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Quick Answer Guide: The 17 Best Things to Do in Miami

‌Top Things to Do in Miami‌

‌Best Things to Do During the Day in Miami‌

‌Best Things to Do Outdoors in Miami‌

‌Best Things to Do at Night in Miami‌

‌Free Things to Do in Miami‌

Miami is famous for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and unique multicultural vibe. Iconic attractions known to locals and the rest of the country alike include South Beach, possibly one of the most well-known beaches in the country, where Art Deco and tropical design shines everywhere. Wynwood Walls has become a globally renowned street art museum. The Bayside Marketplace is a two-story, open-air marketplace that not only contains shops of all your favorite brands but also a food court and a ferris wheel, making it a destination unto itself.

Top Things to Do in Miami

When visiting Miami, spend a day relaxing on the sands of South Beach, people watching and taking in the colorful art deco architecture. Be sure to check out Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road for restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. Another must-do is a cruise around Biscayne Bay to see the grand estates on Millionaire's Row and the Miami skyline up close. Take a stroll through trendy Wynwood to see the incredible street art and murals at Wynwood Walls. For a taste of Cuban culture, visit Little Havana to enjoy a café Cubano or hand rolled cigar. And no trip to Miami is complete without experiencing the clubs and pool parties of South Beach after dark dancing the night away to salsa, merengue, and reggaeton beats. With so much to see and do, Miami offers something for every kind of traveler.

1. South Beach

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Located on the southern end of Miami Beach island, South Beach is known for its glamorous vibe with colorful art deco architecture, white sand beaches, and clear blue waters. Ocean Drive is the most famous street lined with art deco hotels, restaurants, and bars. This is where you'll find iconic destinations like the Clevelander Hotel, located in the heart of Miami’s Art Deco District, and the Versace Mansion. South Pointe Park at the southern tip offers beautiful views of the ocean, beach access, and a nice walking trail.

2. Lincoln Road

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  • Perfect For:‌ Shopping and dining
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  • If You Go:‌ Lincoln Road also hosts a farmers market and a lot of events

Lincoln Road is a pedestrian-only shopping and dining promenade with numerous art deco buildings, boutique shops, sidewalk cafes, and cool street performers. Lincoln Road extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Biscayne Bay to the west, just minutes from downtown Miami, the Brickell area (Miami’s modern financial center) and the Miami International Airport.

3. Little Havana

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Experience the sights, sounds, and numerous authentic eateries with the flavor of Cuba in this vibrant neighborhood located just a little north and west of downtown Miami. The neighborhood is centered on Calle Ocho, where you will find a plethora of Cuban shops, restaurants, cigar rollers, and more. Versailles Restaurant is a famous institution known for its Cuban cuisine and connection to community for Cuban exiles. Be sure to get a famous Cuban sandwich.

Best Things to Do During the Day in Miami

Miami is a tropical environment, and it does rain there. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy sunny days. Weather in Miami is pretty consistent year-round, with it rarely varying below 50°F or above 92°F. Summers are hot, which makes the beach welcome. There’s an ocean breeze much of the time, and if it does rain, it’s usually a passing shower. Spend your sunny Miami days exploring sprawling parks, admiring unique street art, and discovering cultural attractions.

4. Wynwood Walls

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Take a walking tour and marvel at the colorful murals and graffiti art covering the walls of the Wynwood neighborhood, which has become an outdoor street art museum. A ticket gets you in to see more than 35 hand-sprayed murals, two street-art galleries, and retail shops. Take a guided tour if you really want the full experience. And you can feel good that a portion of your ticket price is going back into supporting the arts in this community.

5. Pérez Art Museum Miami

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This modern museum overlooking Biscayne Bay exhibits international works of the contemporary art scene in a breathtaking building. The PAMM has a large collection of Maimi-based, Latin American, and international artists.

6. Jungle Island

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  • Perfect For:‌ Animal lovers
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  • If You Go:‌ Some pathways are under cover but much of the park is open to the elements, and the park has an inclement weather policy for lightning closures.

This interactive zoological park is home to tropical birds, alligators, lemurs, orangutans, and many other exotic animals. As the name suggests, the 18-acre Jungle Island park is lush, with nearly a mile and a half of covered trails and lots of wildlife.

7. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

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  • Perfect For:‌ Amateur botanists
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  • If You Go:‌ The garden is open from 10 – 5 every day except for December 25.

If you’re a fan of tropical plants, or if you’re traveling with kids, a visit to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is in order. You can enjoy a free, narrated tram tour of the garden, get up close with butterflies, or take a photography class snapping pics of the Fairchild’s collections of tropical fruit, orchids, and native plants.

Best Things to Do Outdoors in Miami

With a tropical climate and natural splendors, some of the best things to do in Miami are, naturally, outdoor activities. Get out and enjoy the sunshine. Visit a park or a beach, of course. As the day heats up, cool off with a kayak tour through the historic waterways of Key Biscayne. With endless options for outdoor recreation and stunning scenery, Miami lets you make the most of sunny Florida days.

8. Key Biscayne

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There are few beaches as magical as the Florida Keys. Plan for Key Biscayne as an easy day trip from Miami. Pedal, stroll, or jog along the scenic bayside trails and beaches of this barrier island park near the city. It’s easy to get to just drive about 20 minutes and cross over the Rickenbacker Causeway. Spend your time snorkeling or enjoying water sports of all kinds. Best of all, two great parks are on Key Biscayne: Crandon Park, with its and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

9. Everglades National Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Birdwatching and wildlife viewing
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  • If You Go:‌ Check trail conditions, closures, and weather before you go.

There’s so much to do in Florida’s most well-known national park! While it’s not in Miami proper, it’s nearby — it takes only about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the Shark Valley Visitor Center. Spend some time there and hop on a boat tour or stroll on a hiking trail to spot alligators, crocodiles and other wildlife in this unique wetlands ecosystem. Manatees inhabit many of the waterways in the park. If you kayak, you’ll love sightseeing in the mangrove forests. If you want to see as much of the land and see as you can in a short time, take an exciting airboat tour.

10. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

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  • Perfect For:‌ A historical escape
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  • If You Go:‌ There are audio tours and guided tours available to learn about the history.

Wander the elaborate Italian Renaissances–style villa and sprawling gardens for a glimpse into Miami's past. The 38,00 square foot Vizcaya is located in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, and is today a national landmark. The palatial estate was built in 1916 as the winter residence of industrialist James Deering. Today, the Deering estate is a decorative arts museum that hosts numerous events.

11. Venetian Pool

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The Venetian Pool is a family friendly pool fed by spring water from an underground aquifer. The pool features two waterfalls and cave-like grottos that everyone will love.

12. Zoo Miami

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  • Perfect For:‌ Animal encounters
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  • If You Go:‌ There is a new large indoor interactive exhibit area.

Zoo Miami is huge, with almost 750 acres and four miles of walkways! Visit with more than 2,500 animals representing close to 400 different species. There are even water play areas for when the kiddos need a play break.

Best Things to Do at Night in Miami

When the sun goes down in Miami, the fun doesn't have to stop. Stroll along any of the beaches. Gaze up at the Miami skyline from the tranquil waters of the bay on a moonlit boat tour. Visit the science center for some of their evening events.

13. Nighttime Boat Tours

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Cruise Biscayne Bay under the moonlight on a yacht and experience Miami's magic from the water. Some boat rentals take you on tours to see celebrity homes from the water. Some like Miami EcoAdventures, take you out on sunset cruises on the bay.

14. Patricia Frost Museum of Science

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  • Perfect For:‌ Family friendly fun
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  • If You Go:‌ Monthly programs are designed for very young children.

Of course, you can go to the Patricia Frost Museum of Science anytime, but if you’re looking for a fun family friendly nighttime activity, visit the planetarium for an evening laser show.

Free Things to Do in Miami

You can soak up Miami's culture and natural beauty without spending a dime at these free attractions. There are many neighborhoods to stroll through, and beaches to take in the ocean breezes with beautiful views of the sand and sea. For some free evening entertainment, check out the event calendars for concerts and movies in the park offered in various Miami neighborhoods.

15. South Pointe Park

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Watch cruise ships pass by as you take in the beautiful bay views from this scenic waterfront park. Bring your own food and cook at the barbecue stations, or eat or get food to go from Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, located in the park.

16. Bayfront Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Family fun day
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  • If You Go:‌ The park is adjacent to Bayfront Marketplace, for easy shopping.

Miami’s first public park, Bayfront Park now spans 32 acres in the heart of Downtown Miami and sits right on Biscayne Bay. Enjoy a park day with a picnic, a baywalk, a sandy beach area, a tropical rock garden, a waterfall, and a bandshell where you can see live music.

17. Miami Design District

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There is no entry fee for the Miami Design District, located over several blocks in north Miami. Within the district is shopping and dining, of course, but also public art everywhere.

With endless attractions from sunshine-filled days to sizzling nights, Miami, and South Florida in general, offers something for everyone. I hope this travel guide to Miami-Dade County’s many must-visit attractions help you plan your Florida getaway in this one-of-a-kind tropical destination.