Miami is a coastal city and a world-renowned tourist destination, known for its beaches and beautiful weather, as well as its history, culture, sports, and entertainment. Downtown Miami, also known as the Magic City or the New York of Florida, is a major economic center and cultural hub. It’s separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach, which are both worth visiting for their nightlife and shopping.
When you’re in Miami, you’ll find plenty to do. You can visit the world-class museums or stroll through Little Havana. If you want to cool off, head to Miami Beach. It’s got a ton of Art Deco architecture, miles of beachfront, and a lively hangout vibe. Elsewhere, Everglades National Park is a fantastic day trip from Miami.
The best things to do in Miami are here! Plan your trip and discover the best places to see with our list of the top tourist attractions.
1. Miami Beach
Beautiful beaches, party scenes, and a mix of neighborhoods make Miami Beach a fantastic location for a vacation. Visitors can access the beach via a series of bridges that connect the island to the mainland.
South Beach and the Art Deco Historic District , a popular tourist destination, features numerous sunbathing opportunities on its beaches. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops, and hotels. The buildings here are from the 1930s and early 1940s, and they have an iconic neon sign.
Miami Beach, Florida is famous for its Art Deco architecture. One of the most celebrated streets in Miami is Ocean Drive. This beautiful street runs parallel to the Atlantic, past a number of Art Deco buildings. A block from Ocean Drive, on Collins Avenue, is State Road A1A. It is the main road on the beach and runs through numerous neighborhoods.
This neighborhood is really interesting. If you’re staying in this area, I recommend the following hotels: luxury, mid-range, and budget.
2. Art Deco Historic District
Even if you are not into the beach, you should still visit Miami Beach. This city has a rich history, and it’s famous for its Art Deco Historic District. This style of architecture is popular in Miami Beach, and it dominates the South Beach neighborhood.
Miami Beach, a city in Florida, was hit by a hurricane. The people rebuilt it, making it more colorful and edgy than before. These buildings are like no others. They are uniquely designed and they hold hotels, restaurants, and shops. Many have been restored to their original splendor. Some have awnings for shade on their bottom floors, which are used for outdoor dining areas.
Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are the two main streets through South Beach.
If you are interested in staying in a historic hotel, many Art Deco buildings still function as hotels. One good option is the Delano South Beach. It is a luxury hotel with a lot of character. This option is more expensive than a standard hotel, but it has a lot more style. If you want something more moderately priced, the Breakwater Hotel is another great option.
3. South Beach
Located at the southern part of Miami Beach is a magnificent stretch of white sand called South Beach. This beach fronts the ocean in a neighborhood also called South Beach. It’s the most popular beach in Miami and one of the top beaches in Florida.
Miami Beach is a place to see and be seen, but it’s also a place to swim, sunbathe, and relax. A paved walkway runs along the beach, with cars parked nearby. Behind the beach are Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, where tourists drive slowly by in order to take in the sights.
4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
This National Historic Landmark takes up 28 acres of land and was once the winter home of a 20th-century industrialist. The house features 34 rooms arranged around a central courtyard.
Vizcaya was completed by 1,100 workers who came from Europe. They were all craftsmen and they made sure that the design of the Vizcaya project was authentic.
This Italian Renaissance-style villa is filled with an impressive collection of antique furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to 19th centuries.
The grounds and gardens are full of beautiful Italian and French fountains, pools, and sculptures. A breakwater at the bottom of the steps leading into Biscayne Bay is an ornately carved barge featuring female figures.
5. Everglades National Park
In the Everglades, a short drive from Miami, lives a historic national park that protects one of America’s most unique natural features. The swamplands cover about 1.5 million acres, and are home to alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and birds. These wetlands are essentially a shallow river flowing out to the ocean.
Within the park is an information center where you can get directions and information. There are also trails to help you find wildlife. One of the most popular trails in the park is the Anhinga Trail. It starts at the Royal Palm Visitor Center.
This trail is less than a mile long and leads to a lush, forested area. Alligators and other animals live here. This trail is wheelchair accessible and appropriate for all ages and skill levels.
Everglades airboat tours are a popular way to see the national park’s wildlife. The tour guides take visitors on high-speed boat trips through the marshes and swamps, where you can see alligators and different species of animals.
To understand the Everglades, you must visit it. In Miami, a half-day tour is the best way to do it. The tour includes transport from your hotel to the Everglades, a 30-minute airboat ride through the park, a live alligator show at the Everglades Alligator Farm, and return transport back to your hotel.
6. Bayside Marketplace
Shoppers will find a variety of stores at Bayside Marketplace, including some well-known companies and many unique, one-of-a-kind shops. Locals as well as tourists visit the marketplace, which is open all year round.
The mall is situated right on Miami’s waterfront, giving the property a unique view of both the water and the surrounding city. While many people come to the mall for shopping, many others come simply to enjoy the view.
Tourists can take a tour of the bay on boats that leave from this location. There are also water taxis to Miami Beach and downtown hotels located in the area.
7. Little Havana and Calle Ocho
Little Havana, the Cuban district of Miami, is known for its distinct cultural scene. Musically-inclined people love to hang out there due to the large amounts of Latin music drifting through the air. The food is delicious, and there are many restaurants and specialty shops lining the streets.
Beautifully-painted murals adorn the walls of buildings in the Little Havana district of Miami. The main street is Calle Ocho, which runs through the heart of the district and is the center of activity. However, Little Havana spreads well beyond Calle Ocho and can be found on surrounding streets and avenues.
If you’re looking for a place to people-watch, then head to Little Havana. You can also eat Cuban cuisine here.
The Calle Ocho Festival is the largest Latin American street fair in the world. It has grown since its inception in 1978 to include other Latin American cultures. The festival brings music, food, and art together over eight blocks of SW 8th Street in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
8. Bayfront Park
On the east side of Biscayne Boulevard, just north of downtown Miami, is a 32-acre urban park, adjacent to the Bayside Marketplace. The park has several interesting monuments and sculptures. One of the most unique features is the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain.
Other notable features include the Challenger Memorial, a monument to the astronauts who lost their lives in the Challenger space shuttle disaster; the Light Tower, an outdoor amphitheater used for musical performances of all kinds; and a playground for children. Locals enjoy jogging or strolling on the paved trails.
9. Zoo Miami
A zoo in Miami houses thousands of animals from all over the world, including 40 rare and endangered species. Unlike traditional zoos, animals here are grouped together with other species they would normally co-exist with peacefully in the wild. They are also kept in settings similar to their natural habitats.
One of the most amazing experiences at the zoo is feeding the giraffes. These gentle giants will amaze you as they reach down with their long necks to pluck a treat from your hand.
This is the only zoo in the continental United States that is located in a subtropical climate. A huge variety of tropical plants can be found on the grounds, including more than 1,000 species of trees.
At the zoo, kids can find plenty of fun. If they’re sick of looking at animals, they can head to the play areas and have a blast at the water-themed play area.
10. Jungle Island
Jungle Island is a tropical bird sanctuary and wildlife habitat that provides a break from the city. The sanctuary has tropical forest settings and birds flying around. Some of the birds perform tricks, such as flying through hoops and other entertainment.
The zoo is home to many large animals, including tigers, baboons, alligators, tortoises, monkeys, and orangutans. The zoo’s collections of exotic plants are also impressive, containing around 2,000 varieties, including heliconias, bananas, orchids, and bromeliads.
At this zoo, guests have the option to interact with a number of animal species. Guests can choose to cuddle with lemurs, sloths, pink flamingos, or a capybara.
Animals are not the only fun things to do here. You can also climb a wall, walk on a village of trees, and play at the playground.
11. Deering Estate at Cutler
One of the largest nature preserves in the United States is a former home. The 444-acre estate was purchased by Charles Deering in 1916, and it protects globally endangered pine rockland habitat, as well as coastal tropical hardwood rockland hammocks, mangrove forests, salt marshes, and a coastal dune island.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Deering Estate at Cutler is home to many buildings, including the Richmond Cottage. Built during the early 1900s, it was once a hotel and now serves as an historical building. The site has buildings dating from 1896 to 1922 and also contains an American Indian burial ground that dates back to 1500.
Charles Deering was a collector of art. He and his brother accumulated many works by Old Masters. He himself was an artist, and some of his own artwork is on display. The Artist Village at the estate has become an important cultural center, featuring programs by artists and art lovers.
12. Wynwood Walls Street Art
The formerly drab warehouses in Wynwood, an area known for graffiti, have been transformed into an art wonderland. Nowadays, street art is used to decorate the walls of the warehouse district. This has brought new life to the once-dead neighborhood.
At first, Tony Goldman created the Wynwood Walls in 2009. It was a revolutionary idea to paint on walls instead of canvases. The walls have attracted artists from all over the world. They’ve painted over 80,000 square feet of wall space.
The murals are a work of art, and they’re free for the public to stroll through. If you want to learn more about them, sign up online for a guided tour.
13. Coral Castle
Edward Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle is a work of art built over 28 years in Florida. This incredible creation, made entirely of limestone, was built in secret by Leedskalnin. He used his own home-made tools to move massive stones into place, building it without the help of anyone else.
Open the gate, please. The most famous structure on the property is a giant stone gate. It opens easily with one finger. And it looks really cool with stone tables and chairs, unique figures, and other pieces.
14. Freedom Tower
An old building, the Miami Daily News headquarters is one of the most interesting buildings on Biscayne Boulevard. The building has a “wedding-cake” style, which was popular during the 1920s. It’s one of the oldest skyscrapers in the southeastern United States.
The name Miami International Airport was given because it is the immigration processing center for Cuban immigrants who came to the United States in the 1960s. Today, it stands as a tribute to these Cuban immigrants and is used as an international art museum.
15. Miami Children’s Museum
If you want to win over your child, bring them to the Miami Children’s Museum. It’s a colorful and creative place with over 56,000 square feet of space. An exciting place for kids, it’s filled with educational and entertaining exhibits that appeal to their sense of curiosity and creativity.
The museum has 14 galleries, each with a unique theme. There are galleries for art, culture, community, and communication. Four outdoor exhibits give kids a chance to play and enjoy time outside.
16. Key Biscayne and Crandon Park
South of Miami Beach and over the Rickenbacker Causeway is Key Biscayne. This small community has lovely beaches and beautiful parks. Of particular note is Crandon Park with its protected waters and gorgeous beach.
The park has pools, slides, and other attractions that help it be popular with families. It also has a nature center that attracts many people. The park is generally well-equipped, with ample parking, chair rentals available, and lifeguards on duty.
17. Basketball Games at American Airlines Arena
The American Airlines Arena is located in Miami. It also hosts a lot of concerts and events. The arena is home to the Miami Heat, but it can also seat up to 19,000 people for games, concerts, and special events.
The Miami Heat’s arena, opened in 1999, is an extremely energy-efficient building. It is also the only sports arena in downtown Miami to have received LEED Green Building certification. This modern sports arena stands out prominently on Biscayne Bay.
18. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
On a rainy day or if you’re looking for a place to visit off the beach, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a great place to visit. It’s a fun museum that has something for everyone.
The Miami Seaquarium is divided into four sections. The aquarium focuses on the ocean and the creatures that live in it. The planetarium helps visitors understand the physics of the solar system through interactive displays. The North and West wings are full of other exhibits that explain our world, including information about South Florida.
For a truly amazing experience, visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. It’s filled with fun and interactive displays that kids will love. Adults will enjoy the great views from the viewing areas.