When Will Smith sang "bienvenida a Miami" in his rap about “Dominican women with cinnamon tans,” South beach and cruising in a Bentley, he was nailing Miami’s flavor: "Every day like a mardi gras everybody party all day." This sun-drenched city in South Florida is a tropical paradise for those who swarm to its sandy beaches by day and endless dance clubs at night. But Miami also has numerous free things to do that Will Smith didn’t sing about that are diverse enough to satisfy you whether you’re adventurous or laid-back. So here are five of the best 5 free things to do in Miami.
The Bacardi Museum. If you love rum, then check out this free tour of a museum located in Little Havana (2100 Biscayne Blvd. near NE 21stSt.) that is all about the world-famous Bacardi brand of rum. You’ll get an opportunity to bone-up on the history and trivia of Miami’s favorite drink that dates back to 1862, including all the dope on the company and the founding family. Besides everything that is Bacardi, the museum also includes a display of memorabilia from the botched 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by “Brigade 2506.” The admission is free all year round but they do want you to call and sign-up ahead of time.
The Downtown Miami Waterfront. The downtown waterfront area is where you’ll find history, shopping, art o and live entertainment. Check out Bayfront Park and you'll see monuments to John F. Kennedy; the “unknown Cuban rafters” who were lost at sea trying to reach Florida’s shore; Christopher Columbus; Ponce de Leon; and the Challenger’s astronauts. This park bustles with activity, including outdoor entertainment at the AT&T Amphitheater. Nearby is Pier 5, where local artists gather to display their wares and street performers are everywhere. You can enter the Waterfront area off Biscayne Blvd. between SE 2nd St. and NE 2nd St.
Miami Design District. If you and your girlfriend have artistic tendencies, you’ll want to explore Miami's edgy art scene that’s flourishing within the Miami Design District. During the second Saturday of each month, the area’s trendy experimental artists throw open their doors for free for “Art and Design Night.” In fact, this 18-block nucleus of hip has over 130 art galleries, studios, stylish showrooms, shops, antiques dealers, restaurants, cafes and bars. This freaky art scene with live music happens on 38 to 41st Streets (between NE 2nd Ave. & N Miami Ave.) from 7 to 10 p.m.
The Maurice Gusman Concert Hall. Not that you need an excuse to hang with the babes on the campus of the University of Miami, but if you like music of all kinds then this is the place to catch a free concert. The 600-seat Maurice Gusman Concert Hall on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus hosts more than 100 concerts each year, with the majority of them free to attend (it is best to check ahead). Most of these concerts involve the University of Miami's orchestra backing a guest instrumentalist. The shows also include jazz vocal and instrumentalists, classical piano, chamber music, and everything in between.
Metromover. You can get a free tour of the Miami area with a better view than the Bentley Will Smith sings about by jumping on the Metromover. Yea, it’s free to ride this driverless “sky train” as it passes many of Miami’s iconic hotels in Downtown and then connects with the Metrorail. The Metromover has three loops with regular stops at such destinations as the flamboyant Freedom Tower, the Miami-Dade Cultural Center and Brickell’s financial district skyscrapers. The best time of day to hop this free ride is when the daily commuters are safely in their offices.