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Like any city, Miami offers much more than what you see on the surface. Sure, the beaches are gorgeous and the nightlife top-of-the-line, but there are many other options for visitors hoping to get off the beaten track. Whether it’s nature, history, or literature that piques your interest, you can find it among the city’s hidden gems. Here are four spots to check out on your next trip to Miami.

 

Manatee Bend Park

 

Manatees might be called “sea cows,” but they are actually much more majestic than their nickname suggests. This park is a great place to watch these gentle creatures in action. It’s also a pleasantly grassy swath of green in the middle of the urban core, making it a great place for a picnic.

 

Stiltsville Houses

 

Can you imagine a bunch of houses built on stilts sitting miles off the coast? Well you can stop imagining, because such a place actually exists, and of course it exists in Miami. Stiltsville houses are only accessible by boat, and they offer a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. You need to reserve well in advance and be prepared to pay up, but the unique digs will be worth it.

 

The Cafe at Books and Books

 

With two locations in the city, this literary hub attracts booklovers from miles around. The cafes are conjoined with independent bookstores, meaning you can sip lattes and peruse titles like a true denizen of the literary world. The cafes are also full-scale restaurants and live music is a regular feature, meaning they’re worth a visit even if you haven’t touched a book since high school.

 

Stone Age Antiques

 

If you’re into history, collectibles, or assorted knick-knacks, then you should check out this truly impressive antiques emporium. There’s no telling what you might find among the endless supply of historical oddities. The store’s location on the Miami River makes it especially interesting.

 

Miami is a multicultural paradise with no shortage of fun and interesting attractions. Don’t spend your entire visit alternating between the clubs and the beach. Sure, the sun and nocturnal fun are at the center of the Miami experience, but it’s these hidden gems that will really make your trip memorable.