Located in Gila County, Arizona, Miami isn’t a place you’ll likely confuse with its swanky, big-city counterpart in south Florida.
Miami is a wonderful example of the iconic southwest desert towns that were largely built on mining and ranching.
The town was officially settled in the early 1900s. Though its prosperity has waned over the years, it’s still full of small-town charm that you may find a pleasant change from the hectic pace of so many other large towns and cities.
Below are 14 things to do in Miami, Arizona that you’ll want to take advantage of when you’re in the area.
1. Take a Stroll on Main Street
Miami’s quaint downtown area is a great place to check out before heading out to explore all the area’s typical tourist hotspots.
Main Street is full of small businesses and eateries, nearly all of which are family owned and have been around for years.
Much of downtown’s architecture is original; though some of it has seen better days, it’ll give you a great insight into what it must have been like to live in the wild-west before it was tamed.
It’s always a good idea to ask a local or two what they’d suggest you see and do in the area, so don’t be shy.
2. Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum
Mining is big business in Arizona and has been since the beginning.
The building that houses the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum was built in 1923. It was a school for much of its life before being transformed into its present form.
The museum is a tribute to Arizona’s rich Native American and pioneer histories.
You’ll also see exhibits honoring veterans and lots of interesting artifacts and exhibits dedicated to veterans, prominent local figures, and the region’s first inhabitants.
The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and it’s free to visit, so check it out.
3. Play a Round at Cobre Valley Golf Course
Arizona is one of America’s golfing meccas, especially in the winter months, when it’s bathed in constant sun and mid-80 degree temperatures and most of the rest of the population is firmly in Mother Nature’s icy embrace.
Located on Cypress Way in Miami, the 9-hole course is 3,200 yards long and has been open for just short of 100 years.
The course is suitable for those of all skill levels. Since it’s only got 9 holes, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours – unless you’re particularly bad at golf.
There’s a clubhouse and bar and even an outdoor swimming pool if you’d like to make a day of it.
4. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Located on Sullivan Street in downtown Miami, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament is a wonderful example of mission-style architecture that looks like it deserves to be on the cover of a glossy tourism brochure.
The church has a long history of serving the community – dating back to 1917 – and was designated a National Historic Site in 2008.
Services are held throughout the week and on Sundays if you’d like to attend mass. It’s also okay to stop by at other times too if you’d just like to marvel at the architecture.
The inside of the church includes white stucco walls, vaulted ceilings, and beautiful stained glass.
5. Gila County Museum
Located on Old West Highway in Globe, Arizona, the Gila County Museum is inside a building that was originally the home of a quick response unit for the mining accidents that were pretty prevalent in ages past.
The museum is staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic docents who will answer your questions and give you the dime tour.
The museum’s contents largely focus on the town’s history of mining, which was the major economic driver for most of its existence.
It also includes a pioneer-era medical exhibit, an old kitchen, mining paraphernalia and interesting photos and information on Coolidge and Roosevelt Dams.
6. Besh-Ba-Gowah Ruins
The Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park is one of the premier attractions for those visiting the Miami and Globe areas.
The park will give you an amazing first-hand insight into the fascinating Salado Native Americans who lived in the area nearly 800 years ago.
The site includes some of the most extensive and well-preserved artifacts and dwellings that can be found anywhere in the southwest.
Archaeologists believe that the Salado people lived in the area between the 12th and 15th centuries.
Exhibits and artifacts include pottery, clothing, tools and other everyday items the people used to eke out a living in this tough and unforgiving climate.
7. Pickle Barrel Trading Post
Located on South Broad Street in nearby Globe, Pickle Barrel Trading Post started its life in the early 20th century as a supplier’s warehouse; it was designed by a famous architect of the time.
With a rail line leading right to the facility, items were unloaded directly into the building, where they were stored before being distributed to the businesses and homes in the area.
Now the trading post has an amazing array of southwestern items, like art, jewelry, and ceramics for home and garden.
Of particular interest is the beautiful sterling and turquoise jewelry, much of which is made by Native Americans using local materials.
8. Old Dominion Historic Mine Park
Old Dominion Historic Mine Park is one of those places that’s generally overlooked by the area’s visitors, strange considering its convenient location, historic importance, and lack of entry fee.
It’s a great showcase of the area’s mining and cultural history and includes lots of artifacts, equipment, and exhibits that are informative, unique, and a lot of fun for kids and adults.
There are gravel trails in the park if you’d like to stretch your legs after a day in the car.
There are also covered picnic areas which are great for a lazy lunch, or just an afternoon enjoying a good book.
9. Cobre Valley Center for the Arts
Hands-down, Cobre Valley Center for the Arts is the place to go if you’re looking to experience some live entertainment, or just mill around and enjoy amazing local art.
The center has been around since 1984 and is run by a not-for-profit organization which is dedicated to promoting the region’s art and culture. It also hosts performing artists and exhibits from other parts of the country.
The center is inside the old Gila County Courthouse, which is more than 100 years old, making it a unique venue.
Their hours are seasonal, so check their website before you go.
10. Historic Gila County Jail
Arizona’s rough pioneer history is chockfull of stalwart lawmen and drunken villains just looking for trouble.
The Historic Gila County Jail is rich in such macabre history and is infamous for at least one cold-blooded killing that took place inside.
The jail is often staffed by a rough and ready docent who’s dressed in cowboy attire and sporting a 6-shooter and shotgun. Though he looks like a tough hombre, he’ll be glad to answer your questions.
The museum is full of photos and interesting exhibits that’ll give you an eerie insight into what life must’ve been like for rural Arizona inmates in the past.
11. Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church
For 100 years, the Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church has been serving Globe and the surrounding areas.
The church is conveniently located in Globe’s historic downtown area, making it an easy to see site while you’re familiarizing yourself with the town.
It was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and features interesting architecture and construction made from local stone.
The church’s interior is beautiful as well, featuring carved wood, stained glass and an artistic recreation of the scene at The Last Supper.
Feel free to stop by for a service, or just to take a look at this gem.
12. Round Mountain Park
Known by local outdoor lovers for its beauty, Round Mountain Park is located on South Street, just off Route 60.
The park consists of multiple hiking trails that are suitable for all ages and levels of physical ability.
For those looking to burn a few calories and see some amazing views from high elevation, the West Trail would be a good choice.
Most of the park’s trails are loops, meaning that if you keep walking, they’ll bring you right back to where you started. There are more than enough options to keep you busy for hours if you’re interested.
13. Gila County RV Park and Batting Range
Located on West Cottonwood Street in Globe, the Gila County RV Park and Batting Range is a quirky mix of fun things to do that aren’t usually experienced together.
It’s a great place to stop for the night if you’re an RVer traveling through rural Arizona. The park has all the amenities you’d expect. There are even biking and walking trails nearby if you need a little exertion and fresh air after a long day of driving.
The batting range is a great place to get some baseball practice in. Whether you’re ready for the big leagues or don’t know which end of the bat to use, there’s an area that’ll be suitable for you.
Don’t forget to wear a helmet.
14. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Since 1924, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum has been preserving and promoting plants, trees, cacti and wildflowers, and their vital importance to the land on which we live.
The arboretum was the first not-for-profit organization in Arizona. Though it’s been around since ’24, it wasn’t open to the public until five years later in 1929.
The arboretum can be found on the Old West Highway and sits within the amazing Sonoran Desert.
Guided tours are available, or if you’d rather show yourself, around that’s okay too. The arboretum is full of easily walkable trails, informative signage, and an amazing array of native and non-native species.