Day 1 You'll See:
- Black Archives
- Greater Bethel AME Church
- Historic Ward Rooming House
- Historic Black Police Precinct Courthouse
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You'll See:
Your group won’t regret this choice for your big grad celebration, a three day journey through Miami offering you all the best cultural, historic, and entertaining touring options available. Spend some time learning about local ancestry, exploring local neighborhoods, and even shopping and eating in some of the most celebrated Miami districts to date.
Black Archives - What better way to start your three-day enlightening journey through Miami than at The Black Archives, the premier place in Southern Florida to learn all about the African American experience in this region. Documenting the African American experience in Miami-Dade County from 1896 on, The Black Archives holds many important photographs and documents of local pioneer families, as well as souvenir programs from churches and organizations. All of these things together work to preserve the identity of African American south Florida, and they do so extremely well! Take any of the offered walking tours and see the Ward Rooming House, Lyric Theater, Mount Zion Church, and various galleries, museums, and landmarks. The surrounding area, Overtown, is a great place to shop, dine, and explore as well, the area telling the story of the Harlem Renaissance and African American cultural heritage of southern Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.
Greater Bethel AME Church - Built in 1927, Greater Bethel AME Church is Miami’s oldest Black Organized Church, located in historic Overtown. More specifically located on 8th Street, this historic Miami church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 and has since then been loved by both locals and "Bethelites" alike. With a strong reputation for helping the community in any way that it can, from HIV support to food donations, this church is also widely known for a speech given in 1958 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here Dr. King launched the SCLC Crusade for Citizenship, and the church has been following in his immense footsteps since! Be sure to bring your camera and get ready to learn all you can about the Bethel roots of Miami!
Historic Ward Rooming House - Established in 1925 by Shaddrack and Victoria Ward is the Historic Ward Rooming House, located in the historic Overtown area of Miami. This rooming house served as a resting place and safe haven for both African and Native Americans, allowing blacks rejected from local hotels and seminole indians needing a rest a place to relax and not worry about being bothered for the night. Today Ward Rooming House acts as an official Visitor center of Overtown and houses a gallery and exhibition hall. Within the event space you can oftentimes find such dynamic cultural and entertainment events such as live music, special speakers, and poetry readings.The Ward Rooming House is integrated into the Overtown epicenter and is specifically located on Northwest 9th Street, near all the best local shopping, dining, and entertainment options within Overtown. Try Jackson’s Soul Food or head over to Remix Apparel to get a full glimpse into the neighborhood and live like the locals do!
Historic Black Police Precinct Courthouse - The Historic Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum is located in the heart of downtown Overtown. The mission of the museum today is to acquire, preserve, display, and promote collections of value to the preservation of African American history in relation to African American police officers in Overtown. This courthouse served as the segregated base of operations for Miami’s newly formed "Colored Patrol Officers," serving diligently limited areas around Miami’s Liberty City and Coconut Grove in the pre-civil rights era of the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. In the past this courthouse had one single black judge and a handful of officers, of whom the task was designated to fight crime, segregation, racial injustices, and racial discrimination. The judge handled citizen complaints and arrests within the complex, and today you can see the very detention cells, lockers, and even concessions that were once used daily.
Bayside Market - End your day at the 230,000 square foot festival marketplace in downtown Miami known as Bayside Marketplace. First established in 1987, Bayside Marketplace provides over 15 million visitors annually with ample shopping, food, live music, local culture, and fantastic seaside viewing opportunities, what more could you ask for in a shopping mall? Your group will find all the major retail stores inside, from 98 Coast Avenue to Wet Seal, and everything in between. Shop the best clothing, electronics, food, health and beauty, home and housewares, shoes, fashion, specialty shops, and sports and fitness stores within the spacious two floors of shopping center. Once you’ve worked up an appetite you can head to any of the many restaurant options, such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Five Guys Burger and Fries, Auntie Anne's, or even Fat Tuesday Daiquiri Bar! There is so much to see here, from the always diverse crowd to the upbeat outdoor music and sightseeing atmosphere.
Charlotte Jane Park Cemetery - Charlotte Jane Park Cemetery is also commonly known by its historic name, the Coconut Grove Bahamian Cemetery. This historically and culturally important burial ground serves as the resting place of Bahamian settlers in the early 1900s, established officially in 1913. The graves here are laid about in the above the ground style, a popular style in locations at or below sea level/prone to flooding. Located on South Douglas Road, this cemetery is home to such prominent Bahamian pioneers as Joseph Mayor, Daniel and Catherine Anderson, and Captain John Sweeting. This site is also known to be the inspiration and filming of the highly popular Michael Jackson's Thriller video inspiration. The Cemetery was named in honor of the wife of EWF Stirrup, so if you’re craving more history head over to the nearby 120 year old Stirrup House for a quick tour!
Miami Zoo - Zoo Miami is south Florida’s premier zoo with all of your favorite animals plus a few new friends. Designed and devoted to the health and happiness of the animals, Zoo Miami is one of the top zoos in the United States. Set in the lush tropical greenery of Florida, Zoo Miami is the perfect destination for groups of all ages. Zoo Miami is also a very accommodating attraction with programs and encounters for all ages and interests. See a show at the Sami Family Amphitheater, visit the small and gentle creatures at the children’s zoo, or visit the Playworld Playground. On those really hot days, take your kids by one of the many water play areas to cool down. Unlike a lot of zoos, Zoo Miami gives you up-close encounters with the animals to give greater appreciation and education of these gentle beings.
Everglades Airboat Ride - Tour one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, the "river of grass," with Airboat in Everglades next. You and your group will have the chance to see some of the most impressive natural beauty as you explore the sawgrass mangroves and shallow wetlands. The luxury airboat will allow your group to roam and sight-see the natural beauty of the Everglades all while sitting in comfy waterproof seats, the entire boat itself powered by high tech jets. On this tour your group and yourself will get to experience the natural wildlife of South Florida up close and personal, with ample opportunities to see such creatures as alligators, deer, snakes, bears, panthers, bobcats, raccoons, and over 300 different species of bird. It will be easy to see why people love Airboat in Everglades, a company true to their word of wanting to bring the public closer to a truly wondrous and endangered ecosystem.
Freedom Tower - Welcome to Freedom Tower, the Miami Dade College associated Museum of Art and Design as well as the Miami Cuban American Museum. Originally this building served as the Miami News headquarters, today being one of south Florida’s most distinctive historic buildings around. Besides being a newspaper office the Freedom Tower was also a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974, playing a highly important role in Cuban and American history. Inside you will see art exhibits of Cuban immigrants as well as learn the story of the resettlement of the Cubans during the Cold War. The tower itself is a cupola on a 255 foot tower that is itself contained in a decorative beacon. If the striking architectural detail of this octagonal tower and richly ornamented facade doesn’t truly impress your group, the 40 foot New World Mural sure will!
Miami Duck Tour - Get ready for one truly exciting and educational tour of Miami, with the Miami Beach Duck Tour! This tour departs daily from the heart of South Beach in Miami and provides guests a once in a lifetime journey through the most spectacular landmarks on the streets, then splashes down dramatically yet gently in the gorgeous Biscayne Bay. This completely interactive trip is led by highly knowledgeable tour guides each with a unique background in acting and comedy, providing a highly entertaining and informational experience. Enjoy all the various jokes, music, and fun games as you learn all you can about these Miami neighborhoods during this 90 minute half land-half sea tour! While on this trip your group will get a close-up look at many homes of the rich and famous on Star Island, see South Beach, visit the Art Deco District, discover Fisher Island, and take another glance at Millionaire’s Row!
Historic Overtown Folklife Village - Located within the streets of Northwest 2nd and 3rd Avenue your group will find your next culturally and historically important stop, Historic Overtown Folklife Village. This regional tourist attraction showcases the legacies of Overtown and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as the story of the black cultural heritage of South Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. The mission of this historic village is to restore all the historic sites of significance in the Overtown community, and it has done so very successfully thus far. A tour through this community will allow your group to see the plight and struggle of historic locals by viewing various galleries, museums, and landmarks. See the Lyric Theater, several historic churches such as Mt. Zion and Bethel AME, and the various historic homes and multi-use event venues along the way!