Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- The Best Museums in Miami
- 1. American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora
- 2. Bay of Pigs Museum & Library
- 3. Coral Gables Museum
- 4. Gold Coast Railroad Museum
- 5. Haitian Heritage Museum
- 6. HistoryMiami Museum
- 7. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
- 8. The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
- 9. Miami Children’s Museum
- 10. Museum of Graffiti
- 11. Paradox Museum Miami
- 12. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
- 13. Pérez Art Museum Miami
- 14. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
- 15. Superblue Miami
- 16. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
- 17. Wings Over Miami Museum
- How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Miami Museums
- Final Thoughts
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When most people think about Miami, museums may not be the first things that come to mind. However, you’d be surprised how many exhibits and galleries can be found in this bustling Florida city. Whether you’re a nature lover or are more of a history buff, there’s a Miami museum fit for your tastes. So, here are the best museums that deserve a spot on your itinerary.
1. American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora
Miami has a large Cuban population, so it’s not surprising that the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora has become an important cultural center. Though it hasn’t been open long, the facility has hosted lectures, concerts, and more, which evoke Cuban culture and showcase Cuban voices. Many of these events are open to the public, though private events are also hosted here.
The museum is in the process of opening its first permanent exhibit about the men and women who sacrificed their lives and stood up to dictatorships and oppression in their quest for a better life in the U.S. In the meantime, the facility hosts a series of temporary exhibits. These temporary galleries have displayed examples of architecture, important moments of Cuban history, art, and more.
Admission is free for members, children under 12, and military veterans and personnel, $8 for children and seniors, and $12 for adults. Concerts and recitals may require additional ticket purchases. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest metro stop is Vizcaya.
- Address: 1200 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145
2. Bay of Pigs Museum & Library
First opened in 1988, the Bay of Pigs Museum & Library is the official facility to remember the Bay of Pigs invasion of Brigade 2506. Though the museum’s collection is relatively small, it still offers visitors a comprehensive look at the planning and execution of the historic event.
Due to its historical significance, the facility has been visited by several politicians from Florida and the rest of the country. The museum doesn’t just honor the event itself but the men who served in the brigade, as well as the intelligence agents responsible for the planning. It also acts as a veteran outreach center.
The biographies of these men are posted both online and in the museum. Other memorabilia are also on display in the exhibits. Special events are also hosted throughout the year, acting as educational and fundraising programs.
Admission is free for all visitors. However, donations are welcome. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The nearest bus stop is SW 7 Street.
- Address: 1821 SW 9th St., Miami, FL 33135
3. Coral Gables Museum
Located in a historic fire station in the small Coral Gables territory in the greater Miami area, the Coral Gables Museum aims to showcase the area’s history. In particular, the facility presents exhibits about the civic arts in Miami and its suburban towns.
The museum has a small permanent exhibit of local artifacts. However, it’s most well-known for its temporary galleries that showcase the work of specific artists and particular periods of local civic history.
The museum also sponsors community outreach programs. For example, it’s hosted photography competitions to help give locals a platform to launch a career in the arts. Some exhibits also recount the building’s history as a police and fire department structure. Additionally, while the museum is a self-guided experience, guided walkthroughs are also available when requested ahead of time.
Admission is free for children under 7, military personnel and their families, and members, $5 for children 7 to 12, $8 for students and seniors, and $12 for adults. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest bus station is Salzedo Street and Miracle Mile.
- Address: 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33134
» Related: The 30 Best Things To Do in Miami & Miami Beach [Free, Kid-Friendly Activities & Beaches]
4. Gold Coast Railroad Museum
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum (GCRM) opened in 1956 on the site of a defunct naval air station.
Though it’s one of 3 railroad-related museums in Florida, it’s largely considered one of the best, even becoming an official state museum in 1984. The museum houses 40 rail cars and encompasses over 3 miles of historic train tracks. One of the most famous cars in its possession is the “Ferdinand Magellan,” used by presidents from FDR to Reagan.
In addition to the actual train cars showcased at the museum, the facility also houses other historical equipment items used by railroad workers throughout history. There’s also an extensive collection of model trains and to-scale railroad tracks. The museum is also available as a venue for private events, and it hosts a variety of publicly available lectures and functions.
Admission is free for children under 2 and military personnel, $5 for seniors 55+, $10 for children 3 to 12, and $12 for visitors 13+. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest bus stop is SW 124 Avenue and Gold Coast Railroad Muse.
- Address: 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami, FL 33177
5. Haitian Heritage Museum
Founded in 2004, the Haitian Heritage Museum covers over 100 years of Haiti’s history. The facility focuses, in particular, on the country’s art, culture, heritage and its history. In fact, the center opened in celebration of Haiti’s bicentennial of its independence.
The museum wishes to preserve Haitian culture for people of Haitian descent and others who wish to learn more about this rich heritage. The center also hosts educational events like lectures and art showcases.
The museum wishes to spotlight contemporary Haitian artists in various mediums, even those who are still virtually unknown. Those wishing to participate in an exhibition are welcome to submit their pieces to the museum for approval. The temporary exhibits are where the museum really shines. Multiple galleries are hosted throughout the year to dive deeper into particular parts of the heritage.
Admission is $7 for students and $10 for adults. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is NE 2 Avenue and NE 24 Street.
- Address: 4141 NE 2nd Ave. #105C, Miami, FL 33137
6. HistoryMiami Museum
With over 37,000 artifacts in its collection, ranging from items found in archeological digs to objects from the 20th century, HistoryMiami Museum is one of the most important cultural facilities in Florida. It was founded in 1940, making it one of the oldest still-operational facilities in the state. However, the museum didn’t officially open to the public until a few decades later.
Since the museum’s primary mission is to preserve Florida’s history, especially that of the Miami area, its collection is constantly changing. It even accepts donations of historical goods for its archive and research purposes.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum also has a research center available by appointment for historians and students. The structure also hosts a series of tours throughout Miami, events, and special museum exhibitions.
Admission is free for children under 6, members, veterans, teachers, military personnel (between Memorial and Labor Day), and visitors with disabilities and their caregivers, $8 for children 6 to 12, $10 for seniors, and $15 for adults. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Government Center.
- Address: 101 W Flagler St., Miami, FL 33130
7. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) has been a staple in the city’s art scene since 1996. The museum has over 20,000 square feet of exhibit space spread out across 3 different floors. This gives the facility enough room to showcase art in various fields, from photography to sculpture.
Some of the museum’s highlights are “Butterfly #15” by Daniel Gibson, “Fatebe Sister Booth” by Ebecho Muslimova, and “Plaster Surrogate” by Allan McCollum. However, the museum is constantly adding new pieces to its collection.
The exhibits are regularly rotated to bring pieces out of the archives to ensure all of its art is given its time in the spotlight. The museum hosts various publicly available events and programs, from those sponsoring the arts to research initiatives.
Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest bus station is Biscayne Boulevard and NE 39 Street.
- Address: 61 NE 41st St., Miami, FL 33137
8. The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is a collection of vintage art comprised of photography, videos, and sculptures displayed in a 50,000-square-foot warehouse gallery—the permanent collection numbers over 4,000 pieces from multiple artists collected over decades.
Some artists showcased in the exhibit are Isamu Noguchi and Anselm Kiefer. Though the original collection was primarily vintage pieces, it’s also begun to showcase more contemporary artists in recent years. In addition to the ongoing exhibit, the space also displays rotating galleries.
Some of the highlighted pieces on display in the warehouse are “The Ages of the World” by Anselm Kiefer, “Seated Woman” by Willem de Kooning, and “Eight Unite Cute” by Sol LeWitt. The museum also hosts educational tours to help visitors better understand contemporary art.
Admission is free for students with an ID, $5 for other students, and $10 for adults. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nearest transit stop is NW 27 Avenue and NW 111 Street.
- Address: 591 NW 27th St., Miami, FL 33127
9. Miami Children’s Museum
Officially opened in 1985, the Miami Children’s Museum aims to teach kids about art, culture, and creation. The museum is divided into 18 exhibit spaces with interactive set areas that offer a fun place to learn about science, society, and the world.
Some of the top exhibits are “Pet Central,” “Port of Miami,” and “South Florida and Me.” The museum is family-friendly, with most exhibits designed for kids 12 and under since they allow kids the freedom to play and learn at their own pace.
The facility also hosts events during the year for kids of all ages to create even more opportunities to socialize with other kids and learn. The museum also houses a resource center for teachers and parents to continue making education fun at home. The museum is also fully bilingual and accessible for kids with special needs.
Admission is $16 for Florida residents and $24 for the general public. The museum is open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest bus station is Biscayne Boulevard and NE 29 Street.
- Address: 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132
10. Museum of Graffiti
The Museum of Graffiti is the first of its kind in the world. The facility aims to educate visitors about the history of graffiti and how it began to spread as an art form in the 60s and 70s. Its exhibits also showcase how the medium has impacted other areas of style and design. Of course, the museum also showcases the intricate work that goes into creating graffiti art through murals and pieces in and on the museum itself.
In addition to the permanent displays, the museum also features temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These galleries showcase graffiti from around the world and specific artists and art styles. The on-site staff can also answer any questions visitors may have about the pieces in the facility. The museum is also available as an event venue.
Admission is free for children under 13 and $16 for adults. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest bus stop is NW 20 Street and NW 3 Avenue.
- Address: 276 NW 26th St., Miami, FL 33127
“The best part of the museum is our interactive programming. Guests don’t just get to learn by looking, they can roll up their sleeves and actually learn to spray paint with local artists in the neighborhood who teach our weekly graffiti classes. Our hands-on approach to culture definitely makes us the fan favorite of the neighborhood.”Allison Freidin, Co-Founder, Museum of Graffiti
11. Paradox Museum Miami
The Paradox Museum Miami is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings optical illusions to life. Through the museum’s exhibits, visitors of all ages can play with perspective and how easily the mind can play tricks. All of the exhibits use hands-on displays that act as in-person brain teasers.
However, since the museum uses lights and colors to create some of its effects, visitors with sensory concerns may want to call the facility ahead of time to ensure the experience is appropriate.
It takes about 75 minutes to get through the experience. So, guests can spend plenty of time trying to figure out the paradoxes in the facility. However, this is a strict time limit to keep crowd levels under control. One of the most popular exhibits is the “Reversed Room,” which makes people think they’re suddenly walking on the ceiling.
Admission is free for children under 4, $23 for children 4 to 11, and $26 for visitors 12+. A $2 discount is available for tickets purchased online. The museum is open Monday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest bus stop is NE 20th Street and North Miami Court.
- Address: 2301 N Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33127
“Be sure to bring your camera or smart phone because you will want to snap countless must-share pictures that will have both you and your social media followers blown away as you become part of the paradox! My favorite is the Paradox Kaleidoscope that creates a beautiful complex pattern with just your face.”Samantha Impellizeri, General Manager, Paradox Museum Miami
12. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
Also known as the Frost Art Museum, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum has been a notable facility since its first opening in 1977. Over the past 40 years, the museum’s collection has grown to over 6,000 pieces. These works of art come from around the world, but the museum’s Latin American art collection has earned particular praise.
Instead, the Beyond the America collection houses the facility’s Asian and African artwork. Some of the highlighted works in the museum are “Sino-Japanese War” by Toshiaki and “Our Army Crushes the Manchu Army at Asan” by Yoshu Chikanobu. The museum’s archived art can be perused digitally as well.
Additionally, the museum is always interested in acquiring new pieces to create a comprehensive gallery for international art. It even allows interested parties the chance to submit information if they have any work they’d like to donate.
Admission is free for all visitors. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest bus stop is Omni Terminal/Arsht Metromover.
- Address: 10975 SW 17th St., Miami, FL 33199
13. Pérez Art Museum Miami
With 3,000 pieces in its collection that have been acquired over 25 years, the Pérez Art Museum Miami is a comprehensive center for contemporary art. This collection is displayed in 8 different gallery rooms on 2 floors.
The pieces in the museum come from around the world and showcase nearly every art medium, from sculpture to photography. The facility even has videos in its collection. Some of the museum’s highlights are “Red, White, & Blue” by Rafael Ferrer, “Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar” by Lucio Hierro, and “The Chisel and the Tunnel” by Antonio Vega.
Even the museum’s building, designed by the esteemed Herzog & de Meuron firm in Switzerland, is considered a work of art. Additionally, the museum hosts a series of temporary exhibits that allow the museum to showcase pieces on loan and art from the archives.
Admission is free for members, first responders, healthcare professionals, children under 6, active and veteran military personnel, Florida teachers, and visitors with disabilities, $12 for children 7 to 18, students, and seniors 62+, and $16 for adults.
The museum is open Friday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Biscayne Boulevard and NE 11 Street.
- Address: 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132
14. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
First established in 1949, though it was originally opened under a different name, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a planetarium and museum dedicated to the observable sciences in nature.
The museum is divided into 7 different exhibits, including an aquarium, a solar system-themed gallery, and the famed planetarium auditorium, which routinely hosts shows and lectures. The structure also has spaces dedicated to temporary galleries which cover more specific scientific topics.
Some of the museum’s most beloved features are the sea creatures that live on the premises. The 500,000-gallon aquarium is large enough to hold hammerhead sharks, devil rays, and thriving coral reefs. The museum is geared toward guests of all ages. The facility hosts camps, workshops, and other educational events to get children and teens interested in the sciences. There are also functions fit for older audiences.
Admission is free for kids under 4, $22.95 for children 4 to 11, and $29.95 for visitors 12+. Tickets are $2 to $3 more between Friday and Sunday. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Omni Terminal/Arsht Metromover.
- Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132
15. Superblue Miami
Using lights and digital effects, Superblue Miami has been dubbed the most exciting museum experience in Florida. The museum aims to transport visitors into the art on display by creating a 360-degree experience. The structure even uses a mirror maze to amplify the lights and colors. The museum uses technology to display its art digitally on the walls, allowing the pictures to change.
The use of tech also creates a more interactive visit since parts of the museum are outfitted with sensors. That means if someone touches the art, it will react. Some of the exhibits’ most famous art designs are the flowers that will wilt if “touched.” The museum recommends setting aside an hour to see the museum. However, unlike many interactive exhibits, there’s no time limit so guests can admire the art for hours.
Admission is free for children under 13 and $36 for everyone else. The museum is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The nearest metro stop is Civic Center Station.
- Address: 1101 NW 23rd St., Miami, FL 33127
16. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Located in a villa that was once the residence of a local businessman, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens houses thousands of decor and art pieces from between the 15th and 19th centuries.
The estate sits on 50 acres of land that have been partially converted into an Italian Renaissance-style garden open to the public. The house itself has 70 rooms which serve as exhibits to showcase the European artifacts that furnish it.
As a former residence, the villa notably has many alcoves and corners used for decor. To let guests explore these easily missed areas, visitors are given a little more freedom to wander than in most villa museums. Immersive digital tours are also available. Some of the beloved items in the museum are the “Peacock Columns,” the “Vizcaya Bell Pulls,” and the sitting room’s “Bay Screen.”
Admission is free for veterans and military personnel, children under 6, and visitors with disabilities and their caregivers, $10 for children 6 to 12, and $25 for visitors 13+. The museum is open Wednesday to Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The nearest transit stop is Brickell.
- Address: 3251 S Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33129
17. Wings Over Miami Museum
Founded in 2001, the Wings Over Miami Museum is the city’s premier aircraft museum. After the closure of a former aviation museum, 4 enthusiasts came together to open the Wings Over Miami to assemble a collection of aircraft and artifacts to show a timeline of the evolution of flight.
Most of the planes in the museum were used during World War II and the Cold War. The collection includes a Douglas C-117D, a Ryan PT-22, and a Yakovlev. The most beloved plane in the facility is the F-14D Tomcat, which was first commissioned in 1991 by the Navy. Other gear, records, and photos of the models housed here in use are also on display.
Since the space includes an 18,000-square-foot hangar, the museum also serves as an event venue, especially for field trips and other guided tours for those interested in aircraft.
Admission is $6 for children under 13, $7 for seniors 60+, and $10 for adults. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest transit stop is 137 Avenue and 128 Street.
- Address: 14710 SW 128th St., Miami, FL 33196
We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. Several other programs offer similar concessions.
The Museums for All program offers free or reduced admission to museums throughout the U.S. for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). Participating attractions in the greater Miami area include The Bass, Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Gold Coast Railroad Museum, HistoryMiami Museum, The Kampong, Rubell Museum, and Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.
Bank of America’s Museums on Us program offers cardholders free general admission on the first full weekend of every month to the following Miami museums: the HistoryMiami Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), and Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Capital One cardholders can enroll in a complimentary 6-month membership with The Cultivist (through June 22, 2024) and receive access for themselves and a guest to The Bass and Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Participation is subject to change; please verify participating museums and entry conditions before your visit.
What better way to break up your Miami partying than by visiting one of the city’s many museums? From art to history, there’s something for virtually everyone in this vibrant corner of Florida. We hope that this list has helped you narrow down your options so that you can pick the Miami museums that best fit your itinerary.
Featured Image Credit: Coral Gables Museum
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Miami have museums?
Miami might be known for its beaches and party scenes, but it also has its fair share of museums. These facilities cover a variety of topics, from local history to art and culture. There are also numerous other exhibit spaces and galleries worth visiting.
How do I spend my day in Miami?
There’s no shortage of things to do in Miami. You can spend your day shopping, going to the beach, or trying new food. You can spend a day in Miami browsing some of the city’s most popular museum exhibits for a little extra culture.
How many days in Miami is enough?
In general, try to plan to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Miami if you want to make sure you see the city’s major highlights. However, if you enjoy the area’s culture, you can also spend a week or 2 here.
What is Miami famous for?
Miami is known for a lot of things. One of its most well-known characteristics is that the city is heavily influenced by its Cuban population in virtually all aspects, such as food. Its vibrance, party scene, and art make the area unique.
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