I don’t know about you, but when I travel I like to reserve a good chunk of a day to getting lost in a museum, no matter how big or small. There’s something about dedicating time to just observing the works of some of the world’s greatest visual artists that makes me feel alive. I tune out the sounds of fellow art fans around me and only here the hollow echo of my boots on the wooden floors–I am alone in my observation but not in my appreciation for the art. There are many places in Miami where you can recreate that Euro/intellectual feeling whenever you want, so we’ve broken down our favorite art museums to check out if you haven’t already:

The Bass

Photo by Zachary Balber.

This Miami Beach gem has stood the test of time–including a renovation–and has managed to get better and better over the years. Founded in 1964, The Bass awes with its historic art deco facade and Collins Park acting as its front yard, it’s a perfect place to reconnect at Miami Beach’s premiere contemporary art museum. They even have a stellar lineup of nightly events like movie screenings, meet-ups, and all-out jams. More info here.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA Miami)

Photo by ICA Miami.

Another newly re-opened art museum, ICA has already become a beloved destination for art lovers in their sleek Miami Design District home. Their exhibitions are always immersive and colorful, the kind of stuff that all levels of aficionados would appreciate. It’s a good tip to always check out their calendar because they too have a great selection of events, especially their First Fridays which are always free. More info here.

Lowe Art Museum

Photo by Authentic Florida.

We love the Lowe Art Museum for many reasons, mainly because of how intimate and secret it is. Opened in 1950, the Lowe is nestled comfortably within the University of Miami campus which is in itself a beautiful thing to behold. The art museum is the largest collecting art museum in the South Florida region and is home to diverse archeological collections from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. They always have some of the world’s greatest national and international heavy-hitters on rotation from Chihuly to Monet and more. More info here.

Wolfsonian-FIU

Photo by tatinis.com.

We love visiting The Wolfsonian because of its entirely unique selection of pieces and also, their gift shop and cafe are easily two of the best kept secrets in town. The historical building proudly dedicates itself to exploring the inventive and provocative character of the modern world through objects and design. Their vast collection of photographs, modern art, found inventions, and technological advancements reveals how the past influences the present and shapes the future. More info here.

The PAMM

Photo from Flickr.

No list of Miami art museums would be complete without including our waterfront treasure, the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Just the exterior alone, standing brilliantly along Biscayne Bay and greeting our ever-rising skyline, is enough woo anyone into their galleries–whether you like art or not. They focus on large-scale exhibitions with a highly-crated permanent collection of work. Pro tip though, their gift shop is as epic as their bay views. More info here.

Rubell Family Collection

Photo by Rubell Collection.

The Rubell Family Collection is one of the biggest private contemporary art collections in North America and it was in Wynwood before Wynwood was “Wynwood”. The repurposed DEA warehouse was transformed into a museum by some of the most influential art collectors, The Rubells, back in 1993. Over the years, the space has served as a showcase for highly-lauded artists in the collection like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama and many more. Right now, you can see an extensive collection of local hero, Purvis Young’s works. More info here.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

Photo by Miami and the Beaches.

While most of Miami’s big-name museums are located in the city’s core or on the beach, West Miami actually houses one of our favorites. Located on the FIU campus, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum has over 6,000 objects in its permanent collection and counting. They focus on a strong representation in American and European printmaking from the 1960s and ’70s, photography, Pre-Columbian objects, African art, and a growing number of works by contemporary Caribbean and Latin American artists. We love their robust free and family-friendly programming, though so get More info here.

MOCA

Photo from Miami All Around.

In 1995, Museum of Contemporary Art became a collecting institution at a time when no other museum in Miami-Dade County was assembling a collection that documented contemporary art. Since then, they have continued to persevere into the world of collecting, expanding their exhibitions to include some of the most emerging and innovative artists from around the world and spanning many contemporary periods. Their courtyard is consistently activated with free concerts and shows for the community, breaking down the barrier that high art tends to create. More info here.

MDC MOAD

Photo by MDC MOAD.

Locals in Miami know the historical importance of The Freedom Tower, standing tall along Biscayne Boulevard in Downtown Miami. Inside the architectural wonder is a hidden gem of a museum, MDC’s Museum of Art and Design. Dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, we love MOAD for many reasons, especially their affordable admission price which makes experiencing their collections so much more inclusive. More info here.