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South Beach: Accessible Fun in the Sunshine State!

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Streets of Miami Beach by Gagliardi Photography

I’ve been traveling to the South Beach, Miami, Florida area since I was a young boy.  My very first trip to Miami Beach was with my family and I remember we stayed at a small hotel on the oceanfront.  The hotel had two pools, one fresh water and one salt water with a high dive.  Miami was a fun place to visit back then and it still is today!  And, yes, times have changed dramatically.  The number of hotels, condominiums, restaurants, and other establishments has increased dramatically and real estate in Miami is some of the most expensive you’ll find anywhere in the world. 

Accessible options in Miami

Since my injury, I have always been able to find accessible taxis such as Super Yellow Cab, accessible hotels such as the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach, and plenty of accessible things to do in South Beach, Miami and the surrounding area.  If you love going to the beach, having fun, and dining at some of the best restaurants in the country, then South Beach, Miami should be on your list.  I cannot wait to get back to the South Beach, Miami area soon.  Here are some of my recommendations for a fun, memorable, and accessible trip to South Beach, Miami.  

Miami Beach and South Beach

Miami Beach and South Beach are renowned destinations known for their flawless sandy shores and lively atmosphere. The city has made efforts to ensure accessibility to its beaches, with the provision of beach wheelchairs at various locations, accessible ramps, and accessible restrooms. Miami Beach is the first beach in South Florida to have permanent beach access for people with disabilities, thanks to The Sabrina Cohen Foundation. 

Restaurants

Let’s be honest.  We all love to enjoy the culinary treasures found in any destination we travel to wherever it may be in the world.  South Beach, Miami is no different, especially when it comes to cuisine influenced by Latin America, the Caribbean, and many other places around the world.  I always enjoy trying new restaurants whenever I visit this part of Florida, particularly seafood restaurants and any which offer Cuban cuisine. 

Here are some recommendations for accessible restaurants offering a wide range of delicious fare, including: Zuma Miami, featuring modern Japanese cuisine, Soya & Pomodoro, for really great Italian food, Amara at Paraiso, specializes in Latin American-inspired dishes, Joe’s Stone Crab , offering some of the freshest seafood you’ll find, and one of my all-time favorites, Big Pink, a retro diner experience with more than 200 menu items.

Seaquarium

The Miami Seaquarium is situated on 38 beautiful acres and is one of the best aquariums to see marine life up close in a fun and interactive setting.  Here you can enjoy dolphins, sea lions, manatees, sea turtles, penguins, and so much more.  The Seaquarium is accessible for people with disabilities, including the dining, shopping, and snack areas.  Please know there may be some rides or attractions, activities, or areas of the Park, which may not be safely accessible to all people, especially rides.  The park may prohibit anyone with a medical device from certain rides for their safety and for the safety of others.

Captain Mick’s Water Adventures

For a truly amazing experience, you must contact Captain Mick Nealey.  Mick is a polio survivor since the age of two and he founded Captain Mick’s Water Adventures over 30 years ago.  Nealey and his crew offer various adapted water adventures on his boat which is equipped with a lift and more to help make your boating experience a truly memorable one!

Pérez Art Museum Miami

If you want a break from the sun and you enjoy art, plan to visit the The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).  It’s a modern and contemporary art museum that showcases an impressive collection of international art. The museum provides wheelchair accessible entrances, elevators, and accessible restrooms. PAMM also offers guided tours with sign language interpreters, as well as touch tours and audio tours upon request.  

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a breathtaking historic estate that offers visitors a glimpse into Miami’s past. The property features stunning gardens, a magnificent mansion, and art collections from various periods. Many areas of the gardens are accessible and a Visitor Experience staff member can gladly direct you to accessible routes once you arrive at the Admissions Booth.

The central portions of the formal gardens are accessible, but visitors should be aware that the paths are primarily dirt and gravel, rather than paved. In addition, the Garden Mound, Maze Garden, Theater Garden, Tea House, Boat Landing, Secret Garden and the west statuary walk have limited or no access. Visitors who are unable to climb approximately 20 stair steps or walk approximately 750 feet may not be able to access portions of the Main House and gardens.  Main House guidebooks in Braille and large print are available for loan at the Admissions Booth.  Sign Language interpreters are available to accompany a guided tour of the Main House with five days advance notice.

Jungle Island

Jungle Island is an interactive zoological park that offers a range of exciting animal encounters and exhibits. The park provides accessible pathways, ramps, and wheelchair accessible shows and presentations. While Jungle Island is wheelchair accessible, the animal encounters are not. 

Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Walls is a vibrant outdoor art museum located in the warehouse district of Wynwood that showcases stunning street art and murals by renowned artists. The area provides accessible pathways and wheelchair accessible entrances to the galleries. Visitors can explore the colorful streets and local merchants. 

The South Beach, Miami area of Florida always has something going on for just about everyone.  The weather is typically favorable year-round, although summer months can be hot and humid, but bearable with a good breeze off the ocean.  To plan your accessible, fun, and memorable trip to South Beach, Miami, contact a reputable travel agent such as Travel for All, create a great itinerary, and pack your bags for this amazing destination. 

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