Miami, on the surface, looks like a place that’s brimming with youthful energy: the beaches are full of young blood, the malls are teeming with teenagers, and the streets are full of young office goers. However, contrary to its modern, chic outlook, there are Miami places that have quite a history—one that attracts people from all over the country.
The Barnacle Historic State Park
What could be more historic than the oldest house in Miami? The Barnacle was constructed in 1891, and the estate is as scenic as it gets. If you look out at Biscayne Bay, which is right next to it, you’ll be looking at the historic travel route people once took: back in the day, almost all travel and trade was done via boat.
Another one of our favorite Miami places is a church and a museum, the Freedom Tower stands out starkly by virtue of its iconic and instantly eye-catching color, the Tower is also known as the Ellis Island of the South.
The town rose to prominence during the Cuban Refugee Crisis—and is also, famously the town where the headquarters of The Miami News was located. Today, the Tower caters to lovers of modern and contemporary art, acting as a museum for art aficionados.
All churches in Miami are old, but none are as old as Gesu Church—the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the city. Instantly eye-grabbing with its pastel pink exterior, this church also has beautiful stained-glass windows and is built in a classic vintage architectural structure that history buffs love to explore. It is very close if you’re around the Metromover, and is easily accessible and open to the public. You can get to the church via public transport.
Kampong is a Malaysian word that literally means village. The Kampong in question is not a village—but definitely looks like one. It’s a botanical garden that was built by the illustrious Dr. David Fairchild. Dr. Fairchild roamed the world in search of tropical plants and brought many back to the United States. Luckily for him, the atmosphere in Miami was hot enough for these plants to thrive, so he planted all his treasures right here in the nine-acre land he called the Kampong.
Today, the Kampong is an herbarium, botanical garden, an education center, and even has a laboratory! It is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts and the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in taking a trip to the tropics without actually going there. Did you know that the Everglades are actually inspired from this place? That’s true—it was the exotic flowers, plants, and fruit trees of the Kampong that started it all!
If you’re looking for things you absolutely must do in Miami, visiting these remarkable historic places is definitely a must. And if you’re looking for more, then check out our Miami guides on pizza places, restaurants, and how to travel to Miami on a budget.