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With wide sandy beaches, colorful buildings, abundant wildlife, interactive museums and numerous parks, Miami is a great destination for a family vacation. Different neighborhoods have distinct appeals, so consider the atmosphere you’re looking for and what attractions and activities you want to be close to when choosing between Miami vacation rentals.

Coral Gables

To stay in beautiful surroundings, you can’t beat Coral Gables. Dubbed “The City Beautiful,” Coral Gables is filled with European-style plazas, mansions in a Spanish Revival fashion, tropical gardens and canals. On hot days, kids love splashing around, so spend the day at Venetian Pool. Made from a coral rock quarry, the iconic swimming area features waterfalls and caves with a shallow pool for younger kids to enjoy. For a kid-friendly beach, head to Matheson Hammock Park in Biscayne Bay. The protected tidal pool has calm waters that are ideal for toddlers, while older kids can try paddleboarding or windsurfing.

Coconut Grove

Miami’s oldest neighborhood is filled with character, and you’ll be itching to explore the vast mansions, lush gardens and mangrove islands. Take a guided tour of a historic home, such as the Barnacle, where you’ll see a full-size replica of the original owner’s sailboat, and then enjoy a picnic on the lawn. In contrast to the simplicity of the Barnacle, view the glittering contents of the opulent, Mediterranean-style mansion at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Kids particularly enjoy exploring the gardens filled with grottos, bridges, statues and a labyrinth.

South Beach

Art deco buildings abound in South Beach, and you’ll want to spend time on the white-sand beach. Rent beach chairs, umbrellas or even a beach bed from one of the vendors, and go paddling in the calm waters. Spend some time at the driving range at Miami Beach Golf Club, or head to New World Center where you can watch a free WALLCAST concert or movie that’s projected across an area of 7,000 square feet. Pop over to Watson Island where the outdoor theme park, Jungle Island, awaits you. Explore the various trails, watch the scheduled shows and see animals including a liger, vultures, parrots and baboons.

Miami Beach

No trip to Miami is complete without a stroll along the iconic Ocean Drive. Adjacent to the beach, enjoy a meal on a street patio as you people-watch or gaze out at the ocean. Rent bikes from one of the CitiBike rental stations along the street and explore Miami Beach together in a fun way. Take a Duck Tour for an unusual sea and land adventure in an amphibious vehicle that takes you to see famous landmarks and celebrities’ homes on Star Island. Got a sweet tooth? Then don’t miss a trip to the Sugar Factory on Lincoln Road. Dive into a King Kong Sundae with no less than 24 ice cream scoops and more toppings than you’ll care to count.

Downtown

Spend time at the mall at Bayside Marketplace, and enjoy the view of Biscayne Bay while you shop and dine out at the tempting eateries. Take a cruise across the bay to view Millionaire’s Row from the deck as you head to Fisher Island. Be sure to catch an NBA game at the American Airlines Arena during your Miami vacation.