Miami boasts some of the most eye-popping beaches in the world. People travel the world over just to sunbathe along Miami's strip of the Atlantic coast, and for good reason. South Beach boasts an intersection of leisure and luxury you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the country. But while Miami's coasts are a beacon calling out to beach bums worldwide, no one considers the views just a few miles off the coast. Well, 3.25 miles to be exact. The Neptune Memorial Reef in Miami is celebration of nature's beauty and man's ingenuity. 

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Covering over 600,000 square feet, the Neptune Memorial Reef is the largest man-made reef in the world. However, not the only reason its earned international notoriety. Conceived by Gary Levine, the 16-acre reef is essentially an underwater city; its architecture is essentially an artist's rendition of the Lost City of Atlantis brought to life! Though if you have any interest in environmentalism and conservation, you're probably wondering what type of impact Miami's Neptune Memorial Reef in has on the eco-system. 

In addition to being a visual marvel, the reef's contributions to the environment truly make it the crown pearl of Miami's coast. First, the reef only exists because it met the strictest of environmental standards. The EPA, DERM, NOAA, Florida Fish, and the Wildlife and Army Corps of Engineers each gave Neptune Memorial Reef their stamp of approval. However, the reef is more than just an environmentally-safe strip of underwater eye candy as it actually contributes to local conservation efforts. 

The structures serve as a marine habitat, promoting coral growth and fostering marine life. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Department of Environmental Resource Management revealed that marine life around the reef has skyrocketed in recent years. By now, you're probably wondering how you can see this place. Divers regularly charter boats or even snorkel to the Neptune Memorial Reef, but this site isn't just a landmark for sightseeing boaters and snorkelers; it also serves as a final resting place for many. 

Miami natives often spread their loved ones' ashes into the waters above the Neptune Memorial Reef. While the structure may be inspired by the Lost City, it offers a permanent resting place with a growing legacy for those who lie there. Many people consider it to be a true green burial opportunity. 

If you're looking for a unique underwater experience that will make your friends and family jealous, we recommend the Neptune Memorial Reef in Miami. It's truly one of the most unique things to do in Miami! Stay up-to-date on Miami travel and more by registering on 305area, your free guide to everything in the Miami area.


Cover photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons