this former industrial zone of Miami to immerse themselves in the art and take pictures beside the colourful walls.

Official guided tours can be booked here:

Superblue Miami

A 14-minute drive from downtown Miami is the city’s newest museum, Superblue Miami. Having only opened in May, the destination is already building something of a following among both locals and visitors.

When visitors step inside the museum, they'll be fully immersed inside the art on display.

During The National's visit, the museum was hosting an interactive installation of soap bubble clouds created by teamLab, an international art collective.

Titled Massless Clouds Between Sculpture and Life, a white mass of soapy bubbles represents the visualisation of energy. Touching and engaging with the sculpture breaks the artwork, encouraging guests to think about the cause and effect of interaction and the regeneration of living things.

Clouds aside, the museum offers several other immersive works including brilliant digital floral patterns, a mirrored labyrinth and multisensory journeys.

Tickets start from $36 and are available here.

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

For a look at a quintessential grandiose Miami home, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a good choice. Previously known as Villa Vizcaya, it's the former estate of businessman and socialite James Deering.

A tribute to the Italian Renaissance, the mammoth estate dates back to the early 20th century and the ornate mansion still has much of the original furnishings and artwork inside.

Located just a six-minute drive from downtown Miami, it's well-worth a visit if you want to see one of Miami's Mediterranean Revival-style buildings in almost full former glory.

After enjoying the architecture and interiors, take in the Miami sunshine with a walk around the formal gardens. You might even bump into a newly married couple as you stroll, as the estate is super popular for wedding photoshoots.

You can buy tickets here.

Little Havana

Little Havana is the heart of Miami’s Cuban diaspora. The vibrant neighbourhood is packed full of Latin-inspired restaurants, cigar shops and original art galleries.

Its festivals, including the Calle Ocho Music Festival, Viernes Culturales and the Three Kings Parade are televised to millions of viewers every year on different continents, although Covid-19 related restrictions have greatly reduced the festivities of late.

If you are craving a great coffee, a Cubano sandwich or are keen to find out more about Miami's Cuban history and how the city became the Latin hub of Florida, a guided tour around Little Havana is the answer. Well-informed locals escort visitors on a walking tour of the area’s storied past, pointing out some of the must-see spots and revealing a few secrets along the way.

The Everglades National Park

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 7, 2017, clouds are reflected in the Florida Everglades, otherwise known as the river of grass, on Miccosukee Tribal land adjacent to Florida Everglades National Park, Florida. - Climate change has become the biggest threat to UN-listed natural world heritage sites like glaciers and wetlands, and has pushed Australia's Great Barrier Reef into "critical" condition, conservationists said December 2, 2020. Protected areas in the Everglades National Park in the United States are also among the sites now deemed in critical condition. (Photo by RHONA WISE / AFP)

About an hour’s drive from downtown Miami, a Florida-style rendezvous with nature awaits.

The Everglades National Park is a world-famous 600,000-hectare wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the state and it's the place to go when you want to get wild.

Visitors can hop on a boat and cruise through the coastal mangroves at the park. This place is a habitat for numerous rare and endangered species including manatees, American crocodiles, and the elusive Florida panther. Alligators and dolphins are also commonly spotted.

Depending on which area of the park you go to, you can try different outdoor activities. Climb the observation tower at Shark Valley, explore the pinelands by bike or trek into the heart of a cypress dome and canoe along the 160-kilometre-long Wilderness Waterway.

Find out more and book tickets or permits here.

For more information on visiting Miami, check out our travel guide with tips on where to stay, what to eat and what to do.

Updated: August 1st 2021, 1:49 PM
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