Amidst the beach and sports and fun, take time to experience Miami’s exceptional history.

A History Buff’s Guide To Miami

Down through time, Miami has drawn settlers due to its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and plentiful sunshine. For, in short, its appeal as paradise.  Originally, the area was inhabited by Paleo-Indians and Tequesta Indians. In its more recent history though, Miami has been the site of a cultural melting pot fueled by escaped slaves, Cuban refugees, and new immigrants to the Americas. Thanks to these diverse influences, Miami has a thriving and vibrant history. The best way to learn more about it is to do so in a hands on way by purchasing one of the cheap flights to Miami, and then visiting some of these important sites:


This museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. It focuses on Miami’s history through education, research and exhibitions. While many of the standard exhibitions are ongoing, there are special exhibitions periodically. Check in advance to see which exhibitions are available when you visit.

Wings Over Miami Museum

For flight buffs, the Wings Over Miami Museum is the place to go. This museum serves as a lasting tribute to the aviators who pioneered human flight. It displays military and classic aircraft as well as the history of military veterans. Each exhibition includes the stories of the aviators and veterans who once flew the plane to add a human element to the experience.  This interesting museum is enough to inspire you to book one of the cheap flights to Miami.

Picture of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat aircraft located in Wings Over Miami, a flying aviation museum of historically significant aircraft, located at the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States.
Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Wolfsonian

Hosted in conjunction with the Florida International University, the Wolfsonian is a blend of a library, museum and research center. Displayed are devices, artifacts and objects which have affected technological change from 1885 to 1945. From furniture to industrial-design objects, the museum focuses on how technology, art and design brought about modern society.

Gesu Church

Known originally as the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, this historic landmark was originally constructed in 1896. Through the 120 years of history, this church has responded with aid to hurricanes and created missions for African-Americans. At one point, it was the headquarters of a secret operation known as Pedro Pan that sought to bring 14,000 children out of Cuba.

Freedom Tower

First constructed in 1925, this tower is now a part of Miami Dade College. It was created to mimic the style of the bell tower in the Cathedral of Seville. From 1962 to 1974, Freedom Tower served as the reception area for Cuban refugees. Because of this, Freedom Tower has been nicknamed the “Ellis Island of the South”. It has since become a beacon to new immigrants in American democracy, and a symbol of the stability, freedom and faith America promises.

Freedom Tower at twilight in Miami, Florida

City Cemetery

Created in 1887, the City Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the city. Today, it houses over 10,000 plots. For a look to the darker side of history, visitors will notice that a Jewish, black and white section from the past still exists. The Jewish lots were designed with a wall in accordance with Jewish tradition. Famous names like Tuttle, Jackson, Peacock and Dubal can be found buried here.

Amidst the beach and sports and fun, take time to experience Miami’s exceptional history. After your tours, stop by a Cuban restaurant to taste the impact immigration has had on Miami’s cuisine. With a history of accepting new immigrants, this area has become a melting pot of diverse cultures and events.

What’s your favorite historical spot in Miami?  Let us know in the comments.

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