I had never spent much time in Miami but recently went there to visit my niece, and she took me around to see the sights. The city lies right on the Atlantic Ocean so of course there are plenty of walks you can take along the sea, but you can also visit some of the nearby "keys" (small islands) for a more immersive natural experience. We also visited the colorful outdoor graffiti art and murals in the town of Wynwood, the best of which have been collected in an area known as the Wynwood Walls. The project was designed in 2009 by Tony Goldman, who said “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Entrance is $10 per person.
Here are some of the ones that really blew me away: this series by Chilean artist Dasic Hernandez from 2019:
It's quite extensive and there are little park areas and benches as you walk through:
I loved this one's sci-fi comic book feel:
There were some towering works and a wide variety of styles:
The art and creativity spilled out into the streets:
Dr. Fauci (America's top specialist in contagious diseases) makes an appearance, reminding us to wash our hands :-)
I loved this astrology-themed wall-art:
What a fun visit, and a great way to re-vitalize a community!
For a nature fix we headed over to Key Biscayne, located very close to the city over a long bridge. A lot of it is parkland and there are lots of trails plus a long, gorgeous white-sand beach. Unfortunately the wind was blowing a gale while we were there so there was no swimming on our agenda. But we did do a bit of exploring (cost is $8 per car to get in) :
In non-pandemic times you can climb to the top of the Cape Florida lighthouse, built in 1825:
The construction of the lighthouse effectively put an end to the "Saltwater Railroad," a coastal waterway used by enslaved people to escape from the Southern slave states into the British-controlled Bahamas. Read more about this tragic chapter in American history here.
Some wildlife was seen (lots of iguanas):
And some beautiful palm trees playing host to some climbing vines:
And this gorgeous Royal Poinciana tree:
I was mesmerized by the play of light and shadow under the slats of a boardwalk:
We saw this beautiful cormorant drying his wings in the sun:
There was this amazing water but it was along an area where swimming wasn't allowed. Too bad! We would have jumped right in!
For a quick city walk with some cool views (and potential wildlife sightings), head out to Brickell Key, which is attached to the mainland by a super-short (50 m/yd) bridge:
And of course there are miles and miles of sandy beach...
Miami has a busy downtown but it's still fun to walk around in and not oppressive, so go out and explore!
Gracias, Miami! I'll be back!
My U.S. travels are almost at an end (I'm on my last day of exciting New York City now) so I'll hit up The Big Apple next week and then return to European shores. Thanks for coming along and see you next time! As always, the tip jar is open to keep my subway fare topped up ("Tip your Guide" tab at top of page).
Ciao e alla prossima!
(bye and see you next time ;-) )