Located in South Florida’s Miami-Dade County, Cutler Bay is one of the area’s newest municipalities and was established in 2005.
The beautiful coastal town is home to a variety of natural and cultural attractions, but its flat seaside location is prone to flooding during the many tropical storms and hurricanes that the south Atlantic coast gets hit with annually.
Since the early 19th century, the area that’s now Cutler Bay was a prime fishing and hunting location for European settlers and was home to a variety of Native American groups for generations before that.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Cutler Bay, Florida.
1. Black Point Ocean Grill
Located on the grounds of the Black Point Marina, Black Point Ocean grill has been wowing visitors since 2005 and is the perfect culinary destination for those who’d like to jump headfirst into South Florida’s alluring culture.
Featuring some of the most stunning nautical views to be found in the area, the restaurant includes indoor and outdoor seating, and a full menu with plenty of fresh seafood options, steaks, salads, soups, and sandwiches.
The restaurant and bar are gathering places for charter boat captains, wealthy yacht owners, locals, and tourists. Cold drinks and live entertainment round out this impressive ensemble.
2. Southland Mall
Though these days they get a bad rap, malls are often overlooked gems that include dining, shopping, and entertainment options like movies and arcades all under one roof.
Sure, you may have to contend with the fanny-packed geriatric crowd walking their daily laps, but Miami’s Southland Mall has more than enough to keep most families busy and content for hours regardless.
Featuring well-known standbys like Starbucks, Claire’s, JC Penny and Old Navy, it’s the perfect place to relax with a coffee or pick up some new socks. There are plenty of dining options as well, ranging from a casual food court to full-service restaurants.
3. Charles Deering Estate
In the second decade of the 20th century, a wealthy Chicago industrialist named Charles Deering bought hundreds of acres of land around what is now Cutler Bay and Miami.
A stylish winter home was built on the site, and today, the Charles Deering Estate is open to the public.
The sprawling gardens offer amazing coastal views and ample walking and seating areas, and the home is filled with a variety of authentic art, furniture, and housewares that were the height of luxury by the standards of the day.
The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and admission is relatively inexpensive.
4. Burr’s Berry Farm
With a history dating back more than 140 years, Burr’s Berry Farm was founded by a family of well-connected bureaucrats who moved from Washington, D.C. in search of a more agreeable climate and the chance to start a new business.
Though the farm’s location changed a few times over the years due to crop freezes, the land on which the farm now sits is farther south and less susceptible to such events. It’s now a popular destination for families looking to enjoy the great outdoors in a unique way.
The farm provides a variety of seasonal activity options, of which the fall corn maze, hay rides, and pumpkin picking events are the most popular.
5. Zoo Miami
Though you wouldn’t know it by its name alone, in addition to being a world-class zoo, Zoo Miami is also a zoological garden, the oldest of its kind in the Sunshine State.
The facility was originally established in 1948, and since then, has expanded significantly. Though it’s moved a few times, it’s been at its current location for nearly four decades.
The zoo and gardens are comprised of more than 700 acres, indoor and outdoor areas, and more than 100 exhibits, making it a family-friendly destination that deserves more than just an hour or two of your hard-earned vacation time.
6. Larry and Penny Thompson Park
Popular municipal attractions like zoos can be pleasant oases for weary travelers, but they can also get downright crowded, and for many, that spoils the fun.
Located adjacent to Zoo Miami, Larry and Penny Thompson Park’s grounds include nearly 300 acres of largely undisturbed natural areas that are popular with hikers, nature lovers, and campers.
The park’s amenities include more than 200 individual campsites and RV slots with full water and electrical hookups.
There’s a lake with its own beach, an array of hiking trails, and plenty of laundry, bathroom and shower facilities with hot water.
7. Miami Children’s Museum
Even in an outdoor wonderland like south Florida, it’s possible for kids to tire of hanging out at the beach. The Miami Children’s Museum is one of those rare places that educates and entertains young ones simultaneously, making it a true gem for families traveling with children.
The museum’s interactive exhibits touch on animals and the natural world, science, banking, money, and art to – name a few.
Conveniently located near downtown Miami and South Beach, the museum is close enough to other nearby attractions to make it a great spur-of-the-moment side excursion, especially if the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
8. Fruit and Spice Park
Located on 187th Avenue in nearby Homestead, Fruit and Spice Park attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year and is open daily rain or shine.
Featuring multiple distinct gardens, the park is home to hundreds of species of fruits, herbs, vegetables, and spices from all over the world.
Guided private tours are offered three times daily from 11 AM until 3 PM, and the park’s facilities are accessible to strollers and wheelchairs as well.
There’s a pleasant café onsite too, and though personal photographs are allowed, commercial photography isn’t.
It’s okay to sample recently fallen fruit, but don’t let them catch you picking any from the trees.
9. Redland Market Village
Since 1987, Redland Market Village has been a family-owned and operated business that’s spread over nearly 30 acres just off South Dixie Highway in Miami.
In addition to its traditional farmer’s market, the village sports a variety of internationally influenced food trucks, live entertainment, and endless rows of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and auto parts to arts, crafts, health, and body products.
Redland Market Village is open from 11 AM until 6 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 7 AM until 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
Consider arriving early on the weekend and enjoying some tasty coffee and fresh baked goods before beginning your shopping extravaganza.
10. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is unique in that, unlike other national parks, it consists of more than 90 percent water.
Though much of the park is visible from Miami’s city center, in many ways, the park is a distinct world unto itself.
Comprised of coral reefs, scenic islands, and shallow stretches of sandbars that are home to shipwrecks and a massive variety of marine life, the park’s most popular activities include boating, snorkeling, and fishing. For those who’d rather let a professional handle their itinerary, a number of guided tour options are available.
Powerboat rentals are available too, but they’re not a good idea for those with no boating experience.
11. Art Deco Tour
Miami’s South Beach is known as one of the most well-preserved art deco neighborhoods in the country.
The area is full of architecturally unique homes, businesses, and galleries, many of which are in near-original condition and date back to the art deco movement’s heyday in the ‘20s and ‘30s.
For do-it-yourselfers, it’s possible to do a little research and act as your own tour guide, but many visitors choose to see the sights as part of a tour; those that do will get unique insight from a local guide who knows the ins and outs.
Tour prices can be reasonable, and some offer food and drink deals at local eateries.
12. Holocaust Memorial
In a city so well-known for its flash, glamour, and conspicuous materialism, a poignant historical site like the Holocaust Memorial may seem oddly out of place.
Located near the intersection of Meridian and Dade in South Beach, the Holocaust Memorial is free to visit and includes impressive artwork, historical plaques, and plenty of areas for quiet reflection.
The memorial has been open to the public since 1990, and many visitors consider their trip to the site one of the most memorable things they experienced on their South Florida vacation.
The site is open from 9:30 until sunset, there’s ample parking nearby, and it’s possible to get within walking distance using public transportation.
13. Wynwood Walls
Located in a now-abandoned garment district from nearly 50 years ago, Wynwood Walls is one of the Miami area’s premier art destinations. Unlike museums and galleries that can be stuffy and confining, the walls are located outdoors.
In addition to the dozens of murals depicting unique slices of life, the area is home to a microbrewery, bohemian cafes, and trendy galleries that make it the perfect place for a meal, a leisurely stroll, or just some people watching and window shopping.
Guided bike and walking tours are available, but if you’d rather rent your own bike and make a day of it, there are a few rental businesses nearby.
14. Seaside Yoga
With its flashy aura and hectic pace, it’s easy to lose your state of Zen in a place like Miami.
Consisting of more than 30 waterfront acres, Bayfront Park is in Miami’s downtown area on Biscayne Bay. It is a popular destination for yoga aficionados looking to take advantage of the amazing scenery and free guided yoga sessions.
After you’ve attained nirvana, consider strolling along the waterfront, stopping for a pastry and cappuccino, or checking out the open-air shopping center that’s a popular shopping destination for those looking for unique and locally-made products, many of which you won’t find elsewhere.
15. Little Havana
Sporting the largest Cuban population outside the island nation itself, Miami’s Little Havana is full of amazing sights and smells, and some of the most sought after food in the city.
Featuring a variety of restaurants, bars, and galleries, Little Havana is often visited as part of a guided tour, but with so much information available online, it’s a relatively easy place to check out on your own as well.
If your trip coincides with the last Friday of the month, check out Calle Ocho’s Cultural Friday, or ‘Viernes Cultural’ event that includes tasty food and drinks, art, and live performances.