Located at the southern tip of Florida, Miami Beach sits on natural and man-made barrier islands, surrounded by Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Miami Beach has it all, from historic architecture to modern nightclubs. Bustling from morning until night, the city offers fine dining, popular boutiques, as well as exciting outdoor attractions. Settle into your charming Miami Beach vacation rental, and then explore the area with this list of the top 15 activities.

1. Check out the Boardwalk

Get familiar with the city by taking a stroll on the Miami Beach Boardwalk. See the sights, do some people-watching, or go for a morning jog. Trees provide plenty of shade, and you’ll pass plenty of cafes and eateries where you can grab a bite. Visit Miami Beach Bicycle Center for bike rentals so you can ride the boardwalk in the early mornings.

2. Visit an Art Gallery

Get your art fix at Britto Central. Featuring the works of pop artist Romero Britto, this spot lets you view his eclectic pieces. Pick up a print for an affordable price, or let the kids browse the various colorful and unique works. As an added bonus, the staff at Britto Central is friendly and informative.

3. Plan Your Escape

Work together with your family to solve clues and make it out in time at South Beach Room Escape. This attraction is perfect for families with teens and ‘tweens. Choose the Panic Room to try to escape the mental asylum, or opt for Diamond Heist if you think it would be fun to think like a criminal.

4. Have an Ocean Adventure

If you’re a family of thrill-seekers, just name your activity, as the area offers many options. Get a bird’s-eye view of Miami Beach when you book an adventure with South Beach Parasail. Rent jet skis at American WaterSports. Book a fishing charter with Therapy IV Deep Sea Fishing Experience to reel in some monster catches.

5. Take a Duck Tour

Enjoy a complete tour of the city and its waters with Miami Pirate Duck Tours. Start out on land in the trolley duck, and enjoy touring the streets of Miami Beach as your pirate host points out celebrity homes and hot spots. Watch your kids’ faces light up when the amphibious vehicle hits the open waters.

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6. Shop ’til You Drop

Whether you want souvenirs or beach gear, there are plenty of shopping options in Miami Beach. Perfect Gifts South Beach is the ultimate spot to shop for unique gifts and sundries. Think & Believe offers stylish women’s clothes. Lincoln Road is a mile-long stretch of shops just waiting to be discovered.

7. Catch a Movie

Travel back in time when you visit the Miami Beach Cinematheque. This hidden gem often shows foreign flicks, indie films, and Sundance Film Festival pictures. Complete with red velvet curtains, this theater is the ultimate experience for movie buffs, and it features a small cafe that serves delightful treats. Guests rave about the brownies, so make sure to try them while there.

8. Try the Local Cuisine

Don’t spend your entire vacation cooking meals at your vacation rental. For a quick and easy dinner that pleases the whole family, head to Blocks Pizza Deli. For upscale dining, stop by StripSteak by Michael Mina. If you’re craving Italian, Pane & Vino is the place for you. Stop by Pinocchio Italian Deli in the mornings for your coffee fix.

9. Explore the Holocaust Memorial

Educate yourself and your family at the Holocaust Museum. Sculpture of Love and Anguish, an incredible statue of a 40-foot-tall outstretched hand, is the main focal point here. Read the names and stories inscribed on the walls, and view the various monuments in the circular memorial. Many visitors and locals come here for peaceful reflection.

10. Tour the Historic District

The Art Deco Historic District encompasses 1 square mile, featuring over 800 architecturally protected historic buildings. Be your own guide, or book a walking tour. Bike and Roll Miami offers a unique Art Deco Segway tour that lets you glide along Ocean Drive as you learn about the art. If you’re new to the Segway, don’t worry. Your rental comes with a complimentary lesson.

11. Share Some Laughs

If you’re looking for a night of fun, be sure to check out the SoBe Comedy Show. Featuring some of the area’s funniest comedians, this place packs the house on Friday nights. Check the venue’s website for the weekly lineup. Plan to have dinner there, because the food is fantastic.

12. Check out the Zoo

Delight your little ones with a trip to Jungle Island. This small zoo has been open since 1936. Take a VIP tour to get up-close and personal with the animals. See sloths, tropical birds, kangaroos, and more, and catch a show while you’re there. Wild Encounter is also home to some adorable tiger cubs.

13. Tour the Botanical Gardens

Learn all about plants native to South Florida with a trip to Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. See flowering trees, orchids, palm trees, and edible florals. Kids love the water features throughout the gardens and the butterflies that float past from time to time. The 2.6-acre gardens even host yoga on Sunday mornings.

14. Go Ice Skating

Step out of the hot sun and onto the ice when you visit Scott Rakow Youth Center. This 12,885-square-foot ice skating rink is open year-round. Stop by the pro shop to pick up your skates, gloves, and pads. If you’re a bit rusty, book a lesson.

15. Attend a Performance

The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason Theater was renovated in 2007, but the building still maintains its ’50s charm. This location often books some well-known artists and comedians, so be sure to check out the venue’s event calendar to find out who’ll be in town during your vacation.

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