Miami, the sun soaked city for the rich and famous, blessed with it’s glistening white sand beaches, tropical scenery and warm climate. Looking for what to do in Miami to make your vacation in South Florida even more exciting?
With so many things to do in Miami and South Florida, visitors are spoilt choice. Are you a sun soaker, day tripper, history buff, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie? With something for everyone the question is always whether you have enough time to squeeze what to do in Miami into your vacation.
Miami is a sprawling city with many neighborhoods that evince unique styles and culture. From the arts district of Wynwood Walls to the colonial and renaissance inspired Coral Gables neighborhoods, there is much to be seen across the vast Miami cityscape. Whilst Miami Beach always takes center stage for every visitor, it’s the less well known beaches like the Hollywood boardwalk or the less well travelled neighborhoods like Coconut Grove that stand out as places off the beaten path.
And it’s not just Miami that is the star of the show for South Florida, there are many more exciting things to do in South Florida too, like day trips to the Florida Keys and Key West, or adventures into the Florida Everglades. With something for all ages in our list of the 9 top things to do in Miami you wont get stuck when pondering what to do in Miami!
9 of the Best Things to do in Miami
1. South Beach & Ocean Drive
The most popular tourist district of Miami and South Florida is Miami Beach, the island peninsular reached by the iconic bridges that span between Downtown and South Beach. Famous for it’s Art Deco architecture in the neighborhood of SoFi (meaning South of Fifth), and the iconic South Beach classic car collections.
The white sands and blue ocean waves of South Beach attracts visitors from all around the world. With luxurious beach front hotels and their sun loungers intermixed with the colorful lifeguard houses, is a photo that all visitors from Miami return home with. Two green parks, Lumnus Park and South Pointe Park, back the palm tree lined boardwalk promenade which interweaves between Ocean Drive and South Beach. A great way to see Miami Beach in its’ entirety is to hire bicycles.
Ocean Drive is the beating heart of South Beach and the focus of what to do in Miami. Lined with Art Deco fronted hotels that date back to the 1930’s, their neon lights at night are iconic images recognized universally. The Art Deco district is perfect for self guided walking tours, visitors can stop by the Art Deco Welcome Center for guided tours too.
2. Miami to Bahamas Day Trips
New to the what to do in Miami in 2021 list is the bucket list activity – the unique Miami to Bahamas Day Trip to Exuma with Bahamas Air Tours. A short flight from Florida to Bahamas by plane offers stunning window seat views across the Exuma Cays archipelago – a spectacular collection of 365 tropical islands in the Bahamas Out Islands.
The purpose of flying to the Bahamas in one day is to visit the famous Bahamas Swimming Pigs at Pig Beach. The swimming Pigs are now the top number #1 attraction in the Bahamas, so why not consider a unique day excursion to the Exumas during your vacation in South Florida?
Along with visiting the Swimming Pigs island, guests enjoy the equally if not more exciting, Swimming with Sharks experience aswell as many other adventures including: snorkeling into the James Bond cave Thunderball Grotto, exploring the pristine Exuma Sand Bars, seeing the underwater plane wreck, discovering exotic wildlife at Bitter Guana Cay. Book now an adventure to the Bahamas from Miami.
3. Downtown Miami: Bayfront Arts & Museums District
Downtown Miami is a hub of interesting places to visit and for visitors looking for what to do in Miami. With towering hotels and condominium buildings, you’re not short of places to enjoy the stunning Miami skyline views and colorful sunsets. The Freedom Tower, modeled after the Giralda Tower in Spain is a landmark of the Downtown and waterfront district. Bayfront park is the leafy link between downtown and museum district.
In the museum district, the newly constructed Frost Science Museum and the Perez Art Museum await visitors interested in sciences and arts. A favorite for all ages, or when looking for what to do in Miami when it’s raining, making it the perfect indoor things to do in Miami Florida. You can easily spend a full day at each attraction.
4. Design District
Just north of Downtown Miami is the Design District. An almost hidden neighborhood that is home to high end shopping and luxury retailers. In every outdoor space art has prominent placement whether through sculptures, architecture or colorful murals, the Design District has fast become a center for creative arts. With convenient car parking and plentiful dinning outlets, Design District is not to be missed for the list of what to do in Miami.
5. Wynwood Walls – The Outdoor Arts Neighborhood
Wynwood Walls is a popular and trendy arts district of Miami. A tapestry of colorful outdoor murals and art work covers the square mile area of Wynwood. Having only opened in 2010, Wynwood has quickly transformed this are of Miami into a trendy modern neighborhood. It’s not just the arts that visitors come for, but there are many popular restaurants and bars. They even have a trendy farmers market every weekend! Wynwood is home for over 70 art galleries and museums. This is the home of the Creative Arts in Miami and South Florida.
6. Everglades National Park by Air Boat
Take a journey into the Miami Everglades National Park by Air Boat! One of the most fun things to do in Miami, Air Boating into the Everglades is a fun way to experience a small taste of the 11,000 square miles that the Everglades encompass. As a unique natural habitat to thousands of species, the most iconic of which is the Florida Alligator. And the Air Boat operators are well versed in finding these stunning creatures for you to snap a photo up close.
7. Coral Gables & Coconut Grove
The iconic Biltmore Hotel Miami is center piece of the Coral Gables neighborhood. A lavish property with sprawling golf course, is a landmark to the 1920’s Gilded Era and the unique Mediterranean Revival architecture. The Coral Gables was the brain child of George Merrick an influential property developer, where Mediterranean style mansions and tropical tree lined avenues weave across the Coral Gables area. Other popular attractions in Coral Gables include the Venetian Pool built in 1923 and remains open to the public.
Neighboring Coral Gables is the equally Mediterranean inspired Coconut Grove district. Home to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a spectacular mansion built in 1910 and now protected as a National Historic Landmark. Vizcaya has frequently been featured in Hollywood films as a filming location for films such as Iron Man and Bad Boys. Another attraction in Coconut Grove is the expansive Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, a beautiful collection of lush tropical greenery.
8. Little Havana: A Taste of Cuba in Miami
Little Havana is small but culturally rich neighborhood in Miami close to Coral Gables. It’s Walk of Fame is an honor to 30 Latin American celebrities and film stars such as Gloria Estefan and Enrique Iglesias. Popular for selling Cuban Cigars and Cuban Cuisine, Little Havana is worth atleast a brief visit to soak up the relaxed Cuban culture.
9. Florida Keys road to Key West
Key West at the very southern tip of Florida and the United States unique geographic place is commemorated by the marker at Key West Southernmost Point, a popular photo taking place for visitors. With Key West being only a 4 hour drive away from Miami. Making it the perfect Day Trip from Miami. Even if a long drive appears daunting, it’s only a 30 minute flight away. A road Trip to Key West passes many places of interest such as the 7-mile bridge and Key Largo.
Awaiting in Key West is a unique architecture of colorful houses, known as Conch House, it is a style attributed to immigrants from the Bahamas (bright colors and white picket fences). Key West is not just a day trip what to do in Miami, but makes a great night stop if you want to experience the sunsets and cocktails in Mallory Square.
Looking for what to do in Miami Florida?
With so many choices of what to do in Miami, it’s easy to not consider going further afield outside the bounds of Miami. But awaiting those who wish to venture far, whether that be a Day Trip to Bahamas or a Day Trip to Key West, a vacation to South Florida has such a rich and diverse collection of places and experiences it is not to be missed.
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