Located on Florida’s southern Atlantic coast between Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale to the north and Miami Beach to the south, Aventura was named after the Spanish word for adventure and is in the northeastern portion of Miami-Dade County.
With just 35,000 residents, it’s significantly smaller than many of its neighbors, but it’s conveniently situated near a few of the state’s largest highways, making it an ideal starting point for easy day-trips to many popular tourist attractions, like Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Aventura, Florida that deserve a spot on your itinerary.
1. Aventura Mall
For much of the year, the weather in Florida is perfect, but during the summer, the combination of high heat and high humidity can make it pretty unpleasant to be outside. During such times, finding indoor activities to keep everybody busy is of the utmost importance.
Aventura Mall is the largest mall in Florida and the second largest shopping center in the country; it’s jam-packed with retail stores, eateries, and entertainment options.
Many of the mall’s stores are high-end, nationally known brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Nordstrom, but for those without seven-figure bank accounts, there are more affordable options as well.
2. Aventura Arts and Cultural Center
Located on NE 188th Street in Aventura, the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center was built nearly a decade ago and is one of the area’s premier destinations for culture and art-minded travelers.
The center hosts a wide range of performances throughout the year that include classical and contemporary music, multimedia presentations, dance recitals, and dramatic plays – to name just a few.
Previous guests have commented that the center’s lighting and acoustics were top notch, that there wasn’t a bad seat in the house, and that their experience far exceeded their expectations.
3. Aventura Circle
When visiting a new area, it can be difficult finding a relaxing place to unwind or just take a leisurely walk without having to deal with the hustle and bustle that’s present in most metropolitan areas.
Located on West Country Club Road in Aventura, Aventura Circle is free to visit and includes a paved walking path that winds its way for more than three miles; it’s even accessible for strollers and those using wheelchairs.
The trail borders a scenic golf course and a lake that’s home to a variety of ducks and wading birds, and there are plenty of seating areas with great views.
4. The Grill on the Alley
Located inside Aventura Mall, The Grill on the Alley has been open since 1984. Since then, it has garnered quite a following for its amazing steaks, fresh local seafood, and delectable desserts.
The Grill on the Alley is part of a national chain of upmarket eateries, the first of which was opened more than 30 years ago on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
Known for their hearty, traditional dishes like steaks and pork chops, they offer a variety of soups, salads, and side dishes as well.
It certainly isn’t the least expensive dining option around, so check their menu and prices before committing.
5. Greynolds Park
Comprised of nearly 250 acres, the land that now makes up Greynolds Parks was once a commercial quarry. When its usefulness waned decades ago, it was donated to the city and has since been transformed into a wonderful natural site that now includes a variety of habitats, like hardwood and coastal mangrove forests.
The Oleta River runs along the park’s eastern border and was home to the Seminole Indians for generations before the area was officially settled. There are a variety of well-marked trails to explore.
There’s also a golf course in the park. Due to its popularity, tee times go quickly during peak season, so it’s advisable to make reservations in advance.
6. Founders Park
Located on NE 190th Street in Aventura, Founders Park is open to both city residents and visitors. Featuring a variety of amenities and activity options, it’s a popular attraction for nature lovers, walkers, bikers, and sports enthusiasts.
For those who don’t reside in the city, the admission cost is very inexpensive and will give guests access to a number of athletic fields, outdoor trails with built-in exercise stations, picnic areas, playgrounds, and even a water park.
The park’s southern portion is adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway and offers some fantastic views, particularly in the low light morning and afternoon hours.
7. St. Bernard de Clairvaux Monastery
The St. Bernard de Clairvaux Monastery is located on Dixie Highway in North Miami and has one of the most interesting backgrounds of any historic site in the area.
Originally built in Spain more than 700 years ago, in the early 1930s, it was purchased by American newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, who had it disassembled, shipped to Florida, and reassembled on the site where it now rests.
Comprised of more than 35,000 pieces, it is now open to the public and inexpensive to visit.
Guided tours are available daily, but it’s important to check their website before heading out because they’re often closed for filming and special events.
8. Dezer Collection
The Dezer Collection is a privately-owned museum featuring restored historic automobiles and motorcycles that have been used in famous movies and television shows like James Bond and Batman.
The owners claim that the museum is the largest of its kind in the world, and most guests agree that it’s an amazing collection of one of a kind items.
The museum is located just off Biscayne Boulevard and is comprised of two buildings, each housing a different collection.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or online, but if you’d like to take advantage of senior citizen or student discounts, you’ll need to purchase them in-person.
9. North Beach Band Shell
Conveniently located just a few minutes from Aventura in North Miami Beach, the North Beach Bandshell is a unique outdoor live entertainment venue that was built in what’s often referred to as the Miami Modernism Style.
In the last decade, the band shell has undergone significant renovations and has been hosting a wide variety of entertaining events ever since.
Over the years, there have been a number of nationally and internationally famous performers who’ve highlighted at the band shell, and most of the events are scheduled during the cooler winter and fall months.
Outside food and drinks aren’t allowed, but there are food and drink stands onsite during shows.
10. Haulover Park
Located along the Atlantic coast in Miami Beach, Haulover Park is popular with visitors for its proximity to the city and the variety of outdoor recreation options it offers.
It’s important to note that there’s a no-clothes-required portion of the beach, but it’s clearly marked; for those traveling with kids, there are separate beaches that are a bit more traditional and family-friendly.
There’s an inexpensive per-car fee to enter the park, and it’s more costly on the weekends than it is during the week.
The park’s entrance is on Collins Avenue, and there’s an area reserved for those who bring their dogs.
11. Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard is one of the region’s swankiest shopping districts, and in many ways, it rivals similar exclusive areas in Miami.
For most tourists, it’s only appropriate for window shopping, because much of what you’ll find is very expensive.
That being said, it’s a great place to spend a few afternoon hours browsing the boutique shops and galleries. With its wide variety of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, finding a place to relax and fill-up shouldn’t be a problem, even if it’s only with a high-priced cappuccino.
During the year, the Boulevard hosts a variety of live entertainment and food, wine, and art shows as well.
12. Museum of Discovery and Science
Unlike many states with limited attractions, Florida is an absolute wonderland for families traveling with kids.
From the world-class beaches and theme parks to airboat rides across gator-filled swamps, there’s a new adventure around nearly every corner. But when the weather takes a turn for the worse, it’s great to have a few indoor options in your back pocket.
The Museum of Discovery and Science is chock-full of interactive exhibits that touch on science and the natural world, history, art, and even aviation. It’s been known to keep young ones and their weary parents engaged for hours on end.
13. The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
Located on Packard Avenue, the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum is one of the world’s most unique collections of historic automobiles, in that it’s nearly entirely dedicated to the vehicles produced by the now-defunct Packard Motor Company.
The museum’s collection includes more than 20 cars that have been restored to near-original condition. In their day, Packards were considered innovative and of high quality and were primarily reserved for the well-to-do.
Guided tours are available, and guests who’ve seen the museum as part of a tour thought it was great value, but it’s okay to see things at your own pace as well.
14. Everglades Holiday Park
Everglades Holiday Park is one of South Florida’s premier destinations for those who want a variety of fun, exciting, and educational activities at their fingertips without spending hours in the car driving to and from different attractions.
Particularly well-known for its airboat swamp tours and live gator shows, it’s one of those places that really should be visited by those who’ve got limited vacation time and want to use it wisely.
The park’s guides and staff are trained in dealing with the animals and take pride in educating the public on the natural wonder that is the Florida Everglades.
It’s open year-round rain or shine.
15. Fort Lauderdale Historical Society & Museum
Located along Southwest 2nd Avenue near the famous Riverwalk Park area, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and Museum would be a great place to stop early on if you’re not familiar with the area’s history and attractions.
The museum is located in a historic hotel and houses a research library and gift shop in addition to its permanent collection of items related to the exploration and settling of the area.
From October until May, the museum staff offer guided tours of the museum and grounds. The price is surprisingly inexpensive, especially when compared with other Florida attractions that can cost a bundle.