Lifeguard hut on the beach in Miami, USA

Things to do in  Miami

Spread out those towels

Sunshine entices visitors to Miami, but it’s the city’s art, culture, and style that really leave an impression. The beaches here need no introduction: From Miami Beach to Key Biscayne and beyond, it’s all golden sands and turquoise seas. But while some of the best things to do in Miami are centered around the beach—like boat tours, jet ski rentals, and kayaking excursions—don’t miss the chance to explore beyond the sand, too, with visits to art galleries and museums or tours of Little Havana and Wynwood.

Top 15 attractions in Miami

Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace, a vibrant waterfront mall in downtown Miami—and the city’s most-visited attraction—sits above Biscayne Bay and features many shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The open-air market has more than 100 shops ranging from apparel to bath products to electronics, and often live performers are on hand to keep shoppers entertained.More

Little Havana

Vibrant Cuban culture permeates every aspect of the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida—you’ll find it in the colorful murals, the monuments to heroes past and present, the residents facing off in the domino park as they discuss politics, and in the cigar rollers at work amidst the ever-present aroma of Cuban coffee.More

Fisher Island

An exclusive home to the rich and famous, Fisher Island is located 3 miles (5 kilometers off the coast from Miami. The mansions, apartments, and yachts docked in the marina are owned by some of Florida’s wealthiest citizens. No roads or bridges lead to the island; it is accessible only by ferry or private invitation. There is a golf course and two hotels on the island.More

Coconut Grove

One of the first established neighborhoods in Miami, Coconut Grove melds an eclectic history with a modern vibe, creating a historic, hipster hub for food, art, and culture. From its idyllic waterfront on Biscayne Bay to quaint walking streets lined with boutiques and cafés, the village is the perfect laid-back base for a Miami vacation.More

Everglades National Park

Sandwiched between the sizzling beaches of Miami and the white sands of Key West, the 1.5 million-acre Everglades National Park stands in stark contrast to its seductive neighbors—but don’t make the mistake of passing it by. Visit the park and discover for yourself the spectacular swampy weirdness that draws over one million visitors every year and constitutes a one-of-a-kind destination for nature lovers.More

South Beach

Miami's South Beach neighborhood features 10 miles (16 km) of beaches with a buzzing, carnival-like atmosphere. With a trendy Caribbean-chic café culture and an impossibly hip and sexy nightlife scene, the area is a non-stop people-watching mecca.More

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park, 95 percent of which lies underwater, is one of the top scuba diving areas in the United States. Divers and snorkelers flock here to experience Biscayne Bay’s extensive reef system. Above water, you can explore the Florida park’s small mainland mangrove shoreline and keys by boat.More


Break away from the throngs of tourists crowding Miami Beach, and discover the revitalized district of Wynwood. Once nothing but run-down warehouses, the now-hip neighborhood is known for its mural-lined streets. Visitors also enjoy the numerous art galleries, coffee shops, craft breweries, and Puerto Rican–influenced eateries.More

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Miami is often called the "Magic City," and this opulent Italian Renaissance-style villa is its fairy-tale residence. Built for industrialist James Deering in 1916, Vizcaya Palace is as ornate as a Fabergé egg and brimming with 15th- to 19th-century furniture, tapestries, paintings, and decorative arts. The seaside grounds, which front Biscayne Bay, feature elegant gardens, fountains, sculptures, pools, canals, trails, and a charming Florentine gazebo.More

Miami Beach

With its warm, clear waters and white sands, Miami Beach has perhaps some of the best urban beaches in the United States. Located just over the bridge from the city of Miami, it is also known for its vibrant neighborhoods, fine dining, pulsing nightlife, and architectural claim to fame: the area boasts the largest concentration of art deco buildings in the world.More

Art Deco Historic District

Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District is a colorful, vibrant section of the trendy South Beach neighborhood. The area includes about 900 unique buildings—from nautical-themed hotels to pastel-colored mansions—and was the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.More

Zoo Miami (Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens)

Thanks in part to its subtropical climate (which allows for large swathes of natural habitat), Miami’s zoo is one of the best in the country, filled with a variety of animals from Asia, Australia, and Africa. More than 200 species roam the cageless exhibits, separated from visitors by cleverly-designed moats.More

Miami Design District

The Miami Design District is dedicated to innovative fashion, design, architecture, and dining. The area juxtaposes design brands with restaurants, international art collections, and permanent and temporary art installations, while its new buildings exist among transformed historic ones. Design showrooms fill the area, along with high-end retailers like Christian Louboutin, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.More

Jungle Island

Parrots and macaws fly freely in outdoor aviaries at Jungle Island (formerly Parrot Jungle Island) in Miami. Visit this lush, family-friendly waterfront facility to spend an educational day seeing cockatoos and orangutans and learn about a range of animals, from flamingos to crocodiles to tortoises.More

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Frost Science)

An aquarium, planetarium, and science museum all in one, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is one of Miami’s top landmarks for an educational experience. Visit to learn about everything from research on coral reefs to the hunt for dark matter to how prehistoric animals evolved to fly. Interactive exhibits offer a fun, hands-on experience for kids.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Miami

Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami
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All about Miami

When to visit

Weather-wise, spring is considered the best time to visit Miami, but timing is key. March is Spring Break season, and many college students flock to Miami for festivities. Come April and May, students are back in school, which may be the best window to visit the idyllic South Beach.

Summers in Miami are hot and humid, but that doesn’t stop families on summer break from flocking to the white sand beaches. Events like Art Basel bring the crowds, making summer an expensive, albeit exciting, time to visit.

Fall is peak hurricane season in the Atlantic. While good weather is not always a guarantee, it can lead to disruptions in travel and reservations.

With temperatures averaging in the mid-70s, winter is a perfect escape from colder northern climes. Miami is a popular holiday-season retreat, with holiday lights adorning its art deco buildings and palm tree-lined streets.

Getting around

Walking: Warm weather year-round means Miami is a great walking city. The city’s mostly grid-like layout and numbered streets and avenues make it easy to navigate by foot.

Train: Downtown Miami has a Metromover rail line that goes to popular locations and is free to all passengers. In addition, the Metrorail line travels throughout the city’s metropolitan area if you’re planning a day trip.

Bus: The Metrobus has almost 100 routes within the city limits, making it a reliable way to get from one neighborhood to the other. The schedules for the bus change throughout the course of the day, so plan accordingly to avoid longer-than-necessary transfers. The Miami Beach Trolleys are an easy—and free—option to get to the city’s major beaches.

Taxi: Miami taxis can be easily found throughout the city, and are a good option for those looking to avoid parking problems in the busier parts of town. Uber and Lyft also operate throughout the city’s metropolitan area.

Traveler tips

Miami may be known for its beaches, but the city’s culture is really its backbone. Bolstered by its Latinx population, Miami has the largest Cuban-American population in the country, which makes the city’s Little Havana neighborhood a must-visit area for food, art, music, and nightlife. Before planning your visit, be sure to check the city’s event calendar to make sure you are planning your visit around some of the larger events—especially if you are looking for a trip on a budget. Miami’s busy seasons span throughout the course of the year, making hotel, airfare, and attraction rates fluctuate, with small windows in between to grab the best deals.

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A local’s pocket guide to Miami

Andrea Manokian

Born and raised in the United States, Andrea is a writer who knows a thing or two about the country’s major cities. Having holidayed in Miami, she’s explored this lively city like a tourist and a local.

The first thing you should do in Miami is...

set one day aside for ocean-related activities such as jet-skiing on Biscayne Bay, sunbathing on South Beach, or enjoying sunset views from a boat.

A perfect Saturday in Miami ...

starts with a South Beach ocean dip, includes drag-queen brunch at Palace Bar, outdoor shopping in Brickell City Center, coffee in Little Havana, and a casual sunset stroll in South Pointe Park. It ends with waterfront dining in Bayside.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

cruising down the art deco-inspired streets of Ocean Drive in Miami's South Beach neighborhood alongside plenty of vintage convertibles. The area is full of restaurants and hotels, and the beach is right there too.

To discover the "real" Miami...

check out the street art and art shops scattered along Wynwood. Check to see if there are any local art walks happening while you’re there, too.

For the best view of the city ...

head to Rosa Sky rooftop for some tasty drinks and nighttime views of Miami skyscrapers and city lights.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that Miami is only enjoyable if you're looking for an eccentric nightlife scene, but the city offers many daytime activities that are ideal for everyone from enthusiastic beach lovers to fine dining connoisseurs.


People Also Ask

What is Miami famous for?

The city of Miami is famous for its sandy beaches, art deco architecture, vibrant art scene, and ocean-based activities from boating to stand-up paddleboarding. The most famous stretch of all is South Beach, a barrier island with picture-perfect beaches, but Miami is also famous for its up-and-coming neighborhoods like Wynwood.

What attractions are near Miami, Florida?

Miami, Florida is home to many attractions like the Art Deco Historic District in South Beach, the Perez Art Museum Miami, and the Frost Museum of Science. The city of Miami is also near regional attractions including the Florida Keys, the Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, and Everglades National Park.

What is there to do in Miami besides party?

Beyond nightlife, there is a lot to do in Miami. Nature lovers can visit parks and beaches for fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, birding, and snorkeling. Miami is home to an extensive network of bike paths for visitors who may want to explore by bike. Art galleries, street art, and creative boutiques provide even more entertainment.

Is Miami worth visiting?

Yes, Miami is worth visiting. Travel to this south Florida city for its picture-perfect beaches, art deco architecture, and extensive list of water sports from boating to kayaking. Beyond the beaches, Miami has also gained a reputation as a destination for contemporary art, cocktail culture, nightlife, and a diverse population.

What should I not miss in Miami?

Don’t miss exploring beyond South Beach. While the sandy shores and art deco architecture of South Beach are very special and worth visiting, the city of Miami and its many pleasures extend beyond this barrier island. Visit the art galleries of Wynwood, the seafood restaurants of Brickell, the boutiques in Coconut Grove, and the restaurants of Little Havana.

Frequently Asked Questions