If you already booked your trip, I am sure you are looking for cool things to do in Miami. Miami is not an average city and what we love about Miami is that it is a mix of the USA, the Caribbean, and the Latin worlds and cultures. And, if it’s your first time in Miami, get excited. Our guide will enable you to have the best time in Miami possible.
We visited Miami already 2 times. And if you wonder why, don’t worry, as you will find out why Miami is such a cool city. There are many awesome things to do and surprisingly most of them are even for free.
THINGS TO DO IN MIAMI
Miami is such an exciting and vibrant place with endless things to do. Hence, it is our favorite city in Florida. There are many beaches, a lovely atmosphere and it has a tropical vibe. Over 60% of the population in Miami has Latino origin, so knowing some basic Spanish, comes in handy. Especially when you take Uber or Lyft.
BEST BEACHES IN MIAMI
If you are not sure what to do in Miami on your first day, then go to the beach. South Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Miami and has a great location as Ocean Drive is nearby. This beach is perfect for swimming, you can do water sports in the designated areas. Not to mention that South Beach has incredible white sand and iconic lifeguard huts which are great for pictures. You can take countless numbers of photos as every beach hut is differently painted with diverse colors.
MIAMI BEACH SIGN
I am sure you have already seen this sign somewhere. The iconic Miami Beach sign can be found very easily. It is located on South Beach’s eastern side that runs parallel to Ocean Drive.
Have a look at the exact location of the Miami Beach sign on Google:
Mid Beach is another awesome beach or let’s say, a beach section in Miami. The parking situation in Miami is not that great, that is why we were taking Uber very often. Mid Beach has also an incredible skyline as a background. You can also rent these cute umbrellas for some shade, go for s swim and just enjoy your holidays.
WALK ON OCEAN DRIVE
Ocean Drive is one of the most famous streets in Miami. Most of the people who come to Miami for the first time come exactly here. Probably you recognize it from music video clips and movies. For instance, movies and tv shows such as Scarface, Miami Vice, Ace Ventura and many more were filmed here. There are also spots where you can work out and sometimes you might spot well-known fitness gurus.
The best thing to do in Ocean Drive is to walk around along tall palm trees and admire the art deco architecture. Ocean Drive is a long street (1st to 11th Sts) but the most known street for pedestrians is Lincoln Street. from 1st to 11th avenue. There are many chic restaurants, cafes and cute stores. At night Ocean Drive becomes a different world full of colorful lights, illuminated signs, Latin music and fancy cars drifting around.
LUMMUS PARK BEACH
Lummus Park Beach is easy to reach via Ocean Drive. If you need a little break head to Lummus Park Beach, sit down and do a little bit of people-watching. It is also worth noting that many scenes from Miami Vice were shot here.
CULTURE AND ART IN THE WYNWOOD ART DISTRICT
The Wynwood art district is one of the coolest and hippest areas in Miami. You can spend hours walking around and admiring colorful murals, having breaks in cute cafes and learning about this contemporary culture.
And even though you might not be an expert in paintings and murals, you have to check it out. There is a free museum called Wynwood Walls on NW 2nd Ave between 25th and 26th Streets with exchanging artworks and murals. It’s not always certain that the art pieces you found on Instagram or blogs will be there when you visit. They are often repainted. The whole Wynwood district is full of museums, galleries, coffee stores, and cute shops. A good way to experience Wynwood is by attending a guided tour.
Check this really cool tour where you can see absolutely the best walls of Wynwood and learn more about paintings and artists.
For more fancy tours in style check Wynwood Private Tour by Vintage Convertible. Next time we are in Miami, we will surely check it out.
To make your trip in Miami complete, make sure to head to Key Biscayne. We spent a great afternoon in Crandon Park. Crandon Park is famous for shallow waters and that’s what makes it a perfect destination for families with kids. This beach is very long and has incredibly white sand with tall palm trees everywhere. We rented a car and drove out there but if you don’t have a car we suggest to take an Uber.
On Calle Ocho (in eng: 8th street) on Domingo Plaza, you can experience a different cultural experience. Once you arrive at SW 8th street you magically transport yourself into Cuba. Little Havana is a small district where the largest community of Cuban Americans live. The best time to visit Little Havana is the third Friday of each month. Here you can see the best shows from Latino artists during an event called Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays). If you would like to read more information on Little Havana have a look here, where Greta explains her favorite restaurants and things to do in this area.
Viernes Culturales has no entree fees and starts from 7 – 11 PM. Click here to see the dates and the program.
FANCY A TRIP TO CUBA? READ MORE: 11 Things to know before traveling to Cuba
BEST TIME TO VISIT MIAMI
Miami is a great place all year round as temperatures are usually high. But the hottest months are between May through October. Be warned though, that it’s very hot and humid. Possibly too hot for some people. We love the heat so we visited in August and we loved it. However, if you prefer milder temperatures December till April might be the best time for you to visit. Hurricane season in Florida lasts from June through November.
BEST HOTELS IN MIAMI
Looking for hotels in Miami is an easy task. Depending on your budget, you can choose from the endless options of great hotels in Miami. We would definitely recommend staying nearby Ocean Drive and somewhere with great views on the Pacific Ocean. But naturally, they are very expensive. However, if you would like to treat yourself then check out Venezia Hotel or Leslie Hotel located on Ocean Drive.
One of our favorite hotels is Lincoln Arms Suites which has affordable rooms and it is also very close to Ocean Drive.
RESTAURANTS IN MIAMI
You can feel an international vibe in restaurants as well. There are many restaurants with Cuban, Haitian, Brazilian cuisine. Just to name a few: El Exquisito located in Little Havana offers a typical Cuban cuisine. NIU kitchen is a small restaurant will Catalan cuisine, make sure to order many small dishes to share. Chef Creole in Little Haiti offers delicious Haiti meals that you can take out and enjoy at the nearby beach.
Favorite TRIPS FROM MIAMI
MIAMI TO KEY WEST
A very popular trip is from Miami to Key West. Key West is the southernmost point of Florida and the United States as well. Also, it is just a 90 miles swim to Cuba from here. The Florida Keys is our favorite place in the USA. A mix of cute pastel houses, beautiful white sand beaches, and slow beach life. One option is to get down there by rental car. An alternative is to take a shuttle bus.
FLORIDA EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
The Everglades National Park located in the southern part of Florida is a great full-day trip from Miami. If you would like to see how a real American wilderness looks like, head here. The Everglades consists of a large land of swamps, wetlands, lakes, and rivers. And you will meet some of the typical wildlife typical for the region. Alligators are the main reason why most of the tourists come. However, there is of course much more to see than Alligators, such as rare panthers and manatees. Get a kayak with a professional guide and swing around mangrove channels or join a tour on a fan-powered airboat.
There are 3 main entrances to Everglades: Ernest Coe, Shark Valley and Gulf Coast.
If you have more time in Miami, a trip to Fort Lauderdale is a must. It is a small beach town with fewer tourists compared to Miami. Moreover, it is a popular destination for LGBTIQ people. Make sure to go for a walk at Fort Lauderdale promenade. And don’t miss the sunrise. It is that stunning?
OUR TIP: Fort Lauderdale has an airport and you can easily fly to several Caribbean islands such as the Bahamas.
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