Summer Activities in Miami, FL
Summer and mango season go hand-in-hand in Miami. Each year in July, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden celebrates this so-called king of fruit with its Annual International Mango Festival. The two-day affair offers visitors a chance to experience the variety of mangos that grow in South Florida – the garden has a collection of more than 400 varieties of the fruit. Drink fresh mango juice, watch cooking demos, do yoga, learn how to grow mangos and stop by the mango auction (yes, people pay lots for a basket of fruit). The best part, though, is the mango tasting, which allows you to try a small selection of mango varieties selected by the garden’s staff and then vote for your favorites. Since the tasting is held indoors, it also allows you to catch a break from the scorching July heat.
While Miamians can enjoy warm weather almost year-round, there’s something very appealing about sitting outside in the peak of summer with a drink. One of the best places to do this is at Shuckers, a sports bar located at a Best Western in North Bay Village. This isn’t your average sports bar, though. Aside from the live sports broadcasts, food and drink, Shuckers has beautiful waterfront views. It’s a great place to spend a lazy weekend afternoon with a group of friends or your significant other. If you go, don’t miss the special grilled wings. They’re some of the best wings in Miami. Put them together with an ice-cold beer, sun and a gorgeous view of the ocean and you have the perfect summer afternoon.
Let’s face it: during Miami’s humid summers sometimes you just want to stay inside. But wanting to stay indoors doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Get a group of friends and head over to X-Treme Rock Climbing Gym. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never climbed before; the gym offers an introductory climbing and roping class, which teaches you the basics of climbing so you can climb the walls safely. Once you’ve gone through the class, stay and climb as much as you’d like – a day pass costs $15. You can also take private or outdoor classes. Scared of heights? Try one of X-Treme’s daily yoga classes. Believe us, it’s fun and you’ll get a workout while you’re at it.
This park is home to more than 500 varieties of fruits, herbs and spices from around the world, including 80 varieties of bananas, 50 varieties of mangos and a large selection of exotic fruits. Summer, when many tropical fruits are at their peak, is the perfect time to pay a visit and get a taste of the season’s bounty (visitors are allowed to taste fruit fallen off the tree). Tours are held every day, three times a day and park admission is a reasonable $8 for adults and $2 for kids. Or mark your calendar for the Redland Summer Fruit Festival, an annual event held at the park each June, and visit the park for samples of rare fruits, tastes of fruit wines and ice creams, and a walk around the park.
Spending a day at Bill Baggs State Park is a nice escape from Miami that doesn’t require you to go very far. Located at the southern end of Key Biscayne, the park has a little over one mile of beach where you can relax or take a dip in the warm Atlantic waters. If you’re looking to be a little more active, you can go kayaking or take your bike for a ride on the park’s trails. The beach also serves as a backdrop to the Cape Florida Lighthouse, which was built in 1825 and is the oldest building in Miami. If you get hungry, visit the park’s Lighthouse Café, which serves mostly seafood dishes with a Cuban flair, or pack some food and enjoy it in the park’s picnic areas.