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Five Things to Do in Miami That Are Not in the Mall

by Stephanie Koathes Apr 8, 2019

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Colourful mural at Wynwood Walls, Miami.

Florida has the second largest Jamaican population in the United States just behind New York, with the biggest Jamaican presence being felt in South Florida. All across the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, you’ll find yardies.

Florida is also one of the easiest places to get to from Jamaica. There are multiple flights per day making the under two-hour journey from Kingston or Montego Bay to Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

It’s no surprise that many of us who live on the island make frequent visits to South Florida to see family and friends and…to shop.

On a recent quick trip to the Miami area, I realised that despite my many visits to this massive city I’ve never really discovered much outside of the mall. I tend to plan my trips around the malls and shops. This time I decided to branch out a little. So if you’re like me and want to shake up your Florida trip, here are five things to do in the Miami area that don’t include the mall.


Aerial view of freeways in South Florida.

Driving on the wrong side of the road is an experience. If you’re not too nervous and have access to a car (and GPS), give driving around Miami a try. You’ll have more freedom to move about, and you’ll feel pretty accomplished at navigating a road system that’s so massive and so different from Jamaica’s. Though if you drive in Jamaica, you should be able to handle driving anywhere!

Take a trip to Wynwood

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There’s a lot of buzz around this Miami neighbourhood. It’s full of trendy restaurants, shops, and art. This wasn’t the case just a few years ago; Wynwood was once a rundown and tough neighbourhood. But that’s changed as the area has gentrified. Wynwood is now more like an open-air museum with incredible street art murals around every corner. And this is why you should put Wynwood on your itinerary. The Wynwood Walls are a series of striking murals painted by talented artists on walls around the area. Wynwood Walls are infinitely Instagrammable and worth some of your time. You can get there by car in about 45 minutes from Sawgrass Mills Mall (we all know this mall!). It is  20 minutes from Miami International Airport and just over 40 minutes from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

Be mindful. Don’t stray too far from the main Wynwood Walls ‘gallery’. The neighbourhood adjacent to Wynwood, Overtown, is not a place you want to venture into.

Try a gourmet donut

After you’ve strolled around looking at Wynwood’s amazing street murals, head over to The Salty Donut. This is a small gourmet donut and coffee shop that’s got a lot of hype for its delicious and creative donuts. Some of their flavours include white chocolate tres leches, guava and cream cheese, and hot chocolate baked donut.  There are also seasonal flavours such as flan, caramel and popcorn, and strawberry shortcake. The maple and bacon donut is a must-try for those who love the salty-sweet combo. When I went just before midday, there wasn’t much of a line, but a few minutes later the line was out the door.

Get dipping with fondue

I love cheese, so naturally, when planning a night out, I gravitated towards The Melting Pot. The Melting Pot is a chain of fondue restaurants found all around the United States and with many locations in Florida. Fondue is a dish of Swiss origin that calls for cheese melted with wine and eaten with bread dipped into the tasty mix. The Melting Pot makes for a great evening out. Share a pot of fondue with garlic and white wine or bacon and aged cheddar. Follow up the cheese fondue with some decadent chocolate fondue. It’s a dining experience we just don’t have in Jamaica at the moment.

Do a tour of the Everglades

Aerial view of the Everglades in Florida.

Florida is famous for the Everglades, but have you ever been? The Everglades, also known as the ‘river of grass,’ is the largest subtropical wetland in North America. It’s home a diverse ecosystem including the endangered Florida panther, 360 species of bird, and of course alligators and crocodiles. This is as far away from the Miami malls as you can get!

Planning your next Miami trip? Check out Find Yello’s airline listings.