From Beaches to Art: 15 Things to Do in Miami for Every Traveler

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things to do in Miami

Miami is a city that offers something for everyone, from beautiful beaches to fantastic sports venues and excellent nightlife. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in Miami. With so many options, narrowing down your itinerary can take a lot of work. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 15 things to do in Miami to help you make the most of your trip. So pack your bags, grab the sunscreen, and prepare for an unforgettable time in Miami!

15 Things to Do in Miami

Bayside Marketplace

The Bayside Marketplace is located in downtown Miami. They have many nice stores and restaurants to visit, such as Hard Rock Cafe and Hooters. It’s an excellent place to walk around and people-watch. You can even catch live music out there from time to time.

Things to do in Miami
This beautiful photo was shot by my frat brother Dean Chambers.

South Beach

South Beach is a neighborhood in Miami Beach. There is always something going on. The area is usually full of people at any time of the year. There are also numerous bars and restaurants in the area. You have blocks of places to choose from. Many people grab something to eat or drink and return to the beach. Two of my favorite places on South Beach are Wet Willies and Mango’s Tropical Cafe. 

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Cruise Collins Avenue

Collins Avenue is the main street in Miami Beach. It runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. You can get from South Beach to North Beach via Collins Avenue. The Bal Harbour shops are also located on Collins Ave. There are also multiple places to stop and get souvenirs from.

Sporting Events

Miami has a professional team in each of the four major sports leagues. The Miami Marlins play in the MLB. The Miami Heat plays in the NBA. The Miami Dolphins play in the NFL. The Florida Panthers play in the NHL. At least one team will surely be in season whenever you come to Miami. Tickets should be relatively inexpensive to attend the games. Click on the link below to compare prices.

Lincoln Road Shops

The Lincoln Road Shops are an open-air mall. There are several restaurants, luxury shopping, and galleries in the area. Lincoln Road sits between 16th and 17th streets and Washington Ave and Alton Road.

Jungle Island

One of the most popular things to do in Miami, Jungle Island, is located on Watson Island and was previously known as Parrot Jungle. Even Winston Churchill visited this place in 1946.

Only minutes away from South Beach and Downtown Miami, it manages to entertain visitors with a sense of adventure and discovery through interactive experiences. Take advantage of the exciting shows which are a daily occurrence.

Miami Beach

When you think of Miami, a sandy beach with the sun shining is what comes to your mind. Miami Beach is the best place in Miami to soak up some sunshine and get that tanned look. Technically, the beach is outside the Miami municipality area because it is located on an island. Apart from the beaches, it is also known for its Art Deco district and the odd but beautiful pastel-painted buildings.

Art Deco District

Beautifully restored buildings with a hint of 1930s touch, the Art Deco district offers much to spend a relaxing day in the Miami Beach area. The pastel-painted buildings are a great place to stop for lunch or supper with a lovely view.

The Art Deco District comes in its own after sunset, filled with neon signs and canopy-covered dining areas. It’s one of the best places for Miami sightseeing.

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The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Regarded as one of Miami’s greatest attractions, The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, with its elegant architecture, grounds, and artwork, are worthy of a visit. With 34 rooms arranged around a stunning courtyard, the Renaissance-style villa is filled with the most magnificent European furniture and arts from the 15th to the 19th century. To complete this 28-acre estate, more than 1,100 craftsmen were bought over from Europe to achieve true authenticity in design.

Zoo Miami

With over 2000 wild animals, Miami Zoo gives visitors a sense of exploring a real safari. It provides animals with the most natural habitat. Experience open-air exhibits, a cage-free environment, and an opportunity to enjoy endangered wildlife up close. The Miami Zoo isn’t the biggest, with many animal interactions. Still, it’s perfect for families, especially for young kids, with a children’s zoo having a variety of attractions, such as camel rides.

Little Havana

This is another excellent place for some Miami sightseeing. Known for its cultural flavor, Little Havana offers plenty of entertainment, from outdoor socializing spaces to many restaurants and specialty food stalls.

The atmosphere is filled with non-stop lively Latin music and street art depicting famous Cuban figures. You will find yourself needing help in a distinctive cultural setting. The heart of Little Havana, Calle Ocho, is the busiest part of the neighborhood. However, the district has slowly spread towards nearby streets and avenues.

The Miami Science Museum

You can enjoy many interactive exhibits and hands-on displays; Miami’s Science Museum offers a truly immersive experience surrounding physics, biology, and chemistry.

Founded in 1949, it has grown significantly and expanded its space over the years. It’s estimated to have around 700,000 visitors every year. The museum regularly changes exhibits offering fresh themes and displays, which is excellent even for a 2nd or 4th visit.

Everglades National Park

Just outside of Miami, The Everglades National Park is home to snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and a whole host of birds, covering 1.5 million acres of swampland. One of the thrilling ways to experience wildlife is to ride a high-speed airboat. You can even walk the trails and boardwalks to explore the Everglades. With the airboat tour, you are guaranteed to be entertained as they take you deep into the marshes and streams, the best way to see alligators.

Freedom Tower

In 1925, the Freedom Tower was built with an essential purpose to serve as an immigration-processing center for thousands of Cuban refugees that came to settle in the city. Today, it is a tribute to Cuban immigration and is among the oldest and most prominent skyscrapers in the South Eastern United States. For many years, it has also served as the head office of the Miami Daily News. It is used as a museum, cultural center, and education center.

The Miami Sea Aquarium

With its mission to rehabilitate and rescue Florida’s endangered manatees, the Miami Sea Aquarium has always been admired and has attracted visitors worldwide.

The aquarium will delight visitors with its daily shows showing dolphins, killer whales, and other ocean mammals.

If you want more, check out the large observation tanks containing a variety of tropical fish, sharks, and alligators. Be sure to sign up for the “Swim with Dolphins” program that educates you about dolphins’ behavior and natural history.

Travel Resources

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a great resource for travelers because it offers a ton of reviews and opinions from other travelers, which can help you make decisions about your trip. Its ability to compare prices and availability across multiple booking platforms can save you time and money.

Uber

Get a discount on your first Uber ride when you click this exclusive link.

VRBO

VRBO, or Vacation Rental By Owner, is a popular online marketplace connecting travelers with property owners renting out their vacation homes, apartments, or condos. There are several reasons why someone should consider using VRBO when traveling. Instead of staying in a typical hotel room, it allows you to experience the destination like a local, with a home-away-from-home feel.

23 Comments

  1. I lived in Ft Lauderdale for 10 years, so I have been to Miami plenty of times! I love Lincoln Road, and I have taken so many guests to South Beach! It’s so international that it’s hard to believe that you aren’t in a European city! Love the vibe there….glad you had a great time!

    1. I couldn’t imagine living that close to Miami. I probably wouldn’t get any work done.

  2. GREAT READ! THANKS FOR THE PHOTO CRED!!! Wet willies is great so is Fat Tuesday! Other hidden gems are Mango’s hip hop room upstairs, Purdy Lounge is a must! If you like the club feel then Washington Ave is the place. Top pics on Washington are Mansion & Cameo… If your in the city definitely goto Wynwood!!!

  3. Ironically a co-worker of mine is going to Miami tomorrow morning! I haven’t been to Miami, but I would love to go. I’m all about warm destinations (I’m from Minnesota after all) and Miami seems like a great place to visit from time-to-time.

    1. You definitely need to get there soon. You would enjoy it.

  4. Have ever been to Miami but never visited the five places you have mentioned.Thanks for the list!Next time when I visit Miami I will look forward to visiting this places.

  5. I remember going to Parrot Jungle and thinking it was worth the visit. I worked two winters in the Everglades, so got to see quite a lot of Miami during that time. It’s a completely different world from Idaho. I fell in love with Conch chowder after spending so much time down there.

  6. I like Miami too. You have some great suggestions for things to check out there. This is definitely the time of year to go though. Summer is way too hot. 🙂

    1. This really is the perfect time to go.

  7. I love Miami! We were there in Nov and stayed on Collins Ave in South Beach. Loved Bayside Marketplace and the marina. Great city with lots of personality!

  8. Those are great pictures – I like both of them but the one of South Beach was fantastic – almost seemed to pull you right in. Thanks for sharing Jason.

  9. I have been trying to plan a vacation for quite some time. Thank you for giving me another option to consider 🙂

  10. I’m sitting here in New Jersey where the temperature hasn’t been above freezing for a week so this looks even better than it otherwise would. I have been to Miami a few times and been to most of the places you mentioned. Have had several good meals at the outdoor restaurants on Lincoln Road. Also enjoy the small Art Deco hotels along South Beach.

  11. I’ve only passed through Miami airport and haven’t visited the city itself. I would like to some day. Thanks for your tips of what things to see.

    1. When you get a chance, you should visit. It’s my favorite place to go in the US.

  12. I think that these tips can help many who are planing to visit Miami . I like the pictures, specially the one with new year fireworks.
    Thanks for a nice share.

  13. That’s it, I’m cancelling our family trip to Wisconsin and rerouting to Miami! It sounds like a lot of fun!

    1. It is. Y’all should have a great time.

  14. Kire Sdyor says:

    Jason, I love Miami. I’ve drunk and ate my way through there, but my favorite place is the Zoo Miami, which although it sounds like a South Beach nightclub is in fact Miami’s zoo. Located just blocks from the Everglades it is gorgeous. Great for walking off the night before at the Bayside Marketplace.

    1. I need to visit the Zoo the next time I am down there.

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