17 BEST Places to Visit in Miami [December 2019]

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Miami is a total paradise! This city in Florida has so much on offer, and there are loads of amazing places to visit around here. It is a destination with a huge outdoor focus – so be prepared to enjoy some Florida sunshine! Some of the best things to do in Miami can be found at the many beaches, parks, and reserves in the area. 

If you are looking for places to go in Miami, then there are plenty of awesome destinations to suit all kinds of people. Whatever appeals to you, there will certainly be plenty of activity. To help you make the most out of your visit to this city, here is our guide on the best places to visit around Miami, Florida. 

Staying Safe in Miami

Miami is a safe city that is frequented by many tourists. In general, you shouldn’t have to worry much about your safety while you are here. Some areas in Miami are more dangerous than others, although you will most likely avoid these places during your visit. As with any busy destination, regular caution needs to be taken when visiting. 

Be careful with all of your belongings, and watch out for pickpockets. Busier areas, like South Beach, can often be places where thieves target tourists. Be mindful when walking at night, and avoid being alone on the streets after dark. Besides regular safety procedures, Miami is certainly a safe destination.

 

#1 – South Beach

A must-visit place in Miami on the weekend!

South Beach

South Beach (Photo credit – timeout.com )

  • Famous for its colorful art-deco neighborhood
  • One of the best unique things to do in Miami

When wondering what to do in Miami, South Beach should always be high up on the list! This neighborhood offers an authentic taste of Miami with its famous art-deco district, iconic beachfront, and many cool bars and clubs. 

Be sure to check out Ocean Drive, the main strip around here. There are plenty of glamorous hotspots and celebrity-chef restaurants around South Beach. This is a destination to enjoy by day and night. 

Best Attractions
  • The Beach: Out of all that South Beach has to offer, the main drawcard has got to be the beach! This famous sandy strip is the perfect place to spend a sunny day in Miami. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in South Beach, Miami

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#2 – South Pointe Park

A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Miami

South Pointe Park

South Pointe Park (Photo credit – miamismith.com )

  • An awesome 17-acre urban park
  • Has a great boardwalk over Miami’s last natural sand dune

South Pointe Park offers the ultimate urban escape in Miami. This large park features picnic pavilions, an impressive boardwalk, wooden observation towers, an amphitheater, fitness course, and more! 

If you are after a quiet space to spend a fun day in the Miami sun, then South Pointe Park would be an excellent location. This is a great destination for enjoying the beachfront without actually being on the beach. 

Best Attractions
  • The boardwalk: There is a 522-foot wooden boardwalk along here, covering Miami’s last natural sand dune. This is a  remarkably scenic route for a stroll in Miami. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in South Pointe Park, Miami

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#3 – Lummus Park 

A very cool place in Miami to go for a day

Lummus Park 

Lummus Park (Photo credit – pinterest.com )

  • A 74-acre public urban park
  • Features one of the city’s best beaches

Lummus Park stretches along the city’s iconic coastline. Visiting Lummus Park is one of the best things to do in Miami! Choose to rollerblade along the beachside promenade, relax under the palm trees, or soak up the sun on the beach. This is the quintessential park to hangout while in the city – a must do in Miami! 

Best Attractions
  • Lummus Park Beach: The entire park may be a great place for outdoor fun, but the beach is the main attraction. With sunbeds, volleyball nets, and palm-lined sands, this is the ultimate beach in Miami! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Lummus Park, Miami

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#4 – Key Biscayne

A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Miami

Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne (Photo credit – miami.curbed.com )

  • A charming island with a small town
  • Connected to Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway

Key Biscayne is a cool little island that lies south of Miami Beach. Although this island is so quick and easy to reach, it still feels like you are far away from the city here! While on the island, you can explore the small Key Biscayne Village, and enjoy the splendid beaches! 

Look out for dolphins, turtles, and rare sea birds while at Key Biscayne. 

Best Attractions
  • Natural beauty: Key Biscayne is home to mangrove forests, loggerhead turtles, and a great deal of bird and marine life. Simply enjoying the natural surroundings is the best thing to do here! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Key Biscayne, Miami

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#5 – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

An awesome place to visit in Miami for half a day!

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (Photo credit – flickr.com )

  • Includes the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse
  • A well preserved coastal state park

For those that want to escape the crowds of Miami Beach, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is the place to go. This stunning recreation area can be found on the southern portion of the Key Biscayne Island. The beaches are phenomenal – offering a total tropical paradise!

Visitors could spend an enjoyable day in this park appreciating the natural surrounds. For nature lovers, Bill Baggs is a welcome break from the city! 

Best Attractions
  • Cape Florida Lighthouse: This lighthouse can be found at the end of the state park. This is the oldest standing structure in Miami and is well-worth checking out! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Miami

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#6 – Crandon Park

A nice quiet place to see in Miami

Crandon Park

Crandon Park (Photo credit – dontplayahate.com )

  • An 808-acre urban park
  • Occupies the northern portion of Key Biscayne Island

Crandon Park ìs one of the best beachfront locations around Miami. This peaceful place to spend a sunny day is well-loved for its white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. If you want to swim, paddle boarding, or sunbathing, then this heritage park is a great place to visit!

Best Attractions
  • Crandon Park Beach: The beach here is one of the best in Miami, and is certainly the best reason to visit! Clear ocean water, soft white sand, and palm trees make this a winning location. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Crandon park, Miami

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#7 – Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale (Photo credit – mommynearest.com )

  • A luxurious beach destination
  • Has an amazing promenade

When it comes to Miami things to do, visiting Fort Lauderdale should always be high up on the list. This beachfront area is the perfect place for skating along the promenade, relaxing on the beach, and enjoying the chic environment. Be sure to admire the coconut palm trees while here! 

Fort Lauderdale is a popular place for many Miami vacationers. Due to its typical beachfront charms, we can see why! 

Best Attractions
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach: As with most places in Miami, the beach is the place to be! Fort Lauderdale has clear blue waters, spotless sands, and an upmarket setting. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Fort Lauderale, Miami

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#8 – Everglades National Park

Awesome place to visit in Miami with kids!

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park (Photo credit – tripadvisor.com.au )

  • Swamplands that cover around 1.5 million acres
  • Home to a variety of wildlife

The Everglades National Park is only a short distance from Miami, but it offers a completely unique change of scene! This protected swampland national park is an amazing place to experience local wildlife. Explore the wooden walkways or take a fun airboat ride to see the amazing natural surroundings. 

The swamp environment is an awesome break from the white beaches of Miami. This is a unique Florida experience. 

Best Attractions
  • Alligators: Seeing alligators in their natural habitat is what draws most people to the Everglades! Seeing them by an airboat ride is one of the easiest ways to get a sighting. The Anhinga walking trail should also take you past popular alligator spots. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Everglades National Park, Miami

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#9 – Bayside Marketplace

A great place to go in Miami if you love to shop!

Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace (Photo credit – miamiandbeaches.com )

  • A popular shopping area along the Miami waterfront
  • Over 150 different specialty and tourist shops can be found here

The Bayside Marketplace has an atmosphere like nowhere else. This waterfront area is basically a large outdoor mall with a unique Miami vibe. While walking around here you will pass plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, and live entertainment shows. 

This is also the perfect place to catch a tour boat. But most of all, if you love shopping, then this is one of the best attractions in Miami! 

Best Attractions
  • The shopping: There are loads of interesting shops here appealing to all kinds of people! The Bayside Marketplace is a shoppers paradise. This is the perfect place to get something to remember your Miami experience.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Bayside Marketplace, Miami

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#10 – Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park (Photo credit – miamimusicweek.com )

  • A 32-acre green space
  • Filled with monuments and sculptures

Bayfront Park is a fun place to go for a walk. There are a number of interesting monuments and attractions within this urban park. These include the Challenger Memorial, the Light Tower musical performance venue, and a children’s play area. Enjoy the well looked after trails and the lush park landscape. This is a must see in Miami.

Best Attractions
  • The Pepper Fountain: The pepper fountain is an electronically controlled water feature in the park. This big fountain is loved by Miami locals and is worth spending some time admiring. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Bayfront park, Miami

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#11 – Surfside

Cool place to see in Miami with friends!

Surfside

Surfside (Photo credit – forbes.com )

  • A fun beachfront town in Miami
  • Famous for its pristine beach

Surfside is one of the top Miami places to visit for a beach day! This small town area is loaded with upmarket hotels, shopping facilities, and diverse restaurants. This busy destination is most popular for its beautiful beach – a real Miami gem!

Best Attractions
  • Surfside Beach: Between the luxurious hotels lies the popular Surfside Beach. This is one of the best places in Miami for some relaxing fun in the sun! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Surfside, Miami

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#12 – Little Havana

One of the most underrated places to see in Miami

Little Havana

Little Havana (Photo credit – pinterest.com )

  • The Cuban district of Miami
  • An excellent place to visit for delicious food

Miami is a diverse and interesting city, with a strong Latin influence. The best way to experience this is through a trip to Little Havana – the Cuban district in Miami. As you walk around here you will hear salsa music, pass vibrant bars, and be surrounded by amazing Cuban food!

Best Attractions
  • Calle Ocho: This is the main strip running through the district, with loads of activity on offer. Walking down here will make you feel as though you are in the heart of Latin America! 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Little Havana, Miami

#13 – Biscayne National Park 

One of the more unique places to visit in Miami!

Biscayne National Park 

Biscayne National Park (Photo credit – biscaynenationalparkinstitute.org )

  • Includes coral reefs, islands, and shoreline mangrove forest
  • There is plenty of marine life to see here

Biscayne National Park is one of the most important protected areas around Miami. This park covers coral reefs and islands that can only really be reached by boat. If you are looking for one of the most fun things to do in Miami, take a boat or kayak tour around here. 

You can pass dolphins, turtles, shipwrecks, and more! 

Best Attractions
  • Boca Chita Lighthouse: You can access unbeatable views from here across the magnificent coastline. Spot seabirds and marine life from this awesome vantage point. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Biscayne National Park, Miami

#14 – Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

One of the most amazing places in Miami!

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens (Photo credit – ticketweb.com )

  • An 83-acre botanical garden
  • Dedicated to tropical plants

The natural tropical plants that grow around Miami are really unique. This botanical garden is one of the best areas to witness a lush rainforest up-close. You can spend some time exploring this beautiful rainforest and its many special spots. Enjoy the pergolas, sunken gardens, and water features. 

Best Attractions
  • The tram ride: There is a narrated tram ride that runs through the dense garden. This allows you to learn about the history of the place, and absorb some interesting facts on the landscape. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, Miami

#15 – Key Largo

A very cool place in Miami to go for a day

Key Largo

Key Largo (Photo credit – gypsyguide.com )

Key Largo is the first of the Florida Keys that is closest to Miami. This island is easy to reach for a day trip from the city. You will really get to escape the Miami crowds by visiting this tropical island paradise! 

Loaded with world-class hotels and unspoiled beaches, this is an awesome place to visit from Miami.

Best Attractions
  • Snorkeling: Going snorkeling through the beautiful coral reefs is one of the best things to do in the Florida Keys! The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is one of the top places to do this.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Key Largo, Miami

#16 – Wynwood Walls

Quite the quirky place in Miami!

Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Walls (Photo credit – mommymafia.com )

  • An outdoor street park
  • Home to loads of brilliant street art

One of the top things to do in Miami for art fans would be a visit to Wynwood walls. Do not expect regular art here though. This place is famous for its one of a kind murals which are constantly changing.

 Tours are also available of Wynwood Walls for those that want to learn more about this interesting place. 

Best Attractions
  • Over 40 murals: There are plenty of wonderful murals painted on the walls here. These were started during Art Basel, something that has now grown over the years. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Wynwood Walls, Miami

#17 – Miami Beach 

Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Miami

Miami Beach 

Miami Beach (Photo credit – creativemarket.com )

  • One of the most popular attractions in Miami
  • The perfect beach for a number of activities

How could a list of the best Miami attractions possibly be complete without mentioning the famous beach! Miami Beach is an essential destination to visit here. The whole city is focused around an outdoor, beach centered lifestyle – so hopping onto the sand here is an absolute must! 

Whether you are into kitesurfing, paddleboarding, swimming, volleyball, sunbathing, or jogging along the promenade, this beach is the place in Miami to do it! 

Best Attractions
  • The beach: This is one of the best attractions in Miami altogether. Enjoy the long stretch of beach, palm trees, and warm waters. The ideal destination for a summer holiday. 

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Miami Beach, Miami

Final Thoughts

Miami is the ultimate destination for a sunny holiday! Life around Miami is centered around the outdoors, making this the perfect place for people that love being active. However, if kicking back by the pool, and enjoying a beachside cocktail is more for you, then it can still be enjoyed in Miami. 

Whether you are interested in visiting well-preserved state parks, world-class beaches, artistic neighborhoods, or shopping paradises, then this is the city to do it! We hope that this guide on the best places to go and things to see in Miami will allow you to have an unforgettable time in this city!

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About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.