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Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

TripBlog
Jun 11, 20204070

Miami residents looking for things to do have lots of choices. In this article we’re showcasing a great two-for-one opportunity. Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami are neighbors and fun for the entire family. Safari walks and steam locomotives…what’s not to like? Gold Coast Railroad Museum is a lovely non-profit that packs an outsized punch, showcasing more than 40 historic railroad cars, including the former Presidential Railcar first used by Franklin D. Roosevelt. At Zoo Miami, you will see animals interacting with each other as they would in the wild. This humane design enhances the experience and helps visitors learn about the natural world. These two great institutions make for a fun and exciting outing and both have reopened to the public since June 1. Come along as we take a closer look at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami.

Table of Contents

Travel Tips for Gold Coast Railroad Museum & Zoo Miami
Admissions and Ticket Information
Gold Coast Railroad Museum Ticket
Zoo Miami Ticket
All Aboard!
Railroad History Comes Alive
Ferdinand Magellan Presidential Railcar
Riding the Rails
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
So Much to Do, So Much to See

Travel Tips for Gold Coast Railroad Museum & Zoo Miami

From Downtown Miami, take US-1 south to 152nd Street and follow the signage towards Zoo Miami. Gold Coast Railroad Museum is directly adjacent so getting to the Zoo will also get you to the museum. Make sure you pack a few snacks and some water as there are no dining options at Gold Coast and only limited choices at Zoo Miami. Due to new health regulations in place for COVID-19, Zoo Miami does not allow outside food into the park. However, concession stands are open and guests are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle, which they can refill once inside.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

Be sure to pay attention to local weather conditions when you visit. Many of the best exhibits at the railroad museum are located under shelter, but there is a lot to explore outdoors. Weekends tend to draw more people, naturally; but this is also when the railroad museum’s mostly volunteer staff is on-hand to explain history behind the exhibits and also to offer rides and live demonstrations to visitors.

Admissions and Ticket Information

The combination is great for birthday parties and other celebrations. Explore the zoo then visit Gold Coast Railroad Museum where you can have your private party or event right inside one of the historic rail coaches.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum Ticket

Gold Coast Railroad Museum offers free entrance on the first Saturday of the month; otherwise, it’s $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-12. Seniors are free on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Zoo Miami Ticket

Tickets for Zoo Miami run $22.95 for adults and $18.95 for children (see note below). Group discounts are available.

NOTE: Zoo Miami is operating at limited capacity in order to protect the public from COVID-19. Non-members must purchase tickets online and members must make online reservations in order to help control capacity and minimize touchpoints for entry.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

All Aboard!

Once you arrive at Gold Coast Railroad Museum, spot the classic caboose in the parking area. Make your way inside either through the main gate or through the museum gift shop depending on the day. Spend some time wandering the grounds and getting acquainted with the many examples of rolling stock and locomotives. Florida East Coast Locomotive #153 was the museum’s original acquisition, first introduced in 1957. Over the years, and despite having moved a few times for various logistical and geopolitical reasons (have the staff tell you about Cold War events that forced one relocation), the museum has managed to continually add to its collection. The well-preserved Atlantic Coast Line Railroad caboose was certainly one of our favorites. Aside from the exhibition areas, there is an area with picnic tables where you can rest and also an area with a sandbox for small children.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

Railroad History Comes Alive

Gold Coast Railroad Museum has several highlights you won’t want to miss. In the main shed are publically-accessible railcars you can tour. These include a U.S. Army hospital car and a vista-dome car that once ran on the famed Western Pacific “California Zephyr” route. Make sure you explore the passenger combination baggage-coach from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. The car carries a National Park Service historical designation and includes an exhibit detailing the history of racial segregation on the railroads. Note the segregated seating when you’re touring the car.

Ferdinand Magellan Presidential Railcar

By far the most popular exhibit at Gold Coast Railroad Museum is the Ferdinand Magellan President Railcar, aka US Car No. 1. Though President Abraham Lincoln had a dedicated railcar in the early 1860’s, the Ferdinand Magellan is unique among Pullman railroad cars. Once the United States entered World War II, it was decided President Roosevelt required a specially-designed railcar that could offer the necessary armor and protection for a Commander in Chief during wartime. Completely rebuilt in 1942 from its earlier iteration as a private Pullman car, the Ferdinand Magellan would go on to serve Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Reagan. The National Park Service designated it a National Historic Landmark in 1985, the only passenger railcar to ever receive this honor.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

Picture from goldcoastrailroadmuseum.org

Riding the Rails

Gold Coast Railroad Museum offers guests the chance to go for a ride. This is only available on the weekends when the museum’s volunteer staff is on-hand. Currently there are several options. These include a small, 2 foot-gauge locomotive offering a 10-minute ride around the property. On the first Saturday of the month the museum operates a standard-gauge locomotive offering a 25-minute ride with the option to sit in the cab, the passenger car, or the caboose. Finally, the museum’s “speeder car” also runs on the first Saturday of the month and is good for a 20-minute ride. Tickets for these are not included in the price of admission and range from $3 to $15 per person.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

Picture from goldcoastrailroadmuseum.org

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Zoo Miami is a sprawling park and the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental U.S. Over 2,000 animals call the park home. Cage free enclosures are designed to mimic natural habitats and species are grouped together with others native to particular environments. This innovative and humane design makes the experience at Zoo Miami more akin to a nature safari than a traditional zoo. When you visit, you can take a mini trip around the world and visit all the different park sections including Asia, Africa, Australia, the Amazon, and more. Broadly speaking, Zoo Miami is home to a diverse array of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles. There’s more than enough here to keep you engaged.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

So Much to Do, So Much to See

Ride the park’s tram to get a sense for the different environments and then return to see the animals up close. Take a boat ride through the Everglades enclosure and learn about the amazing habitat that’s practically on Zoo Miami’s doorstep. Unfortunately, Zoo Miami has had to reduce some hands-on programing in order to protect the animals, staff, and visitors in the wake of COVID-19. Additional measures are also in place. Safari cycles, strollers, wheelchairs, and motorized scooters are sanitized after every use and hand sanitizing stations are now located throughout the zoo. The park itself covers a large area and barring some places shaded by trees, you’ll be spending most of your time out in the open. Plan accordingly.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Zoo Miami: Miami Family Trip

Zoo Miami and the Gold Coast Railroad Museum are both excellent institutions. Visiting them together makes a lot of sense given their location is somewhat removed from Downtown Miami. The surrounding areas are more or less entirely residential so your best bet after the day is over is to return to Miami where you will have more options for dining and recreation. There is also the possibility venture to Everglades National Park, though it’s unlikely you could do all three attractions in a single outing.

As Florida reopens, cultural institutions like Zoo Miami and the Gold Coast Railroad Museum are exactly the sort of places where you can reengage with the community and enjoy things fun things to do outdoors in a socially responsible manner. We’re all trying to readjust to this new reality. It’s refreshing to see institutions such as these working hard to reopen their doors in a safe manner. We very much think Zoo Miami and Gold Coast Railroad Museum rank among Miami’s great cultural treasures. We know you will enjoy them as well.

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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