Greater Miami and the beaches has something for everyone under the sun. This area of Florida offers visitors the cutting edge of urban chic -- combined with the beauty and splendor of a tropical paradise. The average yearly temperature is a mild 76 degrees. The area is surrounded by lush, tropical greenery and exotic flowers and fruits that grow everywhere including backyards. Miami is considered a tropical destination where you can smell the wild jasmine in the air and hear the wild parrots squawk from above as colorful flamingos strut their stuff. Miami is full of world-renowned restaurants, vibrant nightlife, year-round recreation and championship sports. -- not to mention a year-round calendar of fun festivals and events.
Greater Miami is an intricate network of barrier islands, coral rock, mangrove swamps, 100-year-old Banyan trees, broad causeways and scenic bridges, picturesque highways -- and, of course, its world-famous miles and miles of fine white sand and breathtaking ocean surf. To the east is the Atlantic Ocean; to the west, Everglades National Park. A few miles south lies Biscayne National Park, the only living coral reef in North America.
Access to the area is simple and convenient. Miami International Airport, equipped is just a 20-minute drive to most major destinations. By land, Greater Miami is accessible via the Florida Turnpike, I-95, U.S.1 and Amtrak's rail system. The Port of Miami, the world's largest cruise port, is the nautical link that connects Miami to the Caribbean and Latin America.
Downtown Miami, South Beach boasts 800 Art Deco structures a virtual urban renaissance. The Art Deco District now serves as the backdrop for one of the world's most eccentric and in-vogue neighborhoods. Here, you'll find first-class hotels and hip youth hostels. Tons of trendy cafes that serve some of the most "new world" cuisine.
In North Miami, you'll find Surfside -- a perfect area for family style vacations. Surfside's neighbor, Bal Harbour, is known locally as the birthplace of sophisticated shopping. The Bal Harbour Shops, an airy 15-acre promenade, has been catering to an elite clientele since 1965. Among its roster of designer boutiques are Gucci, Fendi, Tiffany's, Bulgari and Cartier. Another family oriented community is Sunny Isles, where seagrape-studded beaches are the main draw. Children play in the surf as their relaxed parents recline in the sun. Comfortable and casual, Sunny Isles offers watersports galore and affordable accommodations.
Already bustling is downtown's Bayside Marketplace, a 16-acre extravaganza of shops, restaurants and attractions such as the Hard Rock Cafe Miami. From Bayside, visitors can take a romantic gondola ride while watching the laser-light shows that beam from the adjacent 28-acre Bayfront Park, or ride the Water Taxi to waterfront restaurants, hotels, or nearby
The area of South Dade offers families a more rural ambiance and features must-see spots such as Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, Miami MetroZoo, Parrot Jungle and Monkey Jungle, the Homestead Motorsports Complex and more.
From the sizzling nightlife of South Beach to the tropical, white sand beaches to the areas many water-parks, family friendly restaurants, hotels and resorts and water sports, Miami has something for the whole family to enjoy year round.
For more information about Miami, check out these resources:
Biscayne Bay Marriott
1633 North Bayshore Drive
FAX: (305) 375-0597
Website: Biscayne Bay Marriott Hotel & Marina
Overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay, only minutes away from Miami International Airport, Port of Miami, Convention Centers, New American Airlines Arena, Bayside Marketplace and South Beach. This waterfront property offers all the services and amenities your family will enjoy. The hotel boasts 31 floors with 599 rooms and 21 suites. This hotel is rated as a 3 diamond hotel by Mariott standards. There is a restaurant on site that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, room service, coffee shop and Cocktail Lounge for Mom and Dad's evening entertainment. The hotel also features a laundry valet, self service laundry facilities, hair salon/barber, Concierge services, Gift shop/newsstand, Full business center with Secretarial services available. Safe deposit box at front desk. Each room features: Work desk with lamp; 2-line phone with voice mail; Data ports on phone; TV with remote control; Cable/satellite TV ; All-news channel; In-room movies; Newspaper delivered (Mon-Fri); Minibar Complimentary in-room coffee; Iron and ironing board; Hairdryer; In-room safe and cribs are also available by request.
Crystal Beach Club Hotel Suites
6985 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach FL
Located 11 miles northeast of the Miami International Airport. Oceanfront on Miami Beach, just minutes from the exclusive Bal Harbour Shops, and South Beach Art Deco District.on South Florida's lush tropical beaches, each luxuriously appointed one bedroom suite comes fully equipped with a mini-kitchen... including microwave oven, refrigerator, stove top burners, dishwasher, and utensils. You can relax under the palm trees on our landscaped oceanfront deck. Splash in the waters of our pool - or just soak your cares away in the outdoor jacuzzi.
Their state of the art Fitness Center at the resort makes it very easy to keep up with your active life-style outfitted with the latest in hi-tech exercise equipment by Body Masters - including Heart Rate Trainer, Recumbent Bikes, the Gravitron, Butt Blaster and Cross Robics Unit. Amenities include a spacious sandy beach, outdoor pool and whirlpool, Guest Services staff, babysitting, valet parking, coin operated guest laundry.
Fine dining and exciting nightlife abound at the nearby restaurants, bistros and clubs and the internationally famous SoBe Art Deco District, with is sidewalk cafes, boutiques, and discos.
Your family will also enjoy the great shopping at the exclusive Bal Harbour Shops or Adventura Mall, South Beach Art Deco District, Coconut Grove. For the adventer lovers in your family how about giving deep sea fishing a try? How about greyhound racing? There are so many activities it will be hard to pick and choose each day.
It's Happy Days Again - Dezerland Beach Resort Hotel is the only hotel that takes you back to the magic of the 50's! On the ocean in Miami Beach, within walking distance to the Surfside and Bal Harbour shopping centers. 10 minutes from South Beach and Bayside and 20 minutes from the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports or the Port of Miami, nestled on 17 miles of white sand, the Dezerland Beach Resort is the home of Michael Dezer's American Classic Cars of the 50's a unique, popular tourist attraction. Come and enjoy the sights and sounds of a bygone era captured and brought to life for car lovers and nostalgia fans of the 1950's. The fun place to be for singles, couples and families! Imagine, the great classic cars and memorabilia of the 50's all around you. In the lobby, in the restaurant - where you can actually dine in the backseat of a '59 Caddy.
This unique hotel has special events and lots of fun. There are several eateries including the American Classics Restaurant featuring beef, seafood and all you can eat salad bar built in to the back of a 1950 Ford pickup truck. Other services include gift shops specializing in 50's memorabilia, laundry and valet service, a game room and babysitters on request. Dezerland watersports offers one of Miami Beach's largest beach facilities, from Jet Skis, Wave Runners, Paddle Boats, Glass Bottom, Sailing to Parasailing, You can always enjoy a swim in the fresh water pool. Three tennis courts are adjacent to the hotel. Jog for miles on the beach or in the adjoining 54 acre park. Fishing and diving can all be arranged. Golf is close by. Try volleyball or mini golf on the beach. The hotel features 227oversized newly renovated rooms, each named for a different classic car, with views of the ocean, color TV, in-house movies, non-smoking rooms on request, meeting rooms for up to 250 people, three cocktail lounges, all day dining room, game room, pool and a beautiful beach.
Eden Roc Resort and Spa
4525 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
Phone: (305) 531-0000 or (800) 327-8337
Eden Roc Resort and Spa is located on prime oceanfront property overlooking Miami Beach and the spectacular Intracoastal waterway, the 349-room Eden Roc has been magnificently restored. From the beautifully carved Italian marble and mahogany reception desk to the highly polished original terrazzo floors, to the stunning grand circular lobby, the Eden Roc welcomes families with a gracious new contemporary spirit. Resort Amenities include: Oceanfront Spa; Beauty Salon; Concierge and bell staff; Gift Shop; Two oceanfront pools; Water sports and beach rentals; Express check out; Multilingual staff; Full service business center; Game Room; Basketball, racquetball, squash and rock climbing wall; Daily newspaper delivery; Valet parking; 24-hour security; Car rental and impaired guest equipment.
Guests have two options for accommodations, guest rooms and suites. Most rooms and suites have balconies with sweeping oceanviews and feature walk-in closets, and sitting areas. For the ultimate vacation, select one of three penthouse suites with spectacular wrap-around balconies, spacious sitting and entertaining areas, whirlpool tubs and personal exercise equipment. Guest room amenities include: Italian marble bath with hair dryer; Luxurious linens; Direct dial telephone with voice mail and dataport; Remote cable television; In-room coffee maker; Refrigerated mini-bar; Climate Control and In-room safe.
Dining is a great experience at the Eden Roc. For a more formal meal, Trend-setting harry's grille specializes in fresh seafoods and prime steaks. For more casual dining, there is the oceanfront Jimmy Johnson's Bar and Grill with indoor and al fresco dining.
The Eden Roc has many year-round activities to include: lounging or playing in their two oceanfront pools; sunbathing on Eden Roc's 600 feet of white sand beaches; or play some water sports including: WaveRunners, kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats, aqua bikes and parasailing. SCUBA instruction, including a beginner's certification course, is also available from a resident certified instructor.
For more activities, check out their Sports Complex which features, South Florida's only indoor rock climbing wall, a full basketball court, plus racquetball and squash facilities. Fitness complex also includes:Cybex VR-2 weight equipment; Cardiovascular theater with treadmills, cycling and stair climbing equipment; 16-channel personal audio/visual system Daily aerobic classes; Spinning and box aerobics. For a post workout relaxation, visit their top ranked Day Spa featuring a full list of pampering activities like several types of massages, body scrubs and aromatherapy treatments.
The Eden Roc offers several special packages, call them for more details.
Miami's most renowned landmark hotel, the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort and Towers, is situated in the midst of 20 lush tropical acres. Comprised of three buildings, this 1,206-room resort, including sixty lavish suites, has something to offer the whole family.
The outdoor setting is magnificent beginning with a half-acre lagoon style rock grotto pool with cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush tropical greenery. There are seven lighted tennis courts, as well as a wide range of exciting programs and activities for guests of all ages in our Resort Activities Program. The resort also participates in HIlton's Vacation Station which offers the following: a free Souvenir Gift for every child; Free Welcome Packet for Parents; and Free Toys & Games to play with. your Hilton Vacation Station stay at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort & Towers also features Kid's Korner their Supervised Kids' Activities for Ages: 5-12 years. This program is year-round Sunday through Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The evening program runs Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. this is a full service activity program, each day is themed. For example: Wet-n-Wacky Wednesday and Gold Medal Monday. Teen and family activities such as volleyball, water volleyball, ping-pong, trivia and bingo. Kids also get goodies such as Lunch/snack afternoon sessions. The staff are CPR trained. Fees:$20/day for 1st child; $15/day for 2nd child; $10/half-day for 1st child; $8/half-day for 2nd child; Discounts: $5 off 2nd and 3rd child for whole day program.; $2 off 2nd and 3rd child for half day program. Valid Dates: May 26 2000 - Sep 4 2000 Sep 5 2000 - May 24 2001.
For the rest of the family, for those who cannot get enough of the water there is windsurfing, wave runners, parasailing and much more. The two-mile seaside boardwalk leads to the famed Art Deco District of South beach. The interior of the hotel is just as stunning as it's exterior. Hotel guests enjoy spacious rooms; some with sweeping terraces and the majority with breathtaking water views. The lobby areas boast of marble columns, unusual archways and a sweeping staircase creating an atmosphere of regal splendor. There are seven restaurants and five lounges on hand that offer a world of dining choices, not to mention our array of fine stores just an elevator ride away. The newly renovated Fontainebleau Hilton Spa is a full-service, state-of-the-art facility which offers you the latest cardiovascular equipment, as well as an array of health, beauty and fitness options. Our spa is bounded by tropical gardens and just steps away from the Atlantic beachfront. Atop the Fontainebleau Hilton's legendary Chateau building is an exclusive level all its own. A hotel within a hotel, guests are surrounded by elegance as the Towers level boasts lavishly decorated guestrooms, unsurpassed views and a luxurious private lounge. The Towers level offers a personalized concierge upgraded amenities and the highest level of service.
Miami Beach Oceanfront Days Inn
15811 Collins Ave
Phone: (305) 940-0237 or1-800-544-8313
FAX: (305) 940-1211 www.daysinn.com
This newly renovated beach front resort in Miami's Art Deco district has 3 floors and 124 rooms. Guests receive a daily free continental breakfast and free parking. Kids stay free. There is an outdoor pool with a Tiki Bar restaurant. Amenities include: AM/FM Alarm Clock; Bar/Lounge; Beach; Concierge; 24 Hour Front Desk; Handicapped Rooms/Facilities; Fishing (nearby); Golf (nearby); Hairdryer in Room; Meeting/Banquet Facilities; No Smoking Rooms/Facilities; Pets Allowed (nearby); Pool; RV or Truck Parking (nearby); Restaurant (nearby); Safe Deposit Box; Television with Cable; Laundry/Valet Services; VIP Rooms/Services The hotel is close by to many of Miami's sights and sounds. Check In: 8:00 AM and Check Out: 11:00 AM. Room rates are: Standard room: $65.00 to $75.00.
This deluxe, oceanfront hotel is just minutes from the sights and sounds of downtown Miami as well as Ft. Lauderdale and is only minutes from the exciting South Beach area. The hotel has excellent facilities as well as comfortable guest rooms and public areas. Across the street is the exclusive world-famous Bal Harbour shops and only 17 miles away are either the Ft. Lauderdale or Miami Airports.
The hotel features 642 Rooms; 53 Suites; 186 Non-Smoking Rooms; Beachfront Location; 4 Restaurants; 2 Lounges; 2 Outdoor Pools; Spectatular $12 Million Fantasy Pool; Beach; Windsurfing; Waterbikes; Catamarans; Exercise Room; Tennis Courts; Volleyball; Jogging Path; and Golf Nearby. The hotel offers guests the following services; Porter/Bell Hop; Babysitting; Boutiques/Shops; Business Centre; Car Rental/Car Hire; Conference Facilities; Concierge; Delicatessen; Doctor; Fitness Centre/Health Club; Laundry Cleaning Service; Cocktail Lounge; In-Room Movies and Valet Services.
Located on a secluded tropical island paradise, the Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne offers spectacular views, crystal clear waters, water sports, tennis and nearby golf. And it's just 20 minutes from the excitement of Miami and South Beach with its world-class shopping, dining and nightlife. Key Biscayne--the best of both worlds.
The Sonesta Key Biscayne offers guests two types of accomodations, guest rooms and suites. The 292 guest rooms offer guests ocean/island/ bay views with a private balcony. Rooms feature either a king or queen size bed, climate control, hair dryers, in-room safe, minibar, two line telephone, color T.V. with cable, clock radios, robes, full size iron and ironing board and non-smoking rooms are available. The Suites offer luxury in on or two bedrooms all with ocean or island views. Amenities include a separate living room, complete with queen sized pullout sofa-bed, dining table and arm chairs.
The Sonesta Key Biscayne has so many activities for the family, there's something for everyone. Amenities include: Spa & Fitness Center - Start with exercise equipment, stationary bicycles, rowing machine, weight training or exercise classes. Finish with a whirlpool or steam. Or for a little extra pampering, pay a visit to our professionally trained massage therapist and estheticians. Admission is complimentary.
Water Sports - The selection is almost endless: wave runners, aqua bikes, Sunfish, paddle boats, windsurfers, catamarans, ocean kayaks, Hobie Cats and more
Tennis - the Tennis Center features nine Laykold surface tennis courts (three of them lighted) and a sport court for basketball, volleyball and mini tennis court. Unlimited tennis is complimentary.
"Just Us Kids" Program - This supervised program, for kids age 5-13, will keep children busy - and happy with activities all day long. Admission is complimentary.
Don't forget to take a dip in their Olympic Size Outdoor Pool - with two whirlpools overlooking the beach and ocean.
Shopping - Sonesta's Oasis Boutique offers the finest in ladies' and men's sportswear, resort attire, accessories and a large selection of the latest swim suit fashions. The Sonesta Shoppe has unusual gifts and souvenirs from around the world
Beauty Salon - The salon offers full service for men and women.
A Business Center is on the premises as well as Car Rental facilities.
Sonesta Key Biscayne offers guests a wide range of food options. They have 4 full service eateries, the Purple Dolphin which feature; zesty Caribbean, South American and Floridian cuisine. Enjoy indoor or beautiful outdoor dining overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Jasmine Cafe offers guests a relaxing and friendly atmosphere for a quick snack or a full meal. A wide array of classic American dishes are available. For some exotic fare, Two Dragons offers elegant Chinese, Thai cuisine and a sushi bar. For more casual dining try the Snackerie, which offers hamburgers, hot dogs, shrimp kabobs, and assorted sandwiches which are served right on the beach for your convenience. There are also two poolside bars and a lounge which serve cool drinks and snacks.
Rates: The Sonesta Key Biscayne's rates for an island view or ocean view guest room with balcany; European plan (May 1 - June 10 and September 10-December 23, 2000 are: $235 (single); $345 (double). June 11 - September 9, 2000 $190 (single) $285 (double).
Suites range from $625 - $1,700. Vacation homes available from $625 - $1,375. Third person/rollaway: $35 additional per night. Crib: No charge. Children under 17 years of age: No charge when sharing a room with parents. Maximum: Four persons sharing a room. Certain restrictions apply. Room tax is currently 12.5%.
Meal Plans are availabe also. Modified American Plan (Breakfast and Dinner) for adults is $60 per person and $25 per child. The Full American Plan (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) for adults is $82 per person and $40 per child. Meal plan rates do not include an 8.5% food & beverage tax or 15% service charge.
The Alexander Hotel 5225 Collins Avenue
Phone: (305) 865-6500 or (800) 327-6121
FAX: (305) 864-8525
This hotel has been offering families the luxury of an all-suite, beachfront hotel for over 35 years. The all-suite Alexander Hotel on Miami Beach is been considered one of the finest and most celebrated hotels. The Alexander's individual 150 one- and two-bedroom suites offer guests luxury and privacy. Each suite is distinctively furnished and all have terraces that offer magnificent views of Miami's Inter-coastal waterway and vibrant skyline on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean and beach on the other. Several exclusive penthouse suites with wrap-around terraces are also available, and the hotel now boasts a three-bedroom and a four-bedroom suite. All suites provide full living and dining rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, two bathrooms and various personalized service amenities.
The Alexander's two lagoon-shaped swimming pools are set into an acre of lush tropical gardens with a cascading waterfall as a backdrop. Guests can relax in either of the properties two Jacuzzis and enjoy al fresco dining. To get out of the sun but still have fun by the pool, families can rent private poolside cabanas.
For some fun in the sun, onshore activities include volley ball, paddle ball, swimming and a fitness center. Off the hotel's exclusive beach, guests can enjoy parasailing, kayaking, Banana Boat rides and, jet skiing for touring the beach. The Fitness Center features a Central Weight System, exercise bikes, and treadmills.
Don't forget about the shopping. The Alexander is in the heart of "Millionaire Row", is literally minutes away from world renowned South Beach, Coconut Grove, Bayside Market Place, and the Shops at Bal Harbor. The Alexander has also partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue in creating "The Red Carpet Service" which provides special services and amenities to hotel guests who visit the prestigious Miami Beach store. Upon check-in, along with their suite key, each guest of the Alexander is presented with the "Red Carpet" certificate from Saks Fifth Avenue. To get some pampering, the Alexander also has a full service salon.
The Alexander is offering a special summer package. Prices are $159.00 For a one bedroom and $259.00 for a two bedroom. This package also includes: Daily Buffet Breakfast for Two and a welcome frozen beverage (for two). Valid through October 1, 2000. Subject to availability; Does not include taxes.
The Miccosukee Resort & Convention Center
Phone: (305) 221-8623 or Toll Free: (877) 242-6464)
The Miccosukee Resort and Convention Center is an excellent destination for the whole family. There are so many indoor and outdoor activities availalbe including: air boat tours, nature hikes and Native American villages to stroll through. This resort is in the heart of the natural Florida Everglades and is run by the Miccosukee Indian tribe. The adults will enjoy the gaming facilities at the resort which include: a full gaming casino with 40 poker tables, 650 video pull-tap slot machines, lighning lotto and Bingo halls. Other adult amenities include an indoor, heated pool, Jacuzzi, spa and beauty salon (offering massages), fitness center, ball room, and excellent meeting facilities. The resort also offers its guests a deli, a buffet-style restaurant, martini bar, and an exquisitely exotic fine-dining restaurant which offers great service and some authentic Native American dishes.
The kids will love the children's program, "Club Egret" which offers managed daycare from infants through 12 year olds. The club is open daily 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and rates are $5 per hour. The club activities include: nature hikes, water aerobics, several supervised indoor games including a ball pit, large indoor playground, interactive video games, and arts/crafts time. For older kids, a video arcade is available and also canoeing, kayaking, birdwatching, and biking tours, which can be arranged through the fitness center. Both facilities are managed by qualified, state-licensed child care takers.
All guest rooms are equipped with telephone, voice mail, modem hook-up, mini bar, hair dryer, coffee maker, safe, an over-sized (27") remote control television, premium cable programming and a huge selection of movies available on command, plus Playstation games for the kids. Suites are available with whirlpools, executive wet bars, one or two bedrooms, and split level living areas. Additional guest services include 24 hour room services, 24 hour dry cleaning and laundry service.
The picturesque Westin Beach Resort is your ideal Florida Keys getaway, just minutes from the under-water John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Enjoy the scenery with water sports from kayaking to charter fishing, rent a wave runner or walk the nature trails. Sample seafood and local specialties at Treetops or relax with more casual fare at Cafe Key Largo.
The Westin's spacious, 200 guest rooms and suites offer families comfortable tropical furnishings, amenities and modern conveniences such as Dual-line direct-dial telephone with data port, Hair dryer, Fax data port, Iron & ironing board, Safe, Remote-control color TV with cable, Coffee maker with Starbucks® coffee, In-room movies/On-command video , In-room refreshment center, Express/video checkout , Garden Botanika® bathroom amenities. Plus, each room and suite has great views of Florida Bay and the United States' last living coral reef.
Other amenites include: Westin Kids Club®; Restaurant; Lounge Service Express®; 24-hour room service; Daily newspaper; Dry cleaning/Laundry service; Nightly turndown service; Wake-up calls.
The Westin offers guests a Health and Fitness Center that has 2 outdoor swimming pools and also a nearby golf course.
Located above the Omni International Mall in downtown Miami, the Wyndham Miami - Biscayne Bay offers immediate access to major causeways, highways and entertainment attractions.
The hotel features 528 rooms and 61 Suites. Each room offer guests a coffee maker and complimentary coffee in every room; an alarm clock/radio; Hairdryer; Iron and ironing boards; Color television with remote control; Cable channels and in-room movies. Each room also gets a free USA Today delivered to your room (M-F). There is also a family entertainment center with video games available for the kids. This hotel also feature non smoking and ADA approved rooms are available. The Biscayne Bay has a pool, sauna and exercise facilities, laundry and valet service and room service.
There are several eateries to choose from, Café Del Sol serves breakfast and lunch daily, including a signature breakfast and lunchtime pasta bar. The Fish Market has been critically acclaimed as one of Miami's best restaurants and serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.The Gallery lobby lounge lets guests relax in an elegant atmosphere.Key West Fishing Club and Bar features multiple TVs and a full menu.
Located in the heart of South Beach, this eatery has the jock in all of us in mind. The food selection is good, from burgers, steaks, pasta to salads. Plus, the dishes are named for their famous counterparts like the "Tiger Hole in One Cheeseburger" or the Grand Prix T-bone and the Monica's Topspin Caesar. While you're there, check out the big screen T.V's with the current sports game or check out the memorabilia on the walls.
Joe's Stone Crab
11 Washington Avenue
at: Collins Avenue
Phone: (305) 673-0365
If your family likes good seafood, this is the place to go. Joe's is an institution that attracts locals, tourists, and celebrities and is as much a landmark on Miami Beach as the beach itself. Come as you are; from casual to formal, attire throughout the restaurant varies and is eclipsed by a common plastic bib which your waiter will tie on you if you request one. Open only during stone-crab season (May through October). They have several "potato" side dishes to go along with the crabs including, sweet-potato fries, cottage fries, and home fries. But don't get too stuffed because you'll want to save room for their famous Key Lime Pie -- to die for!
With several Miami locations, this hamburger joint has been a favorite for kids and teenagers for years. The restaurant has 1950's style in decor and menu and if you're lucky your waiter or waitress will entertain your family with a song and dance from yester-year. The menu features burgers and chili fries, onion rings, hot dogs, chili dogs, grilled cheese, tuna salad, and BLT sandwiches and other kid friendly fare. Don't forget to leave room for desert, they have great malts, shakes and sundaes -- yumm!
Mario the Baker
13695 W. Dixie Highway
Phone: (305) 891-7641
This family, friendly pizzeria has been serving the locals here pizza and other Italian specialties for over 30 years. The staff is friendly and the food is great. Known for their thin-crust New York style pizzas topped with high-quality toppings, such as anchovies, meatballs, black olives, fresh peppers, mushrooms, and of course, pepperoni. Classic Southern Italian specialties like veal parmagiana, sausage and peppers, meatball subs, baked ziti, lasagna and doughy garlic rolls are also popular. Hours are: Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 12: 00 a.m. Sunday: 12:00 p.m to 11:00 p.m.
The Parrot Cafe is located in the unique bird santuary, wildlife habitat and botanical garden known as the Parrot Jungle and Gardens. The Parrot Cafe is a favorite stop for visitors and local residents alike. Open at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast, the cafe provides a beautiful view of the park and some of its more colorful residents. This casual eatery serves breakfast and lunch daily both cafeteria and table service. There is a large variety of food to please even the most pickiest eaters. Outdoor dining is also available.
3381 Pan American Drive
Phone: (305) 854-2626
If your family likes seafood, this is the place to go. Located next to Miami City Hall, Scotty's has the best ocean views. Just kick back, relax, listen to the calm water and take in some sun while eating some of Miami's freshest seafood available. Their fish and chips are great. They also feature other fare including ribs, burgers and other items for the non-seafood eaters in your clan.
Sweet Donna's Country Store
5701 Sunset Drive
Shops at Sunset Place
Phone: (305) 740-9322
After a long day of shopping with the kids why not get some good ole' home cooking? That's what you'll find here at Donna's. They offer hearty meals like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, beef ribs, fried chicken and pot pies. The portions are huge, too. Kids will love the old fashioned soda fountain and save room for dessert! They are open Sunday - Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Friday - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
The "Diner" is making a huge comeback and this one is great. The prices are cheap, the service is friendly and the food is just like Mom used to make. Some of the choices from the menu you'll find are: PB and J sandwiches, big burgers with homemade shoestring fries, grilled cheese, sloppy Joe's, tuna melts, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and gravy, fried chicken and fish cakes with tartar sauce. The Diner serves breakfast and lunch daily and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
A 53-foot glass-bottom boat and a 45-foot diving and snorkeling catamaran take adventurers across southern Biscayne Bay, through wilderness, mangrove creeks, islands, and out to tropical coral reefs teeming with sea life. Family snorkeling and scuba diving available from the boat. Canoe and kayak rentals, picnic area, walking trails, fishing, camping and shower facilities available. Reservations required. Beautiful waterfront visitor center offers exhibits, films and information. Open daily 8 a.m.-5:30p.m. Glass bottom boat tour: adults $19.95, children (under 13) $9.95. Scuba diving $35, snorkeling $27.95. Glass-bottom boat departs at 1:30 p.m. Scuba diving departs at 8:30 a.m.
The Shops at Sunset Place
5701 Sunset Place
Miami, Florida 33143
(305) 667-4263 www.gameworks.com
GameWorks' motto is "Life is a game, it's meant to be played." This is Steven Spielberg's entertainment destination that provide wild experiences around state-of-the-art games. Defend yourself against aliens and dinosaurs, ride a jet ski, challenge others to a drag race, ski down perilous mountains, drive a motorcycle across country, shoot hoops with friends, hit a home run in the batting cage - the challenges are endless. Also features a full bar and the Gameworks Grill, a full service, sit-down restaurant serving a wide selection of entrees.
Admission: $25 of game play for $20; $35 of game play for $25 best value! Sunrise Special: Play for the first two hours of operation for $20 Moonlight Special: Play for the last two hours of operation for $20
How would your family like to set sail on a one and a half hour sightseeing tour? Island Queen has 3 ships, The Island Queen, Pink Lady and the Island Lady. The boats depart out of the Bayside Market Place and navigates through the Port of Miami, Fisher Island, Miami Beach, Star Island, Henry Flagler Monument, Palm Island, Hibiscus Island, Venetian Island and a host of others. Get to see the homes of the stars like Gloria Estefan and Oprah Winfrey. Ice-Cream and snacks are available on board as well as a gift shop.
Admission: Adults $12 and Children $6 Island Queen Cruises's Coupon will save you 50% off of admission
Metrozoo houses more than 700 wild animals in a cageless environment. Hop aboard the air-conditioned monorail for a tour of the zoo or to give your feet a rest. Special exhibits include Asian River Life where visitors walk among the waterfalls, tropical mist, and exotic sounds of wild Asia, among Asian River Otters, Clouded Leopards, Asian Water Monitors, and primitive Muntjac Deer. The Falcon Batchelor Komodo Dragon Encounter exhibits a pair of the largest, most powerful lizards on earth from the island of Komodo. Travel to the wilds of Africa at the African Plains exhibit, which features herds of Reticulated Giraffes, Zebras, Gazelles and Ostrich. Experience the forests of the Dark Continent by observing powerful Gorillas and Chimpanzees. The children's petting area, called PAWS, allows children to come into contact with a number of tame animals.
Admission: Adults $8, children ages 3-12 $4. Under 3 admitted free.
Hours of Operation: The zoo is open every day of the year from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, with admission gates closing at 4 pm. Guests should plan to spend 2-3 hours at the zoo.
From robotic dinosaurs to live animals, explore the science center that offers something for everyone. The Museum features national traveling shows and more than 140 hands-on exhibits illustrating principles of physics, electricity, light sound and health. Trek the path blazed by early scientist and reaserchers throughout the Americas in the Smithsonian Expeditions exhibit. Relive expeditions into unexplored territories to discover rare artifacts that have formed America's foremost collection of natural history treasures from the region. The outdoor Wildlife Center rehabilitates injured animals and displays more than 175 live animals to the public. Daily live science and wildlife demonstrations.
Admission: Adults $9;Seniors (62+) $7; Students (w/I.D.) $7;Children (3-12) $5.50 ;Children (under 3) Free and after 4:30 P.M. Half Price. Ticket price includes entrance to all museum galleries, planetarium shows, and the wildlife center.
Hours of Operation: Open daily from 10am to 6pm (box office closes at 5pm)
How would your family like to spend a day with TV's Flipper, seals, manatees and Lolita the Killer Whale? Visitors to this marine park can tour re-creations of a rainforest, a lagoon, a coral reef, and a mangrove exhibit, and can view other forms of marine life in more than 40 aquariums that line the walls of the main exhibit hall. Children can feed the dolphins, kiss the sea-lions, and sit right along the edge of the tank that holds tropical fish..
Check the daily schedule of events for shark feedings, the Flipper show and the Killer Whale show. Beware of the painted seats at the Lolita show. Only sit there if you plan on getting soaked, while she splashes around performing her tricks.
Visit an authentic Indian village and discover a culture centuries old. Guided tours take you through the past, present and future of the Miccosukee tribe. See demonstrations and displays of woodcarving, patchwork, beadwork, basket weaving, and doll making, a museum and an alligator farm. Enjoy a thrilling airboat ride. The Miccosukee Restaurant features Miccosukee fry bread, pumpkin bread, Everglades frog legs, "gator" and catfish, as well as standard American cuisine.
Admission: Adults $5, children (5-12) $3.50, children (under 4) free, seniors $4. Airboat rides $10. Suggested Visit :2 hours.
Monkey Jungle is "Where the humans are caged and the monkeys run wild." Your family can escape on a jungle safari, explore the wilds of South America and Asia. Delve into the lush, tropical Amazonian rain forest filled with hundreds of exotic monkeys. There are daily shows featuring trained monkeys and chimps. Monkey Jungle also contains one of the richest fossil deposits in southern Florida, with more than 5,000 specimens.
Admission: Admission is $13.50 plus Tax for adults and $8.00 plus Tax for children ages 4 - 12. There is no charge for children under the age of 4.
Hours of Operation: Monkey Jungle is open every day of the year from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. The ticket offices closes at 4:00 pm
Parrot Jungle is a unique bird sanctuary, wildlife habitat and botanical garden. Parrots fly free, feed from your hand and pose for pictures. Families will enjoy the trained bird and tropical wildlife shows. Other animals include flamingos, apes, alligators, giant tortoises and other exotic reptiles, including an albino aligator. Also features a petting zoo and children's playground. The "Monkey see, Monkey Do" show and exhibit and a walk-through lory aviary. See the jungle encounter "Creatures in the Mist, A Rain Forrest Adventure." The parrot Café opens daily at 8 a.m. and provides a beautiful view of the park and some of its colorful residents. Visitors should allow at least 3 ½ hours to tour the park.
Admission: Adults $14.95 plus tax, children (3-12) $8.95, children (under 3) free. Parrot Jungle Coupon and Map http://www.parrotjungle.com/map.htm
Hours of Operation: Park opens daily at 9:30 a.m
There are an array of malls, boutiques and speciality shops. For details check out these sites:
The Tropical Fun Center features an adventure-style mini golf course, raging river kiddie bumper boats, go-cart track, paintball, kids soft play area and arcade room.
Download Coupons for Fun Here...NOW!
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 10am-10pm, Friday-Sunday 10am-midnight
The Coral Gables' Historic Venetian Pool was formed from a coral rock quarry in 1923 and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. This 820,000 gallon pool is fed with cool spring water daily, and features two waterfalls, coral caves and grottos.
Admission: Adults $8 Children ages 3-12 $4 Children under 3 are not admitted.
Hours of Operation: Mid June thru Mid August 11:00 am - 7:30 pm; September & October 11:00 am - 5:30 pm* ;April & May 11:00 am - 5:30 pm*;November thru March 10:00 am - 4:30 pm* ;Saturday & Sunday Year Round 10:00 am - 4:30 pm * closed Mondays
**The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Website (www.tropicoolmiami.com) offers some great information including their vacation planner. Be on the look out for coupons and deals on the site.
** Entertainment.COM (www.entertainment.com) features online coupons for restaurants, attractions, hotels, sporting events and more. The hard copy books are also sold on the website.
**Many Miami hotels are part of the Hotel Reservation Network discount hotel reservations network. You can easily search the site by name, location, or star rating.
** Miami Travel Packets: Vacation Planning Guides, Brochures, Maps, Coupons for Travel to Miami Florida (http://miami-florida.travelpackets.com) provides insider tips about what to do in Miami. They work with Miami travel bureaus, hotels, visitor guides and local residents to obtain information that will benefit you.
**The Miami Herald's "Weekend" entertainment guide is in the Friday edition. There are literally dozens of specialized Miami magazines geared toward visitors and natives alike. Many are free and can be picked up at hotels, at restaurants, and in self-serve boxes all around town.