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Experience Miami attractions by boat

Miami and Miami Beach Attractions - At the Zodiac, we ride astride the Waves Miami Boat Tour
We experience the Miami attractions in the Zodiac

Experience Miami attractions by boat

There are many ways to experience the sights of Miami. One of them is to do this with the boat. These Miami Boat Tour however, it is different! 25 degrees Celsius in early January, bright blue sky and a gentle breeze. This is the weather that awaits us at the Miami Beach Marina in December. "Perfect weather for what we're going to do today," I think. It is unusual to experience something like this on a weekday in the middle of December. I look out over the marina entrance to southeast Miami Beach. There is a Zodiac driving around the curve to the boat filling station.

The sleek boat is reminiscent of the vehicles used by CSI Miami cops. Or with the Miami Vice Drug Investigators pursuing their pursuit through the waters of Miami. The older ones certainly know Crockett and Tubbs. At the wheel is Kimberley Falconer, the owner of Ocean Force Adventures. She invited us to a tour of the waters of Miami, She wants to show us the Miami sights from the water.

Miami and Miami Beach Attractions - The Miami Beach Skyline © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
The Miami Beach Skyline on our Miami Boat Tour

Fast Miami boat tour by Zodiac

After a few minutes, she finally picks us up at the jetty in Miami Beach. Immediately afterwards the journey starts through the waterways of Miami and Miami Beach. Past some of the bridges connecting the island of Miami Beach with the mainland metropolis, drive north through the Intracoastal Waterway. We drive to the artificially created islands. These were piled up during the expansion of the Port of Miami.

Miami and Miami Beach Attractions - This villa belongs to a successful dermatologist from Miami Beach © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
This villa belongs to a successful dermatologist - one of the Miami attractions that you can see from the boat

Luxury villas between Miami and Miami Beach

The villas show that it is even possible to profit from waste in Miami. These are lined up on these islands. It's not just superstars like Christina Aguilera who are looking for a bit of privacy away from curious fan-eyes. This house belongs to a dermatologist from Miami Beach. This developed years ago a drug that helped people in the treatment of a skin disease. Kim tells us that he lives in it together with his wife. The two are very popular in Miami because they often donate millions for good causes that benefit the general public.

Sights of Miami and Miami Beach - The loading cranes in the container port of Miami © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Miami Attractions - The loading cranes in the container port of Miami

Through the harbor of Miami

We drive past the loading cranes in the container port of Miami through the port region. If another boat comes towards us, it means "gas back". Here we are in the "no-wake" zone, which means that boats must not leave large bow waves. And that's a good thing, because boat traffic is pretty dense here. Because I am usually not exactly seaworthy, I enjoy the calm journey through the harbor waters. Kim meanwhile tells us about the gross register tons that are loaded here every day. It reports which exotic products arrive daily and which tropical fruit varieties leave Florida on board container ships all over the world.

Sights of Miami and Miami Beach - Iceland - Contradictory of Russian oligarchs © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
One of Miami's exclusive attractions is Fisher Island - the object of contention for Russian oligarchs

Fisher Island between Miami Beach and Miami

Kim makes the next stop off Fisher Island, a private island that can only be reached by boat. An apartment on this island costs millions. "This was once America's most expensive zip code," she says. According to Forbes magazine, the real estate price on the island was $ 3,85 million for a normal house (no villa, mind you). A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts had vacation homes here. The bursting of the real estate bubble in America put an end to this, however. Even in Miami.

Kim reports that Russian billionaires like to settle on this island. These are with their capers of tremendous entertainment value for the residents of Miami. One of the most adventurous stories is about Russian oligarchs. Their machinations and disputes now even employ the US State Department. The story is even more exciting due to the bizarre family relationships. In those several marriages - at the same time and with different wives and children - play a role. who the history of Fisher Island and its Russian inhabitants wants to read, can do this here.

Past the docks of Miami

We finally leave the playground of Russian power games and drive past the port facilities of Miami. On some days - Kim tells us - here is a cruise ship behind the next one. We only see container ships today. But they are impressive too. They tower like skyscrapers above our dinghy.

Miami and Miami Beach Attractions - Downtown Miami's New Skyscrapers © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Top Miami Attractions - The New Skyscraper Setting of Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami

And then we're getting closer to downtown Miami and the areas we know from older and newer television shows. How much the appearance of the skyline of Miami has changed in recent decades, I can see well. After all, the houses that I remember from the nineties have now almost disappeared in the dense population of much higher skyscrapers. The city is growing upwards as the backdrop of the skyline impressively confirms.

Sights of Miami and Miami Beach - views as in the movie - scenery from CSI: Miami © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Miami views as in the movie - scenery from CSI: Miami

Where CSI Miami is filmed

When we walk around Tequesta Point, Miami's inner city suddenly feels familiar again. If not, as in the years when I was here several times a year. Rather, the view reminds me strikingly of the opening sequence of the CSI Miami television series. In this, a helicopter flies around the high-rise backdrop towards the city. Kim confirms, "Yes, that's where this scene was shot."

A pelican flies past us © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
A pelican flies past us - he is one of the Miami attractions

Our ride over the waves off Miami

And then it becomes clear why we sit astride the benches here. Because as soon as we leave the downtown area of ​​Miami, the "no-wake" signs have suddenly disappeared. We can now drive faster. And Kim does too. I just hold on to my baseball cap so that the wind doesn't tear it off my head. Then I try to hold my seat to some extent in my seat. Sometimes it works better, sometimes less well. In any case, it is a fast ride that leads us to the bridge. This connects the mainland with the island of Key Biscayne. We slow down the drive as we pass under the bridge. But after that, the wild ride takes almost ten minutes. Then we reach an extraordinary settlement on stilts, which was built in the middle of the sea.

One of Stiltsville's Houses © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
One of Stiltsville's Homes - Destination of our Miami Boat Tour

A Miami insider tip - Stiltsville's stilt houses

Stiltsville! I've never heard of that in all the years I've known Miami and Miami Beach. A collection of stilt houses at the south end of Key Biscayne. It dates from the time when Florida Frontierland was. This was an area that was still mostly overgrown with bush vegetation. At that time nobody knew exactly what to do with the humid and subtropical marshland in the South of America. This was the main access route of the ships from the Atlantic to the Port of Miami. A trader who wanted to forestall his competitors came up with the idea of ​​his shop in front of the harbor entrance to build. In the middle of the ocean. Here he offered them fresh oranges and other fruit, as well as rum and other alcoholic drinks. After that, the sailors were starving after weeks on board. His business was not bad, as expected.

At this strange-looking stilt house, anglers throw their leash out © Copyright Kimberley Falconer, Ocean Force Adventures
At this strange-looking stilt house, anglers throw their leash out © Copyright Kimberley Falconer, Ocean Force Adventures

From the men's club to the drug smuggler

Over time, more adventurers came to it. Many built a retreat away from prying eyes for other reasons out here. Among them was a gentlemen's club of the best company. Supposedly, the members retreated in this rather simple accommodation with certain ladies, who should not necessarily get to know the press - and also the married wives. When drug trafficking from Latin America was at its peak, some of the houses were certainly used as drug trafficking centers. On our trip through Stiltsville we only see a few anglers peacefully throwing their rod into the sea from one of the stilt houses, hoping for the big catch.

The Key Biscayne Lighthouse © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
The Key Biscayne Lighthouse

Rough ride over the waves of the open ocean

We are still laughing in this photo. But shortly afterwards, Kim tells us that we now have to go out to sea to turn around. Only there can we turn to Key Biscayne for the return trip to Miami Beach. "And now the adventure begins," she says dryly. I think to myself: "Heaven! What was the speedy drive from Miami here? ”But she is right. We prefer to stow our cameras in the protective cases provided to protect them from splash water.

Then it starts! Like a bucking horse, the Zodiac jumps over the ever-growing waves. They come right up to us here. It feels as if we fall into every trough that lies on our way. With loud splashes and splashes of water spilling over the sides of the boat. This is adventure! Thankfully, the wild ride takes only a few minutes before we turn around. This time we return with the waves, again past elegant villas. Some of them included former President Ronald Reagan as well as not-so-well-known drug lords.

Villa on Key Biscayne © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Villa on Key Biscayne

Back in calmer waters

Back in the harbor of Miami, we follow boats in front of us in their fairway, which ensures a quiet return journey. I'm glad about that, because the wild tour out on the open sea made me cramp my legs around the seat to at least have a firm hold. Getting up from my seat after arriving in Miami Beach is still not easy for me in the harbor. So I try to relax my muscles before forcing them to put my legs in a straight position. Back on land we finally radiate the bet! What a ride! And what an adventure!

Petar's video shows what else you can do in Miami and Miami Beach:


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Travel Arrangements

Ocean Force Adventures
300 Alton Road
Pier E Miami Beach
FL 33139
Phone (305) 372-3388

Getting there

Lufthansa, United and other airlines fly to Miami. From there you can continue your journey by rental car or camper.

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Source Discover Miami's attractions from the boat: own on-site research courtesy of the Greater Miami Convention and Tourism Bureau. Our opinion, however, remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline and Kimberley Falconer, Ocean Force Adventures (Miami Boat Tour)

Responses

  1. Anja
    | Reply

    Hallo,
    That sounds really exciting and you have a very different view of the city. Great tip.
    Best regards,
    Anja

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hi Anja,

      this is definitely an experience that will be remembered. We would do it again anytime.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  2. Nina
    | Reply

    This is really a very different corner of Miami than you always see on TV. Especially the harbor reminded me of the giants and cranes at the harbor of Hamburg. LG, Nina

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      On certain days, there are several cruise ships in the Port of Miami, from there to the Caribbean. When we were there, however, only merchant ships were in port.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  3. Dear Monika,
    Just in December I was in Miami Beach and recognized some of your pictures. I have to say that it is a nice place to switch off and sunbathe, but much more unfortunately not. Unfortunately the villas and yachts have not charmed me.
    I did not do a boat tour myself - your experiences on rough seas sound very unique.

    Many greetings,
    Stefanie

    • Dear Stefanie,

      Well, idyll in Europe as you should not expect in Florida. That's really not there. Rather pretty pompous mansions of the super rich. The boat tour was really something special. Even if it was partly bumpy, I would do it again at any time.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  4. Elena
    | Reply

    Dear Monika,
    I loved Crockett and Tubbs at a young age just because of the pursuit through Miami - whether on water or on land. With your article I have become almost a bit nostalgic. I like the villa of the dermatologist very much, but I am a little scared of smaller boats; so this insight would be hidden from me. So double thanks for the description of your adventure.
    Regards
    Elena

    • Dear Elena,

      I'm not exactly the bravest, but I really liked the tour. You can see more than the usual harbor cruises. And the experience is much more intense.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  5. Barbara
    | Reply

    Hello Monika and Petar,

    Since you did a great tour! I only know the normal leisurely tours on small ships with many other tourists; it's comfortable. Such a Zodiac would be something!

    The tour is mainly to completely different places, much further than usual. For example, I have never heard of Stiltsville.

    Best regards,
    Barbara

    • Hello Barbara,

      the tour with the Zodiac is the only one that goes to Stiltsville. I had not heard of it before, but it's worth the trip.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  6. Julia
    | Reply

    The city has some wild stories to tell :-) Thank you for taking us!

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Julia,

      There are certainly many more "wild" stories about Miami. These were just a few. That is one of the reasons why we are so fascinated by Miami.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  7. Sabine
    | Reply

    You brought great impressions! Such a loading port actually looks the same everywhere, reminded me a bit of my harbor tour in Hamburg. By the way, I saw a few days ago that Crockett and Tubbs are "in" again.

    Best regards,
    Sabine

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      In Miami Beach, the two were never really out. This television series woke the place out of its slumber. Once a retired metropolis, Miami Beach has transformed itself into the hip city of today through the image of Crockett and Tubbs.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  8. Simone
    | Reply

    Dear Monika,
    reads after an adventure, but I'm not sure if that would be mine;) However, otherwise I would miss Stiltsville. I had not heard of that before.
    I really liked your pictures
    Best Regards
    Simone

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Simone,

      Stiltsville is definitely worth the drive. That's something special. We were there in good weather and relatively calm sea. Only the ride against the waves that rolled up from the sea was bumpy. But it's worth it!

      Best regards,
      Monika

  9. Kathi
    | Reply

    Dear Monika,

    A boat trip in Miami sounds pretty exciting. Somehow it is just as I imagined and then quite different. I would also like to do such a boat trip. :)

    Many greetings
    Kathi

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Kathi,

      it was exciting too. Especially when it went out to Stiltsville. The waves became higher and the sea rougher. But you only experience that on this tour. There are others who stay in calmer harbor waters. However, next time I would do the same tour again :). That was a great experience!

      Best regards,
      Monika

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