On the Water
Miami travel photography shouldn’t just be pictures of adults at play, but also all the fun and exciting adventures that your kids will enjoy, and you with them. For the 21st century, the locals have put greater emphasis on making it a destination travel city for families. Plus, the city is big enough to celebrate the family as well as the hedonistic pleasures that attract adults to Miami.
What will attract your children first in Miami is playing on pristine beaches and among the gentle waves of warm tropical waters. Two of the favorite family-friendly beaches are Crandon Park on Key Biscayne and Matheson Hammock. Each provides a quite different experience, which will generate different sets of reactions and Miami travel photography opportunities.
Frolicking and building sand castles are obvious activities at Crandon Park, but you’ll also like how safe it is for even the smallest beach babes, since there is very little surf and the water is quite shallow as much as 150 feet from the beach. When the kids tire of beach games (if that is even possible), visit the Family Amusement Center and Nature Center. From the Nature Center, a naturalist will guide the family through the park’s various ecosystems: an excellent learning experience for the kids and unique landscapes in which to photograph their enjoyment of all they’ll see. Crandon Park Beach is also perfect for picnics (no food services there), with its tables and on-site grills.
Matheson Hammock is located just south of Crandon Park Beach, but on the mainland. Its lagoon setting is tranquil and equally safe for kids because there are no riptides and 13 lifeguards stands dot the three miles of sand. Matheson is also a great vantage point to capture panoramic images of Biscayne Bay and the city. Even some longtime residents of Miami don’t know of the Matheson Hammock Beach, but some that do say it’s best during the morning hours.
Whatever beach fun you schedule for the family, remember to use plenty of sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially if you’re visiting from the northern climes.
Little subject matter for your Miami travel photography is better than your kids’ reactions to and interactions with animals. Wander the more than 100 exhibits at Zoo Miami, many of which are open-air enclosures. Give your kids a great thrill and keep the camera clicking during their camel rides, a visit to the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station and the Children’s Zoo Wacky Barn.
South Miami is the home of Jungle Island, where your kids and your camera will come face-to-face with more 1,100 tropical birds in a spectacular and colorful tropical landscape. Your kids can feed the parrots and wander among the exhibits of primates, reptiles and big cats.
Although they won’t find any animals at the Miami Children’s Museum, it’s very close to Jungle Island and a great place to escape the heat or rain. The Museum features a huge variety of hands-on activities primarily for kids 5 and younger. They’ll learn how to care for pets, record music or be a newscaster; but then they will undoubtedly gravitate to the sand castle and slide and a rock-climbing wall. Their happy faces and squealing excitement are just the kind of pictures you want for your Miami travel photography.
Visiting Miami with the family is also an opportunity to explore the seaside environment firsthand. Plan a family canoe or kayak adventure in Oleta River State Park, paddling through the wetlands, mangroves and hammocks to view wildlife in their natural habitats. Add a special set of family pictures to your Miami travel photography by booking your place in the Full Moon Tour. For two to three hours, you’ll slowly move across the still waters at night illuminated by the light of the full moon.
Make sure you schedule time for the Miami Seaquarium, an experience your children will always treasure. The joy on their faces, as they watch famous Lolita, the killer whale, and white-sided dolphins display their incredible leaps and dives, are sure to be some of your favorite Miami travel photography. Dolphin Encounter will truly mesmerize your children as they physically interact with dolphins. Then, the entire family can don dive helmets and stroll through the 300,000-gallon tropical reef exhibit with many sea creatures.
Consider renting an underwater camera or underwater housing for your camera for the day, so your photography isn’t limited to dry land.
These attractions are only the beginning of the many family adventures you’ll find in greater Miami, but you could be assured that every one will create lasting memories to be recorded in your Miami travel photography.
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