Miami's Little Havana is the cultural hub for most of Miami's Cuban community in America. The area, just a few miles from Downtown Miami and Brickell neighborhoods, is a bustling home to about 78,000 residents — many of Cuban descent.

Much of Little Havana's heart lies along Eighth Street, or Calle Ocho, where you'll find a myriad of restaurants serving authentic Cuban food, bars, parks, shops, and monuments that proudly celebrate the culture, from Cuban cigars to Cuban cuisine. The area is also significant politically for many Cuban Americans who gather at the neighborhood's many ventanitas (coffee windows) to discuss Cuban politics.

Quick Answer Guide: 12 Best Things to Do in the Little Havana

‌Best for Top Things to Do in Little Havana‌

‌Best Things to Do During the Day in Little Havana‌

‌Best Things to Do Outdoors in Little Havana‌

‌Best Things to Do at Night in Little Havana‌

‌Free Things to Do in Little Havana‌

Top Things to Do in Little Havana

Little Havana is the heartbeat of Cuban culture in Miami. The neighborhood, which encompasses about two square miles, is rich with color, music, food, and drink. Check out the best things to do in Little Havana, from munching on croquetas to sipping on some delicious Cuban coffee. In Little Havana food is everpresent so enjoy a Cafe Cubano, fruit deserts made from guava, and other Spanish flavors.

1. Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho (Southwest Eighth Street) is Little Havana's main street. The 15-block-long strip offers visitors a chance to take in Cuban culture through food, drink, music, sights, and sounds.

The area is filled with galleries that offer works by emerging and established Latino artists. Watch cigars being rolled, buy a guayabera (a traditional Cuban dress shirt), or watch an intense game of dominos at Maximo Gomez Park.

2. Versailles

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  • Perfect For:‌ Foodies
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  • If You Go:‌ Be on the lookout for local and national politicians and celebrities who go to Versailles to see and be seen.

Versailles Cuban restaurant is much more than a restaurant in Little Havana. Since its opening in 1971, the restaurant has served as the center of Cuban social life in Miami. If you recognize Versailles, it's probably because you've seen it in the news -— it's a must on the campaign trail for United States presidential candidates who want to woo Miamians.

Versailles was also a major gathering spot when it was announced that Fidel Castro had died, with Cuban-Americans turning the street outside Versailles into a giant block party. If you want a true slice of Cuban life, grab a cafetico (a strong espresso-like coffee) and a Cuban sandwich and hang out with the locals who gather for a side of chisme (gossip) to go with their caffeine fix.

Best Things to Do During the Day in Little Havana

Little Havana is a colorful neighborhood, filled with artwork. Walls are lined with murals depicting famous Cubans and life in Miami. Look out for the giant roosters that line the streets and parks of Little Havana that remain a fixture from the 2002 "Rooster Walk" art exhibition. Little Havana is also site of LoanDepot Park, a domed baseball stadium that's home to the Florida Marlins and other events.

The area is also filled with shops selling souvenirs, fruit stands where you can try a batido (fruit shake) or freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, and Azucar Ice Cream, a local shop that specializes in "only-in-Miami" flavors like sweet plantain and coconut flan. If you're looking for what to do in Little Havana during the day, look no further.

3. Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center

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  • Perfect For:‌ Art lovers
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  • If You Go:‌ Check out Salsa Sundays for live music and dancing.

The Cubaocho is a combination museum and event space where guests can immerse themselves in Cuban art, music, and culture. The museum is home to an extensive collection of 19th and 20th-century Cuban art.

Cubaocho also offers a roster of events such as live jazz, dance performances, and cigar-rolling demonstrations. Enjoy an authentic mojito or a fine rum while you peruse the art. The Cubaocho is also home to a research library dedicated to Cuban art and culture. It's a true must do in Little Havana.

4. Miami Marlins

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  • Perfect For:‌ Baseball fans
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  • If You Go:‌ Get a taste of Miami right at the ballpark -— many favorite local restaurants are represented at the stadium for a true taste of the 305.

Baseball fans who visit Calle Ocho in season shouldn't miss a Marlins game. LoanDepot Park, located in Little Havana, is home to the "Fish," and baseball fans can enjoy the game in air-conditioned comfort, thanks to a retractable dome.

5. Havana Classic Cigars

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  • Perfect For:‌ Cuban cigar aficionados
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  • If You Go:‌ Check out Havana Classic's art gallery.

Cuba is known for its fine cigars, rolled by hand by craftsmen who have handed down the art through generations. You can learn about how the fine smokables are made at this cigar shop and watch them being rolled firsthand.

Havana Classic cigar factory uses Cuban seed tobacco grown in Santo Domingo for its cigars. Havana Classic also offers 45-minute factory tours, where you'll learn about Cuba's tobacco history, or simply walk into the shop where cigar rollers are busy plying their craft daily.

6. Little Havana Tours

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Little Havana is, as the name implies, the cultural hub of Cuban culture in Miami. Many Cuban-Americans arrived in Miami having fled Castro's regime in Cuba. This two-hour walking tour explores the political and cultural ramifications of the Cuban exile to Miami.

The tour also explores Cuban art, fashion, music, and dance. Little Havana Tours also offers a food tour of Little Havana, where you'll taste traditional Cuban favorites.

Best Things to Do Outdoors in Little Havana

Miami has beautiful weather, perfect for strolling nearly every day of the year, making your time in Little Havana enjoyable. The area is very walkable, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

If you do get caught in one of Miami's afternoon rains, you can always duck into one of the myriad shops, cafes, and restaurants to wait out the storms that usually pass by in just a few minutes. Here are some of the best outdoor activities in Little Havana.

7. Domino Park

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For more than a half-century, Máximo Gómez Park, popularly known as Domino Park, has been the site of daily domino games where players engage in strategy and friendly gossip. The games are only open to Domino Park members (who must be 50 years of age and older), so visitors won't be able to join in, but the players do welcome friendly audiences.

If you can take your eyes off the play for a minute, you'll be able to appreciate the domino-themed mural and tilework that decorate the park.

8. Calle Ocho Walk of Fame

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Calle Ocho Walk of Fame (also known as the Paseo de las Estrellas) was approved by the City of Miami in 1988 to recognize Latino celebrities.

The walk, which runs on Southwest 8th Street between 12th and 17th Avenues, takes a page from Hollywood's Walk of Fame, with nearly 30 pink stars celebrating actors, musicians, and other luminaries. Singer Celia Cruz received the first star, and celebrities such as Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Tito Puente, Selena, and more.

Best Things to Do at Night in Little Havana

In the evening, Little Havana comes alive with many restaurants offering live music. Rum is the spirit of Cuba, and many bars and restaurants offer delicious rum-based cocktails.

Head over to Cafe La Trova for live music and food by a James-Beard-winning chef, learn to dance salsa, or stop into one of the many galleries that line Calle Ocho. Check out the best things to do in Little Havana once the sun goes down.

9. Viernes Culturales

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  • Perfect For:‌ People who love block parties
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  • If You Go:‌ Viernes Culturales is a non-profit organization, so support them if you can.

Every third Friday of the month, the strip of Calle Ocho between 13th and 17th Avenues turns into a celebration of Latin culture at Viernes Culturales. The event, which has been running for more than two decades, offers art exhibitions, live music, street food, and dancing.

Be sure to sign up for the free cultural walking tour, held at 7 pm each Viernes Culturales.

10. Little Havana Under the Stars

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Every Thursday evening, Ball & Chain offers live Latin music, DJ sets, and salsa dancing classes from 9 pm until midnight. The salsa classes are free and start at 9 pm. Beginners are welcome and no partners are needed at this weekly dance fest.

Ball & Chain holds a significant historical place in Little Havana. Opening in the 1930s, Ball & Chain was one of Miami's top jazz venues for decades with the likes of Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Louie Armstrong all performing on its stage.

Free Things to Do in Little Havana

Little Havana offers a plethora of free sights and sounds. The colorful neighborhood offers a variety of murals that celebrate Latin culture, while Cuban Memorial Plaza offers a chance to learn about the Cuban people's struggles against communism.

11. Cuban Memorial Plaza

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On SW 8th Street and 13th Avenue, you'll find a series of monuments to Cuban and Cuban-American leaders that were monumental in the fight for Cuba's freedom, including an eternal flame to memorialize the people who died in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Further south on 13th Avenue, you'll find a giant Ceiba tree, considered sacred in the Santeria religion. Look closely and you'll see candles, flowers, playing cards, and other items left as a tribute during rituals that are still performed at this tree.

12. Little Havana Murals

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Stroll along SW 8th Street to find dozens of colorful murals that depict Cuban life, music, and culture. The murals in Miami are liquid, with street artists creating art daily, but standouts include the "Welcome to Little Havana" mural, a portrait of Miami residents Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and a colorful tribute to Celia Cruz (located inside Azucar Ice Cream Company).

If you want to learn more about Cuban culture, the myriad of places to visit in Little Havana provide a multi-sensory experience where you can immerse yourself in its sights, sounds, and tastes. From a cigar rolling demonstration to seeing a heated game of dominos to enjoying the Miami tradition of having a cafecito at 3:05 (an homage to the city's 305 area code), you can do it all in Little Havana. Hopefully this list of the best things to do in Little Havana will inspire you to have the vacation of your dreams.