Top 11 Rated Fun Things to Do in Miami – Travel Guide
By David Bolaños on Dec 02, 2021
If you’re drafting a vacation bucket list, the chances of Miami being listed are high. It comes off as a global tourist hotspot due to its perfect weather, pristine tropical beaches, and an ambiance that screams relaxing.
Let’s just say that Miami lives up to its nickname as the “Magic City” – it’s difficult to put into words the buzzing atmosphere you can experience along the US coastline. Hosting millions of tourists each year, it’s a “no-brainer” that this region is synonymous with adventure, inspiring visitors to come back for more time and time again.
Miami is a place for everyone. Whether you’re a party animal or prefer a more laid-back adventure, there are tons of things to do, regardless of what floats your boat. From comedy bars to numerous shows by renowned artists, Miami is a “beehive” of activities.
Before you make your way to this dazzling region, you’ll want to cut through the clutter and get the fun stuff right away. In this article, we’ll be doing just that with the following focal aspects:
In this guide, we'll take a look at:
Miami Attractions: What Is Miami, Florida Known for?
Besides going through some fun facts about Miami, Florida, read on to find out what to do in Miami and how to maximize your stay in the Magic City.
Miami Attractions: What Is Miami, Florida Known for?
There are so many reasons to visit Miami. But what is Miami known for? The perfect weather, beautiful shores, and visiting hotspots in Miami make for a truly memorable experience. Among other things, the city is popular among tourists for the following reasons:
Miami is located in the southernmost part of Florida and is one of the few American cities that experience year-round sunshine. This beautiful coastal city has experienced snow just once in recorded history, meaning that Miami offers a “warm” opportunity to escape the gloom of winter (and get a good tan!).
The Diversity of Cultures
Beaches aside, what is Miami, Florida, known for really? Well, the answer is its cultural diversity. For context, people from over 150 ethnicities call the “Magic City” home. This immense diversity is reflected in the city’s cuisine, art, and music, giving it a unique ambiance.
Visiting the famous beaches probably tops every visitor’s checklist of things to do in Miami, Florida due to the fact that beaches span over 20 miles of the Atlantic. Here, the coastline, clear waters, and gentle breeze present this almost irresistible pull.
South Beach is the city’s most famous beach neighborhood. However, visiting tourists would be thrilled to know that Miami has other fine beaches, including Virginia Key and Surfside Beach.
If you’re traveling with your four-legged friend, you can enjoy some beach action together at several of Miami’s dog beaches, like the South Pointe Park and Hobie Island Beach. Man or animal, Miami holds the answer!
Immersive Art Scene
The art museums in the city are becoming one of the more popular Miami attractions. Each year, the international Art Basel Miami Beach draws art enthusiasts to the city.
The street art scene also gives raw talents the chance to hone their craft to perfection. Exhibition centers like Wynwood and the Pérez Art Museum offer an impressive collection of classic and contemporary art. So, if you’re an art lover, you know exactly where to look.
The Electric Nightlife
Exploring the city at night ranks among the best things to do in Miami. The legendary Miami night scene attracts tourists, locals, and celebrities who come to enjoy the music and have loads of wild fun.
Miami features stylish malls that accommodate all kinds of shoppers. A true “shopaholic” destination, you can get the trendiest designer items, as well as budget-friendly accessories in the shopping centers that litter the city.
The next time someone asks you what’s in Miami, Florida, you can tell them about the unique collection of shopping outlets, perfect for whiling away an afternoon or two!
What’s the Best Month to go to Miami?
Miami has warm weather all year round, even during the cold months. However, the seasons are pretty different, meaning that some times of the year are more suited to vacationing than others.
Springtime, the period between March and May, is the most touristy time to visit Miami. The city is warmer than winter during this period without the humidity of summer. With temperatures hovering around 70 to 80 degrees, Miami sees a lot of visitors during this period. That said, Sun City hosts springtime events like the Ultra Music Festival, Miami Fashion Week, Miami International Film Festival, and Miami Open (Tennis).
The winter months from December to February may also be a fun time to visit for some tourists. With temperatures in the mid to high 70s, the city experiences low humidity and rain. You can see Miami’s beaches at their finest at this time of the year. Art Basel Miami, International Music Festival, and White Party Week are some notable events during this period.
Summer (June to August) is scorching hot in Miami and signals the start of the hurricane season. Tourists tend to stay away from the city at this time. While Fall (September to November) is the beginning of the school season, the hurricanes remain a nagging issue. Crowds are few at this time. It may be excellent for tourists who prefer to explore Miami tourist attractions during this uncrowded travel period.
You can get cheap flights to Miami depending on when you are traveling to the city. Flight rates to any of the three airports in the city vary by season. Flight fares are cheapest around July and most expensive in December. Thus, you may want to speak with your travel agent to know the best periods to book a flight to Miami from your destination.
What to Do in Miami
Here’s our list of the top 8 things to do in Miami, Florida:
Enjoy a Day at the Beach
Miami gets a significant chunk of its identity from its beaches. The immaculate white sands of South Beach and pristine turquoise waters have been the backdrop of many Hollywood scenes.
SoBe, as many residents know it, is the perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine and get a tan. If you love beach sports, one of the best things to do in Miami, you can join other beachgoers for a game of volleyball or go on a thrilling jet ski ride.
Consequently, if you’re visiting the Magic City as a first-timer and you’re looking for the best thing to do in Miami, you’ve got your answer by visiting its beaches, with SoBe taking the top spot.
Walk By Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue
Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue represent the art and shopping culture in Miami. One of the best places to visit in Miami, Ocean Drive runs parallel to the Atlantic and is lined with the iconic Art Deco that symbolizes Miami’s landscape. Discover chic cafés, bars, and restaurants on this legendary stretch where culture and entertainment collide.
Collins Avenue is six miles away from Ocean Drive and runs parallel to Miami Beach. It is Miami’s go-to avenue for those with an eye for upscale fashion and style. Here, you can find the top designer brands and accessories that consistently set Miami’s famous fashion trends.
Visit Wynwood Walls Street Art Park
If you’re talking about the top 10 attractions in Miami, Wynwood Walls makes the list. Wynwood Walls is Miami’s outdoor street art museum, complete with abstract paintings, graffiti quotes, and creative sculptures. The monthly Wynwood Art Walk is a mini art festival complete with food, drinks, live music, and late-night art exhibitions.
Shop for guides, prints, books, and other gift items at the Wynwood Walls shop nearby. Guided tours of this outdoor museum are available if you want to gain a deeper appreciation of the art, artists, and writers that make Wynwood the phenomenal art district it has become.
See the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
In 1914, a wealthy Miami industrialist acquired 72 hectares of land and contracted over a thousand workers to build his dream home. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, an Italian Renaissance-style estate, was James Deering’s pet project, and this villa has become one of Miami’s tourist offerings.
The mansion contains an impressive vestibule, a music hall, a statue path, and even a butler’s storeroom holding utensils that have been around for over a century. Feel the regal ambiance of this immense palace that has hosted popes, pop stars, and other celebrities who have come sightseeing in Miami.
Discover the Delights of the Little Havana Neighborhood
Little Havana is one of the most beautiful places in Miami. This vibrant Cuban neighborhood lays claim to Latin restaurants, fruit stands, bakeries, rum bars, cigar shops, and brightly painted roosters.
There’s so much exploration to be done in this part of Miami. For starters, visit Miami’s oldest open-air market, and enjoy Latin cuisine at its best when you take a food tour. You can also see how famous Cuban cigars are made when you visit El Titan de Bronze.
Get a feel of Cuban culture at the Calle Ocho walk of fame and learn about Cuban history at the Cuban Memorial Boulevard. On the lookout for one of the best places to visit in Miami for stellar arts? Little Havana ticks all the boxes.
Explore the Miami Design District
The Miami Design District is the creative hub of Miami architecture, innovative fashion, cuisine, and art. Go shopping or window shopping for your favorite items at some of the world’s most notable fashion stores.
The Miami Design District is touted as one the most exciting places to visit in Miami as it gives visitors an enchanting view of public artworks. People can also discuss art at the Institute of Contemporary Art, experience intense gastronomic delights by world-renowned chefs, and enjoy cocktails prepared with a touch of global innovation.
Discover Nature at the Everglades National Park
One of the top things to do in Miami is to visit the Everglades National Park. See plant and animal species not found anywhere else on earth when you tour this 1.5 million-acre sprawling park. The Everglades National Park is one of the world’s most visited parks and receives up to a million visitors annually.
Hike through the Everglades or explore by boat, canoe, or tram. See alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and rare birds, or follow a ranger-led party to get a comprehensive Everglades tour. You can also camp for a few days if you desire to get a richer experience of Miami’s famous Everglades.
Let Loose in the Miami Nightlife
What is Miami, Florida known for? Its nightlife. The Magic City presents a wild nightlife scene that ranks among the best places in the world to party after dark. It’s common to grab friends and dance at hip nightclubs featuring A-list DJs, live bands, hot models, and local celebrities. Not your thing? Try sipping mojitos in Calle Ocho or salsa dancing in Little Havana.
The nightlife in Miami is such a strong part of the culture that it’s not uncommon to take in Miami’s beautiful skyline from a rooftop bar and eat dinner at 5 AM in South Beach!
If you favor a less intense night out in Miami, you should check out the performing arts schedules at the New World Center or stop at the Cerveceria La Tropical, a local brewery in Wynwood.
Regardless of your preferences, engaging in the nightlife here is one of the top things to do in Miami.
Where to Stay in Miami, Florida
When you are on a mission to enjoy Miami attractions, you need a base from which you can explore the beaches, clubs, art, food, and also a place to relax after a hectic time out in the city.
Selina Hotel Downtown Miami
In a former motor inn dating from the 1950s, this trendy hotel with a retro vibe is set off Highway 1. Surrounded by so many things to do in Miami, Florida, it’s three miles from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and eight miles from Miami International Airport. Selina Hotel Downtown Miami is within range of art galleries, chic boutiques, extravagant architecture, and trendy cafés.
Streamlined dorms provide Wi-Fi, lockers, and bunk bed, and bathrooms are shared. Private rooms and a suite have sole use of facilities, with some featuring coffeemakers and colorful wall art.
Amenities consist of a restaurant, a bar, and a communal kitchen, plus an indoor pool, a sundeck, and a yoga deck. There’s also a drive-in-style cinema with vintage cars. Parking is available.
Selina River Hotel Miami
Unlike the Selina Hotel, which provides a dorm-styled setting, the Selina River Hotel Miami, Florida, is a hotel with individual rooms that give off more privacy. Set in an early 20th-century house in a leafy residential neighborhood, you’ll always find what to do in Miami when you stay in this trendy hotel. Selina River Hotel is one mile from I-95, two miles from Pérez Art Museum, and eight miles from the bars and restaurants of South Beach.
The Selina River Hotel features individually styled rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi. Suites also feature separate living rooms, and some provide bunk beds and balconies. Amenities include a warm hip bar, an outdoor pool, a shared kitchen, and a library.
Places to Eat in Miami
Besides what to see in Miami, the Magic City’s famous food scene offers gustatory pleasures from all around the world. When you’re in Miami, sample Latin-inspired dishes, traditional tacos, Oriental, Italian, and Greek cuisine, among other gastronomic delights.
Enjoy a vast selection of creative, unique ceviches and traditional Peruvian dishes in this Downtown Miami restaurant. CVI.CHE 105 ceviches are served with Peruvian steamed corn, concha, and sweet potato but we recommend trying the Papas a la Huancaína, an appetizer of potatoes and Andean cream. If you’re visiting in a group, share the Combo Caliente – a dish of fish cracklings, filet mignon anticucho, and crunchy calamari and if you want some seafood, then try the Sudado De Pescado, a meal of slowly-cooked fresh fish with tender Arequipa onions and colorful tomatoes.
Besides featuring Miami’s famous food forms, CHI.CVE 105 stands out in its service to visiting patrons. An award-winning Peruvian restaurant with Chef Juan Chipico running things behind the scenes, you’re assured of a great time here.
Ferraro’s Kitchen Restaurant and Wine Bar
Enjoy Italian, Mediterranean, and European cuisine when you visit Ferraro’s. This upscale restaurant just west of North Bay offers a selection of Italian flavors, including Langostino, Bistecca Toscana, Caprese Salad, and Tuna Carpaccio. This restaurant also features vegan and gluten-free options.
You can also sample wines from an impressive collection of over 3,000 bottles, including Campania, Friuli, Veneto, and other options from top wineries and regions throughout Italy.
Selina Miami River offers an oasis in this busy city for community and self-care. With workshops, weekly BBQs, and outdoor music concerts, this Selina destination is at the heart of the emerging Miami River scene. Stop by for flavorful Latin cuisine and culinary collaborations with Casa Florida restaurant.
Miami has many places to visit and is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations and this melting pot of diversity has something for every kind of traveler. The city offers so much that you may need to return a couple of times to explore it all.
Like most tourist destinations, Miami attracts all sorts of people, so you want to be on the lookout for peddlers, scammers, and petty criminals. As with any other trip, you want to make preliminary plans for travel, accommodation, and transportation, so you have the time and freedom to enjoy the pleasures of Magic City.
Can You Walk on Miami Beach at Night?
Yes. Miami Beach is relatively safe at night, but authorities advise tourists to walk in groups, avoid unfamiliar territory, and follow essential security tips. The police strongly discourage walking on the actual beach at night, and the beach officially closes after dark.
Is Miami Expensive to Live?
Yes. Miami ranks among the most expensive US cities. The cost of living in Miami is 14% higher than the national median. Statistics indicate that you need to earn $46,000 more than the median income to live comfortably in Miami.
Is Miami Cheaper Than New York?
New York is one of the world’s most expensive cities. It is cheaper to live in Miami than in New York. The cost of living in New York is 129% higher than the national average compared to Miami’s 14%. Consequently, it’s no surprise why tourists are looking towards Miami for a fun-filled vacation.
What Are the Top Attractions to Visit in Miami?
Miami has a lot of things that would qualify as top attractions. Some noteworthy tourist attractions in Miami include Miami Beach, South Beach, Little Havana, the Art Deco District, Everglades National Park, Wynwood Walls, Miami Design District, and the ever-electric night scene.
What Are the Best Outdoor Activities in Miami?
Miami experiences year-round sunshine, making it a hive of outdoor activities. The best outdoor activities in Miami include relaxing on the beach, touring the Art Deco District, visiting the Everglades National Park, going on the Wynwood graffiti tour, parasailing on the beach, playing beach or watersport, and strolling through Ocean Drive/Collins Avenue.
What Food Is Miami Famous for?
Miami is famous for Latin and Caribbean-inspired cuisine. Some of the city’s well-known culinary delights include stone crabs, fish sandwiches, traditional tacos, ceviche, Cuban sandwich, Mofongo, fried snapper, Yuca, Croquetas, and Alligator bites. You can find some of these stellar dishes at the CVI.CHE 105 and Ferraro’s Kitchen Restaurant and Wine Bar.