The Greener Guide to Seeing Miami More Sustainably

1 Hotel South Beach is a LEED Silver-certified eco-conscious hotel in Miami
1 Hotel South Beach is a LEED Silver-certified eco-conscious hotel in Miami | Courtesy of 1 Hotel South Beach / Booking.com
Photo of Emma Sparks
2 September 2021
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Botanical gardens and bird rescue centers entice you to see a different side of Florida‘s beachside city, away from the clubs and pool parties.

Plenty of the top attractions in Miami are free to enjoy, from the white sands of South Beach to the Art Deco Historic District. And as Miami is one of the more walkable cities in the United States, you can keep your carbon footprint down and work on your tan by exploring on foot. Ready to soak up some of that sweet Florida sunshine? Plan a more sustainable vacation with these ecofriendly hotels and things to do in Miami.

1 Hotel South Beach

1 Hotel South Beach
Courtesy of 1 Hotel South Beach / Booking.com

No detail has been overlooked at this LEED Silver-certified eco-conscious hotel. Room keys are made from sustainable wood, clothes hangers from recycled paper and filtered drinking water is on tap to reduce single-use plastics. You can also rest easy on an environmentally friendly mattress with organic cotton bedding while using an app to adjust the energy-efficient air conditioning. Grab a green juice from the Plnthouse cafe and admire the views from the beachfront deck or glorious rooftop pool.

Deering Estate

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
Florida, Miami-Dade County, Palmetto Bay, The Deering Estate at Cutler, Stone House front entrance
© Stephen Saks Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Deering Estate in coastal South Dade is home to some of the most precious natural resources in the country, including one of the largest virgin coastal tropical hardwood forests in the United States. The 150-acre (60.7ha) grounds provide a sanctuary for endangered plant species and over 170 resident and migratory bird species, including yellow-throated warblers and eastern screech owls. Join a guided butterfly walk, hike along the shore, or rent a kayak to explore the mangroves of Biscayne Bay.

The Miami Beach EDITION

The Miami Beach EDITION
Courtesy of The Miami Beach EDITION / Expedia

Can a hotel have an ice rink and be ecofriendly? Edition Hotels is aiming to prove that its Miami Beach location can. Situated in the quieter, Mid-Beach area, this luxurious bolthole has welcomed the likes of ardent environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio and was designed by the co-creator of Studio 54 nightclub, Ian Schrager. With white, minimalist rooms, potted plants galore and glass water bottles (all Edition hotels aim to avoid single-use plastic), it’s heading in the right direction.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Botanical Garden, Museum, Park
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables in the Miami area of Florida. Image shot 02/2013. Exact date unknown.
© James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo
Home to 500 species of palm trees, a collection of endangered Madagascan flora, hundreds of exotic butterflies and many other natural wonders, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is Miami’s answer to the Garden of Eden. Check for details of upcoming activities such as outdoor yoga, flower-arranging classes and mindful walks. Entry fees go towards conservation and education to help protect wildlife.

Wynwood Murals

Art Gallery, Architectural Landmark
Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida
© AJ Adelmari / Alamy Stock Photo

For a leisurely low-impact afternoon well spent, head to Wynwood, where you’ll find the coolest collection of street art in the city. These vibrant murals embrace topics such as Black Lives Matter, feminism, social justice and climate change, while others are simply fun and frivolous. Check out the gift shop for the most stylish reusable water bottles and recycled notebooks you ever did see.

Plant Miami

Restaurant, Healthy, Gluten-free, Vegan, American, Vegetarian, Fast Food, $$$
Banana pancakes maple syrup
© Bartosz Luczak / Alamy Stock Photo

Situated within a serene wellness events space, Plant Miami is all about “the art of conscious cuisine”. The plant-based menu features nutrient-dense organic dishes, with almost everything – from salads and root veg to microgreens and edible flowers – coming directly from the restaurant’s own regenerative farm. Try the kale-and-avocado salad and immune-boosting juices, or treat yourself to the banana pancakes.

Verde Market

Shop, Market

Forgot your toothbrush? In need of snacks? Sidestep the 7-Eleven and shop at Verde Market instead. Everything here is designed to minimize waste, from the fill-your-own-container snack stations to the reusable, recyclable food utensils and ecofriendly bathroom essentials. Grind your own nut butter for an instant protein hit, or blend the perfect trail mix to see you through a day of sightseeing.

Pelican Harbor Seabird Station

Zoo
Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) adult perched on vineFond Doux Plantation, St Lucia, Lesser Antilles November
© Neil Bowman / Alamy Stock Photo

Established in 1980 to save injured brown pelicans, the nonprofit seabird rehabilitation center in Miami has expanded to accommodate any native bird, mammal or reptile in need. Hundreds of bird species are treated here each year, including mangrove cuckoos, white-crowned pigeons and blue-winged warblers, as well as the occasional tortoise or squirrel. Join a sunset birding cruise or guided station tour to support the station’s important work and learn more about wildlife in Miami.

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