Sure, you'll want to see a few sights while you're here, but don't forget to include these experiences on your to-do list.
Cruise along oceanfront Collins Avenue, past rows of hotels and condos, to Ocean Drive in South Beach, where people-watching is an art form. Marvel at the sherbet-colored architectural gems in the Art Deco District as you dine, drink or shop in this oh-so-trendy area. South Beach doesn't really come to life, though, until the sun goes down. Then the neon-lit lounges, hip cafes and dance clubs pulsate into the wee hours with jazz, salsa and pop rhythms. You might even spot a celebrity or two among the cosmopolitan, international crowd.
Imagine what life was like during the Gilded Age at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the lavish 34-room winter estate of industrialist James Deering.
Bienvenidos a Calle Ocho! Welcome to Eighth Street, the main thoroughfare of Little Havana. Immerse yourself in Cuban culture, transplanted to South Florida, as you sip a cafe con leche or shop for hand-rolled cigars and the perfect souvenir guayabera.
Catch some beach time-you are in Florida, after all! Feel the sand trickle through your toes, wade into the gentle surf (being careful not to get a mouthful of saltwater) and test your architectural skills with a plastic pail and shovel. Two favorite nearby beaches are Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach.
Squaaawk! You can pose with a parrot, feed a flamingo or mingle with a macaw at Jungle Island. Other residents you'll want to meet include cute twin orangutans; an Asian water monitor named Godzilla; and Crocosaurus, a saltwater crocodile.
Cheer on the Dolphins, Heat, Marlins or Hurricanes, depending on what time of year you're visiting the city (that is, if you can get a ticket). For a truly local experience, visit the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton and place a bet on your favorite player or team.
Steer your car south toward Florida City to the main entrance of Everglades National Park, where trails, boardwalks and tram tours provide access to hardwood hammocks, swamps, an amazing variety of birdlife and subtropical plants, mangrove forests and sawgrass prairies. Also south is Biscayne National Park, 95 percent of which is underwater. If you're not experienced in scuba diving, snorkeling or kayaking, you can view its coral reefs and other aquatic wonders on a glass-bottom boat tour.
You won't be able to tiptoe through the tulips, though you can stroll through a rainforest and among the palms, bougainvillea, hibiscus, fruits and vines that grow in organized profusion at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
Glide your way through the Miami Metrozoo on a monorail, taking time to admire the natural habitats where animals native to Africa, Asia and Europe live.
In a city famous for its diverse cultures and lifestyles, The Holocaust Memorial is a fitting reminder of our world's need for tolerance.