Miami is a lot of things -- a bastion of beautiful people, a tropical paradise, the road rage capital of the free world. One thing it isn't, however, is cheap. And while some Miamians have beau coup bucks to throw around, if you're reading this, we're guessing you're not one of them.
The good news for broke folks is there's more free fun to be had than you might imagine. Here are our top ten free things to do in Miami (hint: a great page to bookmark for your next OK Cupid hangout).
10. The beach. Duh.
It's why we live here, obvs. But way too many of us fail to take advantage of the paradisiacal year-round asset that makes our friends up North weep with envy. How long has it been since you've had a beach day? Probably way too long. Pick your pleasure -- there are plenty of options, from bare-assed Haulover to booze-drenched SoBe.
9. Check out Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
Unlike the (worth every penny) $25 admission fee to Fairchild, the Beach's botanical treasure is gratis. Stroll the gorgeous green space and escape Miami madness for an afternoon.
8. Take a free tour.
We could all use a little more Miami edumacation. Seriously, how much do you know about your own hood? Plus, there's no excuse not to get outside and walk/bike/move. We live in a tropical paradise but spend most of our time in cars. Fail. You could take a Sunday-afternoon tour of the Biltmore, take a bike tour of the Wynwood murals, or enjoy a Key Biscayne lighthouse tour.
7. Hang out in a park.
Do you have any idea how many ridiculously awesome parks Miami has? Ummmm, a lot. And we're betting you rarely take advantage of their fantastic assets. There's the breezy, waterfront Kennedy Park; the massive, sports-centric Tropical Park; the charming, mangrove-laden Enchanted Forest Park -- and dozens of others woven through every neighborhood in town. Lots of 'em offer free nature tours, events and all kinds of other stuff. Check out some of the best here.
6. Hit up a museum on a free day.
Most museums have at least one day a month when they open their doors to the unwashed masses. What better time to go? PAMM does it on the second Saturday, as does the Coral Gables Museum; the Bass Museum on the last Sunday; Lowe on the first Tuesday and so on.
5. Attend a Wynwood Art Walk.
Yeah, we know. It's become overcrowded and overrated, but nonetheless, it's still a free way to see lots of awesome art without shelling out an admission fee. And score yourself a cocktail or two. Just get there early if you don't want to be forced to pay $20 for a sketchy dude to "watch your car."
4. See a movie at SoundScape.
Pack a picnic and pop a squat in front of New World Center's massive projection wall. Basking in balmy tropical breezes, drinking a cold one and checking out a 7,000 foot Chris Hemsworth (Thor is screening on May 14th, FYI) might be the best thing ever -- particularly when the rest of the country is still blanketed in that cold white stuff they call snow. The flick choices vary, but barring the unforeseen, they happen every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and you can check out the schedule online.
3. Join a healthy eating class at Whole Foods.
Despite their rep for hefty price tags and upmarket everything, Whole Foods is serious about educating the general public on healthy eating. Proof: their weekly classes are totally gratis, and run the gamut from healthy global cuisine to eating healthy on the cheap to vegan Thanksgiving eats and more. Each store offers their own, different schedule, but the Coral Gables branch is helmed by Short Order's own Camille Lamb. The girl can cook.
2. Take yoga in Bayfront Park.
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A tradition of sorts, the Bayfront thrice weekly yoga classes are an easy way to avoid paying $180 a month to join a yoga studio. Seriously, you can get your yoga on three times a week OUTSIDE, which makes it about a billion times better. (P.S. If you want to practice more than 3x a week, there are other free classes around the city, from Peacock Park to Jose Marti Park and others.
1. Hang with the goats at Earth n Us Farm.
Essentially, Earth n Us Farm is a commune-esque hideaway cleverly tucked into a Little Haiti backyard. Looking at the wee house from the street-side, it's almost mind-boggling that it conceals a little piece of paradise. The farm is a hodge-podge of organic vegetables, rescued farm animals, hammocks, a communal kitchen, couches and the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Best of all, you can just show up and chill whenever you feel like a little time on the farm. They're open till 6 p.m. daily. You can also rent out their treehouse on airbnb. Oh, and bring your compost (banana peels, lettuce leftovers, apple cores, etc.) to feed the goats. They'll be your besties forevermore.