A list of the best things to do in Miami, Florida, one of the USA’s most vibrant and exciting coastal cities!
Miami is an energetic city full of enticing music, fancy cars, and beautiful beaches.
When you explore Miami, you’ll encounter every type of person, cuisine, and music imaginable. This sunny city is a melting pot of culture, art, and energy.
Even though I lived in Tampa for a few years, I had never been to Miami until very recently.
I’ve heard so many mixed views about Miami. Lots of people hate it, particularly those aged 40 and above. Some people think it’s overrated. Personally, I thought it was awesome!
I wouldn’t necessarily want to live here, but I loved visiting Miami for a few days.
Reggaeton, R&B, and Hip Hop blast from every single venue in South Beach. There is a huge emphasis on fitness with lots of walking paths, bike rentals, and outdoor gyms.
Complete with warm, sunny weather, stunning beaches, delicious food, cool architecture, outdoor markets, and unique neighborhoods, Miami has everything I could want in a city!
Here are some of the best things to do in Miami, Florida!
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23 Best Things To Do In Miami, Florida
From salsa dancing and parasailing to checking out museums, beaches, and markets, here are the best things to do in Miami, Florida!
I’ll include the prices for each activity, since this is a budget travel blog and I tend to pick free or cheap attractions when I travel anywhere.
1. Swim, Sunbathe, and Watch The Sunrise at South Beach
South Beach is undoubtedly the heart and soul of Miami.
With soft golden sand framed by the bright blue Atlantic Ocean and nearby walking paths, markets, bars, cafes, and clubs, South Beach is full of life.
If you’re a beach bum, you’ll be in heaven in Miami! Lounge on the sand, swim in the sea, and soak in that Florida sunshine.
It’s also worth waking up early to watch the sunrise over South Beach!
- Cost: Free
2. Escape The Crowds At Miami’s Other Quiet Beaches
Though South Beach gets all the attention, there are lots of other beautiful Miami beaches where you can escape the hustle and bustle.
Heading north up the skinny barrier island of Miami Beach will bring you to Mid Beach, North Shore Beach, and Surfside Beach, all of which have fewer crowds than South Beach.
If you want to venture even further away from the crowds, head to a hidden nature oasis such as Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, Haulover Beach Park, and Bal Harbour Beach,
Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables is also lovely, though you’ll need a car to reach some of these further Miami beaches.
- Cost: Some beaches are free, most beach parks have a parking fee of $5 – $8
3. See The Wynwood Walls Street Art Murals
Art lovers should definitely check out Miami’s Wynwood Walls Street Art Murals.
This open-air street art museum opened in 2009 and has become famous for showcasing massive murals, colorful graffiti, and thought-provoking art displays.
Located in the Wynwood District just north of Downtown Miami, the Wynwood Walls are one of the coolest Miami attractions!
- Cost: $12 and you can book tickets online
4. Check Out A Farmers Market
Miami is full of markets where you can browse through local vendors, buy souvenirs, and get some amazing food.
Here are some of the top markets to visit in Miami:
- Lummus Artisanal Market: Lummus Park, South Beach, weekends 10am – 6pm
- Vizcaya Village Farmers Market: South Miami Ave, Sundays 9am – 2pm
- Legion Park Farmers Market: Biscayne Boulevard, Saturdays 9am – 2pm
- Coconut Grove Farmers Market: Coconut Grove, South Miami, Saturdays 10am – 7pm
- Cost: Free to browse
5. Take A Day Trip To The Everglades
One of only two everglades in the world (the other is in Noosa, Queensland!), the Florida Everglades is a magical area full of untouched wilderness and thriving ecosystems.
If you want to escape the city for a day, take a day trip to Everglades National Park!
The entrance to Everglades National Park is only 50 miles from downtown Miami, which is about a 1.5 hour drive.
If you’re not sure where to begin in the park, you can book a guided airboat tour.
Learn about the wildlife from your local guide and enjoy the best trails, demonstrations, and and exhibits in the Everglades.
6. Eat Latin American Food
Miami has a huge Latin American culture that is an absolute joy to experience.
With food, music, dance culture, and more that has its roots in Central and South America or the Caribbean, Miami is a true melting pot of cultures and vibes.
This is one of my favorite things about Miami!
To make the most of this multicultural city, make sure you dabble in some delicious Latin American food. From Mexican to Cuban to Colombian and more, there is no shortage of amazing places to eat.
- Cost: $15 for street food, $30+ for a meal in a restaurant
7. Check Out The Perez Art Museum Miami
Another one of the top Miami attractions for art lovers is the Jorge M. Perez Art Museum.
Often just called the Perez Art Museum, this fabulous museum specializes in modern and contemporary art from a wide range of international artists.
With rotating exhibits and works from the 20th and 21st centuries, the Perez Art Museum is a great place to check out in downtown Miami.
- Cost: $16
Heading north? Check out my guide to the best things to do in Asheville, North Carolina
8. Stroll Along The Beachwalk
The ultimate oceanfront walking path, the Beachwalk is one of the best free things to do in Miami!
Stretching seven miles from South Pointe Park up to North Beach Oceanside Park, this walkway is perfect for sightseeing, strolling, jogging, roller blading, skateboarding, or bicycling.
Wear comfy walking shoes, lots of sunscreen, and enjoy walking through the sights of Miami Beach!
- Cost: Free
9. Visit The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Just south of Miami in Coral Gables, a cute neighborhood in Miami Dade County, you can find the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
This massive botanic garden covers 83 acres and is packed to the brim with cool plants.
With multiple different gardens, events, and exhibits, you can spend ages wandering through the greenery and admiring all the colorful tropical species.
- Cost: $24.95
10. Stroll Along The South Pointe Park Pier
At the very southern end of Miami Beach is South Pointe Park Pier.
Looking inland towards the Biscayne Islands and Downtown Miami, and looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean, you get amazing views from the end of this pier!
It’s conveniently located right at the end of the Beachwalk, so definitely stroll to the end and admire the scenery.
- Cost: Free
11. Check Out Bayside Marketplace
Located in between Biscayne Bay and the City of Miami Marina, this centrally-located marketplace is one of the best places to shop and eat in Miami!
With a huge selection of shops and restaurants, and attractions, there is something at the Bayside Marketplace for everyone.
Check the Bayside Marketplace website for a full list of what’s on offer here!
- Cost: Free to walk around but obviously shopping and eating will cost money
12. Rent A Bike
As you explore Miami, you’ll notice there are bike rental stations all over the city.
These are run by CitiBike Miami, which offers a bicycle sharing system for locals and travelers in the area.
Riding a bike is a great way to sightsee in Miami, especially near the beach.
All you have to do is download the app and organize your rental online! Then you can pick up any bike and drop it off at another bike station.
- Cost: Prices range from $5.39 for 30 minutes to $24 for the day.
13. Go For A Dip In The Venetian Pool
Located in Coral Cables just west of Downtown Miami, the Venetian Pool is one of the top tourist attractions near the city.
This public swimming pool is surrounded by waterfalls, grottos, and Mediterranean architecture.
Swimming in the historic and majestic Venetian Pool makes for a beautiful alternative to another beach day!
- Cost: $21
14. Go Parasailing in Biscayne Bay
Soak in the views of Miami from the sky with a fun parasailing experience!
If you’re not content just lying on the beach, you can take your beach day to another level on this thrilling activity.
Soar behind a boat around 400 feet above the water on a smooth parasailing flight!
- Cost: $89
15. Spend the Night in Little Havana
Little Havana is a lively neighborhood near downtown Miami that is brimming with energy and Latin culture.
Calle Ocho is the main hub. Here you can savor the delicious food, dance to the vibrant music, and admire the colorful street art of this beautiful neighborhood.
Take your exploration a little further with a walking food tour. This is the best way to taste the best Cuban dishes in the area with a knowledgeable local.
- Cost: Free to walk around, $65 for a walking food tour with lunch included
16. Go Salsa Dancing
While you’re out in Little Havana, try something different and go salsa dancing!
There are a few venues around Miami where you can salsa dance, including Salsa Mia and Mango’s Tropical Cafe in South Beach.
But the most iconic place to salsa dance in Miami is Ball and Chain.
Located in Little Havana, this historic venue on Calle Ocho has hosted many famous musicians throughout the years. It’s a local favorite and has a combo of live music and Latin DJs.
- Cost: Free to enter, check the website for food/drink/event prices
Traveling alone? Check out my list of 22 solo travel tips!
17. Take A Photo Of The Miami Beach Sign
While strolling down the Beachwalk in South Beach, you’ll come across the fabulous Miami Beach letters in Lummus Park.
The big, bold, colorful letters are hard to miss!
There are some more great signs around the city that say things like “Welcome To Miami Beach”. So if you love a good photo-op, there are lots of options in Miami.
- Cost: Free
18. Visit The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Another must-visit destination in Miami is the Vizcaya Museum. This historic estate has landscaped gardens, opulent architecture, and an impressive art collection.
Whether you’re into history and design, or you’re just looking for a beautiful place to explore in Miami, the Vizcaya Museum is a cool place to check out.
- Cost: $25 (Online tickets are required)
19. Check Out The Art Deco Architecture
One of the things that Miami is known for is its art deco architecture.
South Beach has over 800 buildings in the classic, colorful, glamorous design style. The area has become synonymous with art deco architecture, and exploring here feels like you’re in a living museum.
It’s amazing to see so many art deco buildings from the 1920s and 30s still captivating travelers today.
Grab a camera and just start wandering! Stop by the Art Deco Museum and pick up a map if you’re not sure where to go.
- Cost: Free ($5 to explore the Art Deco Museum)
20. Experience The Nightlife
If you love to party, Miami is the place for you! South Beach and Downtown are particularly fun for a night out.
Just walking along the main strip of South Beach, you’ll see flashing lights and hear pumping music from just about every venue.
Whether it’s a live music venue, a pool party, a party cruise, or a dance floor with a DJ, Miami Beach is full of life, music, and energy.
I personally didn’t go out at night, but I did walk around Miami Beach at night and there are literally countless places to go dancing, eating, drinking, and partying.
So I won’t recommend any specific venues, but I will say just walk around Ocean Drive in South Beach and you’re bound to find somewhere fun.
- Cost: Varies
21. Squeeze In An Outdoor Workout
The walking path next to South Beach Miami is scattered with outdoor workout areas!
The biggest one is known as Calisthenic Park. Across a wide sandy area, there are various bars and benches that anyone can use for free!
There is also a shipping container full of weights and more gym equipment.
If you’re looking for a fun way to burn some energy while visiting Miami, head here for a quick workout! This is also one of the best free things to do in Miami.
- Cost: Free
22. Go On A Boat Cruise
Because Miami is surrounded by water, there is so much to see on a boat cruise!
Whether you set sail during the day or at night, it’s always cool to admire the Miami skyline from the water.
Cruise through Biscayne Bay and see the Venetian Islands and Millionaire’s Row from a new perspective. This boat cruise has over 1,000 positive reviews and only cost $30!
23. Admire The Freedom Tower
Last but not least on our list of the best things to do in Miami is check out the Freedom Tower.
This massive landmark from 1925 is part of the Miami Dade College Campus. It’s famous for being a safe haven for Cuban refugees during the 1960s and 70s as they fled their country.
The Freedom Tower is a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest skyscrapers in the US South.
Thanks for reading my list of the best things to do in Miami, Florida!
I honestly loved Miami, and I think anyone with a good attitude and a willingness to embrace the craziness will love it too.
Before traveling to the USA:
- Check iVisa to see if you need a visa (most visitors do!)
- Get travel insurance! Healthcare in the US is out-of-this-world expensive. Squaremouth Insurance is my go-to.
- Consider a work exchange to save money on accommodation! Worldpackers has some great options in Florida!
Check out some of my other USA travel articles:
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