10 weird things to do in Miami that you'll actually want to do


When you get tired of the sun and sand, explore some of Miami's more unique offerings. Here are 10 that are weird in good ways.

1. Peruse the World Erotic Art Musuem
In the heart of sexy South Beach, it may not seem unusual to bump into an erotic art museum. However, the World Erotic Art Museum or WEAM is special because it houses the largest collection of erotic art in America. And don't expect to see only contemporary pieces as the collection covers many centuries. You're as likely to see Rembrandt and Picasso as you are to see life-size sculptures of women in the act of using sex toys. The museum is open to visitors 18 and up and charges $15 for admission.

2. Visit an underwater graveyard
A little more than 3 miles east of the Key Biscayne coast lies the Neptune Memorial Reef about 40 feet below the waves. Designed to make us think of the legendary lost city of Atlantis, the reef is home to some stunning decorative features from lion statues to elaborate gates and carved columns. Besides the fact that it's underwater, this isn't a traditional cemetery because no one is buried there, per say. The memorial site and man-made reef is literally built from the ashes of the deceased. After cremation, the remains are mixed with the material used to build the reef and divers add the new piece (marked with a memorial plaque) to the reef city. The site is open to visitors who are dive certified.

3. Get your chakras balanced with sound and stones
When the sun and fun of Miami get to be too much, retreat to the Faena Hotel Miami Beach for a Shaman-created treatment that will bring back your balance and leave you refreshed. Here there are unique options like the Tree of Life Vibrations treatment, a massage which uses Brazilian rose stones and a warmed "singing bowl" to balance energy and relieve tension through vibration. Warning: the two-hour treatment will set you back $400 plus gratuity, but can you put a price on bliss?

4. Save the world from a zombie apocalypse with your besties
Nothing solidifies friendship like an adventure. However, producing one under safe conditions can be tough. That's where Fox In a Box Miami comes in and unleashes zombie mayhem that ends in 60 minutes. The escape room company is popular with businesses looking for unique team-building exercises, but it works for teams as small as two people. If you have an irrational fear of zombies like me, then you might want to choose from other options such as a prison break or bank robbery scenario. Bottom line: you have to solve the puzzle and escape to win the day.

5. See a limestone sculpture garden shrouded in mystery
Just southwest of Miami in Homestead is site known as Coral Castle. While it has castle-like structures, it's not really a castle. It is, however, a very unique sculpture garden where all these cool Stonehenge-like features were carved by a single man over a 28 year period. Interestingly, no one knows how this tiny, 100-pound guy managed to harvest and carve massive pieces of limestone by himself. Pair this visit with a stop at the nearby Schnebly Redland's Winery, where you can enjoy wine made solely from tropical fruits, and you'll have a true only-in-South Florida afternoon. The "guavino" is excellent.

6. Chill out in a ice bar—in Miami Beach
It's hot in Miami. We know. That's why the people at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice thought of a really effective way to cool down. They built an entire bar out of ice and keep it at a frigid 23 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep people from freezing, they provide faux fur coats and gloves. So you can sip your vodka in a cup made of ice in complete comfort. To accommodate the demand, time slots are given for 40 minutes. That's okay because the adjacent Fire Lounge with its inventive cocktails and crystal tables is equally interesting and has no time limit.

7. Wine and dine in a gas station
The phrase "hidden gem" typically refers to something that's not on everyone's radar. In the case of El Carajo International Tapas & Wines, it refers to a great little restaurant that's actually hidden. Walk through to the back of the convenience store of this nondescript gas station in Miami and you'll find yourself in a small yet charming Spanish restaurant lined to the teeth with good wine. Select a bottle from the shelves and pay a modest $10 corkage fee to drink it on the spot. Also, try the popular bacon-wrapped dates and some of the signature seafood options like ceviche de corvina. Yes, just this once, ceviche in a gas station can be good.

8. Hover over the ocean with a watery jet pack
Make dorky Iron Man dreams a reality with Aquajet Miami. Basically, you get strapped to a jet pack that uses a couple of powerful water streams to propel you up to 30 feet in the air. Don't worry, they also teach you how to use it so you can achieve a controlled flight above the water. Get this: they talk you through the process via a waterproof headset so it's like Jarvis is right there with you. Reservations in advance are required.

9. Brunch with drag divas on Ocean Drive
Skip the buffet and do something memorable by enjoying an outdoor brunch on Ocean Drive surrounded by talented female impersonators. The Palace drag brunch (offered on Saturday and Sunday) is well known on Miami Beach and welcomes a mixed crowd of locals, visitors and the GLBT community. While sipping mimosas and chowing on juicy burgers at the casual bar and restaurant, you'll get to see performances done by the Palace's resident queens right on the sidewalk between tables in sky-high heels.

10. Visit an ancient monastery
That may not seem unusual on its own; but when you consider that construction of the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux (known in Miami as The Ancient Spanish Monastery) was finished in 1141 in northern Spain, you may wonder how it ended up in North Miami Beach. Short version: it was purchased, dismantled, labeled carefully and shipped to the U.S. The crates sat around for a bit, then stone by stone it was reassembled in 1950s as the ultimate life-size 3D puzzle. The cloisters and grounds are nothing short of enchanting and will easily make you feel like you've stepped back in time.


Brenna Cuba is a Miami native and freelance journalist who has been covering lifestyle topics, including travel and food, for more than a decade. She drinks copious amounts of Cuban coffee when on deadline.