If you’re a movie or TV fan, Miami is déjà vu. The minute you arrive—even if it's your first visit -- you’ll think, “I... more » remember this.” Few other places on Earth have been so often photographed for movies, TV shows, music videos, commercials and magazine spreads.
The pros know where to find those iconic shots of skylines, pristine beaches, eye-stopping architecture, lush vegetation, to-die-for yachts and drop-dead sunrises and sunsets. To go where they go and avoid the parking hassles of photographing on Miami Beach, head south along Biscayne Bay just beyond downtown Miami. While you’re snapping away for the family album, you may just run into a film crew.
This guide begins at the Rickenbacker Causeway tollbooth ($1.50) and travels east toward 808-acre (327-hectare) Crandon Park whose two-mile beach is regularly ranked as one of the 10 top beaches in the US. It is also among the area's most popular photo locations, particularly at sunrise. During the winter months, you could arrive at first light to find a couple of dozen film crews already parked on the boardwalk, ready to go to work on an otherwise deserted beach.
We'll point out some top spots on the two barrier islands connected to Miami by the causeway and then have you retrace your route to the mainland. A few blocks south on Miami Avenue is Villa Viscaya and Gardens where the animal detective Ace Ventura, as played by Jim Carey, found a shark in the cellar during an elegant dinner party. From there, it is a short drive to the Coconut Grove neighborhood to photograph crafts at Dinner Key Marina and have a bite at Scotty's Landing, which you may have spotted on "Burn Notice."
Feel free to skip points of interest if you get carried away with your photography or can’t resist taking a swim at Crandon Park Beach. In Miami, there’s always another day to shoot. less «