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38 Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida | Top Attractions

38 Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida | Top Attractions

Miami is a coastal metropolis situated in the southeastern part of Florida. The city is known for its diverse population, creating the perfect mix of various cultures, languages, and cuisines. These are the best things to do in Miami, Florida.

The south Florida 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, relaxing, enjoying the warm sunlight on the skin, or partying, Miami has it all.

Miami City Skyline at Night

Table of Contents

Miami Places to Visit

If you’re considering a visit to Miami, check out the following list of seventeen things to do in the city. 

1. 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 at 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 appreciating 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, don’t forget to bring a travel backpack camera to store it safely

2. Go to Perez Art Museum

If you love art, Perez Art Museum Miami (PANMM) is the right place to check out. It’s a contemporary art museum that collects and exhibits 20th and 21st-century international arts.

The place holds significance because it showcases the Atlantic Rims’ cultures, including 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’ backgrounds, and other additional information that can help you appreciate the art more.

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3. Spend a Day in Little Havana

Little Havana is a small lively, 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 my favorite pastimes is watching the locals challenge each other in a match of intense dominoes at the Maximo Gomez Park. 

Remember to visit Calle Ocho in Little Havana. It is home to popular Cuban restaurants and bakeries. There are also tons of restaurants and gift shops on Calle Ocho as well to explore.

Dominoes in Little Havana

Here you will find vendors rolling cigars and hear lively tunes permeating shops and cafes. Overall, if you want to observe the Cuban culture in its essence, this is the place to see in Miami. 

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 the home of the renowned industrialist of the 20th century, James Deering. 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 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.

See Related: 6 Tips for Luggage Free Travel

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.

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 alone.

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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.

Crocodile in the Everglades

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.

You can go on 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 offers. 

If you don’t want to exercise, you can buy a ticket for an Everglades Airboat Tour and see the wildlife from the comfort of a boat.

Apart from alligators, turtles and plenty of different bird species roam the area. 

If you want to explore another fun city in Florida, check out Tampa Bay.

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 like the Venetian Pool and Biltmore Hotel, built in the 1920s.

Coral Gables also has a good mix of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. It is just 7 miles southwest of downtown Miami.

8. Stroll the Art Deco District

Located between Miami Beach and between 5th Street and 23rd Street along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue is the Art Deco District. It was turned into a popular vacation destination in the 1930s. It is where Gianni Versace lived and was assassinated by Andrew Cunanan.

You can learn more about the Art Deco District on any daily walking tours offered. These tours can last about two hours and cover the different 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 is located in Bear Cut Preserve. To enter the city, you have to pay a toll but will then have access to Crandon Park and El Farito, both beautiful beaches.

You will also have to pay for parking here. Crandon Park has golf and tennis facilities, eco-adventures, and more. This two-mile beach is often named among the best beaches in the nation.

10. Visit Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower is a building in Miami that was designed by Schultze and Weaver. It is now being used as a contemporary art museum and central office to different art disciplines associated with Miami Dade College.

Freedom Tower is a national historic landmark and tells the story of the Cuban exodus to the US and resettlement during the Cold War.

Inside, along with the Museum of Art and Design and MDC Special Collections, you will also see the Cuban Legacy Gallery, Kislak Center, and the Exile Experience.

11. Explore Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road is a world-famous shopping and dining promenade in south Florida. It is located in the heart of Miami South Beach, and 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 Miami

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. 

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 make your day here the way you want it, either a lazy, relaxing day or exciting and filled with adventures.

12. Tour the City on a Double Decker Bus 

Double Decker Bus Tour

One of the first things 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.

13. Cross the Bridge and Visit Miami Beach

Miami Beach is a Florida Island city 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.

Cross the Bridge and Visit Miami 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 US’s richest and most famous people. 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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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, 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 more recent movies, so all you have to do is contact the place, check out the movie schedule, and make reservations. It’s easy to spend a romantic or fun night with others. 

15. Shop Away at Bayside Marketplace

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 perfect place for everyone; 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. It has a tropical vibe to it and has a party atmosphere with the vibrant music that plays. 

16. 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, making 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 to various buildings that you wouldn’t get otherwise, and you also learn the significance of the place.

17. Paddle Through the Oleta River

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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18. Explore Time Out Market

If you are looking for delicious food and a good time, you must visit Time Out Market. You will find some of the best chefs in the nation under one roof. There are 18 eateries and three bars for you to explore and try out. You will find several different food options to choose from as well, including pizza, seafood, vegan and vegetarian options, deli, burgers, desserts, and so much more.

19. Find the Right Vibes at Kill Your Idol

AS you walk in, you will be greeted with a lifesized Bruce Lee statue, and then you will be hit with the DJs and live music. Kill Your Idol opened back in 2012 as an alternative to the local fair that was being offered. They offer a throwback to the No Wave movement of the 70s and welcome live local artists and musicians.

20. Take in the Atmosphere at Minibar

Minibar is described as a cute little bar located on the same property as Urbanica, The Meridian Hotel. They have an amazing happy hour, offer outdoor seating, and have become a favorite locale amongst beach locals and those visitors who want more of a laid-back venue.

21. Visit New World Center

New World Center

New World Center is a concert hall and music school in Miami. It is home to the New World Symphony and opened in January 2011. You will find Thierry’s at NWC. They serve delicious food before concerts and during intermission. It is located on the first level of the Atrium. The chef is a five-star culinary leader and treats every dish as a masterpiece.

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

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is just minutes from downtown Miami and is on the tip of Key Biscayne. You will have access to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Remember that the park is usually very busy, especially on the weekends, so you will want to plan accordingly.

Ponce de Leon named Cape Florida during the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513. You can take a guided tour through the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage or choose to explore the park on foot, on a bicycle, or by boat or kayak.

23. Visit the Bass Museum of Art

Bass Museum of Art

The Bass Museum of Art is one of Miami Beach’s contemporary art museums. It features diverse art and artifacts, a sculpture garden, and offers lectures and films for visitors. All their exhibits are relevant to the region’s social and cultural context and highlight the community’s culture. It is welcoming and educational for everyone.

24. Stroll Along the Miami Beach Boardwalk

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 eight miles and connects South Beach, Mid Beach, and North Beach.

Tired of walking? Miami Beach offers a free trolley service that runs every twenty minutes and is a convenient mode of transportation from all Miami Beach Boardwalk entry points.

25. Shop ‘Til You Drop at Dolphin Mall

Shopping at Dolphin Mall

If you are looking for one of Miami-Dade’s largest retail shopping centers, then Dolphin Mall should be on your itinerary. There are over 240 retail outlets and name-brand discounters. Dolphin Mall also has a modern movie theater and bowling alley when you need a break from sightseeing and shopping.

26. Take the Plunge at Venetian Pool

Venetian Pool

Venetian Pool is a historic and public swimming pool in Coral Gables. Non-resident admission is $15 per adult and $10 for children ages three to 12. Venetian Pool is four to eight feet deep and features an island, two waterfalls, and a grotto. There are 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 country. The pool is fed by spring water that comes from an underground aquifer. It is drained daily during the spring and summer, as these are the busiest seasons.

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27. 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 where you can touch different fishes, bamboo sharks, and other invertebrates.

28. Feed the Giraffes at Zoo Miami 

Zoo Miami

Housing more than 3000 wild animals, visiting the Miami Zoo is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can get in Miami. It’s a zoological park and garden situated at 12400 SW 152nd Street.

The place has 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 the 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 place is exciting, wonderful, and fascinating for all. However, if you’re with kids who are a bit shy, there are play areas for them. 

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

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 on a high-definition screen. There are many lights shows as well. It’s the perfect place for science enthusiasts. You get a free screening of 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 exhibits that showcase everything from aerospace products to the human microbiome. There is a dinosaur exhibit coming soon too!

Due to its 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.

30. 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. They are now using an advanced contactless e-ticketing system, so tickets must be purchased before you get there.

They always have new programs and events coming up, so check their website for more information and to plan your visit in advance. All of their exhibits were designed to coincide with the MDCPS curriculum.

31. Learn All You Can at the Jewish Museum of Florida

Jewish Museum of Florida

The Jewish Museum of Florida is open Wednesday through Sunday and is closed on Monday and Tuesday and holidays. So, plan your visit accordingly. This museum is the only place that collects, documents, and preserves Florida Jewish history. There are two interconnected historical buildings with exhibits as well as an array of beauty from the Art Deco era.

32. See What You Can See at Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Jungle Island is one of Miami’s premier entertainment destinations. It is a relaunched eco-adventure park on Watson Island. Closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jungle Island is currently preparing for new adventures and will be back soon. In the meantime, you can still visit them at Joia Beach Restaurant and Beach Club.

33. Explore 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 and was just a visitor’s pavilion and green space.

Today, Bayfront Park has over 32 acres in the heart of downtown Miami and is the perfect spot for a family with 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.

Best Water Activities in Miami

Water Activities in Miami

34. 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.

As the name suggests, Miami Watersports is a water sports equipment rental service that also provides many activities like 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. 

35. 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 and celebrity homes. You can then cruise down South Beach, lined with Art Deco homes, while learning more about the history and culture of Miami.

36. Enjoy a Duck Tour of Miami and South Beach

If you want a land and water tour of Miami and South Beach, then find it all with the 90-minute Duck Tour. You will cruise around on an 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 get stunning skyline views.

37. 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 will 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.

38. 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 can 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 is plenty to do in Miami when you visit. Also, remember that 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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