What to see and do in Miami? The normal thing that you will ask yourself at some point when you start preparing for your trip. To give you some ideas, I have put together this list with some of the most interesting plans.
- 1 What to Do in Miami: 25 Essential Plans
- 1.1 1. Meet Ocean Drive
- 1.2 2. Be Amazed by the Buildings of the Art Deco District
- 1.3 3. Take a Walk Through Lummus Park
- 1.4 4. Bathe in South Beach, the Most Fashionable Beach in Miami
- 1.5 5. Visit the Gold Coast Railroad Museum
- 1.6 6. See Unique Animal Spices on the Metrozoo
- 1.7 7. The Everglades National Park: an Essential Visit to Do in Miami
- 1.8 8. Venture Into Jungle Island
- 1.9 9. Enjoy Yourself in the Cuban Charm of Little Havana
- 1.10 10. Enter Villa Vizcaya
- 1.11 11. Tour Pérez Art Museum (PAMM)
- 1.12 12. Dive Into the Venetian Pool
- 1.13 13. Wander Downtown
- 1.14 14. Savor Miami Cuisine
- 1.15 15. Shop at Bayside Marketplace
- 1.16 16. Stroll and Appreciate Art in the Design District
- 1.17 17. Visit Miami Seaquarium
- 1.18 18. Discover Coral Glabes
- 1.19 19. Shop for Fashion and Souvenirs at Dolphin Mall
- 1.20 20. Dive Into Little Haiti
- 1.21 21. Enjoy the Sea at Crandon Park Beach
- 1.22 22. Marvel at Coral Castle
- 1.23 23. Wander Through Coconut Grove
- 1.24 24. Learn a Little More About Nazism at the Holocaust Memorial
- 1.25 25. Swim at Bill Baggs, One of the Most Unspoiled Beaches in Florida
What to Do in Miami: 25 Essential Plans
Before starting with this list, take a look at this tourist card that can save you money on your visits: Miami Sightseeing Flex Pass.
1. Meet Ocean Drive
This street runs through Miami Beach and runs parallel to the South Beach shoreline. It is the most popular, busy and lively at any time of the day since it concentrates the leisure and restaurant offer of the city.
Here you will find nightclubs, restaurants of all kinds, luxury shops, commercial premises, elegant hotels and a myriad of art deco buildings. It is the coolest place in Miami and where if your budget allows it, the best area to sleep in Miami.
In addition, in the area, there are the main beaches, those that appear in tourist guides and show television series, such as Corruption in Miami. Without a doubt, it is the place to be. Too bad everything is so exaggeratedly expensive !!!
2. Be Amazed by the Buildings of the Art Deco District
The 24 streets that make up this district, located in Miami Beach, house a collection of more than 800 Art Deco buildings. The color, the ornamental profusion, the geometry and the tropical motifs give this neighborhood a very cheerful air.
Many of these buildings are luxury shops, art or exhibition halls, museums, or even hotels. It is worth visiting to see the beauty of these buildings, among which the Colony Theater, Park Central Hotel, Cavalier Hotel, Wolfsonian FIU or the post office stand out.
3. Take a Walk Through Lummus Park
This recreation area occupies the 5th and 15th streets of South Beach, on the east side of Ocean Drive. Facing the sea and decorated with long rows of palm trees, it has a promenade, which is usually full of people skating, cyclists, runners and walkers.
Next to it, there are numerous grassy areas and a huge beach with all kinds of services, including beach volleyball courts. In addition, this popular area has also been the scene of numerous series and movies such as Corruption in Miami. Surely when you walk through this area, it will be familiar to you.
4. Bathe in South Beach, the Most Fashionable Beach in Miami
Between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic, south of Miami Beach is the neighborhood of South Beach, also known among locals as SoBe. It is the best-known beach in Miami. Fine white sand, turquoise blue waters and the typical and colorful lifeguard posts define the picture of this beach.
It is a very busy beach, so forget about being calm and enjoying the beach by yourself. However, spending a few hours in it is an essential thing to do in Miami. The atmosphere that there is, and also the beach itself, which is excellent, is well worth a few hours of your time.
5. Visit the Gold Coast Railroad Museum
This space is next to Metrozoo. It contains more than 40 historical models, including the Ferdinand Magellan, which was worn by such notable personalities as Presidents Rooselvet, Truman or Reagan.
Other very popular ones are the Jim Crow passenger car, which constitutes an exceptional witness to racial segregation in the country, or the US Army Hospital Car, a train that, as its name suggests, served as a hospital.
6. See Unique Animal Spices on the Metrozoo
It is the only one of tropical origin in Florida and, in addition, the most extensive and ancient in the state. It occupies an area of more than 100 hectares of meadows and forests, in which more than 2,000 species from all over the world live in semi-freedom: Bengal tigers, hyenas, Himalayan bears, koalas, hyenas or kangaroos …
It even has a farm, where you can feed the animals or participate in one of the many activities it organizes, such as riding a camel. The enormous dimensions of the park make it very difficult to travel on foot. But you have at your disposal the safari tram, the monorail and the quadricycles.
If you arrive by plane to Miami, it will be very useful to know the different options you have to go from Miami airport to downtown or to South Beach.
7. The Everglades National Park: an Essential Visit to Do in Miami
With more than 6,000 km2, this natural space, which occupies the south of the state, is the most extensive subtropical in nature and with the greatest biodiversity in the country, which has earned it the recognition of a Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage Site and Wetland of International Interest.
In the wild landscapes, moors, wetlands, prairies, mangroves and swamps that dominate it, live common species and others in danger of extinction such as the American crocodiles or the West Indian manatee.
Since it is practically covered in water, one of the best ways to get into the park is with an airboat, which allows you to explore the wetlands, streams and islands without disturbing its ecosystem.
Here you can also camp, watch birds, go boating or kayaking, hiking or cycling through Snake Bight and Long Pine Key Nature. Without a doubt, an experience that you must include in the list of things to do in Miami.
8. Venture Into Jungle Island
Another of the most remarkable “natural” visits is Jungle Island. This animal park, which is on Watson Island, between Miami Beach and downtown, is an excellent plan to do in Miami for those who travel as a family and like things related to animals.
It is set in a tropical jungle and includes more than 400 animals from around the world, including rare species such as the Hercules liger, the world’s largest cat, alligators and American penguins. In addition, it offers endless shows ideal for enjoying with the family.
Note: for the uneducated of the natural world like me, the liger is (I admit I had no idea) a cross between lion and tiger.
9. Enjoy Yourself in the Cuban Charm of Little Havana
This neighborhood, whose translation into Spanish is Little Havana, constitutes a little piece of Cuba in Miami. After the rise to power of Fidel Castro, many Cubans decided to go into exile in this area, giving rise to one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of the city, where the Cuban atmosphere is breathed in each of its corners.
Calle Ocho is the main one and the one that forms the backbone of the neighborhood. It is full of Cuban cuisine restaurants, salsa venues, cigar and cigar making shops, and Cuban coffee establishments.
There are also some green spaces, being especially prominent Domino Park, where the oldest gather to play dominoes. In it, you can also find the Walk of Fame. Like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it contains stars on the floor as a tribute, but of Cuban stars.
In short, an open neighborhood with undeniable Latin charm, in which the Caribbean atmosphere and culture are the protagonists. Getting close to Little Havana is one of the plans that should be included in your list of things to do in Miami.
Miami is a city of contrasts with neighborhoods as different as Little Havana, the financial districts and Art Deco, Coral Gables or Coconut Grove. Why not get to know them all with an organized excursion? Book your Miami Tour and its contrasts and don’t miss a thing.
10. Enter Villa Vizcaya
This massive palace, located along Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, was the winter residence of the owner of the International Harvester Company, a giant specializing in the production of agricultural machinery.
Today this mansion is a tourist attraction for its beautiful Renaissance exterior and opulent interior, whose three floors house a huge museum.
It is made up of 34 rooms, in which Asian, American and European works of art are exhibited. In addition, they preserve the furniture and art acquired by the owner while alive. As an added attraction, its huge gardens house wonderful sculptures and a forest with native Florida plants.
11. Tour Pérez Art Museum (PAMM)
Formerly known as the Miami Art Museum, it is one of the places to see in Miami for travelers with cultural concerns. The reason is that it houses a vast collection with more than 1,800 international works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
In recent years, it has expanded with others that include works by renowned artists such as Diego Rivera, José Bedia Valdés, and Wifredo Lam.
In addition to the art exhibition, the building also stands out for its astonishing exterior architecture, whose architect was Herzog & de Meuron, winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. It also has beautiful gardens and a restaurant with a terrace with good views of the sea and the bay.
12. Dive Into the Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool, which is its translation into Spanish, is located in Coral Gables and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Spending a few hours enjoying the surroundings is one of the interesting things to do in Miami if you travel with children.
It was built in 1924 from an old coral rock quarry that was in the area, so it is inserted in a unique landscape dominated by rock formations, palm trees, waterfalls, bridges and caves.
13. Wander Downtown
Downtown is the center and soul of the city, the busiest and busiest part. It faces the bay, in front of which rise skyscrapers such as the Miami Tower, which is an attraction for the night lighting it has, as well as business centers and a wide range of shops, restaurants, venues, hotels and apartments.
Brickell Avenue brings together the financial center, and where there is more density of skyscrapers, glass buildings and large buildings, many of which are the headquarters of major international banks and large companies.
Another interesting place in Downtown is Bayfront Park, a nice park with views of the sea, Biscayne Bay and the harbor. It has green spaces and recreational areas with numerous sculptures, such as the Torch of Liberty, which pays tribute to President JF. Kennedy. Further. It is also endowed with an open-air amphitheater, where concerts and activities are usually held.
To end the day, you can visit the Patricia & Phillip Frost Science Museum, which includes a wild animal center, a planetarium and an area dedicated to the Everglades.
Another street to consider is Flagler Street is the main street around which this central neighborhood is organized. It is one of the essential places to see in Miami if you want to enter the soul of the city or buy, as it has a good number of stores.
However, you can also discover this area onboard the Metromover, an elevated train that runs through the entire area, or on a cruise around the bay, which you can catch in the port near Bayside Marketplace.
14. Savor Miami Cuisine
Miami gastronomy is extremely diverse due to the influence of Latin American and Caribbean cultures, especially Cuba, which have made it worthy of the qualifiers Floribeña gastronomy, or Floribbean cuisine.
Among some of its most typical dishes: lamb or chicken stews, grilled fish, rice with tomato and other vegetables, gumbo -a seafood soup-, mullet -smoked red mullet-, wahoo -fish with meat- or bowling. There are also some more eccentric in the eyes of the Spanish diner, such as the alligator or caiman in batter or stew.
When trying a typical drink, the ideal is to drink sangria or Cuban coffee, which stands out because it provides a much stronger taste. In the field of desserts, the most traditional are the bomb fruit with cream cheese, the tres leches cake, the cheesecake and the key lime pie, made with dulce de leche, lime and biscuit.
15. Shop at Bayside Marketplace
This gigantic open-air shopping center is located in the heart of Miami, on the Biscayne Bay waterfront. It has more than 150 stores of all types, including some of the most famous such as Victoria’s Secret or the Disney Store, where shopping enthusiasts can make the most of it.
In addition, very much in the American style, it has a varied offer of restaurants, bars and a wide entertainment agenda, which includes musical performances, different shows and even fireworks or laser shows.
16. Stroll and Appreciate Art in the Design District
Located about three kilometers from the heart of the city, this district is one of the coolest and most artistic in the city. One of my favorites. It is one of the neighborhoods that you cannot miss. Try to make a gap in your Miami itinerary to visit it.
It also has a good number of art galleries, many design, decoration or antique shops, luxury jewelers, boutiques of big brands, such as Dior or Prada, architecture offices and restaurants of famous chefs.
Every second Saturday of the month, it hosts the Design Night celebration, in which all art galleries allow free entry to see their exhibitions.
Here is also the Institute of Contemporary Art, also known as ICA Miami. As its name anticipates, it is a space completely devoted to national and international contemporary art.
17. Visit Miami Seaquarium
In this aquarium, one of the oldest and largest in the United States, there are many marine species typical of the Florida seabed.
Among the species it hosts are the Kemp’s Ridley tortoise, one of the smallest in the world and in danger of extinction; the Pacific white-sided dolphins, which are only found in the waters of the north Pacific coast; or the African penguins, the only species that breeds in Africa.
It also offers experiences such as swimming with dolphins or interaction with stingrays, sharks or seals, as well as shows, including exhibitions of dolphins, sea lions or manatees.
18. Discover Coral Glabes
Located in the southern part of the city, it is one of the most luxurious and oldest in the city. You can expect to see huge tree-lined avenues and gigantic colonial mansions embraced by wonderful gardens.
But it also has some very interesting places for the traveler such as the Venetian Pool, or the Hotel Baltimore, an example of luxury and opulence and where it is said that you can enjoy the best brunches in the city, and the botanical garden, with a wide collection of tropical plants.
Other attractions are the Matheson Hammock Park, a natural space that has an artificial atoll, where you can swim and even kayak or kitesurf, and numerous green areas.
This neighborhood also has shopping options such as Merrick Park, an open-air mall with countless brand name stores, although it also has an extensive range of bars and restaurants.
A more expensive and epicurean option for shopping is Miracle Mile, where the shops of big brands and designers and the most exclusive art galleries are brought together.
19. Shop for Fashion and Souvenirs at Dolphin Mall
Located less than ten kilometers from Miami International Airport, it is a true haven for shopping and bargains. It has more than two hundred outlet stores and also has a generous offer of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Without a doubt, a place to see if you want to shop at cheaper prices.
20. Dive Into Little Haiti
In the 1980s, with the rise to power of the Duvalier dictators and the increase in poverty, many Haitians made the decision to emigrate. They made it to the Florida Lemon City neighborhood, which over time has acquired the name Little Haiti.
It is a stronghold of Haiti in Miami and, therefore, an excellent opportunity to delve into its culture and the idiosyncrasies of Haitians. If you like ethnic neighborhoods, come and visit it.
Its streets are full of small shops and businesses that are advertised with humble hand-made posters, many others of artisan products and a good number of places, in which Haitian rites sound, and restaurants, where you can taste the flavors of Haiti.
Other interesting places to see in this area are the beautiful church of Our Lady of the Caribbean, where you can attend one of its particular masses, in which Caribbean rhythms are very present; and Caribbean Marketplace, a market where they sell all kinds of typical Caribbean products such as sugar cane juice, mangoes or shell salad.
21. Enjoy the Sea at Crandon Park Beach
Although South Beach monopolizes the prominence of travelers and locals, the truth is that the coast of Miami treasures other beaches that are just as beautiful and much quieter.
This is the case of Crandon Park Beach, which is inserted within a park in Biscayne Bay, which has a golf course, marina, picnic tables, barbecues and many other attractions to spend the day.
It stretches for 3 km and is divided into two quite different areas: the north, which has a more intense wave ideal for practicing maritime sports such as surfing; and the south, with calmer waters and where families tend to go.
One of the most popular excursions is the boat trip that takes you through the Port of Miami, Miami Beach, and Biscayne Bay and passes in front of the houses of the famous. Are you interested? Find out here: Boat trip La Casa de Los Famosos
22. Marvel at Coral Castle
Located on South Dixie Highway in Homestead, less than an hour from Miami, it is a beautiful sculptural complex carved in stone and coral. The author is Edward Leedsklnin, who made it between 1920 and 1940 in his spare time. The story and the reasons behind this marvel are typical of a romantic comedy.
They say that Edward fell madly in love with a young woman, Agnes Scuffs, and married her. Shortly after, she left him and he fell into deep sadness. So he found in coral carving a remedy to channel his depression and unleash his creativity.
It is made up of a set of beautiful sculptures, each of which hides a story and a meaning. The ones that most demand the attention of visitors are the Polaris telescope, the sundial with the seasons of the year or the corner of repentance.
23. Wander Through Coconut Grove
This neighborhood, located south of Miami, is one of the most alternative and bohemian. In addition, it is an elegant and quiet neighborhood, whose streets are decorated with old mansions, vintage shops, art galleries, boutiques, shops and gourmet restaurants, where you can enjoy good food.
It also has other attractions, being the Cocowalk outdoor shopping center, Johnny Rockets, the most famous burger joint in town; the Vizcaya museum, which occupies the largest mansion in Florida; and the hermitage of charity, which stands out for its unusual conical silhouette.
To these are added The Barnacle house, which is the oldest in the neighborhood and also houses an extensive collection of tropical plants and trees, and Peacock Park, a large park that extends along the coast and the port.
24. Learn a Little More About Nazism at the Holocaust Memorial
Nazism is one of the most atrocious regimes in history, killing more than six million Jews. The city wanted to pay tribute to those who died in the Holocaust with this monument, located in Miami Beach.
It consists of more than a hundred sculptures that are organized around a central one, which is a huge bronze hand 13 meters high, on which many people climb.
25. Swim at Bill Baggs, One of the Most Unspoiled Beaches in Florida
Bill Baggs Natural Park, located about twenty minutes from downtown Miami, is another important point to enjoy the wildest nature.
It is covered by endless trails, which run through abundant tropical vegetation and through which you can go hiking or cycling and even take photos. It is crowned by a lighthouse, which holds the honor of being the oldest in the state, from whose heights the panoramic view is incredible.
Although the prominence is taken by its wonderful beach, which has been classified as one of the best in the country by showing a practically wild appearance and condition.
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