Horseback Riding in Miami

Smiling Riding GirlWhen you imagine a vacation in Miami, Florida, probably the last thing you would think of is horseback riding. An agricultural area known as “Horse Country” is a popular destination for people who love horses and want to see some lush country scenery. Horse ranches are well-maintained and are dedicated to helping equestrians to experience Miami in a different light. Most of the places in the area are designed for giving lessons and experiencing the horse trails this way. A few are open to visitors to go for it on their own.

Why go horseback riding?

  1. Horses are majestic creatures. To interact with one and to connect with one can be a truly amazing experience.
  2. Horseback riding provides great exercise. As you find your balance, you are also getting a great core workout. Inner thighs and pelvic muscles also get toned. You will probably feel it the next day, but it is a great feeling!
  3. Riding is very calming and provides a mental vacation. You find peace as you engage with the animal and observe nature. The clip-clopping rhythm soothes your mind.
  4. See the world from a different point-of-view. You are up higher on a horse and will see things you would normally miss when walking or riding in a vehicle.
  5. Make your vacation unique by doing something nontraditional! How many other people do you know go horseback riding when they visit Florida?

Bar-B-Ranch

The Bar-B-Ranch, just a short drive from Miami in Davie, is the largest and most experienced stable in the area. They can accommodate riders of all experience levels and have enough horses available that reservations are not necessary. Ride on the trails in the nearby public parks to catch a glimpse of what Florida used to look like before populations took over.

Lady Palm Ranch

The Lady Palm Ranch in Miami allows you to take a trail ride along the Everglades Canal Waterway. The rides only accommodate four riders at once, but children are welcome to double up with parents. Reservations are required and can be made and paid for online.

American Horse Trails

Choose from three different packages at this popular location in Southwest Ranches. Those who want an easier terrain with just walking can choose the Sugar Mill Trail. If you’re more comfortable on a horse and want a longer ride, walk and trot along the Harvest Moon Trail on their two-hour ride. Experienced riders will enjoy the three-hour tour on the Wind Cove Trail that allows walking, trotting, and cantering. Not sure which one is the best option? Contact them for a personalized custom package. Reservations are required. They do have a cancellation fee if you cancel three days or more prior to your scheduled ride. Cancellations made within three days are only given a make-up date.

Where do you like to go horseback riding in the greater Miami area? Share your tips with us in the comments!

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Explore Miami’s Waterways

Miami WaterwaysWhen you come to Miami, of course you are going to want to spend time at the beach. It is a time-honored tradition that requires at least one dedicated day on your vacation. Local waterways offer other ways to get wet while engaging with the beautiful flora and fauna that the area has to offer. Take one of the guided tours, or create your own paddling experience.

Why Kayak?

1.Whether exploring on your own or following a guided tour, kayaking is a very relaxing activity.

2.It is exercise, and a pleasant form of it that isn’t going to overtax your body.

3.Natural areas are not always visible from hiking trails or cars. To truly see the beauty as it once was, you have to be on the water.

4.You’re more engaged with nature as you are sitting on the water. Get up close and personal to the local flora and fauna.

5.It can be hot in Florida, especially in the summer! Kayaking is a great way to stay cool during your adventures.

So, where are some of the best places to go kayaking?

Miami Eco Adventures

Miami Eco Adventures is designed for a true water experience in the Miami area. They currently feature three specific tours to get you out on the water.

The Key Biscayne Kayak Adventure takes you along the natural shorelines of Key Biscayne. View coastal birds and marine life in their natural habitat. Touch base with history as you see the summer fishing villages of the Tequesta. Indulge in childhood fantasies as you discover pirate shipwrecks off the shore.

The Fossil Reef Snorkel Adventure allows you to also traverse sea-grass beds and sand flats as you pass an ancient fossilized reef to get to the mangrove forests.

Snorkel along the reef to see the tropical fish up close and explore the Bear Cut Preserve on the Sea Kayak & Snorkel Adventure.

Or, you can contact them to create your own personalized adventure for your group.

Matheson Hammock Park

Adventure Sports Miami provides kayak and standup paddleboard rentals for exploring Matheson Hammock Park. Some people even like to go kiteboarding here. You can check out a manmade atoll that is naturally flushed by the tide. Enjoy your ride along the Gables waterways as you look upon the Biscayne Bay and skyline of Miami.

Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park is a mere 20 minutes from downtown Miami. This preserved land is best viewed from a kayak and gives you an historic glimpse into what the area was like before civilization took over. Weave through the mangrove estuaries and check out the hardwood hammocks either on your own or through a guided tour by Blue Moon Outdoor Center.

Other Small Trips

People also love to go paddling near Chicken Key, which is a small island near the Deering Estate. The Coral Gables Waterway is several miles long, taking you through a beautiful neighborhood.

Where are your favorite paddling destinations? Let us know in the comments section!

Summer Fun in Miami, Florida

Miami Summer FunWhen you imagine vacationing in Miami, you picture those white, sandy beaches with tons of palm trees. Perhaps you see yourself hitting up some nightclubs. Summertime in this area brings about more seasonal events than this standard fare, guaranteed to give you a unique experience to remember.

Miami Spa Month

When you’re on vacation, the goal is relaxation. Pamper yourself during Miami Spa Month, which actually runs from July 1st-August 31st. The greater Miami area is home to some of the top spas in the nation. Whether you are craving yoga, a hot stone treatment, or a massage, you can easily find a location that will indulge your senses and help you find ultimate relaxation. Some may even be available at your hotel. Then, keep your eyes open for fresh local foods and natural beauty products at local farmers’ markets, to help you continue to feel your best.

Miami Spice

Now that you have pampered your body, indulge your tastebuds by experiencing some of Miami’s unique, authentic cuisine. Miami Spice runs from August 1st through September 30th. World-renowned chefs at Miami’s most famous restaurants are showcasing their talents and signature dishes through three-course meals.

Get a preview on July 23rd at the Miami Spice Mash-Up at Dolce Italian. The three-course meal features dishes from Chef Paolo Dorigato and Cesar Zapata, representing Dolce Italian and The Federal, who battled it out on the premiere season of ‘Best New Restaurant’ on Bravo.

July 30th is the Miami New Times Iron Fork Miami Spice Kickoff event where you can preview the upcoming offerings from participating restaurants. Watch two local chefs face off in the Iron Fork competition in a big cook-off.

Dance the Night Away

Music is the spice of life, and salsa is usually the spiciest. Get up close to salsa superstars at the International Salsa Festival, July 23-26 at Tamiami Park. This is the largest international salsa event of its kind. Live concerts with special performers and Djs surround you in the music. A gala night brings together fans and performers. Get a three-day pass free if you purchase a ticket to the Gala Night, which is available via Ticketmaster.

The Overotwn Music and Arts Festival takes place on July 25th on NW Third Avenue between NW Eighth and 11th Streets.

The Miami Salsa Congress meets in various locations through Miami Beach from July 29-August 2. Observe dancers in action and even get some lessons! Over 500 performers, including local and international artists, dancers, instructors, and Djs, help you to party to the sound of the Caribbean all night long. You can even hit up some pool parties, pre-parties, and go out for the evening galas. This is considered to be the largest festival of its kind on the eastern coast and one of the Top 5 of its kind in the world. Get event passes or individual event tickets through the Miami Salsa Congress website.

Do you have a hot tip for a summer event? Let us know in the comments! If you’re looking for someplace to stay while you’re here enjoying all of the fun in the sun, consider these luxury condos for rent.