Greater Miami & Miami Beach offers a wide array of museums for art, history, and science. Here are a few of our favorite points of interest, a starting place for finding the perfect museum for an entertaining and educational experience in Miami.Less
Situated in Maurice A. Ferré Park, the Pérez Art Museum Miami is the design work of Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron. This iconic structure draws inspiration from the Stiltsville homes built offshore in the 1930s. Inside, the museum’s collection focuses on international modern and contemporary art from the U.S. Latino experience, the African diaspora, Latin America and the Caribbean.
With free admission, an alluring location in the stylish Design District, and a collection of cutting-edge contemporary art, ICA, Miami is a must-visit. Dedicated to continuous experimentation and intellectual exchange throughout Miami and internationally, the museum’s programming focuses on local, emerging, and under-recognized artists, guaranteeing there will always be something new and exciting to discover when you visit.
Set inside a landmark Art Deco building from the 1930s, The Bass currently houses 16,000 square feet of exhibition space. The South Beach institution is dedicated to international contemporary art and has added public art acquisitions to its permanent collection, including Ugo Rondinone’s massive, neon-painted “Miami Mountain” and Sylvie Fleury’s “Eternity Now” neon sign on the museum’s façade.
Part of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, HistoryMiami contains more than 37,000 artifacts dating back to pre-Colombian times. Exhibits range from immigration to tourism to development and technological advancement in South Florida. Stop at the Visitors Research Center to take in the one million photographs, drawings and documents.
Modeled after grand 18th-century Venetian villas, Vizcaya was built between 1914 and 1922 as the private waterfront estate of millionaire industrialist James Deering. Today you can tour these formal gardens and be transported to Versailles, or visit the main house where Vizcaya's exquisitely styled rooms will take you to Italy — Milan in the Music Room, Palermo at reception and Venice throughout the bedrooms.
While you may hear a lot about Miami’s diverse architecture, from Art Deco hotels in South Beach to Mediterranean Revival mansions in Coral Gables, the Coral Castle is a unique structure of its own. As the story goes, the 1,100-ton castle was built single-handedly in secret by one man inspired by lost love. Today, you can tour the unusual site made of coral rock and decorated with coral sculptures.
Miami’s landmark Frost Science Museum anchors a corner of Museum Park, which overlooks Biscayne Bay. It’s one of the few science museums in the world to boast both an aquarium and a planetarium under one roof. The hands-on, interactive exhibits make for a perfect family-friendly outing. Visit the Gulf Stream Aquarium, which spans three floors, and includes an open tank on the rooftop.
For the young—and the young at heart—head to the Miami Children’s Museum, an imaginative place filled with immersive activities that emphasize art, culture, community, communication, and creativity. The museum is committed to serving its multicultural community by offering bilingual, educational exhibits and programming. It’s also home to a two-story sandcastle of dreams and a cruise ship-themed gallery.
For an eye-popping, social media-ready adventure, visit the Museum of Illusions, where guests interact directly with surreal 3D installations created by some of the world’s top artists. This mind-bending attraction features 40+ illusions inspired by current events, movies and pop culture. Let your imagination run wild with fun-for-all-ages experiences such as walking on the edge of a skyscraper or flying on a magic carpet.
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is a must-see for train enthusiasts and collectors. With more than 40 passenger cars, freight cars, locomotives and antique railway equipment, you’ll want to hop aboard. Ride one of the many historic railway cars (offered most weekends), view the "Ferdinand Magellan" (the private railroad car built for President Franklin Roosevelt) and explore a vast array of model trains.