Experience Miami sights 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. With their capers, these are of enormous entertainment value for the residents of Miami. One of the most adventurous stories is about Russian oligarchs. Their machinations and disputes are now even preoccupying the American State Department. The story is made even more exciting by the bizarre family circumstances. Several marriages - at the same time and with different wives and children - play a role in them.
You should pack this for a trip to Florida suitcase
- The beaches in Miami Beach invite you to swim. Check ours packing list for the beach vacationso that you don't forget anything.
- In our packing list for the vacation you will find further tips on what to take with you on the trip.
- Miami Beach's miles of beaches beckon for beach walks. Since the sand can be very hot, it is worth it beach shoes * .
- We recommend this Florida Travel Guide *. Miami Travel Guide * are even more detailed.
- Also bring some Florida Maps *.
Past the docks of the Miami sights
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.
Downtown Miami landmarks
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.
Miami Attractions - 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."
Miami Sights Riding the Waves
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.
Miami sights - the stiltsville 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, but also rum and other alcoholic drinks. After that, after weeks on board, the seafarers were starved. Business was not bad, as expected.
Miami Attractions - From gentlemen's clubs to drug smugglers
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.
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.
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!
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these booking options.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- In North Miami Beach you can use the Assume River State Park, 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, United States
Tips for Florida, Miami and Miami Beach
- Are you interested in a trip to Bahía Honda Key? Barbara Weibel from Hole in the Donut gives tips in English.
- Travel Tips for Miami
- Tips for Miami Beach
- They still exist - the family hotels of Miami Beach
Ocean Force Adventures
300 Alton Road
Pier E Miami Beach
Phone (305) 372-3388
Getting to Miami Attractions
Book here easy and cheap a rental car * for your journey.
Excursions and tours to Miami attractions
tours in and around Miami * get your guide
Florida Travel Guide * You can also find it on Amazon.de
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- Motorhome packing list
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Source Discover Miami Sights from the Boat: On-site research with assistance from the Greater Miami Convention and Tourism Bureau. However, our opinion remains our own. Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline and Kimberley Falconer, Ocean Force Adventures (Miami Boat Tour)