35 Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida

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Downtown Miami, Florida, one of the best things to do in Miami

Miami is a coastal South Florida metropolis. It’s known for its Cuban influences, stunning beaches, foodie scene, and party atmosphere. Also known as The Magic City, Florida’s second-largest city is the epitome of a beachside city with clear inspirations drawn from its diverse population around every corner.

It’s truly the ultimate getaway for anyone without the price tag that comes with so many beachfront destinations worldwide. It may not be the Caribbean or Mexico, but you can still find killer Chicharrón.

The Miami skyline between palm trees
littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock

You also don’t need a week to see all you want to see in the city either. While there is so much to do, it’s also possible to get the most out of a Miami visit, even in just a few days. To help you make the most of that time, here are our top things to do in Miami, Florida.

What We Cover

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – Coral Castle
  • Park to visit – Crandon Park
  • Free activity – Walking through the Art Deco Historic District
  • Activity for kidsWynwood Walls
  • Activity for adults – Pérez Art Museum
  • Place to eat – Time Out Market
  • Nightlife – Kill Your Idol
  • Place to stayInterContinental Miami

Things to Do in Miami, Florida

If you’re considering visiting Miami, you may have difficulty getting away from the siren song of that heavenly beach access, especially around South Beach. Even so, we highly encourage you to get to know the city with all that it has to offer.

The rich history of this beachfront city is an amalgamation of all the kinds of people who call it home. Young kids will appreciate the bountiful marine life, while those young at heart will clamor for Miami’s lively nightlife. No matter where you are on that spectrum, Miami beaches are just the beginning of everything to do in Miami.

If you prefer a more visual experience, watch our Miami video travel guide from the ViaTravelers YouTube channel.

1. Visit Wynwood Walls

Kobra Mural Wynwood - Colorful Street Art of a Snake on a Building Wall.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 2516 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Wynwood Walls is a street art museum, the city’s first, which opened in 2009. It is a respected endeavor known worldwide as one of the foremost urban revitalization projects.

This cultural institution is the home of many vibrant murals. From pieces by Kenny Scharf to Shepard Fairey, talented artists have decorated the walls with beautiful paintings that leave bystanders wonderstruck. Over 35,000 square feet of walls are covered with street art found at Wynwood, leaving many art for visitors to see.

Apart from appreciating the art, you can enjoy outdoor yoga, rotating DJ sets, and other public concerts. It’s also the ideal place for an impromptu photoshoot to preserve your time in Miami.

Tickets are required to see the art, though tickets for kids under 12 are free — making this an excellent activity for families visiting Miami with kids.

See Related: Do You Need a Rental Car in Miami?

2. Go to the Pérez Art Museum

The exterior of Pérez Art Museum, Miami
mariakray / Shutterstock

Address: 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

If you love art, you’ll want to check out the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), fully known as Jorge M. Pérez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County. This contemporary art museum opened in 2013 and collects and exhibits 20th- and 21st-century international art.

The works housed by PAMM represent a wide swath of art mediums, from painting to sculpture and photography to drawing. Some of their most famous pieces include Lorraine O’Grady’s Art Is…, John Akomfrah’s Tropikos, and George Segal’s Abraham’s Farewell to Ishmael.

The majority of guests will do a self-guided tour of the museum. But to get the best experience, you’ll want to tour with an expert guide. The guide will give you insights into the building, collections, artists’ backgrounds, and other information to help you appreciate the art more.

See RelatedBest Museums in the US to Visit

3. Spend a Day in Little Havana

Street view with a chicken statue in Little Havana
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

As the name implies, Little Havana is a lively, dynamic neighborhood in Miami that celebrates Latinx culture, particularly Cuban culture. It’s located immediately west of downtown, and it’s full of Latin-inspired eateries, restaurants, clubs, and markets.

Little Havana has a unique blend of culture, language, and delicious food, making it well worth visiting. And you cannot miss stopping by the famous Cuban restaurant Versailles Restaurant for a taste of Cuban cuisine without leaving Miami.

Otherwise, you can walk around Calle Ocho Plaza in Little Havana for other eateries and bakeries. There are also tons of restaurants and gift shops on Calle Ocho to explore. Here you’ll also 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 do it. 

See Related: Cheapest Islands To Visit For Vacation

4. Witness the Grandeur of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Garden of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Source: Depositphotos

Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129

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. Deering is famously known for being heir to the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune.

The mansion was constructed in 1916 and has 34 rooms around a central courtyard. Rather than being a personal home, it serves as a museum for the general public to take a lavish step back in time. Given the size of the estate, we recommend allowing at least two hours to see everything you want.

This villa has a unique collection of European furniture and various decorative art pieces from the 15th to 19th centuries. The grounds and the garden incorporate stunning French and Italian fountains, sculptures, and pools. It’s fascinating to remember that this luxe estate was home to a man whose fortune derived from farm equipment.

See Related: Where to Stay in Miami

5. Visit the Coral Castle

Some of the Coral Castle in Florida
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033

Situated 45 minutes from Miami 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 surrounded by mystery.

The castle is renowned because Leedskalnin didn’t share his construction method with anyone. From 1923 to 1951, Ed secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock by himself. No one knows how he managed to do this alone because he never told anyone about it. Ed said he knew the secrets of the pyramids.

Highlights of this sculpture garden include a giant stone gate, which you can move with only a finger, and various stone tables, chairs, and other carvings. Many locals believe Ed used supernatural abilities to construct this castle since moving and carving such heavy stones alone was impossible.

While we may never know how he did it, we can at least experience the wonders of Ed’s accomplishments. Unfortunately, admission is no longer just ten cents as it was in Ed’s lifetime.

See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit

6. Experience the Everglades

Crocodile in the Everglades

The Everglades National Park is one of the most extensive wetlands and popular national parks in the US. If you hope to see some of Florida’s famous alligators, 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. The best way to experience this nature walk, however, is with a tour group. This way, you’ll learn much of what there is to know about the delicate ecosystem and walk away with more appreciation for conservation.

If you don’t feel like walking or hiking, buy a ticket for an Everglades airboat tour and see the wildlife from an airboat’s (relative) comfort. There’s nothing like an exciting airboat tour through the marshland. Apart from alligators, you’ll also see turtles and plenty of different bird species roaming the area. 

See Related: Things to Do in Tampa

7. Take in the Sights at Coral Gables

Aerial View of Coral Gables, Florida
Source: Depositphotos

Coral Gables, also known as The City Beautiful or The Gables, is best known for its tree-lined boulevards and ivy-bedecked mansions. It’s a perfect day trip from Miami since driving here takes only about 20 minutes. This city is also known for its historical landmarks, such as the 1920s Venetian Pool carved from a coral rock quarry and the luxe Biltmore Hotel, which was also built in the 1920s. By the way, you can (and should) swim in the Venetian Pool!

The charming Merrick House, built in 1906, is the restored childhood home of city founder George Merrick. Elsewhere, you’ll find the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. This botanical garden, which opened in 1938, houses a children’s garden, a tropical rainforest, and a butterfly garden, among other equally gorgeous exhibits.

You’ll see right away how this lovely city got its Beautiful nickname. The vibrant buildings, both old and new, make the whole city seem like a coral reef in its own right. Even if you spend an afternoon here, you’ll be glad.

8. Stroll the Art Deco Historic District

Art Deco buildings in Miami
Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau / Greater Miami & Miami Beach

The Art Deco District is located between 5th Street and 23rd Street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue. It has been a popular vacation destination since the 1930s. One glimpse down the picturesque street will give you flashbacks to a century ago. It’s also where Gianni Versace lived and was assassinated by Andrew Cunanan in 1997.

In the classic, lively Art Deco style, this district can only 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 buildings are decorated with chrome accents, glass blocks, shiny curves, and terrazzo floors, making the entire area swoon-worthy.

You can learn more about the Art Deco District on any daily walking tours, including this one, which is presented by the Miami Design Preservation League and highlights some amazing Miami buildings. You can also stop at the Welcome Center to learn about neon lighting, terrazzo floors, and more.

See RelatedBest Travel Shorts for Warm Destinations

9. Spend the Day in Crandon Park

Crandon Beach shoreline
Irina Wilhauk / Shutterstock

Address: 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149

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 and El Farito, which house beautiful beaches.

You’ll have to pay for parking at Crandon Park, which is otherwise free to visit, but you’ll be able to access the golf and tennis facilities, a beach with cabana rentals, and a marina. If you’re visiting during the tourist-heavy months like the summer, anticipate the beach to be quite crowded.

The park also offers eco-adventures! There are all kinds of amazing rental options from park facilities as well, so you can try canoeing, fishing, kayaking, biking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

See Related: Beautiful Springs in Florida to Visit

10. Admire the Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

Address: 600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

The Freedom Tower is a National Historic Landmark designed by Schultze and Weaver and built-in 1924. It’s now used as a contemporary art museum and central office to the various art departments attached to Miami Dade College.

It tells the story of the Cuban exodus to the U.S. and resettlement during the Cold War. The Freedom Tower was long known as the “Ellis Island of the South” since many Cuban asylum seekers came through the city from 1962 to 1974.

The iconic Miami building is also home to other popular attractions, including the Museum of Art and Design, MDC Special Collections, Cuban Legacy Gallery, Kislak Center, and the Exile Experience. Although it no longer processes immigrants, the tower is a seminal part of Miami’s history.

11. Explore Lincoln Road Shopping District

Lincoln Road

Address: Collins Avenue to Bay Road, between 16th and 17th Streets, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Lincoln Road Shopping District, also known as Lincoln Rd, is one of the country’s foremost shopping districts. What makes this eight-block-long pedestrian mall unique is that it incorporates culture, incredible architecture, and shopping all into one. Lincoln Road Mall features over 200 national retailers, including designer brands, boutiques, art galleries, sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and more.

The mall area was designed by renowned architect Morris Lapidus, who built up the area to be a vibrant destination. Lapidus was known primarily for his Neo-baroque Miami Modern hotels from the 1950s and 60s that now define Miami architecture.

His other designs include the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Concord Resort Hotel, which was one of the final major hotels in the Borscht Belt of the Catskills before it was demolished in 2008.

When you’re done with your shopping adventure, why not take in a show? Lincoln Rd is also home to three important cultural institutions: the New World Symphony, Oolite Arts, and the Colony Theater.

12. Tour the City on a Double-Decker Bus

Double Decker Bus Tour

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. Hop-on, hop-off tours are a great way to see any city at your own pace while making for some prime people-watching.

The tour usually visits the most popular tourist attractions across the city, like the Miami Design District, making this tour one of the best things to do in Miami. So, if you’re visiting for the first time or just a short time, you need to get on the bus to see a little bit of everything.

This way, when you explore The 305 independently, you’ll know exactly where you want to go. A local guide will be aboard to give you all the helpful hints you could want to make the most of your time.

See Related: Best Resorts in Florida

13. Cross the Bridge and Visit Miami Beach

Sunset in Miami Beach
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Miami Beach, although it partly shares a name with its nearby sibling, is a separate city connected to mainland Florida via bridges. You can get between this city and Miami in about 20 minutes. Its white sandy beaches stretch across several parks, including North Shore Open Space Park, South Pointe Park, and Lummus Park. South of the city, you’ll find the most famous of the Miami beaches — South Beach and the nearby South Pointe Park Pier.

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 want. A few popular activities you can do on the beaches include snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, jet-skiing, and parasailing. 

This city is also renowned because it is 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 want to visit the area. You can also go on a boat tour to see these places! One such tour is a skyline boat cruise, so you can see Millionaire Row as you cruise through the waters on a multilevel yacht.  

See RelatedBest Islands in Florida to Visit

14. Go to a Drive-In Cinema

Cars at the Nite Owl Drive-In
Nite Owl Drive-In / Facebook

Address: 1400 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33132

Even being from the oft-chilly Midwest, going to the drive-in movie theater near my childhood home in Wisconsin is an especially fun excursion. Unfortunately, these drive-ins are becoming scarce since nostalgia only gets patrons so far.

That said, if you have a car or are renting one and love watching movies from the comfort of your vehicle with your significant other, friends, or family, visit the Nite Owl Drive-In downtown. Sadly, you can’t visit the Tropicaire Drive-In circa 1949 anymore as it was demolished.

These cinemas play classic and recent movies, so even kiddos will enjoy the new experience, especially cuddled with their favorite blanket and stuffed animals. It’s easy to spend a romantic or fun evening at the drive-in, eating concessions and watching a film from the comfort of your car.

See Related: Best Travel Movies to Inspire You to Explore

15. Shop Away at Bayside Marketplace

Shoppers exploring Bayside Marketplace
Bayside Marketplace / Facebook

Address: 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

The two-story open-air shopping mall is near downtown along the beautiful Biscayne Bay. It is home to 70 shops and 30 restaurants, as well as daily live entertainment. This marketplace also serves as a meeting point for several boat tours showcasing the city.

One of the major tourist attractions is the water taxi service, which can ferry you between various downtown hotels and Miami Beach. Overall, it’s a perfect place for first-time tourists; you can shop, eat delicious food, head out on boat tours, and even enjoy fishing sessions.

If you’re looking for drinks, you’ll want to head to Mojito Bar. You’ll find that this bar in the middle of the mall is perfect. Mojito Bar (yes, that’s its actual name) has a modern, tropical vibe and a party atmosphere with vibrant music. 

16. Paddle Through the Oleta River

Oleta River

Address: 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Oleta River State Park is located in North Miami Beach. It’s a 1,043-acre nature preserve off the bay that offers many fun outdoor experiences. Among the sea creatures you’ll find here are mullet, sheepshead, tarpon, and snook, as well as dolphins and manatees. On the land, you may also spot deer, birds, and sometimes (though rarely) an alligator.

The spectacular blue-green waters are perfect for a kayak or a boating trip and are especially loved by paddlers. This park is one of the stops along the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. You can also visit some uninhabited islands in Biscayne Bay if you can access a boat.

If you don’t want to paddle along the river, you can always explore the mountain bike trails, hike, fish along the shores, or enjoy snorkeling in the bay! The park is perfect for people who find nature, wilderness, and exploration fascinating. It is perfect for travelers looking for more adventurous Miami things.

See RelatedKey West Day Trip: The Florida Keys in a Day

17. Explore Time Out Market

Timeout Market Miami - Food Court and Restaurant Guide
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 1601 Drexel Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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 country under one roof. Time Out is considered South Beach’s destination for a delicious night on the town.

The market offers 18 eateries and three bars to explore and try out. You’ll find several food options, including pizza, seafood, vegan and vegetarian options, deli, burgers, desserts, and so much more.

Not to mention that the market also has a killer Happy Hour. What makes it so special? Well, they host Happy Hour every single day from 4 pm to 7 pm. That includes weekends which is rarely the case elsewhere.

See Related: Things to Do in Orlando, Florida

18. Find the Right Vibes at Kill Your Idol

Partiers at Kill Your Idol
Kill Your Idol / Facebook

Address: 222 Española Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Upon entering Kill Your Idol (KYI), you’ll be greeted with a life-size Bruce Lee statue, and then you’ll be hit with the DJs and live music. KYI opened 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.

The No Wave movement began in the late 1970s and ran into the mid-1980s, mostly in New York City. A punk satire of the New Wave genre, No Wave was adamantly against the mainstream music of the time. That punkish mentality is exactly the vibe you’ll find at KYI, which harkens back to that No Wave era by giving emerging artists a platform for their work.

Although this hip bar generally has a mixed crowd, Mondays are known as Glitter Box Mondays. These weekly events celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, and KYI has long been a haven for the queer community, which is even more important now.

See Related: Best Bars in Orlando, Florida

19. Take in the Atmosphere at Minibar

Interior of Minibar Mimai
Minibar / Minibar Miami

Address: 418 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Minibar is a cute little bar on the same property as The Meridian Hotel Miami Beach. It offers an amazing Happy Hour and outdoor seating. Plus, Happy Hour runs until 9 pm, making it one of the latest Happy Hours in the city.

Minibar has become a favorite among beach locals and visitors who want more of a laid-back venue. While small, it is incredibly charming, with some scrumptious cocktails without the frills of some of the other establishments in the area.

There aren’t tons of drink options here, but like a restaurant, that is an indicator that the drinks they do have are well-made. While you’re here, you should take the opportunity to order something new to you from their signature cocktails. Maybe a Magic City Blues or a Beach in Mexico will hit the spot.

See Related: Best Places for Bachelorette Party Around the World

20. Visit New World Center

New World Center

Address: 500 17th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

New World Center (NWC) is a concert hall and music school in Miami Beach. It opened in January 2011 and is home to the above-mentioned New World Symphony. If you’re a music lover or want to see some of the best and brightest young musical minds, this is a great place to visit.

The NWC hosts various concerts and events throughout the year, including 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.

Residents of the NWC, the New World Symphony, founded in 1987, is a fellowship for music program graduates. Working with the symphony helps them prepare for leadership positions in orchestras all over the world.

See Related: Inspiring Songs About Traveling for Your Next Trip

21. Spend the Day in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Address: 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is just 20 minutes from downtown Miami and is situated on the tip of Key Biscayne, which, despite its name, is not part of the Florida Keys. Here, you can marvel at breathtaking ocean views and bask in the waves.

Visitors to the park can tour its iconic lighthouse. Erected in 1825, the Cape Florida Lighthouse is one of the oldest structures in Miami-Dade County. You can take a guided tour through the lighthouse to enjoy stunning views 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, plenty of other activities exist. This park also has bike paths, fishing areas, paddling, hiking trails, and more. Remember that the park is usually very busy, especially on the weekends, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.

See Related: Best Lighthouses to Visit Around the World

22. Visit the Bass Museum of Art

Bass Museum of Art

Address: 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Bass Museum of Art, also referred to as The Bass, is Miami Beach’s contemporary art museum. It features diverse art and artifacts, a sculpture garden, and lectures or films for visitors. As a contemporary art-focused institution, The Bass showcases mid-career and established artists who understand the city’s unique character as an international hub.

You can browse the gallery halls and take in the art featured in the museum’s rotating exhibits. Some of their past exhibitions have included María Martínez-Cañas’ Absence Revealed and Haegue Yang’s In the Cone of Uncertainty.

Or, if you’re in the mood to learn, you can participate in scheduled talks with artists or sign up for art classes. The goal of The Bass is to highlight community culture and celebrate the diversity of the area. This is a welcoming, educational space, making it an excellent day to spend. 

23. Stroll Along the Miami Beach Boardwalk

Miami Beach Boardwalk

The Miami Beach Boardwalk is sometimes called South Beach Boardwalk or just the Beachwalk. The boardwalk starts at Indian Beach Park and continues to 23rd Street. It spans about eight 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 though you aren’t far from Lincoln Rd or other area shops and eateries. 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. Plenty of beach entry points along the way allow you to stop and take to the water.

Tired of walking? The city offers a free trolley service that runs every 20 minutes and is a convenient mode of transportation from all boardwalk entry points.

24. Shop ‘Til You Drop at Dolphin Mall

Shoppers at Dolphin Mall
Dolphin Mall / Facebook

Address: 11401 NW 12th St, Miami, FL 33172

If you’re looking for one of Miami’s largest retail shopping centers, Dolphin Mall should be on your itinerary. This open-air outlet mall carries a ton of brand-name stores among its over 240 retail spaces, including Calvin Klein, Coach, and Michael Kors.

In addition to all the shops, Dolphin Mall has over 25 eateries plus Dave & Buster’s if you need game time. You can grab some gelato from the 4D Gelateria when that Florida heat gets too much.

The fun doesn’t have to stop once you’re done shopping and eating. Dolphin Mall also has a movie theater and bowling alley if you’re looking for some fun activities to do with the family. No wonder a shopping day is among the top things to do in Miami.

25. Chug Over to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Trains at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Gold Coast Railroad Museum / Facebook

Address: 12450 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177

Founded in 1957, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum (GCRM) took over the former Naval Air Station Richmond. Decades later, it became one of three official Florida State Railroad Museums.

GCRM is home to over 40 historic rail cars, including the Florida East Coast Steam Locomotive #153 and the Presidential Rail Car known as Ferdinand Magellan. Here you’ll also find a model railroad exhibit, an exhibit on the air base where GCRM resides, Thomas the Tank Engine play areas, and more.

Admission is required to get into this museum; however, they host a Free First Saturday event every month. So anyone can visit the museum for free on that first Saturday of the month, even if you aren’t a Florida resident.

See Related: Useful Tips for Long-Distance Train Travel

26. Go to Biscayne National Park

A peek at the lighthouse at Biscayne National Park
nyker / Shutterstock

About 45 minutes outside of Miami, you’ll find the magnificent Biscayne National Park. Established in 1980, this park protects valuable resources like coral reefs, mangrove forests, and other important wildlife habitats.

It’s important to note that the islands that encompass the park, as well as the reefs, are only accessible by boat. If you venture out, you may spot some dolphins, pelicans, and turtles hanging out in the bay. Here you’ll also find the underwater Maritime Heritage Trail for scuba divers to discover the multitude of shipwrecks.

Over on Boca Chita Key, you’ll see the Boca Chita Lighthouse, which offers lovely coast views. No matter where you go in this park, however, you’re surrounded by over 10,0000 years of human history.

27. Feed the Giraffes at Zoo Miami 

Zoo Miami

Address: 12400 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177

Zoo Miami houses more than 2,500 wild animals across 400 species which includes 40 endangered species. Visiting this zoo is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Miami, especially for families with kids. The zoo is the largest in Florida at a whopping 750 acres. It’s also the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental United States.

The zoo has carefully grouped species that would typically interact if they lived in the wild, so they can be kept as close to their natural environments as possible. It also provides an excellent educational opportunity for the young and young at heart alike.

One of the best things about Zoo Miami is that you can meet the giraffes and feed them leaves and treats yourself. You can also purchase other special animal encounters with rhinos, black bears, and pygmy hippos.

See Related: Best Resorts & Hotels With Animals On-Site

28. Trek Through the Cosmos at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science 

Dinos at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science / Facebook

Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

The Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, or simply Frost Science, houses exhibits that showcase everything from aerospace to the human microbiome. It offers light shows and is the perfect place for science enthusiasts. Frost Science also has a three-level aquarium with wildlife from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean and even a dinosaur exhibit!

At Frost Science, you can even hang out at 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 with admission. 

Due to its unique approach to so many of the sciences, the state-of-the-art museum is popular among people of all ages. Interactive displays help keep children fascinated and interested in the artifacts, too, so you don’t need to worry about whether the kiddos will enjoy them or not.

See Related: Tips for Traveling with Toddlers and Kids

29. Let the Kids Burn Off Some Energy at the Miami Children’s Museum

Miami Children's Museum building
Miami Children’s Museum / Miami Children’s Museum

Address: 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132

Looking for a spot for the kids to play, learn, imagine, and create? Then the Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) should be on your list of things to do in Miami. It was founded in 1987 as the Miami Youth Museum, and its state-of-the-art facility has been downtown since 2003.

MCM has lots of galleries designed to delight children and get them interested in learning even from a young age. 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 through learning.

In 2018, MCM was even named the Best Designed Museum in Florida by Architectural Digest Magazine. You could easily spend a whole day with the family exploring MCM’s 56,500 square feet of space.

See Related: Best Travel Insurance for Children

30. Learn About Judaism at the Jewish Museum of Florida

Jewish Museum of Florida

Address: 301 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Established in 1995, the Jewish Museum of Florida is the only museum in the state that’s dedicated to preserving Florida’s Jewish history. It has a collection that spans 250 years of history.

This museum is housed in two connected former synagogues serving some of Miami’s earliest Jewish congregations. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday and is a unique place to visit during the day to take in some history.

The museum’s exhibits highlight the Jewish experience in Florida with a collection of photographs, documents, oral histories, audio tapes, art, and religious objects. Some of its previous temporary exhibitions have included Heidi Harf Photography: Emerging Jews of Cali, Colombia, Giller on Giller: An Adventure in Architecture, and Festival of Lights.

31. Explore Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132

Jungle Island is one of Miami’s premier nature destinations. Originally known as Parrot Jungle, it relaunched as an eco-adventure park on Watson Island. Its ties to the community go back to 1936.

It offers a tree-top bridge, allowing you to view the park from above, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet with many types of animals face-to-face. You can also feed the resident kangaroos. And if you get hungry, you can check out the Joia Beach Restaurant and Beach Club.

Significant renovations following Hurricane Irma brought new activities to the park. These outdoor activities include elevated nature treks to see the wildlife from a whole new perspective, zip lines, and more ways to spend a day in nature.

See Related: Tips for Traveling with Pets to Make Your Trip Easier

32. Stroll Around Bayfront Park

Panoramic View of Bayfront Park, Downtown Miami
Source: Depositphotos

Address: 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

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 what we know today.

This urban 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, the waterfront outdoor mall we mentioned earlier.

If you’d like to stay next door to this gorgeous beachfront park, InterContinental Miami is its next-door neighbor. This hotel is family and pet-friendly, with a full-service spa, pool area, and even recreational equipment for the kids.

See Related: Essential Packing Tips for Travel to Maximize Your Trip

33. Parasail With Miami Watersports

Happy couple Parasailing on Miami Beach in summer.
Evgenia / Adobe Stock

Address: 3400 Pan American Drive Pier 9, Miami, FL 33133

Are you an adrenaline junkie? If so, this one’s for you. Because where there’s surf, there’s the opportunity for parasailing. When you come to Miami, don’t miss out on gliding with a parasail to enjoy an unparalleled city view. From the spectacular skyline to the most stunning Florida 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. 

See Related: Incredible Bucket List Ideas of a Lifetime

34. Take a Sightseeing Speedboat Tour

Speedboat Sightseeing Boat in Miami, Florida
Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami / Viator

The captain on this speedboat tour will take you down the sandy shoreline, where you can get a good view of Fisher Island and Star Island for a collection of multimillion-dollar houses and celebrity homes- typical Miami things.

You will then cruise down South Beach’s coastline, lined with Art Deco homes, while learning more about the history and culture of Miami. Zipping through the water, you’ll feel like a detective on Miami Vice, minus the crime-solving.

Don’t forget that this is a speedboat, so you won’t be humming along the water. You’ll be, well, speeding through the water. So hold on to those sunglasses and hats, folks!

See Related: Riding a Ferry? Here are 6 Tips for Ferry Travel

35. Enjoy a Duck Tour of Miami and South Beach

Miami Duck Boat Tours
Miami Duck Tours / GetYourGuide

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 along the shore.

Your tour guide will fill you in on all the highlights while you enjoy stunning Miami skyline views and the beachy sights of South Beach. You can get in some prime people-watching from the Duck and take in the artistic architecture of the Miami Design District.

Your guide will also fill you in on all the handy tidbits about the city. So pay attention to any places you want to check out while visiting the city.

See Related: The Ultimate Summer Trip Packing List

What is Miami known for?

Aerial View of South Beach Miami Beach, Florida
miami2you / Adobe Stock

Miami is known for its lively nightlife, beautiful beaches, and diverse culture. This Florida city boasts internationally acclaimed hotspots such as South Beach, known for its Art Deco Historic District, sun-soaked beaches, and lively night scene. The city’s rich blend of Latin American and Caribbean cultures is reflected in its music, food, and annual events like the Calle Ocho Festival.

Is Miami worth visiting?

Miami is definitely worth visiting for its rich array of attractions and activities. From soaking up the sun on the sandy shores of Miami Beach to exploring the thriving arts scene in the Wynwood Walls district, it features a wide range of options to satisfy visitors.

Add to that the unique cultural experiences, from savoring Cuban cuisine in Little Havana to the high-energy dance clubs downtown, making Miami a memorable destination.

FAQs

What are the best beaches in Miami?

South Beach is Miami’s most famous and perhaps the most famous outside of the Florida Keys. Even so, two other popular beaches are Crandon Park Beach and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach.

What are some popular tourist attractions in Miami?

The Pérez Art Museum, a visit to the Wynwood Walls, and the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens are three of the most popular attractions for adults. For families, you’ll want to check out the Miami Children’s Museum, Zoo Miami, and the numerous beaches around Miami.

Where are the best shopping areas in Miami?

Without a doubt, the Dolphin Mall needs a shoutout here. It is the largest outlet retailer in the area, with over 250 stores to choose from. You should also check out Lincoln Rd., a shopping and architectural district in Miami.

What are some unique things to do in Miami?

Unique activities in Miami include exploring the dynamic street art at Wynwood Walls, visiting the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – an Italian Renaissance-style villa, and experiencing a boat tour through the iconic Miami waterways.

For a taste of local culture, you can walk through Little Havana for Cuban cuisine and music or visit the bustling marketplace of Bayside for shopping and dining with a view of the city’s skyline.

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Martin Soto
WRITTEN BY

Martin Soto

Martin Soto is an avid adventurer and travel enthusiast. He routinely travels across the United States and writes about all things involving travel including travel tips, travel gear, and itineraries.

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