Miami has become a top movie and TV location, with many sites easy to visit

Posted November 26, 2019


Miami is a diverse city, not just in terms of people, but also the different parts of the city. Miami is a town with various seemingly different towns within it. When people think of Miami, they usually think of Miami Beach. The sun-drenched area has played a pivotal role in many beloved films and TV shows as well as some less memorable ones. The following is a list of the top 10 movie and TV shows that were shot in at least some actual locations in Miami. This is a list of recognizable locations and uses of it. These are all locations which tourists can visit.

#10 ‘Goldfinger’

“Goldfinger” is a 1964 action thriller staring Sean Connery as James Bond. This is the third film in the series and is widely considered to be the best in this beloved series of 25 films. An early part of the movie takes place in Miami Beach at the Fountainbleu Hotel, which is a popular hotel still in business.

While its unlikely that the interior shots were actually filmed on location, the exterior scenes were actually shot at the Fontainebleau Hotel. While the hotel has certainly had a lot of renovations since 1964, the overall structure is still the same. Fortunately nobody in the hotel has ever been reported to have been murdered and painted gold.

In addition to being widely considered to being one of the best Bond films, “Goldfinger” is also widely regarded as one of the best spy movies ever made. With its memorable characters, iconic set pieces and intriguing plot, this has its status as a classic. The only reason this ranks low on the list is because such a small piece of the movie takes place in Miami.

#9 ‘Meet the Fockers’

“Meet the Fockers” is the 2004 sequel to the hit comedy, “Meet the Parents.” The sequel stars Ben Stiller, Robert Deniro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand. What makes the sequel more relevant to this list is the fact that it takes place in Miami.

Although “Meet the Fockers” takes place in Miami, most of it was shot in Los Angeles. Having said that, several scenes that involve the wives shopping were actually shot in Coconut Grove.

The Coconut Grove area is one of the most recognizable parts of the Miami Metropolitan area to visitors. With the distinctive architecture of the area, historic landmarks, unique stores, restaurants, and countless other things to do, Coconut Grove is one of the more walkable areas of Miami, making it a perfect place for tourists.

#8 ‘The Birdcage’

“The Birdcage” is a 1996 comedy staring Robin Williams about a gay cabaret owner and his partner that agree to pretend to be straight so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée’s right-wing parents.

In the movie, there’s a stop at the Lincoln Road Farmer’s Market that still happens every Sunday afternoon. Then it’s time for the big show at the Birdcage club on Ocean Drive. Standing in for the club is the Carlyle Hotel, the famed Art Deco marvel in the heart of South Beach.

#7 ‘There’s Something About Mary’

The hit 1998 comedy, “There’s Something About Mary” is about a man (played by Ben Stiller) who gets a chance to meet up with his dream girl from high school (played by Cameron Diaz), even though his date with her back then was a complete disaster.

A fair amount of “There’s Something About Mary” takes place in Miami and was filmed on location. For example, The scenic driving range where Healy (Matt Dillon) first meets Mary is just down the street from WPLG at the Aqua Golf Driving Range, 2250 S. Park Road, in Pembroke Park.

One of the easiest to find filming locations is Matheson Hammock County Park. This park is the setting for several scenes in the movie, including when Healy participates in a flag football game with Mary, Warren (W. Earl Brown) and the mentally challenged friends.

Matheson Hammock County Park is a nice walk and a good place to participate in water-related activities.

#6 ‘The Marvelous Ms. Maisel’

“The Marvelous Ms. Maisel” is a multiple Golden Globe and Emmy award winning comedy about housewife in the 1950s decides to become a stand-up comedian. The show recently filmed some scenes at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach for its upcoming third season which debuts Dec. 6.

Other scenes were filmed in North Beach, which is the northern end of Miami Beach. Due to the shows 1950s setting, not every location seen in the show is expected to be recognized by locals and tourists.

#5 ‘Burn Notice’

This somewhat campy spy series follows the former agent Michael Weston as he outsmarts his former colleagues and bad guys, as comes up with clever Do-it-yourself style spy gadgets. Our main protagonist survives by doing impossible jobs for desperate people in Miami, where his mother happens to live.

According to Locationshub, “Burn Notice” is currently the only Miami set TV show that was filmed almost entirely on location in and around Miami. The show also had a permanent set built in the former Coconut Grove Convention Center in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood.

#4 ‘Ace Ventura’

While this is certainly not one of Jim Carrey’s best movies or performances, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” was shot in Miami and is not without its fair share of laughs. The movie even centers around a goofy detective searching for a missing football player for the Miami Dolphins and a missing dolphin.

Since the movie centers around a case involving a football team, it’s not much of a surprise that the stadium scenes were filmed at the then-called Joe Robbie Stadium, now known as the Hard Rock Stadium. Miami’s football stadium opened 1987 years ago and has changed its name an impressive nine times.

 Many of the scenes that take place in Miami Beach still stand and are easy to spot. For example, the Cameo Night Club is an actual place and is still in business.

#3 ‘Moonlight’

Unlike most of the films and shows on this list that take place in the nicer areas of Miami, “Moonlight” shows the less glamorous side of the city. The 2016 Oscar winner for “Best Picture” is a coming-of-age drama which is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.”

This was filmed in Hialeah, Wynwood, and the not-so-great parts of Miami Beach. Some of the restaurant scenes such as the ones that take place in Jimmy’s East-Side Diner and Royal Castle were actual restaurants that were shot on location.

Other parts of the movie were shot in Liberty City. However, none of the locations used in the movie are easy to recommend to tourists, as many of these areas are neither the most aesthetically pleasing nor safe parts of Miami.

#2 ‘Scarface’

The 1983 remake of the 1932 film of the same name is arguably the most recognizable movie to take place in Miami. In 1980 Miami, Tony Montana (Al Pacino), a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and evolves from a criminal to a monster.

Much of the “Scarface”  takes place in Miami, as a number of famous scenes were shot on location in Miami Beach. Most of the movie’s actual locations were divided between Florida and California.

Montana’s arrival in the Art Deco District of Miami Beach was shot on location at Ocean Drive at 13th Street.  Much of the area still looks the same and is hard to miss.

The Sun Ray Apartments, where Montana’s ally is killed by chainsaw, has been revamped to become Johnny Rocket’s, 728 Ocean Drive between the Beacon and Colony hotels near 7th Street.

The hotel grounds, where Montana and his friend, Manny Ray (Steven Bauer) attempt to pick up women, are of the Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami Beach which was also featured in “Goldfinger” and a handful of other films.

#1 ‘Miami Vice’

While the 1983 remake of “Scarface” famously takes place in Miami and had many scenes actually shot on location, how can it possibly beat something with Miami in the title?

“Miami Vice” follows two undercover detectives and their extended team through the harsh streets of Miami. The show’s depiction of Miami might be more iconic than the actual city. Frequently featured locations such as Bayside Marketplace and various parts of Miami Beach are still open to the public, including tourists.

Another “Miami Vice” location worth visiting is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was previously known as Villa Vizcaya at the time of filming, was the villa and estate of businessman James Deering. The villa was featured several episodes, such as: “Whatever Works,” “Tale of the Goat,” “French Twist,” “God’s Work,” “Heart of the Night” and “The Rising Sun of Death.