When Booking.com and Time Out challenged me on a spontaneous trip, I was totally down. The catch? I wouldn’t know which city until the night before/morning of. Next thing I knew, I was on a plane flying off to the vibrant city of Miami. It was my first time to Miami and Florida so I had no idea where to stay, do, or eat.
I’ve been to Miami many times since that first trip and this is definitely one of my favorite cities to vacation in the United States because of the food and culture.
After several trips to this city, here’s my list of the best things to do in Miami!
Start your day with a Cuban coffee
Café con leche, the traditional Cuban breakfast beverage, comes with a shot of espresso with a cup of steamed milk. Be sure to pick up a Cuban sandwich and Cuban pastelitos (pastries). Cuban cigars are optional.
Walk down the Art Deco District
Located on Ocean Drive in South Beach is the Art Deco District where you’ll find colorful buildings after color buildings. You can take a walking tour with a tour guide with the Miami Design Preservation League or just walk around the neighborhood yourself.
Soak up the sun on Miami Beach
You didn’t come to Miami without visiting the iconic Miami Beach. Miami beach is divided into three different parts: North Beach, Mid-Beach, and South Beach.
- North Beach – frequented more by the locals as it’s quieter than South Beach. The beach is wide and sandy with more of a relaxed vibe. If you’re wanting to relax and escape the busy crowds, head up to North Beach.
- Mid-Beach – Miami’s luxury hotels can be found in Mid-Beach like Faena, 1 Hotel, and Confidante. This area is filled with buzzy restaurants, nightlife, and attractions along the sandy beach. Don’t miss The Broken Shaker, it’s considered “America’s Best Hotel Bar”.
- South Beach – South Beach is the hot spot of Miami Beach with the Art Deco district and bars that line Ocean Drive. Grab a bite on Espanola Way and shop until you drop on Lincoln Road. Head down to South Pointe Park at the southernmost tip of South Beach.
Seeing all the bright, colorful umbrellas on Miami Beach is my favorite part of Miami and I always make a stop at the beach to soak up the sun!
Explore the Everglades National Park
Just a short distance from Miami is The Everglades National Park that covers 1.5 million acres of swamplands that are home to gators, snacks, crocodiles, and more. There are a lot of different walking trails and boardwalks or if you prefer, you can take a tour on a high-speed airboat ride!
Swim in the Venetian Pool
Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on one of my trips to Miami so I went swimming at Venetian Pool. This historic public swimming pool was built in 1924 in the Mediterranean style with spring water, waterfalls, and coral rock in a tropical backdrop.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tickets: Non-resident daily admission rates are $15 per adult and $10 for children ages three to 12.
2701 De Soto Blvd, coralgables.com/departments/CommunityRecreation/venetian-pool
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Previously known as Villa Vizcaya, the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a 1916 waterfront estate home with 32 decorated rooms and 10 acres of formal gardens. Escape the humid Miami heat and duck into the Vizcaya Museum and learn about this museum that took between $10 million and $50 million to build.
Fun fact: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was named after one of the most captivating shorelines on the Spanish coast.
Hours: Thursday through Monday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Tickets: $22 for adults (13 years and older), $10 for children (ages 6-12), and free for children under 5.
3251 S Miami Ave, vizcaya.org
Shop on Lincoln Road
If you like shopping, you’ll love Lincoln Road in Miami because it’s a world-famous shopping street that stretches over 10 blocks with hundreds of shops and boutiques.
Stay at a luxury hotel in Miami
Miami is home to many luxury hotels and home to some of the top luxury hotels in the world. I’ve stayed at:
- Four Seasons Miami – pictured above
- 1 Hotel – this is the best hotel that I’ve ever stayed in
- The Confidante Miami Beach – super, super cute and I would stay here again!
- Viceroy Miami – closed and reopened as W Miami
- Sense Beach House on South Beach
- The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables
On my list to stay at:
- The Setai
- Faena Hotel Miami Beach
- Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
Explore Jungle Island
Jungle Island, formerly Parrot Jungle, is a relaunched eco-adventure park on Watson Island, Miami, Florida. Explore the island and discover a vibrant array of wildlife from around the world while enjoying epic shows like Winged Wonders and Wild Adventures and more.
Tickets: $49.95 for adults (ages 11 and up, and $35.95 for children (from 3-10 years ago).
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, jungleisland.com
Go shopping in Miami Design District
Miami Design District is the Design District of Miami that’s famous for the sleek modern architecture, upscale interior design stores, and art galleries.
3841 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL
Eat Cuban food
Cuban culture infuses Miami’s dining scene so it’s mandatory for you to try some authentic Cuban food. The Havana 1957 Specialty at Havana 1957 in Espanola Way with roasted chicken in Cuban gravy, white rice, black beans, salad, and sweet plantain chips was delicioso. Wash it down with a coconut mojito! You know a place is authentic when it’s filled with Cuban exiles.
Take a dip in the ocean
The clear blue water and white sand beaches are a must-see for anyone visiting Miami.
Eat ice cream in Little Havana
With all that walking around, you’re going to need to refuel with a gelato pop or triple scoop ice cream cone. Go to Azucar Ice Cream Company that’s located in Little Havana.
While you’re there, head down Memorial Boulevard and check out the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame and the Brigade 2506 Memorial. Triple scoops of passion fruit, mango, and mamey sorbet pictured above.
Azucar Ice Cream Company, 1503 SW 8th St, azucaricecream.com
Swim in a rooftop pool
There’s a reason why South Beach is rated as one of the hottest cities in America. Whether it’s the beach, attractive people, weather, or wild pool parties. When in Miami, head to the rooftop and swim alongside the A-list Miamians. 1 Hotel South Beach pictured above.
Explore Wynwood Walls
From life-sized paintings of the Dalai Lama to colorful spray-painted murals that are nearly impossible to decipher, Wynwood Walls feature a constantly rotating mixture of artists and their highly regarded creations. The art changes almost every 2 weeks so there’s always new street art to see. The mural above was carved out of the wall!
SEE ALSO: Where To Shop In Wynwood Miami
Visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami
Marvel in the modern and contemporary international artwork at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the $220 million art museum named after billionaire Jorge Pérez. This is one of the best museums that I’ve been to in the U.S. so I highly recommend visiting on your trip!
Hours: Monday – Tuesday from 10am – 6pm, closed Wednesday, Thursday from 10am – 9pm, and Friday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Tickets: $16 for adults, $12 for students wit ID, $12 for youth between 7-18, and $12 for seniors that are 62+ with ID.
1103 Biscayne Blvd, pamm.org
Try a new cuisine
Miami offers a variety of Cuban, Argentine, Venezuelan, Peruvian and Latin food. The Latin American cuisine with molecular gastronomy techniques at El Cielo by Juan Manuel Barrientos blew my mind.
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Other things to do in Miami
- Coral Castle
- Bayside Marketplace
- James Deering Estate
- Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science – 250-seat Frost Planetarium
- Miami Seaquarium – rescued Florida’s endangered manatees
- Miami Children’s Museum
- Bayfront Park
- Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami)
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park – 400-acre state park in Key Biscayne
- Coconut Grove
- Miami Beach Botanical Gardens
- Brickell Center
- Millionaire’s Row
- Zoo Miami
- Weekend trip to Sanibel Island, Florida
- Weekend trip to Fort Myers, Florida
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Restaurants In Key West
Things To Do In Miami by atasteofkoko on Jumprope.