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Top 20 Best Things to do in Miami

Top 20 Best Things to do in Miami

Miami is known across the globe as a major vacation destination. No matter what time of year you’re planning to go, you’re going to find a ton of things to do in Miami!

For generations, Miami has been known as a place where you can come for everything decadent. High-end shopping and world-class dining are the norms here. The classics in Miami are always delighting visitors. For decades visitors have loved seeing the Art Deco District and eating at the Versailles restaurant in Little Havana. And you will too!

But Miami is definitely not stuck in the past. A super cool aspect is that Miami is always reinventing itself, always on the forefront of innovation. In this list, we cover the best of both new and old, along with all of the must-see attractions in Miami!

What Is Miami famous for?

Miami is known for its year-round warm tropical weather. At the top of everyone’s itinerary has to be Miami’s beaches – their soft white sand and crystal blue waters are the best.

Miami is a city of unmatched beauty and fun. From the architecture to the people, Miami is drop-dead gorgeous.

Miami is also known for its world-class shopping, dining, and art.

How do I make the most fun in Miami?

There’s so much to do in Miami – there’s fun wherever you turn.

But planning for a trip to Miami can be a bit overwhelming. The best way to get the most out of it is to plan visits around the climate. You’ll want to either be indoors or on the beach during the hot summer days, so plan to cool off in the waters of the Venetian Pool or at one of the museums in Miami like Frost or Superblue.

What parts of Miami are fun?

There are so many awesome areas in Miami to experience!

Hit up South Beach and Miami Beach for the classic sun, sand, and surf. It’s also got a killer night scene with top restaurants and clubs.

Of course, no trip to Miami is complete without a visit to Little Havana or the Miami Art Deco District.

20 Essential Things to do in Miami

There’s so much to do in Miami that it may be difficult for you to see and do everything. Here, We’ve put together a list of some of our absolute favorite things to do in Miami. 

Miami is a trendsetter, not a follower. What this means for visitors is that there’s always something new to explore on your next trip. We have put it all together for you in one list. If you check off even a portion of this list of Miami attractions, you are sure to have a great trip!

woman walking in a colorful dress in front of the vibrant murals of Wynwood Walls one of Miami's top tourist attractions

1. Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Walls is a “Museum of the Streets,” and it’s at the top of the list of things to do in Miami. On our last trip, we only spent a weekend in Miami, and this was one of our favorite stops in Miami.

This open-air museum features murals from the greatest American and international street artists. Think Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and Tomokazu Matsuyama, to name a few. It was started by Tony Goldman in 2009 to give these killer artists a space for their work.

During the summer months, it’s probably best to visit during the cooler times of the day. So grab a ticket for 6 or 7 pm on the Wynwood Walls website. It’s a great way to support the artists and their work. There are also numerous murals covering the buildings outside the ticketed area in this colorful neighborhood that is not to be missed either. 

  • Address: 266 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127

White blue and yellow life guard shack on Miami Beach - must do things in Miami

2. South Beach & Miami Beach

If you’re coming to Miami, you must visit South Beach & Miami Beach. This is an absolute necessity.

South Beach & Miami Beach is what Miami is known for -the sun, sand, and clear blue waters. It’s the ideal place to relax and soak in beach life. There’s also tons to do beyond the beach – from shops to restaurants and clubs, South Beach and Miami Beach are happening day and night.

Miami Beach is the barrier island that separates the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. South Beach is the area furthest south on the island, from South Pointe Park up to 23rd Street.

Beautiful Art Deco district and hotels in Miami illuminated in neon

3. Miami Art Deco District

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time in Miami’s Art Deco District. This area of the city has the most gorgeous architecture imaginable. Bright colors decorate the exteriors of over 800 buildings making a stroll through the city one you’ll never forget.

These city blocks were developed during Miami’s boom during the 1920s and ’30s. You will recognize the style with its bright and pastel colors, geometric lines, and fountains. To get the best view of the Art Deco skyline, head to Lummus Park, where you can see it all.

  • Location of Art Deco District: Between 5th St and 23rd St on Ocean Dr, Collins Ave, and Washington Ave
  • Address of Art Deco District Visitors Center & Art Deco Museum: 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami, FL 33139

building with a large mural in a retro postcard style spelling Little Havana - a must visit area of Miami

4. Little Havana

A visit to Little Havana is a must-do on any trip to Miami. This vibrant neighborhood is the heart of the Cuban diaspora in Miami. Discover the sights and sounds of this community as you stroll along the Calle Ocho (SW 8th St). Here, you’ll find tons of Latin-inspired restaurants, cafes, fruit stands, bars, and cigar shops.

Definitely have a meal at Versailles. This family-owned restaurant is known for its traditional Cuban cuisine. Stop in to enjoy a pastelito (pastry) and sweet Cuban coffee or a full meal.

  • Location of Little Havana Neighborhood: Centered around SW 8th Street, bordered by Brickell and Downtown on the east, Coral Way to the south, and Douglas Rd on the west

Car sculptures hanging off a building in Miami design district - must see Miami

5. Miami Design District

A visit to the Design District of Miami is an experience like no other. Here everyone and thing is dedicated to being unified in design, fashion, art, architecture, and dining.

So, what does that mean for us? An incredible experience from start to finish. As you walk through the area, you’ll see that everything is beautifully designed. From the placement of palm trees to the curved doorways or glass walls of buildings, it all works together.

You’ll find high-end shops like Gucci, YSL, and Burberry in the Design District. Fourteen art galleries are located in the Design District, including the Institute of Contemporary Art.

  • Location: 18 square blocks to the north of I-195 to the west of Federal Highway

Dark club in Mimi with blue lights over a DJ Booth

6. Clubs in Miami

If you’re looking to party until dawn, Miami is the place to be. The Miami club scene is one of the best in the country. Looking for the rave scene? Head to Club Space.

Craving something a bit different? Try Basement, where you can bowl while getting down to the beat. Of course, you can’t forget Twist, Miami’s iconic LGBTQ club.

LIV Miami is the club in town.  With the best dance music and decor, you’ll be transported to a place unlike any other. Keep your eye out – you’ll likely spot a celeb in the VIP section. The place that has it all is definitely E11Even Club. From dancing to burlesque to live performances, E11even is a feast for the senses.

exterior view of the Vizcaya Museum Gardens in Miami - Top Historical sights

7. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

A visit to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is like stepping into another world.

Built in 1916, this gorgeous mansion is the definition of opulence. Every inch of the home was precisely designed and created for a feeling of luxury.

It’s like a European villa right here in Miami. Inside the home, Deering imported antique furniture and artwork from Tuscany and France.

A walk through the grounds of Vizcaya feels like you’re in a movie or in the formal gardens of Versailles. Set on the shore of Biscayne Bay, the view of the water is to die for, complete with its own ship on the water’s edge.

  • Address: 3251 South Miami Ave,  Miami FL 33129

small aligator in the Florida Everglades on a day trip from Miami

8. Everglades National Park

Get out into nature in the Everglades National Park. This beautiful national park is home to some of the best flora, fauna, and wildlife in the US. Alligators alone are a great reason to head to the Everglades – over 200,000 alligators call the park home!

You can choose to hike, bike, or kayak through the park. If you’re feeling a bit nervous to head out on your own (especially with all those alligators), go for an airboat tour. Let a professional show you around and keep you at a safe distance from the gators.

The best time to visit the Everglades is between December to April. During these months, it’s easier to spot wildlife, and there are fewer mosquitos.

  • Address of Shark Valley Visitors Center: 36000 SW 8th St, Miami, Fl 33194

Aerial drone view t night of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami

9. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

The Frost Museum of Science is the newest and coolest science museum. New on the scene, it opened in 2017. Unique to the Frost Museum, it has both an aquarium and a planetarium, so you can get an up-close look at three levels of marine life and then explore the stars.

The Frost Museum also has stellar science exhibitions. Learn about everything from wooly mammoths to the way brains function. The Frost Museum of Science is open 365 days a year, which is awesome.

  • Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Palm trees reflecting in a still pond at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

When a botanic garden is founded by an international plant explorer, it’s gotta be top-notch. This is absolutely true with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Created in 1938 by Dr. David Fairchild, the garden focuses on tropical gardens, rainforests, and coastal habitats. Exhibits include tropical plants, succulents, orchids, and a butterfly garden, to name a few. There’s even a children’s garden where kids are encouraged to interact with the natural world.

The Fairchild is open year round (except Dec. 25th) from 10 am to 5 pm.

  • Address: 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156

View of the buildings and the pools of the Venetian Pool near Miami Florida

11. Venetian Pool

Take a swim in Venetian Pool. This natural swimming pool is fed by underground springs with therapeutic waters.

In 1923, the pool was enhanced when the coral rock was carved away and used to make the pool walls. Now, the pool is perfect for visitors to enjoy a swim any time of year. There are also waterfalls and cave-like grottos to explore!

Open all year round. You can take a relaxing dip in the spring waters nearly any day. The hours change depending on the season. So it’s best to check the website for up-to-date info during your trip.

  • Address: 2701 DeSoto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Brightly colored buildings of Lincoln Road Mall in Miami - Top Shopping destinations

12. Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Road is a great place to shop, grab a bite, or simply enjoy the beauty of Miami. These ten blocks are closed off to cars, so you can hop from shop to shop with ease. Major stores like Forever 21 and Zara call Lincoln home. Higher-end shops like Ted Baker are also here.

When you’re ready to eat, there are tons of restaurants with outdoor seating. Rooftop bars are also fun at Lincoln Road.

There’s a farmers’ market every Sunday where you’ll find yummy produce, and there’s also an antique market from the fall through spring. So, honestly, Sunday is the best day to visit!

  • Location: Collins Ave to Bay Rd between 16th & 17th St,  Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Miami circle historical site

13. Miami Circle

History lies beneath – the Miami Circle is a small site with a lot of history. Here an archeological site was discovered in 1998. While preparing to put new high-rise buildings, holes were discovered in limestone bedrock. Some of these holes create a large precise circle measuring 37 feet in diameter.

The Circle is 1,700-2,000 years old. It’s thought to be the foundation of a structure created by the Tequesta Indians. Believed to have great significance, scholars think it was a council house.

Miami Circle is a public park and is open year-round. It really is a small but powerful site.

  • Address: 461 Brickell Ave, Miami, Fl 33131

Aerial drone view of the Deering Estate in Miami

15. Deering Estate

The Deering Estate is another fabulous historic home dating back to the 1920s. It’s the private home of Charles Deering, older brother of James Deering of Vizcaya Museum. Showing off the same level of wealth, this expansive home and garden have so much to offer visitors.

Guests can explore the stone house on the Deering Estate, but the real draw is the grounds. Wildlife lovers enjoy strolls through the 440 acres, much of which has a natural wilderness feel.

Considering visiting during a full moon. Deering Estate hosts full moon yoga classes, night kayak tours, and even night hikes with a campfire.

  • Address: 16701 SW 72nd Ave, Palmetto Bay, FL 33157

View from the Marina looking at the Bayside Market at sunset

16. Bayside Market

Bayside Market is a commercial waterfront done right. Set right on the shore of Biscayne Bay, the market has everything. For shopping, there are shops big and small, from chain names to boutiques.

When it’s time to eat, there are about 30 restaurants to choose from. Make sure to read our best restaurants in Miami guide to help you navigate the Miami foodie scene.

There are so many boat tours from Bayside Market that it’s easy for everyone to have fun. Choose one for sightseeing or a speedboat to get your blood pumping. Want to steer yourself? You can rent a kayak or boat!

Take a ride on Skyview Miami – this huge Ferris wheel is a great way to see Miami from above.

  • Address: 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, Fl 33132

White sand beaches and palm trees at Miami's best beach - Carndon Park Beach

17. Crandon Park

Head to the Keys while staying in Miami. The drive from Miami to Key West is a must! Crandon Park is the perfect getaway for the day.  Located on Key Biscayne, you’ll have island life in no time.

Here you can enjoy the beach or hike nature trails. Eco-Adventures offers kiteboarding, kayaking, and even snorkeling tours of the reef.

Top-notch golf and tennis are also available at Crandon Park.

  • Address: 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149

18. Superblue Miami

At Superbule, you don’t just look at art. You experience art. Superblue is dedicated to artwork that immerses the viewer in the work. Large installation works require you to step inside and become part of the art. How cool is that?

Be sure to buy tickets in advance. Walk-ins will pay a bit more. Superblue offers discounted tickets for students, seniors, the military, and frontline healthcare workers. There are some great museums in Miami to check out, but make sure to put Superblue near the top!

  • Address: 1101 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127

lush gardens of the Acient Spanish Monastery Miami

19. Ancient Spanish Monastery

It’s hard to imagine how this 12th-century Spanish monastery was moved all the way to Miami, but it was!

William Randolph Hearst had it taken apart piece by piece and shipped to America.  But he had to sell it before putting it together. Eventually, it was reconstructed in Miami. Now, as a functioning church, it delights parishioners and tourists alike.

The Monastery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. In fact, it’s often closed due to church and private events, so be sure to check their website for days it’s open.

  • Address: 16711 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Aerial drone view of South Point Park - places to visit while in Miami

20. South Pointe Park

South Pointe Park has everything you want in a park and a beach. This fabulous park is right on the shore, so you can put your toes in the sand and look out over the water to Fisher Island. There’s a splash park for little ones to cool off too.

Don’t want to get wet? Take a stroll through the park or out on the pier instead. Smith and Wollensky is located in the park in case you want a bite to eat.

  • Address: 1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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