Miami is a coastal metropolis which is situated in the southeastern part of Florida. The city is known for its diverse population, which creates the perfect mix between various cultures, languages, and cuisines. These are the best things to do in Miami, Florida.
The city is known for its breathtaking beaches, Latin-American cultural influences, warm weather, art deco architecture, and of course, the exciting nightlife.
It is truly the ultimate getaway for just about anyone, with numerous activities where even the pickiest visitor can find something.
Whether you’re craving an adrenaline rush or relaxing, enjoying the warm sunlight on the skin, or partying, Miami has it all.
Best Things to do in Miami, Florida
If you’re considering a visit to Miami, check out the following list of seventeen things to do in the city.
Table of Contents
1. TOUR THE CITY ON A DOUBLE DECKER BUS
One of the first things that you need to do as soon as you step foot inside Miami is to get on a double-decker bus and 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 just a short time, you need to get on the bus and see everything the city has to offer. This way, when you go on to explore the Magic City on you’re own, you’ll know exactly where to go and when to go.
Many tour agencies operate inside Miami, like Miami Double Decker and 305 Miami tours. Just make sure that you call beforehand and make arrangements, especially if you’re going during peak tourist season.
2. CROSS THE BRIDGE AND VISIT MIAMI BEACH
Miami Beach is a Florida Island city that is connected to mainland Miami via bridges. Its white sandy beaches stretch across a series of parks like North Shore Open Space Park, South Pointe Park, and the 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 is also Mid-Beach and North Beach. Although not as popular, they are significantly quieter and calmer if that’s what you’re looking for. A few popular activities you can do on the beaches are snorkeling, kayaking, jet-skiing, and parasailing.
Miami Beach is also renowned because it’s the residence of some of the most richest and famous people in the U.S. So if you’re curious about the lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous, then be sure to visit the area.
There are also boat tours that take you around to see these places.
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3. 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, you can visit Nite Owl Drive-In, Downtown, or Tropicaire Drive-In, Bird Road.
Both places have great lighting effects, a leveled and spacious driveway, and accommodating cashier booths.
The cinemas play both classical and latest movies, so all you have to do is contact the place, check out the movie schedule, and make reservations. It’s an easy way to spend a romantic or fun night with others.
4. VISIT WYNWOOD WALLS
Wynwood Walls is an urban graffiti art museum. It is considered the first and only outdoor museum in the city, which is solely dedicated to street art.
Located on 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, the cultural institution is the home of many vibrant murals. From Kenny Scharf to Shepard Fairey, talented artists have decorated the walls with beautiful paintings that leave bystanders wonderstruck.
Apart from being able to appreciate the art, you can also enjoy outdoor yoga, rotating DJ sets, and public concerts. It’s the ideal place to take selfies or photos for memories (and Instagram, of course).
If you’re bringing a camera along, don’t forget to bring a travel backpack camera to store it safely.
5. GO TO PEREZ ART MUSEUM
If you love art, then Perez Art Museum Miami (PANMM) is the right place to check out. It’s a contemporary art museum which collects and exhibits international arts of the 20th and 21st century. The place holds significance because it showcases the cultures of the Atlantic Rims, which includes America, Africa, and Western Europe.
To get the best experience, go for a tour of it with an expert guide. The guide will give you insights into the building, collections, artists’ background, and other additional information that can help you appreciate the art more.
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6. 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. The shopping center is located on the banks of the beautiful Biscayne Bay.
One of the major tourist attractions is the water taxi service which takes you to the downtown hotels or the Miami beach. Overall, it’s a place that is perfect for everyone; you can shop, eat delicious food, go for boat tours, enjoy fishing sessions, and find a comfortable hotel to stay in.
If you’re looking for drinks, then the Mojito bar in the middle of the mall is perfect. It has a tropical vibe to it and has a party atmosphere with the vibrant music that plays.
7. HEAD TO SOUTH BEACH
South Beach is the perfect place to go if you want to lay 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 sunscreen, wear your sunglasses and enjoy the sound of waves crashing into the shore.
You can swim, rollerblade, snorkel, or surf. The place is also known as the Surf Capital of Miami because of the abundance of waves and surfers that ride them.
You might even come across an A-list celebrity if the odds are in your favor. The scenic shoreline, fine sand, and aquamarine water will simply take your breath away. You can make your day here the way you want it, either a lazy, relaxing day or exciting and filled with adventures.
8. GO ON AN ART DECO WALKING TOUR
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 founds, and porthole windows.
The pastel building is decorated with chrome accents, glass blocks, shiny curves, and terrazzo floors which makes the entire district look aesthetic and Instagram-worthy.
Although you can roam around the place all by yourself, it’s better to book a walking tour because you get exclusive access into various buildings that you wouldn’t get otherwise, and you also learn the significance of the place.
9 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 marine mammals that live in the sea.
Located on 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, the compound contains dolphins, sea lions, manatees, penguins, sea turtles, and many other marine animals.
You can meet a dolphin and interact with them. You can even handshake, rub, and feed the adorable creatures. You can also pet penguins and seals. Besides this, there are various touch pools in which you can touch different fishes, bamboo sharks, and other invertebrates.
10. FEED THE GIRAFFES AT ZOO MIAMI
Housing more than 3000 wild animals, visiting the Zoo Miami is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can get in Miami. It’s a zoological park and garden which is situated on 12400 SW 152nd Street.
The place has very carefully grouped the animals with other animals they typically interact with if they were living in the wild so they can be kept as close to their natural habitats as possible. The zoo accommodates 40 endangered species.
One of the best things about this place is that you can meet the giraffes and feed them leaves and other treats yourself!
Whether you’re with children or not, the place is exciting, wonderful, and fascinating for all. However, if you’re with kids and they’re a bit shy, there are play areas for them.
11. 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 have a journey through the cosmos by a high-definition screen. There are many lights shows as well. It’s the perfect place for science enthusiasts. You get a free screening to one planetarium show when you buy an entrance ticket.
The museum has a three-level aquarium that features wildlife from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean.
It also hosts different exhibits which showcase everything from aerospace products to the human microbiome. There is a dinosaur exhibit coming soon too!
Due to their unique approach, the museum is popular among people of all ages. The employees are extremely friendly and informative.
The interactive displays keep the children fascinated and interested in the different artifacts.
So, if you’re visiting with family, this place is a must-see.
12. PADDLE THROUGH THE OLETA RIVER
Oleta River State Park is located in North Miami Beach. It’s a 1043-acre park on Biscayne Bay that offers you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The spectacular blue-green waters are perfect for a kayak or a boating trip. You can visit the uninhabited bay islands, although you will need to get on a boat ride for that.
If you don’t want to paddle through the river, you can always opt to explore the mountain bike trails. The place is perfect for people who find nature, wilderness, and exploration fascinating. It’s a place for all adventurers.
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13. SPEND A DAY IN LITTLE HAVANA
Little Havana is a small lively, and vibrant center that celebrates Hispanic culture, especially Cuban culture hence the name “Little Havana.” It’s located to the immediate west of downtown. The place is full of Latin-inspired eateries, restaurants, and markets.
Little Havana is a blend of culture, language, and delicious food, making it worth visiting. One of the favorite pastimes is watching the locals challenge each other in a match of intense dominoes at the Maximo Gomez Park.
Here you will find vendors rolling cigars and also hear lively tunes permeating through shops and cafes. Overall, if you want to observe the Cuban culture in its essence, this is the place to see in Miami.
14. WITNESS THE GRANDEUR OF VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDENS
Spread over 28 acres, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a national historic landmark that was the home of the renowned industrialist of the 20th century, James Deering. The mansion was constructed in 1916 and has 34 rooms which are 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 till 19th century. The ground and the garden contain stunning French and Italian fountains, sculptures, and pools.
If you’re interested in the Italian Renaissance and want to see a few remnants of the past, make sure to visit the place while in Miami.
15. PARASAIL WITH MIAMI WATERSPORTS
Are you an adrenaline junkie? If yes, then this one is 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.
Miami Watersports is, as the name suggests, a watersports equipment rental service that also provides many different activities like parasailing, jet-skiing, tubing, flyboarding, windsurfing, and much more.
If you’ve never been parasailing before, Miami is the perfect place to try this thrilling activity.
16. 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.
The castle is renowned because Leedskalnin did not share the 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.
You can also find 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 that the eccentric used supernatural abilities to construct this castle since it was impossible to move and carve such heavy stones all alone.
16. VISIT THE EVERGLADES
The Everglades National Park is one of the most extensive wetlands and popular national parks in the U.S.
If you’re hoping to see some of Florida’s famous alligators, this is the place you need to visit. To get started, you can visit the Shark Valley Visitor Center and either walk or hike the trail that starts there. There are short trails you can go on 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.
Otherwise, if you don’t want to do any sort of exercising, you can buy a ticket for an Everglades Airboat Tour and see the wildlife from the comfort of a boat.
Apart from alligators, there are turtles and plenty of different bird species that roam the area.
If you want to explore another fun city in Florida, check out Tampa Bay.