A guide to navigating Miami’s many vibrant museums

The Frost Science Museum is a nonprofit educational museum that features a variety of exhibits including a planetarium and aquarium.
The Frost Science Museum is a nonprofit educational museum that features a variety of exhibits including a planetarium and aquarium.

Miami’s rich history, vibrant art scene and rising tech and science industries are celebrated by the city’s many iconic museums. From on-campus art galleries to downtown science museums, University of Miami students have a wealth of knowledge on their doorstep to explore. Here’s a list of a few of Miami’s museums UM students must see:

Lowe Art Museum

Imagine perusing through a museum full of stunning sculptures and paintings. Now, imagine it all a short walk away from your new home. The University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum’s small facade makes way for a grand interior for UM students to explore

The museum features a diverse collection of art, ranging from Greco-Roman artifacts to Indigenous art of the Americas. The Lowe Art Museum frequently changes its featured exhibits, so students can frequently enjoy new artworks. The art is not limited to the inside of the museum — outside of the Lowe is a garden with sculptures. After a stroll at the Lowe, you’ll understand why it is a must-see.

Vizcaya

With manicured gardens and ornate architecture, Vizcaya captures the Miami Luxury lifestyle of 1916. A popular destination for UM students, this museum and garden experience is only a short metro ride away from the Coral Gables campus. The mansion was designed in the Mediterranean Revival style, capturing the seaside atmosphere and Spanish influence of Miami within its grounds. Located in Coconut Grove, Vizcaya is only a short metro ride away from theour Coral Gables campus.

American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora

The architecture of the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora (The Cuban) is as captivating as the stories each exhibit tells. The museum provides visitors with the magnificent cultural stories of The Cuban Diaspora through its combination of art and history. Since its opening, The Cuban has captivated visitors with fascinating exhibits from the life of the beloved musician, Celia Cruz to “Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus”.

Currently, the museum features the work of Cuban-American artist, Baruj Salinas. The architecture, a noteworthy feature of this museum, provides visitors with a 360-degree view of Miami from the roof. To receive a student discount, make sure to bring your ‘Cane Card.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Bold, modern, and impressive —- the Frost Museum of Science has been making science cool and educating visitors of all ages for the past five years.

While a more expensive experience, this museum has four buildings and six levels to explore, making it well worth the entrance fee. A museum to spend an entire day in, Frost hits all areas of STEM interest from oceanography to astronomy.

The main attraction of the Frost Museum is its state-of-the-art aquarium that allows visitors to explore all levels of ocean life from the coral reef systems of shallow waters to the alligators that roam the surface. The true gem though is a 31-foot oculus lens that peers upwards from the bottom of the aquarium immersing guests into the depths of the ocean.

For a less aquatic and more historical exhibit, Frost recreates the Ice Age with lifesize Wooly Mammoth replicas showcasing one of the dominant species 300,000 years ago. From the engineering feats of flight to the wonder of the stars offered in the Planetarium and Feathers to Flight exhibits, Frost will draw out the science-lover in every visitor.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

Right next to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Minimalist and upcoming PAMM is the pride and joy of the modern Miami art scene.

With special focus on the Cuban Diaspora, Miami-based artists, and Latin American-inspired work PAMM connects its art directly to its surrounding community. Their showcase exhibit Chromosaturation plays with the power of light and color creating an immersive experience that plays with the senses.

Students can also enjoy some of the outdoor art exhibits including suspended swinging chairs, a maze of blue strings and trees hanging from the roof. One underappreciated attraction of Perez is its location, as the steps behind the main building provide a wonderful view of Port Miami to.

If visiting, be sure to bring your Cane Card as PAMM offers student discounts.

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Located in sunny Miami Beach, Florida International University’s (FIU) Jewish Museum of Florida tells the rich history of the Jewish community in Florida since 1763. Their central exhibit, MOSAIC, details 250 years of the Florida-Jewish experience through stirring stories of their struggles and successes.

While a smaller exhibit, this museum is one of the only to hone in on the unique history of the Jewish population in Florida. Traveling exhibitions have featured the photography of Ruth Gruber, who spent her life photographing the maltreatment of Jewish people around the world, and a time capsule of Barbara Streisand from her costumes to vinyls.

One of their current exhibitions is Giller & Giller, which tells the story of one of Miami’s founders of modern architecture, Norman Giller. This museum also features a discount for students who bring their ‘cane card.

Museum of Illusions Miami

For a more interactive experience and perfect Instagram photo, the Museum of Illusions capitalizes on the art of optical illusions to wow visitors. Its cleverly painted walls can take guests on a magic carpet ride or to the top of skyscrapers all without leaving the room.

With over 40 3D illusions for guests to ponder over, the exhibit is sure to keep everyone engaged, and, because of its location on Lincoln Road, this museum tour can be coupled with a shopping trip.

Whether you prefer visiting museums on weekends or rainy days, every student should be sure to block out some time to visit the Museums that are just as much a part of Miami as the city itself.