10 Cool Ways to Survive Summer in Miami

Summer is Miami’s low season for a reason. The potent mix of heat and humidity here is enough to take down a well-seasoned local, not to mention the garden variety tourist.

And sure, we’ve got a little something called the Atlantic Ocean to help us stay cool, but coming home with sand uncomfortably entrenched in every bodily crevice starts to get old quick. Plus, trying to clean it out of your car afterwards is definitely not recommended for beating the summer heat.

What’s a local to do? Well, turns out there’s plenty. We’ve rounded up a list of 10 things you can eat, drink and do to help you survive Miami’s summer season.

1. Zoo Miami’s Waterplay Areas

Yes, it’s outdoors, but Zoo Miami has thoughtfully built multiple waterplay areas around the park to keep everyone in the family cool. Waterfalls, fountains, overflowing buckets, squirting whale tails and water-spouting mushrooms do a great job drenching kids, while misters strategically located along the walking path keep visitors fresh and cool.

2. Azucar Ice Cream

Ice cream is the quintessential summer cool-down treat. And this eclectic scoop shop in Little Havana dishes up exotic mixes and flavors that any local worth their weight in croquetas will recognize: café con leche, coconut flan, mamey, and the Abuela Maria—a blend of guava, cream cheese and the classic Cuban “Abuela Maria” crackers.

3. Cryo Miami

Need a quick hit? Try stripping down and stepping into a cryotherapy chamber, where a -222-degrees blast of liquid nitrogen hits your skin for three minutes. Used by athletes and celebrities for its alleged health benefits, it’s also a fast freeze on a scorching day. If you’re intimidated by going full monty here, you can opt for the cryofacial, which restricts the liquid nitrogen spray to your face.

4. Basement Miami

For the night owls in the crowd, Basement Miami is the ultimate way to stay cool during Miami’s hot and sticky evenings. This trendy subterranean late-night hang features a neon-lit bowling alley, a dance club and, most importantly, an ice skating rink. After you’ve attempted a few triple lutzes, cool down with some icy adult beverages at the bar.

5. A.C.’s Icees

A Miami staple, A.C.’s Icees has been parked by David Kennedy Park almost every single day for decades. Run by a former Midwesterner who was looking for a way to cool down after his long runs through the city, this white truck with yellow awnings doles out a secret recipe of frozen lemonade, cherry/strawberry and piña colada icees. If you go, bring cash—A.C. keeps this decidedly old school here.

6. Drinkhouse Fire & Ice

A South Beach bar that would likely count Princess Elsa as one its regulars, this 23-degree ice palace knows how to serve up a frosty beverage or two. The space utilizes over 100,000 pounds of glacial ice sculptures and gives guests 30-45 minutes to chill out with their drink (served in an ice glass, naturally) before moving onto the rest of their night.

7. The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

The hydrotherapy options at this effortlessly hip Miami Beach resort feel like an aquatic playground. Snag a day pass and make a few rounds through the cold rain shower and arctic plunge pool before ordering up a glass of “frosé” (that would be rosé in slushee form) and taking in the breathtaking view of the bay from the saltwater infinity pool.

8. Museum Park

Head indoors and get a dose of culture at the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Both venues share a space at the waterfront Museum Park and can easily fill a day exploring modern/contemporary art and cutting-edge science exhibitions. Grab lunch on the shady outdoor terrace of Verde and cool off with breezes coming in off the bay.

9. Venetian Pool

A former coral rock quarry turned swimming hole in the Gables, Venetian Pool has been offering families a cool respite from the sun for over 90 years. This 820,000-gallon pool is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer and looks like a scene straight out of Venice, with loggias, porticos, cave-like grottos and an ornate bridge.

10. AquaCycling

A heart-racing workout without the sweat? Sounds too good to be true—unless you’ve signed up for one of the new aquacycling studios cropping up around town. Think of it as spinning-meets-water aerobics: water-resistant bikes are placed inside of a pool and participants cycle their way through a series of instructor-led cues while submerged in water. It’s the perfect antidote to the summer fitness doldrums.



Jackie Gutierrez-Jones