At Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida, the world’s top tennis professionals are competing for the Miami Open title in front of crowds as large as 13,300 people. Whether you’re from the Miami area — or live in other Florida cities like Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville — there’s no better time to take a mini-vacation and catch some of the tennis action at the tournament widely known as the “fifth grand slam.” The event continues through April 5, but if you need a break from the heat and crowded stadiums at Crandon Park, check out these other awesome tourist attractions in Miami.
1. Little Havana
You’ve probably heard about Calle Ocho in a Pitbull song, but Little Havana’s main street was famous before the pop lyrics. If you’ve dreamed of experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of Cuba’s capital city, nothing comes closer than this strip in La Pequeña Habana. The street is lined with cigar and coffee shops, vibrant pink and orange buildings, and restaurants blaring salsa and merengue. Walk through this miniature city, sip a cortado, smoke a puro cubano and don’t forget to eat a cuban sandwich.
2. Chihuly at Fairchild
The works of famous glass sculptor Dale Chihuly are on display at Fairchild botanical gardens in Coral Gables through May 31, and the exhibit is a must-see for art fans. Among the greenery and exotic plants of Fairchild are Chihuly’s bright, glass-blown sculptures that transform into a spectacle of light and shadows at night. On Thursdays and Sundays, attend “Tropical Chihuly Nights” at the gardens for the after-hours light show, or visit during the day between 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
3. F.A.M. at Coconut Grove
Fashion, art, music. That’s what F.A.M. nights are all about, which take place the first Saturday of every month in Coconut Grove’s business district. From 7-10 p.m. galleries open their doors, boutiques offer trunk shows, and musicians play in the streets. If you’re in the mood for some serious shopping during the day, be sure to wander through CocoWalk, the neighborhood’s upscale commercial center, which houses speciality stores from fragrance shops to resort-wear boutiques.
4. Pro Beach Volleyball
If you’ve had enough tennis, but don’t want to leave Crandon Park, a professional beach volleyball exhibition will take place on the sand just west of the main stadium. Fans of the summer Olympics will recognize tournament entrant and three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, who will compete alongside other top players in the sport. Tennis players and fans are sure to appreciate the athleticism and talent of these elite volleyball competitors, so head to Crandon’s “beach” anytime between April 2-4 to watch the event.
5. Jungle Island Easter Brunch
If you’re celebrating Easter with your family, Miami’s premiere zoo and theme park, Jungle Island, is the place to go. On April 5, the park is offering an Easter egg hunt and giving away gift bags for every child, and also having crafts, music, rides and photo ops with the Easter bunny. A special brunch at Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom will feature a kids’ menu with delectable desserts. Cost is $50 for adults and $37 for kids, which includes brunch and park admission — so enjoy all the animals, shows and attractions after you hunt!
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