When they think about traveling to Miami, most people imagine loaded beaches, wild parties, and flashy lights of the big city. However, Miami and its surrounding area have so much more to offer. Ecotourism is alive and well in Florida, and green lovers have many interesting things to see and experience in Miami. Here’s how you can have a blast in The Magic City without hurting the environment and experiencing travelers remorse:
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station has been with us since 1980, created to take care of injured pelicans. Today, it is a respected and internationally recognized rehabilitation center for seabirds. Pelican Harbor is home to all birds native to the area, but also certain mammals and reptiles. It accepts new patients all year round, 24/7, 365 days a year. Right now, the center has over 1000 injured seabirds from brown pelicans to raptors and songbirds. There are many reptile patients who have had a close encounter with fishing equipment as well. Pelican Harbor works on volunteer bases, and goodhearted people all over the country and world give their time for free to animals in need. You can help too!
Hop in on a bus and take an hour-long drive to Shark Valley Visitor Center. This is a walking and biking trail through Everglades National Park. It’s a huge 150-mile loop, but of course, you don’t have to take the entirety of the trail. All parts of the trail will lead you through alligators, cute birds, and the Everglades AKA River of Grass—“the largest subtropical wetland in North America”. When you arrive at Shark Valley, you can rent a bike or opt for a guided tour by a trained naturalist.
Everglades Airboat Ride
Airboats are not exactly green, but all the things you will learn during your airboat ride through Everglades will result in you making so many green decisions in your life – Everglades is gorgeous and worth saving. Your airboat tour will allow you to see (and not disturb) animals like alligators, turtles, and birds, as well as many species of fish. There’s no better way to see the ecosystem this closely or to learn more correct information about flora and fauna of the area. You can opt for a smaller boat and have a quiet and peaceful excursion that will definitely be better for the animals.
Biscayne National Park
Just outside Miami, there’s a beautiful underwater wonder called Biscayne National Park. This protected area includes shallow bay waters, dramatic mangroves, and a huge coral reef. You can book your adventure with the park institute and explore the area by snorkeling around shipwrecks and coral reefs, exploring islands, and paddling up and down the lagoons. And if you just want to relax in Biscayne Bay, you can look into easy boat rental in Miami Beach and find a perfect boat for you and your guests. You can sail the area, enjoy peace and quiet, and relax in the sun.
When it comes to many different things to do in Miami, one of the greenest is a visit to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. This oasis is filled with rare tropical palms, trees and flowering bushes, and it plays an important part in the conservation efforts in South Florida. The garden is open for visitors every day, and during each visit, you can see amazing plants, cute little waterfalls, edible produce and even elegant butterflies.
Zoos have a bad reputation for a reason. However, Zoo Miami is a rare good guy in the world of Zoos. This place is home to many iconic Floridians like flamingos, panthers and bats, as well as over 40 endangered international species. Over 3000 animals call Zoo Miami their home and experience daily safety and pampering. Plus, the Zoo also runs a manure recycling program and sells quality natural fertilizer.
Farmers Market tour
If you want to buy great local goods from hardworking producers, visit Coconut Grove Farmers Market every Saturday. This market is full of raw, plant-based, vegan, and whole-foods products. They even have a special vegan food hall where you can try vegan goodies. The Lincoln Road Farmers Market is also full of local fruit and vegetable vendors. They sell raw produce as well as homemade bread, honey, empanadas, and ceviche.
Miami bike tours
If you want to keep your pollution at a minimum, take a bike tour. You can do so through the city and explore its many iconic neighborhoods. You can take a ride through Wynwood Art District, Design District, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, etc.
Fishing can be green and sustainable, it all depends on your guide. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will help you find a guide that follows all ethical fishing practices. Or you can take a Miami EcoAdventure and receive catch-and-release fishing classes.
Miami is truly a magical city. If you decide to pursue green activities and experience green destinations, pick any of the listed above. Not only will you get to enjoy nature, but you don’t contribute to its destruction.
Author: Diana Smith