Great weather, beaches, white sands, historical sites, culture, sports, and entertainment with many things to do in Miami; it is the best vacation destination in South Florida.
The coastal metropolis has some of the most beautiful beaches filled with eco-adventures and a thriving art and culture scene. Embraced by the dazzling glamor of its skyline, Miami will hold your heart with the beauty of Biscayne Bay and the crystal-clear blue skies of South Florida.
Miami, nicknamed ‘The Magic City,’ is known for its fast growth and development. Beyond lounging on the sands, sunbathing, swimming, and sipping cocktails, Miami offers many adventures.
From flyboarding in Biscayne Bay to hiking through the Everglades National park or immersing yourself in the art and cultural scene of the Wynwood neighborhood. Here’s a list of exciting things to do in Miami, Florida.
The Iconic Miami Beach
Located on natural and human-made islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach is the host of the famous South Beach, North Beach Oceanside Park, and Surfside. There are many things to do in the Miami Beach area; here are a few of them.
South Beach, located at the southern end of Miami Beach, is renowned for its celebrity cachet and early 20th-century Art Deco architecture district along Ocean Drive. Stretching over 2 miles from South Pointe Park, the white sands are filled with lounge chairs and umbrellas to enjoy the turquoise-blue waves.
South Point beach allows easy access to walking trails and sunset views. The high-rise hotels and beach clubs that dominate the shorelines may seem intimidating, but there is plenty of space to drop a towel under the sunshine or enjoy a game of beach volleyball.
This shoreline presents an exquisite tourist experience of the trendy South Beach neighborhood. With the opportunity to surf the turquoise waters, lay on the white sandy beach, and stroll along the stretch of Art Deco architecture and electric neon lights.
Art Deco District
Art Deco architecture is a modern take on the historic neo-classic architecture built between 1923 and 1943. Characteristically marked by bright pastel blues, pinks, yellows, greens, and more, Art Deco District represents the history, retro, and glam.
Located between 5th and 23rd street on Miami Beach, Art Deco District can be enjoyed with views of glamorous historic art deco buildings. The Celino South Beach Hotel, Cameo nightclub, The Webster, and the Miami beach U.S Post Office, offer engaging experiences. A stroll through the Lummus Park gives enchanting views of the whimsical Art Deco District skyline.
The Art Deco Welcome Center has a regularly scheduled official guided walking tour for a trip down Ocean Drive to tour this marvel. Several other guided, self-guided, and walking tours are also available among all the things to do in Miami.
This quaint town is located further away from North Miami Beach is a quiet breath away from the glitz and glam. This part of Miami Beach is calm, family-oriented, and presents pristine waters and meets local people.
Surfside offers serene walks along wide dune paths along simple, uncrowded beaches. You can also shop along the three-block strip, which hosts fronts at least 50 years old and run by the original families.
Surfside also hosts a communal Friday Beach event that has the locals draw out their picnic tables to spend their day at the beach along with the tourists and connect with people.
North Beach Oceanside Park
If you want a small beach town experience, the North Beach Oceanside Park allows you to explore local neighborhoods and discover new places. Located between 78th and 87th street on Miami Beach, North Beach oceanside Park is one of the biggest parks in Miami Beach.
Being pet-friendly, this North Shore Oceanside Park allows you to take a walk or a run with your furry friend in the dog park. It has many picnic tables and BBQ grills placed under sea-grape trees for a fun day. You can also enjoy a yoga session, kayaking in Oleta Park, or ride a little further to Haulover Beach.
A 15-minute drive from Downtown Miami will lead you to Key Biscayne. The Crandon Golf is an 18-hole golf course that overlooks the glittering Biscayne Bay. It is home to brilliant white sand beaches and many outdoor activities like golf, bicycling, kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, and more.
Enjoy a stay at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton or crossover from Rickenbacker Causeway to reach the Crandon park lined with palm trees to spend the day at the beach, golf course, marina, and tennis center.
Visit the iconic Cape Florida lighthouse built in the 1820s, which gives a 360-degree view of the city. The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park allows you to relax on the rugged dunes and enjoy the tranquil waters surrounding offshore barrier reefs.
This coastal dune island gives an enthralling experience of the serene waters of Key Biscayne and exciting outdoor activities of surfing, paddleboarding, golf, and more.
One of the best things to do in Miami is to make a stop at Downtown Miami. The beaches may be magnificent, but Downtown offers an endless choice of activities, adventures, and delicious delicacies to enjoy. This place is home to the best museums, restaurants and entertainment centers, and activities that should not be missed. Adjoining the Brickell area and Downtown Miami are also international financial centers. Here are a few things to do in Miami downtown:
Located in the heart of Downtown Miami, the bayside marketplace allows you to experience the best of Miami with delicious international cuisine, live music, and fine shops. The two-level, open-air center overlooking Miami’s waterfront is home to more than 150 national and unique retailers and tourist shops.
Overlooking the yacht-filled marina, the Biscayne Boulevard is the place to enjoy live exotic musical performances along with various specialty food shops of international cuisine. The Bayside also offers many things in Miami like refreshing Miami River tours, gambling cruises, fishing, and party charters.
Shop till you drop or enjoy a lip-smacking lunch or take a cruise on the Miami River on the Bayside marketplace.
Spread over 32 acres in Downtown Miami, Bayfront Park is the perfect place to relax, walk, play or exercise. With open lawn spaces, a bay walk, winding walkways, a sandy beach area, special event lighting, VIP seating areas, and a tropical rock garden, this iconic park is home to many attractions from 1926.
A walking distance from the bayside marketplace, the park offers several fun activities. The electronically controlled pepper fountain, World War 2 Veteran’s Memorial, the Centennial Time Capsule, and various sculptures are a must-see in Bayfront Park.
This Mediterranean-style tower has been remarked with immense historical timelines. It has played many roles, like being the headquarters for Miami’s first newspaper, an immigration processing center for Cuban refugees, and recently as a museum for creativity and artistry.
This tower has stood tall since 1925 as a symbol of Miami’s growth and personality through the years. This is a place to visit to understand the start of the glamourous city of Miami.
American Airlines Arena
The 3,400 square-foot oceanfront basketball arena is the home court of the NBA’s Miami Heat. The 19,00 capacity arena has been awarded the Leed Green Building certification for being an energy-efficient building.
When there isn’t an exciting basketball game, the American Airlines Arena hosts more than 80 music and other events, including WWE Smackdown. There has been an impressive lineup of artists who have performed at this 19,600 capacity arena including, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, and The Weeknd.
One of the oldest oceanariums in the United States, the Miami sea aquarium is spread over 38-acres. It houses sea mammals, among others like manatees, birds, sea turtles, and sharks. The famous ‘Flipper’ movie was also shot in this Miami sea aquarium.
The park offers daily events and overnight camps for the kids club and even boy scouts. On your visit, be sure to meet Lolita, the world’s oldest captive orca.
Among all of these places to visit, the Downtown also offers experiences of windsurfing, paddleboarding in Virginia Key, and learning to fly a trapeze. The Greater Miami Convention Center is also another place for exciting events.
The shining beacon of historic buildings of Miami is located right in the middle of Downtown. The recently restored 1926 silent movie palace, complete with baroque balconies and red velvet curtains, exudes charisma.
The Olympia Theater hosts film screenings, concerts, art exhibits, and other events under a simulated night sky ceiling graced by Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Luciano Pavarotti, and many others. It is a must-visit for history and intriguing creative and artistic events.
Wynwood Arts District
The Wynwood neighborhood is a must-go place for all social media influencers. A center for creativity, Wynwood is mostly known for street art, galleries, and colorful restaurants.
Wynwood was a collection of dilapidated warehouses, which turned into a canvas for street artists. Many well-known and famous street artists have marked the space with sensational murals that have converted the landscape.
The Wynwood Walls, an outdoor museum and gallery, is a striking place to view the unique street art made by the most famous artists. Each year during Art Basel, the walls are painted over for a new exhibition featuring international artists.
All the surrounding streets in Wynwood may be filled with art, but the Wynwood Walls are an experience on their own. This is on the top of all things to do in Miami for Instagrammers.
Every wall space of Wynwood is a piece of art. But it is also known to be a host for the best restaurants and bars in Miami, Florida. You can visit the Latin-inspired Veza Sur for a good brew to enjoy with Latin music and a sizeable menu.
Other craft breweries like the Wynwood Brewing Company and Cervecera La Tropical also make a good trip. Much-loved eateries including The Salty, Zak The Bakery, and Panther Coffee are good places to grab a delicious bite.
Wynwood is a host to more than 70 galleries filled with contemporary art collections and street art murals. Museum of Grafitti, de la Cruz Collection, and Rubell Museum are a few of the best contemporary art museums to visit on the trip to Wynwood.
Miami is also known for its history, culture, and creativity, among things to do in Miami beyond the sunshine, beaches, and sands. The many museums in Miami are hard at work to showcase the brilliancy of the magic city. Here are a few museums to visit for an entertaining and educational experience of the things to do in Miami.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Featuring international modern and contemporary art, the museum’s collection showcases the diversity of the 20th and 21st century through art from the US Latino experience, the African diaspora, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Pérez Art Museum Miami building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron based on the 1930s design of Stiltsville homes built offshore. It has wide-open spaces and outstanding views, making it a must in all the things to do in Miami.
The Wolfsnian, Florida International University is a museum, research center, and library hosting a large collection dating from 1850 to 1950. The immense collection of more than 200,000 photographs, designs, artifacts, and artwork symbolizes being modern.
Coral Gables Museum
Coral gables museum was once a police station and a fire station. It boasts a large gallery spanning more than 3000-square feet and an expansive public plaza. It comprises lectures, concerts, and permanent and traveling exhibits of art and design.
The museum offers tour guides on the first Saturday of every month to understand more about the decorative art display and the beautiful city.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Taking a stroll into the elaborate gardens will take you to Versailles. Inspired by Venetian architecture, the Vizcaya Museum showcases intricate Renaissance tapestries, Roman sculptures, Chinese object d’art, Rocco furniture, and early 20th century paintings. James Deering estate was built as a private waterfront for the millionaire in 1914.
A palazzo-like east terrace of the Vizcaya museum gives glittering views of the Biscayne Bay. The whole structure transports you to different places across Italy with various rooms styled after different places like Milan, Palmero, and Venice.
Coral Castel Museum
Unlike the Medditerian Revival mansions at Coral Gables or the Art Deco buildings of the South beach, The Coral Castle Museum is a singular structure. It is said that the 1,100-ton coral rock castle was built single-handedly by a man who lost his love.
The structure alludes to mysteries like that of Stonehenge. It is a marvel structure to tour to view coral rock sculptures built in the 1920s.
Frost Science Museum
A landmark in Downtown Miami is the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The museum is split into four buildings with an Aquarium, A planetarium, and The North and West Wings. In addition to an open-air aquarium on the rooftop, the Gulf Stream Aquarium offers an engaging hands-on exhibit over three floors.
You can find exotic sea creatures like hammerhead sharks, stingrays, and mahi-mahi in the massive tank. The Frost Museum of science is one of only a few science museums globally that includes both an aquarium and a planetarium under one roof.
You can gaze at the stars or explore the feathered dinosaur, this museum offer hours of entertainment for everyone.
A contemporary art museum replete with historical significance was founded in 1964 by the City of Miami Beach. A private collection donated by John and Johanna Bass led to the museum’s establishment in an Art Deco building constructed in the 1930s. This museum is recognized for organizing the first solo museum exhibitions in the United States.
It has presented several influential artists like Erwin Wurm, El Anatsui, Eve Sussman, and more. The Bass is a non-profit museum that presents a diverse selection of media and artistic viewpoints that reveal a fresh perspective on the cultural context of Miami beach.
Miami Children’s Museum
Located midway between Downtown Miami and Miami Beach, on Watson Island, This museum offers exciting things to do in Miami for the young and those young at heart. The Miami Children’s Museum presents 14 interactive and bilingual exhibits and daily family-friendly events for visitors to explore.
You can pick up a souvenir from the Kid Smart Educational Gift Shop and enjoy a meal at Subway while you spend a fun day at the Miami Children’s Museum.
Everglades National Park
Away from the bright lights and busy things to do in Miami, Everglades National Park is a display of nature’s beauty. Just a short drive from the Downtown, the reserve displays a unique ecosystem of mangrove forests, freshwater prairies, and flocks of birds, animals, and various plant species.
Along the Tamiami Trail in the Big Cypress National Reserve, home to Florida Everglades alligator farm. The cold-blooded reptiles reign the 25-mile Loop Road, which leads to deeper everglades. The park also provides a walking tour and an Airboat tour to explore deep into the marshes and wilderness.
World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, this tropics region is home to diverse fauna and flora. So make a trip down to the Florida Everglades or the River of Grass to explore the wild.
The only tropical zoo in the continental United States hosts more than 3000 animals. The Miami-Dade zoological park and gardens have five main exhibit sections: Mission Everglades, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Amazon and Beyond.
There is a Conservation Action Center which allows an interactive experience themed on conservation and wildlife preservation. Lake Ignuan is also worth a visit at the Zoo Miami.
Monorail loops around the zoo provide a convenient way to move and give aerial views for more fun. Guided tours and narrated tram rides are also available.
Cuban culture’s heart in Miami is vibrant with Latin-inspired restaurants, cigar shops, art galleries, and music venues. The famous Maximo Gomez Park or Domino Park is also filled with locals playing heated games of dominos.
Domino Park’s streets are filled with murals of Cuban legends like singer Celia Cruz and poet Jose Marti.
Little Havana is the best way to dig into the Cuban culture, from Cuban coffee to Cuban sandwiches or cigars, musical instruments, and tropical fruits. The vibrant cultural and art scene of Little Havana is seen through the Calle Ocho Music Festival conducted every March to celebrate Carnival Miami.
This historic neighborhood has gone through several changes to now be the host of coffee shops, art galleries, and smoke shops. The Bahamians touch still prevails, mixing with the dazzle of the magical city of Miami.
Garb a Citi Bike and droll along the five-mile path of the Commodore Trail shuttling among the old historical buildings and banyan and oak trees. Visit the shopping center of Cocowalk for a unique experience.
The five-acre Barnacle State Park is a prime spot for bird watching and a tropical hardwood hammock with evergreens, trees, and shrubs. Exploring this unique neighborhood is a must in all the things to do in Miami.
The 165-mile exciting road trip makes a fun short get-away from Miami. The drive offers enthralling experiences with several outdoor activities.
Sail the sunset aboard a catamaran cruise with Sebago Key West. Rent Kayaks or take a guided tour to paddle through the backwaters. Take a click with the southernmost point of the United States. Go snorkeling with dolphins with Honest Eco on electric boats. There are many things to do in Miami and a drive to Key West worth taking.
Plan Your Trip
Start packing your bags and travel to this magical city called Miami. There are many more places to discover and explore in this glittering land. This is a short guide on things to do in Miami on your trip.
Relax on the white sands, go swimming, diving, surfing, or other adventures on the turquoise waters on the famous beaches. Explore the various cultural activities and historical landmarks of this diverse city.