Miami is a coastal metropolis situated in the southeastern part of Florida. It’s known for its diverse population, creating the perfect mix of various cultures, languages, and cuisines. These are some of the best things to do in Miami to make the most of your visit.
The south Florida city is also known for its breathtaking beaches, Latin-American cultural influences, warm weather, art deco architecture, and of course, the exciting nightlife.
It’s truly the ultimate getaway for just about anyone, and it offers numerous activities where even the pickiest visitor can find something. Whether you’re craving an adrenaline rush, relaxing, enjoying the warm sunlight on the skin, or partying, Miami has it all.
Miami Places to Visit
If you’re considering a visit to Miami, check out the following list of the top things to do in Miami.
1. Visit Wynwood Walls
Wynwood Walls is an urban graffiti art museum. It’s considered the first and only outdoor museum in the city that’s solely dedicated to street art.
Located at 266 NW 26th Street, this cultural institution is the home of many vibrant murals. From Kenny Scharf to Shepard Fairey, talented artists have decorated the walls here with beautiful paintings that leave bystanders wonderstruck.
Apart from appreciating the art, you can also enjoy outdoor yoga, rotating DJ sets, and other public concerts. It’s the ideal place to take selfies or photos for memories (and Instagram, of course).
2. Go to Perez Art Museum
If you love art, you’ll want to check out the Perez Art Museum Miami (PANMM). This contemporary art museum collects and exhibits 20th and 21st Century international arts.
It holds some significance in the art world because it showcases the works of Atlantic Rims’ cultures, including America, Africa, and Western Europe.
To get the best experience, take a tour with an expert guide. The guide will give you insights into the building, collections, artists’ backgrounds, and other additional information to help you appreciate the art more.
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3. Spend a Day in Little Havana
As the name implies, Little Havana is a lively, vibrant center that celebrates Latin culture, particularly Cuban culture. It’s located to the immediate west of downtown Miami, and it’s full of Latin-inspired eateries, restaurants, clubs, and markets.
Little Havana’s blend of culture, language, and delicious food, make it well worth visiting. One of my favorite pastimes is watching the locals challenge each other to intense games of dominoes at Maximo Gomez Park.
Remember to visit the Calle Ocho plaza in Little Havana. It’s home to popular Cuban restaurants and bakeries. There are also tons of restaurants and gift shops on Calle Ocho to explore.
Here you’ll find vendors rolling cigars and hear lively tunes permeating shops and cafes. If you want to observe Cuban culture in its essence outside of Cuba, this is the place to see it.
4. Witness the Grandeur of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Spread over 28 acres, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a national historic landmark that was once the home of James Deering, a renowned industrialist of the 20th century. The mansion was constructed in 1916 and has 34 rooms organized around a central courtyard.
This villa is filled with an extensive and unique collection of European furniture and various decorative art pieces from the 15th to 19th centuries. The grounds and the garden contain stunning French and Italian fountains, sculptures, and pools.
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5. Visit the Ancient Coral Castle
Situated on South Dixie Highway, Coral Castle is an oolite limestone structure constructed by Edward Leedskalnin, a famous Latvian-American eccentric. Although it’s not ancient, it’s definitely surrounded by mystery.
The castle is renowned because Leedskalnin didn’t share his construction method with anyone. As he didn’t allow anyone to work with him or even watch him work, no one knows exactly how he built this wonder.
Highlights include a giant stone gate, which you can move with only the touch of a finger, and various stone tables, chairs, and other carvings.
Many locals believe the eccentric used supernatural abilities to construct this castle since it was impossible to move and carve such heavy stones alone. However he managed it, and the secrets died with him!
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6. Visit the Everglades
The Everglades National Park is one of the most extensive wetlands and popular national parks in the US. If you’re hoping to see some of Florida’s famous alligators, you need to visit the Everglades. To get started, you can visit the Shark Valley Visitor Center and either walk or hike the trail that starts there.
You can hike short trails if you don’t want to walk too much, or you can loop through the entire 15.8-mile path to see everything the Everglades has to offer.
If you don’t feel like walking or hiking, you can buy a ticket for an Everglades Airboat Tour and see the wildlife from the (relative) comfort of an airboat. Apart from alligators, you’ll also see turtles and plenty of different bird species roaming the area.
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7. Take in the Sights at Coral Gables
Coral Gables, also known as City Beautiful, is best known for its tree-lined boulevards, ivy-covered mansions, and other historical landmarks, such as the Venetian Pool and Biltmore Hotel, which was built in the 1920s.
Coral Gables also has a good mix of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. It’s just 7 miles southwest of downtown Miami.
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8. Stroll the Art Deco District
The Art Deco District is located between 5th Street and 23rd Street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue. It was turned into a popular vacation destination in the 1930s. It’s also where Gianni Versace lived and was assassinated by Andrew Cunanan in 1997.
The Art Deco Historic District takes you back to the 1920s and 1930s, and it can be described as the perfect mix between historical and retro. Buildings in the district usually have exotic flower motifs, geometric finds, and porthole windows.
The pastel building is decorated with chrome accents, glass blocks, shiny curves, and terrazzo floors, making the entire district look aesthetic and Instagram-worthy.
You can learn more about the Art Deco District on any daily walking tours offered, including this one, which is presented by the Miami Design Preservation League and highlights some amazing Miami buildings. These tours can last about 2 hours and cover the architectural styles used in the historic district’s hotels and restaurants.
You can also stop at the Welcome Center, where you can learn more about neon lighting, terrazzo floors, and much more.
9. Spend the Day in Crandon Park
Crandon Park is considered the treasure of Biscayne Bay. It’s located in Bear Cut Preserve. After you pay the toll to enter the city, you’ll have access to Crandon Park and El Farito, which are both beautiful beaches.
You’ll have to pay for parking at Crandon Park, but you’ll be able to access the golf and tennis facilities, a beach with cabana rentals, and a marina. The park also offers eco-adventures! There are all kinds of amazing rental options, so you can try canoeing, fishing, kayaking, biking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
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10. Visit Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower is a national historic landmark that was designed by Schultze and Weaver. It’s now used as a contemporary art museum and central office to the various art disciplines associated with Miami Dade College.
It tells the story of the Cuban exodus to the U.S. and resettlement during the Cold War. The Freedom Tower is also home to other popular tourist attractions, including the Museum of Art and Design, MDC Special Collections, Cuban Legacy Gallery, Kislak Center, and the Exile Experience.
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11. Explore Lincoln Road
Lincoln Road is a world-famous shopping and dining promenade in south Florida. It’s located in the heart of Miami South Beach. Lincoln Road Mall features more than 200 national retailers, including designer brands, boutiques, art galleries, sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and so much more.
Best Things to Do in South Beach Miami
South Beach is the perfect place to go if you want to lie down on the grainy sand and take in the sun. It’s a must, even if you just plan on visiting Miami for a couple of days. Just put on some sunscreen, wear your sunglasses, and enjoy the sound of waves crashing into the shore.
You can swim, rollerblade, snorkel, or surf. It’s also known as the Surf Capital of Miami because of the abundance of waves and surfers that ride them.
If the odds are in your favor, you might even come across an A-list celebrity. The scenic shoreline, fine sand, and aquamarine water will take your breath away. You can spend the day relaxing on the sand or enjoying exciting adventures on the beach.
12. Tour the City on a Double Decker Bus
One of the first things you’ll want to do as soon as you step foot in Miami is to get tickets for a double-decker bus tour, so you can see what the city is all about.
The tour usually visits most of the popular tourist attractions across the city. So, if you’re visiting for the first time or for just a short time, you need to get on the bus, so you can see everything the city has to offer. This way, when you go on to explore the Magic City on your own, you’ll know exactly where you want to go.
Many tour agencies operate inside Miami, such as Miami Double Decker and 305 Miami tours. Just make sure you call beforehand to make arrangements, especially if you’re going during peak tourist season.
13. Cross the Bridge and Visit Miami Beach
Miami Beach is a Florida Island city connected to mainland Florida via bridges. Its white sandy beaches stretch across a series of parks, including North Shore Open Space Park, South Pointe Park, and Lummus Park. South of the city, you’ll find Miami’s most famous beach — South Beach.
South Beach isn’t the only popular beach in the area. There’s also Mid-Beach and North Beach. Although not quite as popular, those beaches are significantly quieter and calmer if that’s what you’re looking for. A few popular activities you can do on the beaches include snorkeling, kayaking, jet-skiing, and parasailing.
Miami Beach is also renowned because it’s the residence of some of the country’s richest and most famous people. If you’re curious about the lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous, you’ll definitely want to visit the area.
You can also go on a boat tour to see these places! Miami Boat Tours offers 90-minute skyline boat cruises, so you can see the area’s millionaire homes as you cruise through the waters on a multilevel yacht.
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14. Go to a Drive-In Cinema
If you have a car or are renting one and love the concept of watching movies from the comfort of your vehicle with your significant other, friends, or family, visit the Nite Owl Drive-In in the downtown area or Tropicaire Drive-In on Bird Road. The Tropicaire Drive-In is a piece of Miami’s cinema history and has been operating since 1949!
The cinemas play classic and recent movies, so all you have to do is call to check out the movie schedule and make reservations. It’s easy to spend a romantic or fun evening with others, eating concession snacks and watching a film from the comfort of your car.
15. Shop Away at Bayside Marketplace
The two-story open-air shopping mall is situated downtown and contains tourist shops, daily live entertainment, various cafes, and restaurants you don’t want to miss out on.
This shopping center is located on the banks of the beautiful Biscayne Bay.
One of the major tourist attractions is the water taxi service, which can ferry you between downtown hotels and Miami Beach. Overall, it’s a perfect place for first-time tourists; you can shop, eat delicious food, go for boat tours, enjoy fishing sessions, and find a comfortable hotel.
If you’re looking for drinks, then the Mojito Bar in the middle of the mall is perfect. The bar has a modern, tropical vibe, in addition to a party atmosphere with vibrant music.
16. Paddle Through the Oleta River
Oleta River State Park is located in North Miami Beach. It’s a 1,043-acre park on Biscayne Bay that offers a ton of fun outdoor experiences.
The spectacular blue-green waters are perfect for a kayak or a boating trip and are especially loved by paddlers. In fact, this park is one of the stops along the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. You can also visit the uninhabited islands in the bay if you have access to a boat.
If you don’t want to paddle along the river, you can always opt to explore the mountain bike trails, go for a hike, fish along the shores, or enjoy snorkeling in the bay! The park is perfect for people who find nature, wilderness, and exploration fascinating. Overall, Oleta River State park is a place for all adventurers.
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17. Explore Time Out Market
If you’re looking for delicious food and a good time, you’ll want to visit Time Out Market, where you’ll find some of the best chefs in the nation under one roof.
The market offers 18 eateries and three bars for you to explore and try out. You’ll find several food options to choose from, including pizza, seafood, vegan and vegetarian options, deli, burgers, desserts, and so much more.
18. Find the Right Vibes at Kill Your Idol
On entering Kill Your Idol, you’ll be greeted with a life-size Bruce Lee statue, and then you’ll be hit with the DJs and live music.
Kill Your Idol opened back in 2012 as an alternative to the more tourist-focused spaces in the surrounding area. It offers a throwback to the No Wave movement of the 70s and welcomes local artists and musicians.
19. Take in the Atmosphere at Minibar
Minibar is a cute little bar located on the same property as Urbanica, The Meridian Hotel. It offers an amazing happy hour and outdoor seating. Minibar has become a favorite locale among beach locals and visitors who want more of a laid-back venue.
20. Visit New World Center
New World Center is a concert hall and music school in Miami. It opened in January 2011, and it’s home to the New World Symphony.
If you’re a music lover, this is a great place to visit. The New World Center hosts all kinds of concerts and events throughout the year, which are outlined on its event calendar. It also hosts morning yoga in the SoundScape Park outside the venue.
NWC is also home to Thierry’s restaurant. The restaurant is located on the first level of the Atrium and serves delicious food before concerts and during intermission. The chef is a five-star culinary leader and treats every dish as a masterpiece.
21. Spend the Day in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is just minutes from downtown Miami and is situated on the tip of Key Biscayne. Here, you can marvel at breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Visitors to the park can tour its iconic lighthouse. Erected in 1825, this lighthouse is actually one of the oldest structures in Miami-Dade!
You can take a guided tour through the lighthouse to take in stunning views of Miami Beach from its top balcony. Be warned, though — it’s a steep 109-step climb to the top.
If you don’t want to tour the lighthouse, there are plenty of other activities to try. This park offers bike rentals, fishing, paddling, hiking trails, a beach, swimming, and more! Keep in mind that the park is usually very busy, especially on the weekends, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
22. Visit the Bass Museum of Art
The Bass Museum of Art is one of Miami Beach’s best contemporary art museums. It features diverse art and artifacts, a sculpture garden, and lectures and films for visitors.
You can browse the many gallery halls and take in the art featured in the museum’s rotating exhibits. If you’re in the mood to learn, you can participate in scheduled talks with artists, or sign up for art classes.
All the exhibits are relevant to Miami, speaking to the region’s social and cultural context. The goal of the Bass Museum of Art is to highlight community culture and celebrate the diversity of the Miami Beach area. This is a welcoming, educational space, making it a great place to spend a day.
23. Stroll Along the Miami Beach Boardwalk
Miami Beach Boardwalk is sometimes referred to as South Beach Boardwalk or Beachwalk. The boardwalk starts at Indian Beach Park and continues to 23rd Street. It spans about 8 miles and connects South Beach, Mid Beach, and North Beach.
As a pedestrian boardwalk, there aren’t a ton of tourist attractions to see here. While you won’t find any restaurants along the way, the boardwalk is a great way to take in some ocean views as you stroll along. There are plenty of beach entry points along the way, giving you a chance to stop and take to the water.
Tired of walking? Miami Beach offers a free trolley service that runs every 20 minutes and is a convenient mode of transportation from all Miami Beach Boardwalk entry points.
24. Shop ‘Til You Drop at Dolphin Mall
If you’re looking for one of Miami-Dade’s largest retail shopping centers, then Dolphin Mall should be on your itinerary. This mall has over 240 retailers and delicious dine-in restaurants, such as The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.
When you’re done shopping and eating, the fun doesn’t have to stop. Dolphin Mall also has a modern movie theater and bowling alley if you’re looking for some fun activities to do with the family.
25. Take the Plunge at Venetian Pool
Venetian Pool is a historic public swimming pool in Coral Gables. Nonresident admission is $21 per adult and $16 for children aged three to 12. Venetian Pool is four to eight feet deep and features an island, two waterfalls, and a grotto. It also has two observation towers that are two stories tall.
The pool has 820,000 gallons of water, making it the largest freshwater pool in the entire US. It’s fed by spring water that comes from an underground aquifer. The pool is drained daily during the spring and summer, which are the two busiest seasons, to ensure the water stays fresh and clean.
26. Explore the Wonders of the Ocean at Miami Seaquarium
Both educational and entertaining, the Seaquarium is great for people who want to learn about various sea-dwelling marine mammals.
Located at 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, the compound contains dolphins, sea lions, manatees, penguins, sea turtles, sharks, and many other marine animals.
You can meet dolphins and handshake, rub, and feed these adorable creatures. At the Seaquarium, you can also pet penguins and seals. It also has various touch pools where you can touch fish, bamboo sharks, and ocean invertebrates.
27. Feed the Giraffes at Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami houses more than 3,000 wild animals, as well as 40 endangered species. Visiting this zoo is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have in Miami. This outstanding zoological park and garden is situated at 12400 SW 152nd Street.
The zoo has carefully grouped together species that would typically interact if they were living in the wild, so they can be kept as close to their natural environments as possible.
One of the best things about Zoo Miami is that you can meet the giraffes and feed them leaves and other treats yourself! Whether you’re with children or not, the zoo is exciting, wonderful, and fascinating for all.
28. Trek Through the Cosmos at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
The Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science features a planetarium that allows you to embark on a journey through the cosmos on a high-definition screen. You get a free screening of one planetarium show when you buy an entrance ticket.
This museum hosts exhibits that showcase everything from aerospace products to the human microbiome. It offers light shows, and it’s the perfect place for science enthusiasts. The museum has a three-level aquarium that features wildlife from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean, and it also has a dinosaur exhibit!
Due to its unique approach, the museum is popular among people of all ages. The employees are extremely friendly and informative.
The interactive displays help keep children fascinated and interested in the artifacts. If you’re visiting with family, this museum is a must-see.
29. Let the Kids Burn Off Some Energy at the Miami Children’s Museum
Looking for a spot for the kids to play, learn, imagine, and create? Then the Miami Children’s Museum should be on your list of places to visit while in Miami.
This museum has tons of galleries designed to delight children and get them interested in learning. These exhibits include art rooms, a health and wellness center, an interactive floor piano, and other fun activities. All exhibits are hands-on and made with kids in mind, sure to tire them out with a full day of play!
It always has new programs and events coming up, so check its website for more information, so you can plan your visit in advance. All the exhibits were designed to coincide with the MDCPS curriculum.
Note that the museum is now using an advanced contactless e-ticketing system, so tickets must be purchased before you get there.
30. Learn About Judaism at the Jewish Museum of Florida
Established in 1995, the Jewish Museum of Florida is the only museum in the state that’s dedicated to preserving Florida’s Jewish history. In fact, it has a collection that spans 250 years of history.
The museum itself is housed in two connected synagogues that served some of the earliest Jewish congregations in Miami. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, and it’s a great place to visit during the day to take in some history.
The museum’s exhibits shine a light on the Jewish experience in Florida, with a collection of photographs, documents, oral histories, audio tapes, art, and religious objects. It also hosts events throughout the year, so be sure to check out the museum’s calendar!
31. Explore Jungle Island
Jungle Island is one of Miami’s premier entertainment destinations. It’s a relaunched eco-adventure park on Watson Island.
It offers a tree-top bridge, allowing you to view the park from above, and you’ll have the opportunity to come face-to-face with many types of animals. You can also feed the kangaroos! Both indoor and outdoor spaces can be rented for events, and if you get hungry, you can check out the Joia Beach Restaurant and Beach Club.
32. Stroll around Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park was originally called Royal Palm Park and is one of the first public gathering places in Greater Miami. It was built in 1896 as a visitor’s pavilion and green space before it evolved into Bayfront Park, as it’s known today.
Bayfront Park spans over 32 acres in the heart of downtown Miami and is the perfect spot to take the whole family. It offers boardwalks, sandy beach areas, fountains, and performance venues. You can take a bike ride or visit Bayside Marketplace, a waterfront outdoor mall with popular stores, restaurants, and bars.
33. Parasail With Miami Watersports
Are you an adrenaline junkie? If so, this one’s for you!
When you come to Miami, don’t miss out on the chance to parasail and enjoy a magnificent view of the city. From the spectacular skyline to Biscayne Bay, you can witness the splendor in all its glory while sailing through the air.
As the name suggests, Miami Watersports is a water sports equipment rental service that also provides many activities, including parasailing, jet-skiing, tubing, flyboarding, windsurfing, and much more.
If you’ve never been parasailing, Miami is the perfect place to try this thrilling activity.
34. Take a Sightseeing Speedboat Tour
You can take a Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami. The speedboat captain will take you down the sandy shoreline, where you can get a good view of Fisher Island and a collection of multimillion-dollar houses and celebrity homes. You can then cruise down South Beach, which is lined with Art Deco homes while learning more about the history and culture of Miami.
35. Enjoy a Duck Tour of Miami and South Beach
If you want a land and water tour of Miami and South Beach, you’ll find it all with this 90-minute Duck Tour. You’ll cruise around on a WWII vintage amphibious vehicle, explore Biscayne Bay, and see all the mansions nestled along the shore. Your tour guide will fill you in on all the highlights while you enjoy stunning skyline views of Miami and South Beach.
36. Revel in a Miami Sunset Cruise through Biscayne Bay and South Beach
Are you ready to marvel at the Miami skyline as the sun sets on an adventure-packed day? Take a Sunset Cruise through Biscayne Bay and South Beach.
You’ll see the famous Star Island, known for Al Capone’s mansion, and then cruise to the Venetian Islands, South Beach, and more while listening to your knowledgeable guide’s live commentary.
37. Indulge in a Jet Ski Experience and City Views
Want more action and adventure? Check out the Jet Ski Experience and City Views as you take a guided adventure tour through Miami. You’ll have an unobstructed view of the skyline while enjoying other city views. You can ride slowly to take in the scenery or go fast through the waves.
As you can see, there’s plenty to do in Miami when you visit. Remember, the Florida Keys begin about 15 miles south of Miami and offer tons more for you to explore and discover on your next south Florida trip.
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