15 AMAZING Things to Do in Miami [2018 Insider Guide]

Famous for its sexy beaches, Cuban influences, beautiful people, and awesome nightlife, Miami is one of the hottest destinations in all of America.

But Miami is absolutely gigantic – it would take a lifetime to see and do everything this city has to offer.

Which is exactly why we put together this bargain guide to the COOLEST things to do in Miami. 

Written by our expert travel writers, this guide is designed to show you the best that Miami has to offer.

Whether you are aiming to see popular attractions, or are searching out the hidden local gems – this epic list has got you sorted (and for all budgets!).

Have a blast and check out some (or all!) of these best things to do in Miami, Florida…

Additional reading – Check out 17 Awesome Miami hotels, and the Miami Where to Stay Guide

Things to do in Miami

Quick Answer – Best things to do in Miami

 

Fun Things to do in Miami

Fun is probably the first priority for any traveller exploring a new city for the first time. Fortunately, Miami is a hot spot for fun days with its hot and sunny weather, world-class beaches, and an endless array of daytime activities!

Miami Beach Architectural District

Miami-Beach-Architectural-District

  • Architecture
  • Photography
  • Bars

For something fun you almost definitely can’t see in your hometown, don’t miss out on the Miami Beach Architectural District! Considered one of the United States’ historic districts, it’s full of old-style art deco bars and hotels painted in bright and inviting colours—so for that perfect Instagram photo-op, remember to bring your camera!

Calling all fashion aficionados: if you consider yourself a fashion buff, you may be interested to know that Gianni Versace owned a home here during his time, making it a spot loved by one of the top designers in the world.

This is a fun place for bar-hopping, people watching, or even just a little wandering and exploration. Protip: we recommend floating through this jaw-dropping neighbourhood at dusk for optimal lighting and to see this architecture really come to life!

Half-Day City Tour & Bay Cruise

Half-Day-City-Tour-&-Bay-Cruise

  • Sightseeing
  • Bus Trip
  • Boat Ride

Miami is a vibrant city, but it’s so much more than just the sun-warmed streets—so why not book a tour where you can explore Miami from both land and sea? This fun split-day tour covers the city from first a double-decker bus so you can travel in style while whizzing through the city streets and stopping to see some of the top highlights, and then on a bayside cruise where you can sit back, relax, and take in the scenery as you sail along the water.

Conveniently offering hotel pick up and drop off, you don’t have to worry about a single thing except for taking it all in as you breeze through the city and focus on nothing but experiencing everything that Miami has to offer!

Bahamas Day Trip From Miami

Bahamas-Day-Trip-From-Miami

  • Foreign Country
  • Boat Ride
  • Water Sports

It’s sometimes easy to forget that while you might be in the continental United States, exotic tropical destinations are just a hop, skip, and a jump away! So while you’re visiting Miami, for a true taste of some fun in the sun, you can book a day trip to the Bahamas to get your fill of the Caribbean.

Just a short, two-hour boat ride away, Grand Bahama offers everything you could possibly need to spend a fun and fulfilling day in the Caribbean. For the outdoor adventurers, try spending your five hours of free time snorkelling, jet skiing, or simply lounging on the quiet, sandy beaches below a bluebird sky under the sun. Or, you can pop into the many shops that the area has to offer, and grab a delicious lunch before you head back into Miami.

Romantic Things to do in Miami

Travelling with your beau in tow obviously means that a little alone time is in order. Whether it’s a snazzy date night on the town or simply exploring the city sights under the sun, romance is in no short supply when visiting Miami. So here are some romantic things you can do with your love.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Vizcaya-Museum-&-Gardens

  • Gardens
  • Architecture
  • Views

Fancy a day trip back in time to the Mediterranean? Fortunately, you don’t need to venture very far, as a visit to the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens will make you feel as though you’ve gone back in time to the opulence of the Italian Renaissance.

The home of a 20th-century businessman, this grandiose estate was built in a rustic but luxurious Mediterranean style and is open to the public to wander through its beautiful gardens, palatial courtyards and tucked-away archways. Build along the water’s edge at Biscayne Bay, it gazes directly out to sea.

So for an afternoon of romance, Mediterranean-style, grab your beau and wander slowly through this stunning estate to take in all the richness of the architecture…and maybe make some plans to buy a lottery ticket!

South Beach

South-Beach

  • Restauarants
  • Bars
  • Seaside

The city’s designated “it” place to be is definitely a good spot to squeeze in a date night (or day!) with your partner. Located in a prime spot for restaurants, walks on the beach, and bars for some of that Miami nightlife, South Beach is a great spot for some laid-back romance. It’s also close to other must-see neighbourhoods in the city, like the Architectural District.

Feel free to throw down a towel and make a beach day of it, and take a dip in the turquoise waters for some late afternoon refreshing! Followed by a drink or two, dinner, and watching the sunset from a patio along the waterline, this makes for a Miami date night about as romantic as it gets.

A Day Trip to Key West

A-Day-Trip-to-Key-West

  • Water Activities
  • Museums
  • Views

Nothing says ‘romantic’ like spending the whole day together! And with a 13-hour, full day trip to Key West, you’ll be able to spend the entire trip side by side.

Only a 4-hour drive away, Key West is largely considered to be America’s own Caribbean. Complete with street performers, unique outdoor cafés and hidden jewel restaurants, Key West is an experience with a vibe and culture all its own. You can even spend the day museum-hopping, or the ultimate literature-lovers dream: visit the house of Ernest Hemingway!

Keen on spending some quality romantic time at sea? Check out the numerous options for glass-bottom boat rides or snorkelling expeditions.

Things to Do in Miami with Kids

Family trips are always full of fun. But it can sometimes be tricky to plan a trip that keeps everyone happy. Luckily, in a city like Miami, there is always something to do for families travelling with kids that will guarantee fun for the whole family.

Miami Children’s Museum

Miami-Children’s-Museum

photo credits: theclio.com

  • Interactive
  • Activities
  • Educational

For active kids who are always on the go, a place with constant stimulation, games, activities, and exhibits is a sure way to keep kids entertained while also learning about the world around them.

The Miami Children’s Museum offers a wide range of different exhibits, from an art exhibit that allows children to experiment and learn about different mediums of art and creativeness, to even an exhibit that teaches the basics of saving and earning money. On weekends, there is even an indoor rock climbing wall for the really energetic!

For families travelling with young kids, the Miami Children’s Museum is a sure-fire way to spend time together as a family while also watching your kids learn, grow, play, and interact with the world around them.

Miami Seaquarium

Miami-Seaquarium

  • Sealife
  • Educational
  • Demonstrations

There’s always something fun at a city aquarium, but only the Miami Seaquarium is set on 38 acres of land where kids can marvel at killer whales, dolphins, and other fascinating sea life.

The Seaquarium’s efforts towards marine conservation and education make this a great way for parents and kids to spend time together while also learning new things. For adventurous families, there’s even the Sea Trek Reef Encounter, where high-tech dive helmets allow visitors to walk on the floor of an enormous tank and interact with the endless species of fish below.

Between watching the aquatic shows, gazing at jaw-dropping sea creatures, and even walking on the ocean floor, the Miami Seaquarium will make an unforgettable day for parents and kids alike!

Jungle Island

Jungle-Island

photo credits: The Business Journals

  • Water Park
  • Animals
  • Adventure Activities

For families seeking the ultimate adventure thrill, Jungle Island is pretty much exactly what it sounds like! And for those visiting Miami with kids in tow, this is the perfect spot to keep them entertained and spend some incredibly fun hours together as a family.

Jungle Island offers a myriad of too-good-to-be-true activities for parents and kids, including a full water park, a wind-powered free flight experience where guests can get the sensation of flying, and a zip line course for some fast-paced fun! Animal lovers, never fear: there’s a VIP meet-the-animals experience where you can see exotic animals like lemurs, macaw parrots, and more.

Free Things to do in Miami

Travelling to new places is often accompanied by budgets, and that’s just the way it is sometimes! Fortunately, in a city as dynamic and soulful as Miami, there are always things to do that don’t require a fee—just a few hours and an open mind!

Visit a Museum

Visit-a-museum

photo credits: partyspace.com

  • Educational
  • History
  • Art

There are an endless array of museums to choose from in Miami, no matter what your area of interest and many of them offer free admission (score!).

Are you more into visual art? The Bass Museum of art has monthly free-admission days, and the Institute of Contemporary Art & the Patricia and Philip Frost Art Museum are always free (including monthly galas at the latter where you have the chance to meet the artists).

History buffs will probably want to visit HistoryMiami (always free!) which offers a fascinating look into the history and evolution of the city itself, all the way into contemporary topic exhibits.

No matter what your museum fix, there’s always an option for a visit, and often free admission is on offer for those tight-budget days where you just want a free activity.

Admire the public art

Admire-the-public-art

photo credits: themiamiartscene.com

  • Art
  • Free
  • Sculptures

What better way to get a feel for the vibe of a city than to wander through its public art installations? And fortunately, Miami is chock full of these kinds of displays.

From pieces so big you need to stand fifty feet back to see the top to displays so colourful you don’t know where to look, to sculptures and concoctions that make you want to observe, analyze, discuss, imagine…there’s always a few hours to spare to wander and take in the art.

But if you want to see them all, you’ll need a few days; there are almost too many to count!

Bayside Marketplace

Bayside-Marketplace

photo credits:baysidemarketplace.com

  • Shopping
  • Browsing
  • Dining

Though it’s technically a shopping district, this open-air marketplace is a perfect spot to hang out and window shop if you fancy doing something that’s easy on your wallet.

As far as free activities go, Bayside Marketplace is a great option. Wander between the stalls, take pictures of the colourful displays, and people watch to your heart’s content. On Sundays, there’s even a farmer’s market where you can check out the haul from local artisans and farmers, without feeling the need to spend.

Be warned, though; the numerous and delicious food options at the marketplace might make you break your spending fast!

Best Things to Do in Miami at Night

Miami is arguably a city well known for its vivacious and vibrant nightlife. From nightclubs to cocktail bars, late-night restaurants and lounges, Miami is another one of those cities that seems to never sleep. Good news for night owls…here are some great places to spend your twilight hours and immerse yourself in the local scene.

Little Havana

Little-Havana

photo credits:astridtravel.com

  • Culture
  • Restaurants
  • Art

Being so close to Central America, it’s no surprises that somewhere like Miami has a neighbourhood steeped in Cuban culture.

For a taste of Miami’s Cuban scene, Little Havana has everything to give you the full experience. Latin American art galleries, restaurants, and shops line the streets, with cafés boasting the best of Cuban coffees (and some even selling Cuban cigars)

If you’re a fan of live music (who isn’t?) many of the nearby clubs in the area host live Latin music to make any evening in this bright and soulful quadrant of the city completely unforgettable.

Midtown

Midtown

photo credits:Miami New Times

Anyone who wants to get their party on at night will want to make sure they drop a pin at Midtown. Largely consisting of the downtown core of Miami, the neighbourhood of Midtown is home to some of the best clubs, bars, and cocktail lounges the city has to offer.

Between vintage liquor bars, speakeasies, or even tapas bars where you can get your fill of delicious share plates with your trendy cocktail, this is sure to be a night you never want to end.

Coconut Grove

Coconut-Grove

  • Nightlife
  • Bars
  • Partying

It’s impossible to travel through Miami without hitting up at least a few cool and quirky little bars and lounges, and Coconut Grove is another district where you’re sure to find a ton to do at night.

From hookah lounges to taverns, there’s definitely a lot of unique hot spots for a fun night out on the town. How will you choose when the choices are all so good? Easy: you’ll want to get a little bar hopping in, in order to try it all.

You can’t go wrong with a night out in Coconut Grove – just make sure you’re ready to party ‘til dawn!

Closing Thoughts on the COOLEST Things to do in Miami

Perfect your tan as you laze on the beach. Cruise around the bay. Hit up museums, admire art, have family fun, and experience the buzzing night scene. Heck, you could even take a jaunt to the Bahamas! The best things to do in Miami are sure to guarantee a holiday to remember!

What do you think about our list? Have we missed any of the top things to do in Miami?

Comment below to give us your two cents!

About the Author Aaron Radcliffe

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