Planning a vacation to Miami? Our local experts put together a list of top Miami museums that you should consider adding to your itinerary.
Miami is famous for beautiful beaches and bustling nightlife, but it also has a number of museums and other sights that offer insight into Miami’s colorful and multicultural heritage and culture.
Be sure to take a little break from the sun and sand with a little education and enlightenment at one of Miami’s top museums.
Want Passes to Top Miami Museums?
Admission to a number of these attractions are included on the Go Miami® Card.
Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.
A few of the museums available on the Go Miami Card include…
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- Miami Children’s Museum
- Pérez Art Museum
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
This United States National Historic Landmark is a worth an excursion from the hustle and bustle of Miami.
Vizcaya is a lavish American home inspired by European Palaces. The sprawling estate was built in the early 20th century by a wealthy American industrialist. You’ll get to see some of its 34 immaculately decorated rooms, over 2,500 pieces of art, ten acres of European-inspired formal gardens, a collection of over 2,000 orchids, and 25 acres of endangered primary growth forests.
Outside the Main House, you can explore the lush subtropical forests, a magnificent fountain, foliage-lined walkways, several gardens that are home to numerous statues, and stunning views of Biscayne Bay.
Vizcaya has hosted some of the world’s most renowned dignitaries, such as Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, and President Ronald Reagan. Step into America’s Gilded Age at Vizcaya, and you may never want to leave.
Getting in: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens tickets are included on the Go Miami Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Miami Children’s Museum
The Miami Children’s Museum is one of the best museums geared towards kids. It’s a fun-filled interactive environment that invites kids, parents, and visitors of all ages to play and learn together.
All of the exhibits emphasize arts, culture, community, communication, imagination, and creativity. You’ll get to see the 2-story Sandcastle of Dreams, a real recording studio, climb the 30-foot rock wall called Mt. MiChiMu, and more.
Plus, the museum offers daily programs, seasonal classes and camps, learning material, and the KidSmart gift shop. You can even grab lunch at the on-site restaurant.
Getting in: Miami Children’s Museum tickets are included on the Go Miami Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Pérez Art Museum
As Miami’s flagship art museum, the Pèrez Art Museum is one of the most important cultural institutions in the city. During your visit you will learn about modern and contemporary, international art.
Exhibitions highlight Miami’s diverse community and pivotal geographic location as a ‘bridge-of-sorts’ between Latin and North America.
Join in on a free, 45-minute tour, offered daily and led by an expert museum guide, and if you’re visiting with kids, be sure to ask for a Pamm Family Pack, bag of museum-related family fun, when you arrive to add to your experience.
In addition to the wonderful galleries, you can enjoy waterfront dining at Verde restaurant, shop for unique books and handmade items at the gift store, and enjoy the sights of Biscayne Bay and the elaborate hanging gardens.
Getting in: Pèrez Art Museum tickets are included on the Go Miami Card All-Inclusive Pass.
Jewish Museum of Florida
Sometimes called the “jewel of South Beach”, The Jewish Museum of Florida is housed in a meticulously restored, former synagogue that housed Miami Beach’s first Jewish Congregation.
The 1936 Art Deco building features nearly 80 stained glass windows, a copper dome, chandeliers, and other iconic Miami Art Deco features.
The museum’s core exhibit is MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida, which tells the story of 250 years of Jewish history in the state. Through photographs, artifacts, and historical documents, learn how Jews maintained their traditions and communities as they contributed to the growth of Florida.
Complete your experience by catching an educational film, picking up a souvenir in the museum store, or grabbing a snack at Bessie’s Bistro.
Getting in: Jewish Museum of Florida tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: the museum is closed on Wednesdays.
World Erotic Art Museum
The World Erotic Art Museum located in Miami Beach features over 4,000 works of erotic art from all over the world ranging from 300 BCE to present.
With both temporary and permanent exhibits, the museum is always introducing engaging collections to further their goal of familiarizing the general public with erotic art. Exhibit highlights include: Rembrandt’s Erotic Secrets, Helmut Newton – A Liberating Focus, and Eric Kroll’s Photography – Fantasies of Fetish.
Please note: Visitors must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
Getting in: World Erotic Art Museum tickets are available for purchase upon arrive. Please note: must be 18+ for admission.
Museum of Discovery and ScienceSpend a day exploring hundreds of action-packed interactive exhibits at the educational and entertaining Museum of Discovery and Science.
Visitors can take a ride on the Everglades Airboat Adventure, feel hurricane force winds in the Storm Center, dig for fossils alongside a giant megalodon shark, observe the playful antics of river otters, see sharks up-close, hang out with bats and a 12-foot snake, take a simulated trip to Mars, and more.
Getting in: Museum of Discovery and Science tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.
Coral Castle Museum
The Coral Castle Museum is home to one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments.
Edward Leedskalnin single-handedly created an impressive sculpture garden from over 1,100 tons of coral rock, a process that took nearly 30 years to complete from 1923 – 1951. To this day, no one knows how Ed created the Coral Castle at a time when there were no modern construction conveniences, he claimed to say that he knew “the secret of the pyramids” and when he died, the secret died with him.
Getting in: Coral Castle Museum tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is dedicated to making contemporary art accessible through the collection, preservation, and exhibition of the best contemporary art and its art historical influences with the belief that art education enriches the cultural life of the community.
The MOCA is known for its provocative and innovative exhibitions and has over 600 works by emerging and established U.S. and international artists on permanent exhibition.
Unique temporary exhibits constantly offer fresh approaches to examining contemporary art.
Getting in: Museum of Contemporary Art tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: the museum is closed on Mondays.
The Wolfsonian-FIU MuseumThe Wolfsonian is a modern-era design museum in the heart of the Art Deco District in Miami Beach. The Wolfsonian impressively diverse collection is comprised of graphic, industrial, and architectural design, furniture and decorative arts, paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and more.
Visitors will enjoy exploring the museum’s exhibitions that discuss art’s role in society and among individuals.
Getting in: Wolfsonian-FIU Museum tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: the museum is closed on Wednesdays.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum
This unique museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, exhibition, and operation of historic railroad cars and equipment.
Some of the most celebrated pieces in the collection are the “Ferdinand Magellan,” the private railroad car built for President Franklin Roosevelt and the Florida East Coast Railway locomotive #153, the engine that pulled the rescue train out of Marathon, Florida after the 1935 hurricane.
The museum also offers train rides and a comprehensive model train exhibit. Kids will especially enjoy playing on the interactive Thomas the Tank Engine tables.
Before you leave, pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir at the museum store.
Getting in: Gold Coast Railroad Museum tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: train rides are offered weekends only.
At the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, you’ll explore the rich history and dynamic present of South Florida and the Caribbean.
The museum’s collections range from maritime artifacts to technology and home furnishings to archeological findings.
Discover 10,000 years of history as you journey through the permanent exhibition, Tropical Dreams: A People’s History of South Florida. Be sure to check out current temporary exhibits that frequently highlight topics such as aviation, teen culture, souvenir maps, and more.
A visit to the museum includes access to the museum’s Research Center, where you will find over one million photographs, drawings, and documents.
HistoryMiami also offers all types of tours from historic boat voyages to themed walking excursions that will make your trip to Miami un-forgettable.
Getting in: HistoryMiami Museum tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.
The Rubell Family Collection
The Rubell Family Collection (RFC) is one of the world’s largest private art collections housed in a 45,00 square foot repurposed Drug Enforcement Agency confiscated goods facility.
The ever-expanding collection houses works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jeff koons, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol.
The RFC keeps their offerings exiting by actively finding and showcasing temporary exhibits from emerging artists at the forefront of contemporary art.
Anyone with an interest in the contemporary art scene will appreciate how the RFC fits the “Miami model” idea of creating new, independent forms of public institutions from private collections and how RFC actively enriches the Miami art community.
Getting in: The Rubell Family Collection tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. Please note: the museum is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Sundays.
Bass Museum of Art
Housed in one of the historic buildings of the Art Deco District, the Bass Museum of Art boasts a collection with work from 4 continents and a span of 500 years.
These celebrated collections and ever-changing contemporary exhibits fulfill the museum’s mission to “inspire and educate by exploring the connections between our historical collections and contemporary art”.
The museum also showcases a signature collection of monumental 19th century tapestries and altarpieces that is a must see for any art-lover or history buff.
In 2002, the museum was expanded to include a media center, terrace, and museum shop. The Bass now proudly features educational programs, film series, lectures, and live performances.
Getting in: Please note: The Bass Museum is currently closed for renovation. Expected to re-open spring 2017.
Remember to Save on Museum Admission
Our list of some of the most popular museums in Miami.
We all know Miami for its glorious beaches and boisterous nightlife, but believe it or not, there’s more to Miami than bikinis and bars—much more.
So in between your beach days and late nights, enhance your vacation with some infamous Art Deco, unique cultural experiences, beautiful botanical gardens, and fascinating tributes to local heritage.