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Coral Castle Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Coral Castle Museum

The most romantic things to do in Miami for the perfect date night

Feeling romantico, Miami? Check out our picks for the most romantic things to do in Miami to woo your boo.

By Falyn Freyman

January 2020: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and we’ve got you covered with even more romantic things to do in Miami, from an intimate omakase experience at the Versace Mansion to up-close cuddle sessions with furry friends at the Zoological Wildlife Foundation. Cuffing season might not be a thing here, but there’s still plenty of time to lock in bae before February 14 rolls around.

Miami is undeniably sexy. But beyond its flashy cars and in-your-face South Beach clubs, this city also has a softer, gentler side—a side that will hold your hand, open your doors and whisper sweetly into your ear. Locals need not book a getaway or the penthouse suite at a Miami hotel to achieve the crazy levels of romance we’ve come to expect from the movies. Lush, tropical foliage, miles of pristine Miami beaches, world-class art and dining and pockets of hidden history are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the city’s spark-igniting potential. If your goal is to set the mood for love, look no further than these romantic things to do in Miami.

Romantic things to do in Miami

Standard Spa, Miami Beach
Photograph: Nathan Sayers

1. Loosen up with a spa day at the Standard Spa, Miami Beach

Hotels Spa hotels Belle Isle

What is it? A Turkish-style hammam, aroma steam room, Roman waterfall hot tub, Finnish sauna, arctic plunge, mud lounge and infinity pool are just a few of the amenities at this ultra-Zen hotel spa that’s consistently ranked among the world’s best.

Why go? With a holistic approach that aims to unite mind, body and spirit, it’s an enclave of relaxation located a quick walk, bike or drive away from the bustling core of SoBe.

Set the mood: Gain a deeper awareness of your partner with a Celestial + Acupuncture Alignment for two. The treatment starts with customized individual acupuncture then reunites you to uncover both of your natal charts and planetary DNA. ($250 per person for 90 minutes.)

Coral Castle Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Coral Castle Museum

2. Revel in the mysterious love story behind Coral Castle Museum

Things to do Leisure City

What is it? In an act of heartbroken desperation, Latvian-American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin embarked on a lifelong quest to construct this massive oolite limestone structure after his true love dumped him a day before their wedding.

Why go? Comprised of 1,100 tons of stones in the form of walls, carvings, furniture, a castle tower and various metaphysical curiosities, Coral Castle has been featured on History’ Channel’s Ancient Aliens and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Set the mood: Schedule your visit on the first Saturday of the month when palm and tarot readers descend on the site, and get some clarity on your relationship.

New World Symphony WALLCAST
Photograph: RedAV

3. Cozy up at an outdoor screening at New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park

Things to do Performances South Beach

What is it? Adjacent to the renowned New World Center, SoundScape Park is a 2.5-acre multiuse oasis that marries art and nature with its elegant, architectural landscaping and state-of-the-art “WALLCAST” live-streaming capabilities.

Why go? SoundScape Park hosts free weekly movie and live concert screenings October through May. Bring along a blanket, pack a wine picnic and soak up some culture under the stars, all in the heart of South Beach.

Set the mood: Check the screening schedule for the season’s most romantic flicks. Every Wednesday in February is a safe bet thanks to a roster that includes As Good As It Gets and Hairspray.

Photograph: Courtesy the Biltmore

4. Put on your chefs’ hats at the Biltmore Culinary Academy

Hotels Boutique hotels Coral Gables

What is it? Learn to make fresh pasta and sushi, a Mexican feast or French hors d’oeuvres at this dynamic cooking school located in the majestic Biltmore Hotel.

Why go? The luxe kitchen overlooks the pristine golf course, and they offer a variety of classes for all tastes and skill levels. Plus, you get to eat the meal you’ve made at the end of class so it’s kinda like two dates in one!

Set the mood: For a couples-only experience, sign up for one of the Biltmore’s three-hour Date Night classes ($228 per couple), in which you and up to four other couples will prepare a romantic meal from start to finish.

Schnebly Redland's Winery
Photograph: Miguel Ocque Photography

5. Imbibe and unwind at Schnebly Redland’s Winery

Bars Wineries Redlands

What is it? Dotted with rock waterfalls, fountains, footbridges and koi ponds, Schnebly Winery is nestled on a picturesque property that also houses Miami Brewing Company.

Why go? With an array of wines made from ingredients like passion fruit, lychee, coconut and avocado, it’s a great way to sample Miami’s local flavors while also getting a nice, tingly buzz with bae.

Set the mood: Weekend tours take about an hour, during which you’ll be guided through the estate’s history and wine-making process. If beer’s more your thing, there’s also an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Miami Brewing Company.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Photograph: Bill Sumner

6. Time-travel back to Miami’s Gilded Age at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Things to do Event spaces Coconut Grove

What is it? Built between 1914 and 1922, Vizcaya was the winter home of American industrialist James Deering, who modeled the estate in the extravagant image of a centuries-old European Villa.

Why go? Inside, it’s a repository of Gilded Age design with a collection of decorative and fine art spanning more than 2,000 years. Outside, it boasts some of the city’s most stunning backdrops for those Insta-perfect snapshots with your S.O.

Set the mood: Vizcaya’s nighttime events, such as Roaring ’20s-themed bashes and moonlit walks in the garden, offer a different, more idyllic way to experience the mansion.

Cape Florida Lighthouse
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Bill Dickinson

7. Smooch at the top of a lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Things to do Key Biscayne

What is it? One of Miami's most popular state parks, occupying the southern tip of Key Biscayne. Bill Baggs’ wide beaches regularly make the national top ten lists, but this is more than just a place to catch some rays: you and your boo will find history, wildlife and plenty of activities too.

Why go? Because adventures are always better shared. Shoreline fishing, ocean kayaking, windsurfing, cycling and in-line skating are all on the menu here. Pack a picnic, grab a bite at the Lighthouse Café inside the park, or snag a table on the water a Whiskey Joe’s on your way back to the mainland.

Set the mood: Sneak some smooches at the top of the famous Cape Florida Lighthouse—Miami-Dade County’s oldest standing structure and the park's most famous attraction. Constructed in 1825, it guided mariners off the Florida Reef, which starts just near Key Biscayne.

8. Salsa dance on Calle Ocho at Ball & Chain

Bars East Little Havana

What is it? Ball & Chain Saloon opened its doors in 1935 and has danced its way through many iterations since. The eclectic Calle Ocho venue lives up to its storied roots today by playing host to some of the best live salsa and jazz in Miami, usually without a cover.

Why go? Boasting 80 hours of live entertainment each week (much of which occurs inside an adorable pineapple-capped stage), Ball & Chain is Little Havana’s premier spot for live music of the hip-moving variety.

Set the mood: Need to brush up on your moves? They occasionally host free salsa lessons. Check the website for an up-to-date schedule.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Photograph: Courtesy Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

9. Get lost at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Things to do Miami

What is it? A verdant 83 acres of rare tropical plants—including palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines—a 25,000-square-foot butterfly house, the American Orchid Society, and rotating art exhibits that cycle each December.

Why go? When it’s time to escape the chaos and grit of the city and return to nature, there’s no place quite as sprawling or enchanted to indulge your senses and get grounded with your boo.

Set the mood: For your sweet-toothed sweetheart, Fairchild hosts the International Chocolate Festival each January, featuring artisan samples, cooking demos and lectures on all things cocoa.

10. Cuddle with fur babies at the Zoological Wildlife Foundation

Things to do Play spaces Redlands

What is it? Large organizations and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service send animals in need of extra care to this privately owned sanctuary, where they’re rehabilitated and domesticated to thrive in controlled environments.

Why go? If you and your boo dig animals, this lush spot nestled unsuspectingly in the ’burbs offers unparalleled opportunities to get up close and personal. Book one of several interactive encounters for an additional cost and spend time holding, cuddling and learning about these remarkable creatures.  

Set the mood: Ready to take the next step and try out coparenting with your lover? For a $2,500 initial fee and $500 a month for maintenance (hey, still cheaper than having an actual kid), you two can become the proud adoptive parents of a Bengal tiger, a two-towed sloth or any number of other ZWF residents, allowing you up to 50 visits with your baby.

Amara at Paraiso by Michael Schwartz
Photograph: Courtesy Amara at Paraiso

11. Dine on beautiful Biscayne Bay at Amara at Paraiso

Restaurants Fusion Design District

What is it? A staple in the Miami food scene since before there was one, Michael Schwartz follows up his Design District go-to Michael’s Genuine with a boho-chic waterfront gem featuring a menu of elevated, Latin-inspired fare.

Why go? Miami’s got plenty of options when it comes to waterfront dining, but for this quintessential romantic experience, you don’t have to travel off the mainland. Minutes from Wynwood, downtown and the historic MiMo district, Amara is in a sweet spot for any occasion.

Set the mood: Too nervous for a full meal? Grab a sunset drink and a snack on the expansive deck overlooking Biscayne Bay. You’ll quell the butterflies and get some eyelashes batting.

Oleta River State Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Visit Florida

12. Paddle through the mangroves at Oleta River State Park

Things to do Eastern Shores / Oleta

What is it? Featuring 1,043 acres of wilderness bike trails and rivers, this North Miami state park hosts triathlons and other extreme sports. Plus, it has a beach and offers rentals, from covered areas for parties and primitive cabins to equipment.

Why go? There’s something inherently sexy about working up a sweat before cooling off in the salty waters of Biscayne Bay. Take your pick of a kayak, canoe or paddle boards, weave through the mangroves and venture out to the Haulover Sandbar, where sun-seeking revelers park their vessels and hang out all day long.

Set the mood: Each full moon, Oleta guides a moonlit kayak tour during which you’ll learn about local history and wildlife. Expect to stop several times throughout the tour for water breaks and a light snack.

Villa Casa Casuarina Aat the Former Versace Mansion
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Joan Nova

13. Go glam at the Villa Casa Casuarina at the Former Versace Mansion

Things to do Event spaces South Beach

What is it? The Versace Mansion, aka the Amsterdam Palace, is a flashy (obv) three-story Italianate palace built in 1930 and supposedly modeled on Christopher Columbus’s home in Genoa.

Why go? Apart from its spine-tingling history as the murder scene of the famed fashion designer, this members-only country club/hotel draws guests with its decadent restaurants Gianni’s and Sushi by Boū, but even with the bloodstains long gone, its front steps are still the most photographed spot in town.

Set the mood: Make a reservation for a special hour-long omakase experience at the chef’s counter. With just six seats, Sushi by Boū feels intimate and exclusive as you watch the intricate preparation of each course.

Is a dinner date more your speed?

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