Miami is one of the most bustling and buzzworthy hubs in all of Florida. People flock from all over to explore the cultural riches of the city, from the beautiful beaches to the renowned restaurants. But did you know there are some great museums in Miami?
There’s more than enough here to pack any itinerary with interesting sites. When planning your time in this iconic metropolis, you must make your way to some of the amazing museums in Miami. If you are looking for things to do in Miami on a rainy day, the museum is a great place to escape the fain.
The legendary institutions of Magic City explore local history, fascinating science, and everything in between. Whether you’re an avid art fan or a novice garden appreciator, there’s an educational experience awaiting you at any one of these amazing museums in Miami.
1. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is located in the heart of downtown Miami in Bayfront Park. It’s a comprehensive space known for interactive exhibits. Discover everything from state-of-the-art technology to expansive ecological displays. It’s the perfect spot for anyone who loves to learn.
Any little ones will be fully enthralled, and the adults are sure to let their inner child out for a fun-filled day. Some of my favorite highlights here include the giant oculus lens at the Gulf Stream Aquarium and the mind-blowing cosmos shows at the planetarium. Hit up the rooftop for views of the sprawling skyline before heading out.
- Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
2. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Vizcaya is a living museum and national landmark on the waterfront in Miami. Built in the early 1900s, it was originally the private estate of a very wealthy industrialist. You’ll instantly feel transported to a Venetian villa as soon as you step onto the elaborate grounds.
Today, it’s a homage to the early era of the city, dedicated to old-school Italian design. It’s spread across 10 acres, some intricately manicured and others covered in an endangered forest landscape. Inside you’ll find a permanent collection of over 2,500 antiques. Some rooms are themed for different European cities, and all are decked out with old authentic furnishings.
- Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami
3. Deering Estate
The Deering Estate is a vast 444-acre state-protected park. It’s also the preserved 1920s abode of Charles Deering, so it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This scenic stretch of landscape showcases all the best that coastal Miami has to offer.
You can participate in boat outings or bird walks regularly to explore the local nature here. A wide range of cultural events are hosted throughout the year as well, from special guided tours to educational classes. There are several nature trails to wander where you can spot native flora and fauna too.
- Address: 16701 SW 72nd Ave, Miami
4. Miami Design District & Museum Garage
One of the many gems of the illustrious Design District is the famous Museum Garage. It’s an impressive reflection of the spirit of Miami since some say the entire city is a work of art in and of itself. The modern concept here is based off of a classic French parlor game where each player must contribute a design without knowing what any of the other participants have submitted.
The same happened with this industrial installation. A carefully selected group of incredible talents from all over the world were each given entirely free reign with a dedicated portion of the garage. They added their own unique component to the urban facade in order to create a modern compilation that becomes one masterful and playful piece that catches the eye of all.
- Address: 90 NE 41st St, Miami
5. Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art, also called MOCA, is heralded as housing an avant-garde collection of modern works from around the world. Set in the north end of the city, a bit off the beaten path, it has a more relaxed ambiance than some of the other downtown hotspots.
It’s famous for hosting Art Basel debuts and free jazz concerts. Click here to check the events calendar. It also earned a wide-reaching reputation for being a trailblazer in the global art scene during the 90s. The rotating exhibits commonly feature young artists who are considered up-and-comers.
- Address: 770 NE 125th St, Miami
6. Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center
Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center is a funky mainstay of Little Havana, offering an all-in-one experience. It’s a place for the community to gather and celebrate art, music, dance, food, drinks, and more. There’s a large collection of Cuban works to discover, mostly from the early 20th century.
Cubaocho hosts live entertainment often, including local salsa bands and jazz legends. The research library is extensive, to say the least, and the cafe bar is stocked with a diverse selection of rums. It’s a significant cultural and historical center well worth spending some time in to get a feel for the real Miami.
- Address: 1465 SW 8th St, Miami
7. Miami Circle
The Miami Circle is a National Historic Landmark. It’s located at the mouth of the Miami River downtown, and it’s an archeological site of great significance. The remains were discovered pretty recently in 1998 but date back over 2,000 years.
Miami Circle is a small park surrounded by high rises and covered in educational signage. It’s a highly recommended recreational attraction that everyone should see at least once. You can learn more about the rich history and the indigenous heritage of the city here.
- Address: 465 Brickell Ave, Miami
8. Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Miami
The Institute of Contemporary Art is often called the ICA by those in the know. You won’t even want to wait for a rainy day to hit up this museum in Miami. It’s known as a hip and trendy hotspot where art lovers from all over flock. Site-specific installations are spread across six perfectly curated galleries.
One of my favorite perks of this famous Design District spot; it’s totally free. If you are looking for free museums in Miami, this is one! It’s a mecca for a diverse range of modern works in many mediums. They exhibit bold emerging and local artists with a focus on Latin American masters. The sculpture garden is one of the coolest coups to explore here. The building itself is also just as interesting as the permanent and rotating works.
- Address: 61 NE 41st St, Miami
9. Jewish Museum of Florida
The Jewish Museum of Florida is just as remarkable for its art deco facade as for what’s inside. The building was first constructed in 1936. It’s been well preserved with over 70 stained glass windows, a Moorish copper dome, marble bimbah, and antique chandeliers.
It’s a well-rounded experience exploring the history, traditions, and culture of the Jewish population in Florida. You’ll be able to see audio-visual presentations, photos, films, artifacts, and documents dating back over 250 years.
- Address: 301 Washington Ave, Miami
Artechouse is not your average Miami museum. This modern institution is at the forefront of art and technology. They develop, produce, and present genre-defying and boundary-pushing pieces. Each installation provides an immersive experience.
It’s a multidisciplinary space that was the first of its kind in the whole country. Considered a pioneer of what contemporary art can be and how we interpret it, this under-the-radar hotspot is not to be missed by anyone who is curious about the innovative culture.
- Address: 736 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
11. Coral Castle Museum
Located about 40 minutes outside of Miami, the Coral Castle Museum is the perfect attraction for any architecture lover. These structures have a mysterious and iconic air about them. Around 1,000 tons of coral rock were carved into an impressive sculpture garden.
The entire site was made single-handedly by one man. Edward Leedskalnin was moved in the middle of the night to construct the enchanting facade for his fiancee. Sadly, he never got his happy ending as she called off the engagement a day before the wedding.
- Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead
12. History Miami Museum
History Miami Museum is the second oldest cultural site in South Florida. The Mediterranean building went up back in 1940 and has been a bastion of local lore ever since. This institution is in charge of cataloging every significant celebrity moment that happens in the city.
It’s a great place to relive all the magic Miami has seen over the years, from the Beatles beach performances to the transformation of the city depicted in the form of expansive, colorful murals. There are over 37,000 artifacts to see here dating back to pre-Columbian times.
- Address: 101 W Flagler St, Miami
13. Miami Children’s Museum
Miami Children’s Museum is a perfect family-friendly stop to make in the city. It’s located on Watson Island, and the little ones are guaranteed to love it. It combines learning and playing in the most fun and hands-on way possible. You’ll be able to enjoy a giant rock climbing wall, a life-sized cruise ship, a towering sandcastle, and more.
It’s two stories tall with 14 different exhibits. Each has a different theme that’s sure to spark the imagination. At this museum, there’s a huge interactive playground full of activities designed just so children can explore the world around them. It’s actually one of the biggest educational centers of its kind in the country.
- Address: 980 MacAthur Causeway, Miami
14. Miami Dade College Museum of Art Design
The Miami Dade College Museum of Art Design is set in the heart of downtown. It’s known for cutting-edge rotating exhibits and an eclectic permanent collection. While international artists are often displayed, there’s an emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean works.
This museum is actually inside the famous Freedom Tower. This National Historical Landmark was built in 1925 to house the largest newspaper in the city. It’s important to note that the MOAD is currently closed for important renovations, but rest assured, it’s only temporary. Check their schedule online for off-site programs and estimated reopening date.
- Address: 600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
15. Gold Coast Railroad Museum
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is definitely one of the more unique attractions to hit up in the city. Off the beaten path and more relaxed, this one is fun for the whole family. It’s especially ideal for any transportation and travel enthusiasts. Locomotive lovers will rejoice, and the interactive elements offer a more hands-on approach to history.
You can wander through over 40 years of railroad heritage, with actual freight cars and antique equipment on display to discover. One of the most notable exhibits is the Presidential Rail Car, which carried Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Truman, and Reagan to many important events over the years.
- Address: 12450 SW 152nd St, Miami