14 Best Things to Do in Harbor Islands (FL)

Bay Harbor Islands is a town of approximately 6,000 residents located across Biscayne Bay in North Miami, Florida mainland.

In many ways, visitors to the Bay Harbor Islands can get the best of both worlds. The town itself is far from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Miami subway, which has over 6 million residents, but the city’s rich attractions are all within a short drive.

Some of Florida’s largest state and national parks are also nearby, along with historic sites, museums, galleries and world-class beaches.

Here are 14 things to do in and around Florida’s Gulf Harbor Islands.

1. Normandy Coast Golf Club

Normandy Coast Golf Club

The par 71 course at Normandy Coast Golf Club is technically located in Miami Beach, but is just minutes from the Bay Harbor Islands and is one of the most popular golfing destinations in the area.

Previous guests have noted that the course’s tee options make it suitable for players of most ages and ability levels, and its strategically placed green, water and sand obstacles make it both fun and challenging.

Courses tend to be more crowded on weekend mornings, so to avoid the crowds, consider an afternoon game and reserve tee times as early as possible.

2. Bar Harbor Food Market

Bar Harbor Food Market

South Florida is one of the country’s culinary hotspots, filled with famous chefs and restaurants of various international influences.

Just a few blocks from downtown Bay Harbour Islands, the Bal Harbour Gourmet Market offers guests a shopping experience unlike any other in the area.

With a full range of cuisines, many of which are not easily found elsewhere, this is a must-stop for do-it-yourself home cooks who are committed to creating an unforgettable meal for family or friends.

Bal Harbour is also known for making great gift baskets for Christmas and birthday gifts, and also offers online shopping.

3. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

St. Regis Bar Harbor Resort

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is 25 stories high and sits on the sugary sands below. This is a favorite destination for those who wish to spare no expense in the pursuit of a world-class experience.

While amenities don’t come cheap at St. Regis Bal Harbour, it consistently ranks among the top resorts of its kind worldwide, and the staff are dedicated to making every stay an unforgettable experience.

Rooms are spacious and modern, and on-site facilities include swimming, dining and a variety of massage and holistic wellness programs. The concierge can assist with travel planning and transportation to and from the airport.

4. Miami Children’s Museum

Miami Children's Museum

Over the past few decades, the Children’s Museum has become a popular attraction for parents who want their children to be engaged and educated while being entertained.

Founded in the early ’80s, the Miami Children’s Museum is one of the pioneers in the area. For those who live in the Bay Harbour Islands, it’s an easy drive.

The museum’s interactive exhibits cover a wide range of stimulating themes, including science, space exploration, animals and culture.

The staff also offers plenty of guided activities, and while the kids are the stars of the show, most parents usually also have a fun and enlightening time.

5. Contemporary Art Museum

North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art

South Florida is one of the centers of contemporary art in the country, and the Miami metro area is home to several world-class galleries with priceless collections.

Many museums in the area are more expensive, but the Contemporary Art Museum is reasonably priced and offers discounts for seniors and students; children under 12 are admitted free.

MOCA’s collection includes works of various international influences from local, national and international artists.

The museum is close to many local attractions, and most guests end up stopping for an hour or so before embarking on other adventures.

6. Bay Park

Miami Bay Park

Much of South Florida’s skyline features modern skyscrapers and contemporary architecture, but with a little searching, you can still find urban parks that offer natural beauty and a wealth of activity options.

Situated on a parcel of land overlooking scenic Biscayne Bay, Bay Park is a favorite spot for walkers, anglers, and those interested in catching Florida’s iconic sunset.

Popular park events include live entertainment in the amphitheater, and there are also some free guided yoga and salsa classes; they are special events when experienced in such a beautiful outdoor setting.

7. Venice Pool

Venetian Pool, Coral Gables

With a population of over 6 million in the Miami metropolitan area, the hustle and bustle may be a little too much for many tourists.

The Venetian Pool is a unique local attraction and the perfect antidote for those who suffer from the urban environment and crowds. The swimming pool has a fascinating history spanning over a century.

The pools are constantly filled and replenished with natural spring water, maintaining a cool and constant temperature all year round.

The pool’s water is rumored to have healing properties, and while it’s definitely not the cheapest attraction, it’s often one of the most memorable for first-time visitors.

8. Downtown Brickell

Brickell city center

Downtown Miami is filled with stunning architecture, tons of cultural and artistic attractions, and some of the hippest shopping in the area.

Downtown Brickell is an open-air complex that spans several city blocks and includes some of the city’s trendiest shopping, dining and entertainment.

It’s a great place to explore for those who want a variety of options without having to drive all over the city, and it’s especially popular in the afternoons and evenings, when many bars and restaurants offer great deals on food and drinks. Due to the high prices in the area, many tourists opt for window shopping only.

9. Art Garden

art garden

Often described as an oasis off the beaten track, Hialeah’s art gardens are popular with the trendy and creative crowd.

Located in a relatively unassuming area, the Art Garden is easy to miss, but once inside it’s filled with quaint shops, trendy eateries and cool galleries showcasing fantastic art created by local and regional artisans Taste.

A favorite spot for art lovers and creatives alike, it has a cool bohemian vibe not often found in the area. There are many regularly scheduled arts walks and even live entertainment, most of which take place in the late afternoon and early evening.

10. Millard Arts and Entertainment Center

Mirand Arts and Entertainment Center

The Milland Center for Arts and Entertainment is located on Palm Avenue in Hialeah, just minutes from the Bay Harbor Islands. It is one of the major cultural attractions on the South Atlantic coast, offering visitors a range of traditional art exhibits as well as a full entertainment programme.

The centre has undergone various renovations and upgrades over the past few years and is often at the forefront of contemporary social issues.

Milander hosts countless shows throughout the year including traditional and contemporary music and theatre, and their nightly guided art walks are a perennial favorite.

11. Hialeah Park Racing and Casino

Hialeah Park Racing and Casino

The Hialeah Park Horse Racing and Casino has been open for nearly a century and is one of the oldest attractions of its kind in the Sunshine State.

The park has been home to greyhound and horse racing over the years, and in its heyday it regularly hosted international celebrities such as Princess Grace of Monaco, President Harry Truman and Frank Sinatra.

Like many casinos, Hialeah Park fell into disrepair and abandonment for a long time in the mid-20th century, but in the past few years it has reopened and is now a popular destination for gamblers, foodies and live entertainment enthusiasts.

12. Coral Castle Museum

Coral Castle Museum

The Coral Castle Museum is one of the coolest and quirkiest attractions in the area. Its unique history combined with great views makes it popular with those who take the time to visit.

Built almost entirely from locally mined coral, the castle is the brainchild of an eccentric local who dedicated his life to building the castle between the early 20s and 50s.

According to local legend, the castle was built largely in secret. How this man manipulated tons of coral blocks on his own is a mystery.

Some say he has alien help, but whatever, it’s a charming way to spend a few hours on vacation.

13. Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial

Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial

Free attractions in the Bay Harbor Islands area are few and far between, but the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial is not only free, it’s historic, and probably the most poignant of all the attractions in the area.

The Holocaust Memorial is open every day of the year and, for those without a car, is easily accessible via the city’s inexpensive bus system.

Located on Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach, the memorial features a memorial, artwork created by Holocaust survivors, and a variety of exhibits including photographs, documents and first-hand accounts.

14. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

No other natural attraction captures the essence of Florida like Everglades National Park.

Spread across more than one million acres of diverse landscape in Florida, it is a natural wonder truly worth exploring and experiencing for those visiting South Florida.

Known as the River of Grass, the Everglades include swamps, swamps, forests, and savannahs that are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

Park activities include guided nature tours and many recreational options such as fishing, biking and camping.

Since the park is vast, it’s wise to do some research before showing up so you don’t waste precious time deciding what to do on site.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Bay Harbor Islands, FL, FL
Lowest Price Guarantee