Miami is one of the most visited tourist spots in America. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by two of the most beautiful places in Florida- Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay lagoon. A very popular holiday spot in summers because of its pleasant winter climate. The beaches and Art Deco District are the most noteworthy features of the city. Miami offers something to everyone – families can visit the serene yet exciting Key Biscayne and Crandon Park, numerous art galleries for art lovers, various clubs and bars for party people! How can we forget children? The Children’s Museum is one of its kind and offers entertainment along with knowledge. So let’s try to summarize the list of never-ending things to do in Miami.
Things to Do in Miami
#1 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Cool off at the Miami beach
Miami beach is actually a separate locality and is located on an island that connected to the city by a number of bridges. The most noteworthy attraction of this area is the beach and Art Deco District. Neon signs hang over the buildings from the 1930s giving them a modern yet vintage touch. It is relatively an expensive tourist spot offering various beachside restaurants and hotels, shops, and lots of sunbathing opportunities. Nightlife at this place is another thing to witness. People spend hundreds of dollars on drinks at dance clubs and bars. The only free of cost activity is relaxing on the sand. All kinds of water sports are on offer here – surfing, kayaking, and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.
Most noteworthy attractions in this locality: Art Deco District, Ocean Drive, South Beach, Haulover Beach Park, Lummus Park, Lincoln Road Mall, Ancient Spanish Monastery.
You can also plan your trip to one of these World’s most Beautiful Beaches.
#2 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Spend time at the Art Deco District
Art Deco District located in the Miami Beach houses wonderfully restored buildings from the 1930s. This place makes you go back in time and breathe in the fragrant remnants of early day Florida. Art deco architecture features the geometrically shaped buildings with bold colors. The best way to explore Art Deco District to the fullest is by a walking or cycling tour of the South Beach neighborhood. The prices of these tours start at around $25 per person. These tours have received tons of positive feedback from the visitors. The guides are cheerful and friendly and give you authentic information about the buildings and architecture.
#3 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Explore the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
It is dubbed as one of the greatest treasures of Miami. This property was home to the early 20th-century industrialist, James Deering. The architecture of this place, grounds, and the artwork make this place worthy of a visit. The Vizcaya project was completed by a total of 1,100 workers and craftsmen. To ensure the authenticity in design many of these workers were brought over from Europe.
The word ‘Vizcaya’ comes from Basque language meaning ‘An Elevated Place’. You can see a number of French and Italian fountains in the garden. Along with the fountains, the garden is embellished with several pools and sculptures. This place has witnessed several important meetings of the leaders of the world including the meeting between Pope John Paul II and the former president Reagan in 1987.
#4 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Visit the Miami Zoo
The best thing about Miami Zoo is that it is keeping the animals in a cageless environment which allows them to move freely as they would have done in their natural habitats. Miami Zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals. Life-size, open-air exhibitions are held which allow the visitors to witness the endangered species at a reasonably close yet far enough distance to remain safe. A major tourist and local attraction for families. Also, there is a separate children’s zoo with all the fun stuff and rides including camel rides.
Moreover, the zoo not only contains animals but is also home to a variety of tropical plants and trees, and a number of orchids.
#5 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Spend your day at the South Beach
The most famous and popular section of Miami Beach. It has been given the nicknames of ‘American Riviera’ and the ‘Art Deco Playground’. South Beach is known to be the best vacation area not only in Florida but also in the entire country. South Beach seems to be welcoming all looking to have fun under the sun in the pristine sand. The vibrant nightlife is also one of the most noteworthy features of this place.
You can do a whole lot of things while you’re there. Spend your day shopping at the boutiques or getting pampered at a spa. Have quality time strolling along the Ocean drive in comfortable clothes and don’t forget to take pictures. Numerous festivals and competitions are also held here including pro volleyball tournament, art shows, and Art Deco weekend.
#6 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Ocean Drive
Running along the oceanfront in Miami beach, Ocean Front is one of the most popular boulevards in the city. It’s most important feature is the Art Deco buildings almost always crowded by the curious visitors. You will find everything within a reasonable walking distance. Restaurants, hotels, beach activities, everything is available in the very locality of Ocean Drive.
According to the tourists, the best way to explore Ocean Drive is by walking through the street. You’ll forget all your worries and boredom, wanting to step inside a life-sized hotel or a neon-lit bar!
#7 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Shop at the Bayside Marketplace
It is an outdoor style mall in the city having more than 150 specialty and tourist shops. You’ll find numerous cafes and shops to satiate your untimely hunger. Live entertainment is also available to lift up your mood. Some of the famous chain stores are located in this mall as well as some unique shops where you’ll find some extraordinary stuff. This mall is a favorite shopping place among the locals along with the tourists.
The marketplace is located along the waterfront, looking over tourist boats. Boats leave from here for visits around the Biscayne Bay. Many locals and tourists come here just for the sake of serene yet lively atmosphere.
#8 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Explore the Bayfront Park
Located on the East side of Biscayne Boulevard, Bayfront Park was refurbished in the 1980s. The most noteworthy feature of this park is the Pepper Fountain which is electronically controlled. There is also an amphitheater which hosts some amazing music performances. Other highlights include:
- A tower for laser illuminations.
- Three prime monuments:
- Torch of Friendship – a symbol of the relationship between Miami and countries of Central and South America.
- World War II Memorial – Reminiscing the occupation of the victims of World War II.
- The Challenger Memorial – Paying tribute to the crew of the Challenger spacecraft exploded in 1986.
#9 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Take a picture in front of the Wynwood Walls
A heaven for art lovers! Wynwood Walls is a collection of colossal walls from six buildings serving as a blank canvas for artists. All the buildings are painted with life-sized colorful drawings and graffiti. The neighborhood of Wynwood has become a safe haven for aspiring artists, painters, graffitists, and creative young professionals. A must-go place while you are in Miami.
The best time to visit is during Wynwood Art Walk on the second Saturday of every month. The whole of Wynwood Arts District is turned into a late-night street party during this monthly event. Food trucks, art galleries, and places for live music stay open till late at night. Some of the most famous walls among the Wynwood Walls are:
- LADY PINK
- TRISTON EATEN
- LONDON POLICE
- SHEPARD FAIREY
#10 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Step into the American Airlines Arena
This building was inaugurated in 1999 and has been awarded Leed Green Building Certification because of its energy efficient resources. It can accommodate more than 19,000 people. All the important events and music performances are held at this very place. It is also home to The Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. So, if you are a basketball lover, tie your shoes and head to this place! Its modern building stands out prominently on the waterfront in a modern yet developing part of the downtown.
#11 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Visit the Jungle Island
Jungle island is located near Miami Children’s Museum midway between downtown Miami and South Beach. This island is a bird sanctuary, a wildlife habitat, and also a botanical garden. A very popular place among the locals because it offers a family-friendly environment.
Daily bird shows are held showcasing more than 1,100 birds. The botanical gardens contain a diverse variety of around 2,000 plants including orchids, bromeliads, bananas, and Heliconias. The island also provides shelter to some other animals including baboons, tigers, monkeys, tortoises, orangutans, alligators, and flamingoes. A rare white alligator is showcased in the reptile encounter exhibition held at the Parrot Jungle.
#12 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Deering Estate at Cutler
This estate at the vast Cutler property is home to some important buildings from history. Some species of endangered pine rockland habitat, salt marshes, mangrove islands, and a coastal dune island are some of the highlights of this visit worthy place. Some of the historical buildings date back to 1896 – 1922. An American Indian burial ground is also located here which dates back to 1500.
The estate is named after Charles Deering who, along with his brother James, was an art collector and owned many of the works of the Old Masters. Charles himself was also a painter which justified his interest in collecting art pieces from famous artists. Art Village, located on this very site, has become a hub of featuring art and artists programs. Tourists can leisurely take a walk in the gardens, explore the houses or just enjoy the view.
#13 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Miami Seaquarium
Miami Seaquarium is a most liked vacation spot for families since long. Among the most noteworthy features is the daily animal shows showcasing dolphins, seals, killer whales, and many other ocean inhabitants. Some tanks are solely for observation purposes and contain tropical fish, sharks, and alligators. This place is also offering a ‘Swim with Dolphins’ program promising to enlighten you about the history and physiology of the dolphins. You should definitely visit this place if you have a liking for marine animals and are fond of dolphins particularly. The staff is helpful, friendly, and professional.
#14 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Discover the Freedom Tower
Located on the Biscayne Boulevard, Freedom tower was built in 1925. It has the distinction of being one of the oldest skyscrapers in the southeastern part of the United States. For many years this building served as the headquarters of Miami Daily News.
The name of the ‘Freedom Tower’ has a story behind it. Thousands of Cuban refugees flocked to Miami in the 1960’s. Freedom Tower served its role as an immigration processing center during these times, hence the name. This tower takes the architectural superiority over all the other buildings in Miami. The tower is octagonally structured having a detailed architecture and richly embellished façade.
#15 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Step into Miami Children’s Museum
Don’t be misled by what the name implies. This museum is not only for children. Adults can also go inside and find useful information and things to look at. The museum came into existence in 1983 and was shifted to its present location in the year 2003. To enhance children’s curiosity and creativity, enticing exhibitions are structured and showcased in the most interesting way possible. There are a variety of themed galleries based on art, culture, communication, and community.
Parents are especially fond of this place because it makes learning with fun possible for their children. The museum also houses a restaurant and a gift shop.
#16 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Explore Miami Science Museum
This science museum goes by the name of ‘Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science’. The Miami Science Museum offers a large number of exhibits covering different fields of science including physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy. One of the most notable features of this museum is the summer science camp for children. The exhibitions keep on changing offering something new to the visitors every time they go to this place. The museum just underwent an expansion and has now updated its exhibitions and displays.
The most noteworthy and interesting exhibitions and events:
- The Past, Present, and Future of Flight – Feathers to the Stars
- Celebrating Women in Science
- Symphony of the Stars
- Restoration Workday
- Behind the Beam: The Eye-popping Science of LasersHow
#17 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Daytrips from Miami
Everglades National Park
This park is located just a short drive from Miami. These lands, covering an area of 1.5 million acres, are home to terrifying animals including alligators and snakes. Some species of birds have also found shelter at this place. You can go to the Visitors Center for all kinds of information related to the park. You can also view the wildlife walking on the trails and boardwalks. If you want to get closer to wildlife, you can get on an airboat that will take you in the shallow river and streams.
Key Biscayne and Crandon Park
Key Biscayne is a small area consisting of lovely beaches and pretty parks. The most noteworthy feature is the Crandon Park which has an offshore reef for the protection of shoreline from big waves. The park also has a Family Amusement Center and a Nature Center. Families love to come here on picnics because of the facilities of sufficient parking space, available chair rentals, and safeguards on duty.
#18 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Gold Coast Railroad Museum
This museum came into existence in the 1950’s. Founded by the efforts of Miami Railroad Historical Society, it contains antique railroad cars more than 30 in number. The most noteworthy feature of this place is the railcar named ‘Ferdinand Magellan’. This railcar was used by former presidents including Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Reagan. Some other important Zephyr cars are also on display – ‘Silver Crescent’ and ‘Silver Stag’. Museum also has a section dedicated to wooden models of railroads and railcars. Children can come here and spend quality time playing with these toys.
#19 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Shop like it’s your last day on Earth!
Miami has some of the best malls and marketplaces offering quality products at reasonable prices. Miami can easily be dubbed as ‘shopaholic’s heaven’ for its outlet malls, luxury designer boutiques, and concept shops. It is important to know where you’ll find the exact thing you want to buy. Some places offer better things that too on cheaper rates as compared to other shops.
The best places for a hassle free shopping experience:
- Lincoln Road Mall
- Bal Harbour
- Dolphin Mall
- Sawgress Mills
- Miracle Mile
- Design District
- The Falls
- Aventura Mall
- Base USA
- Dylan’s Candy Bar
- Genius Jones
#20 of 20 Things to Do in Miami – Visit the Design District
The Design District is dubbed by many as the Evolving Center of Haute Design. It is a must-go place in Miami because of all the glitz and glamour this place has to offer. Over the years Design District has expanded into what now is a prime tourist center in Miami. There are more than 130 art galleries, creative services, restaurants, bars, antique dealers, showrooms, and stores. The most noteworthy feature is the Art & Design Night held on the second Saturday of every month from 7-10 pm.
The design district is also considered to be a shopaholic’s haven. Brand outlets like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, and Hermes are located in the proximity of Design District. You’ll also find some high-end home décor stores in this place.
Other places to visit in Miami
Museum of Contemporary Art
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Art Basel Miami Beach
Perez Art Museum Miami
Zoological Wildlife Foundation
Best Places to Eat
The Capital Grille
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
The Bazaar by Jose Andres