Candy-coloured art deco buildings that evoke memories of an unforgettable era, intriguing dishes that tantalise, vibrant nightlife, award-winning museums and glamorous boutiques. Welcome to Miami! If this city was a person, it would be the epitome of a party animal, but scratch beneath the service and you will find quieter, yet infinitely cool neighbourhoods which are the understated sisters of their wilder neighbours Miami Beach and South Beach. From the Cubanesque ‘Little Havana’ to the terracotta rooftops of Coral Gables, where you can find some of the best places to stay in Miami as well as a buzzy bar scene, Miami delivers in spades – are you ready to discover the best things to do in Miami?
Take a walk on the wild side
The largest subtropical wilderness in North America, a trip to the renowned World Heritage Site with its unique ecosystem that is the Everglades National Park is a must. Home to a diverse variety of rare and endangered species and habitats, the Everglades is a paradiscal dream for any lover of the great outdoors.
If you are looking for tranquil things to do in Miami, you’re in the right place. Think deserted beaches and desolate wetlands where you can hike, kayak, sail, fish and snorkel; to your heart’s content.
And then there’s the wildlife… A gaggle of ‘gators, hundreds of birds and other creatures like the white-tailed deer, river otter and the Florida panther can be found in this watery wonderland. The Everglades might only be a one-hour drive from the bright lights of Miami, but it feels like a world away.
If you are in Miami, you might want to swerve on the alarm clock as in the Magic City, going ‘out out’ is practically mandatory. Whether you are pulling an all-nighter or prefer to do a ‘Cinderella’, Miami can produce the goods, whenever you are lured back to your hotel room.
From sultry beats at salsa clubs and rooftop cocktails that dance against the panoramic views of the city to pool parties with some of the world’s biggest DJs and watching the local indie bands play at backyard bars, the choice is yours. A Miami night might end in different ways, but it always starts as the fiery orange sun sets on the city’s skyline.
Deco the halls
Exuberant, bold, colourful and effortlessly stylish, the architecture of Miami is world-renowned and the best examples of these candy-coloured beauties can be found in the Art Deco Historic District.
Whilst the design of each of the art deco buildings in this intriguing neighbourhood do vary, despite their unique characteristics, they all have one thing in common – they are gems from a truly captivating bygone era. In fact, Miami has the highest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world and if you are a fan of this architectural style, Miami is THE place to go.
Head over to South Beach to see even more examples of these colourful constructions. Film lovers will love the Cardozo South Beach hotel with its flamingo pink lights that adorn the perimeter.
This hotel was one of the filming locations of ‘Marley & Me’ (we’re not crying – you’re crying!) as well as THAT scene from ‘There’s Something About Mary’.
The arts scene is an integral part of Miami’s culture. From enjoying an immersive digital art experience at the Artechouse to the contemporary Rubell Museum which is home to over 40 galleries (the biggest private collection in the country) displaying the art from Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Kehinde Wiley, Cady Noland and more, the Miami gallery scene has lots to offer art lovers of all tastes so make sure you don’t miss out on of the most essential things to do in Miami.
We also love the Museum of Graffiti in Wynwood which is dedicated to chronicling the edgy art form’s history and its emergence in design, fashion, advertising, and galleries.
If you prefer your street art to be actually on the street then take a little street art tour to street art hot spots at Coconut Grove, Little Havana, the Miami Design District and more.
Escape the general hubbub of the city with a relaxing stroll around the Tropical Botanical Gardens which is a lush tropical treasure trove chock-full of flowers, cherry blossom trees, tropical plants, butterflies and more. Temporary art installations from acclaimed artists like Roy Lichtenstein can also be found nestled amongst the foliage.
Getting into nature is easy, in fact it is a walk in the park, albeit a 83-acre sized park that is! From rare orchids, swaying palms to the world’s largest collection of orchids, your senses will have a field day, especially when you wander through some of the world’s most exotic tropical fruits from far flung destinations like Borneo, Indonesia and Thailand.
Do go chasing waterfalls! The Fairchild Botanical gardens is home to the only rainforest in the United States which makes for quite a spectacular photo opportunity.
Havana mojito or two!
Need to cool off? Try one of the best mojitos outside of Cuba in one of Miami’s most famous neighbourhoods. Little Havana is one of the most colourful neighbourhoods and is perhaps one of the most culturally important areas of Miami. An ideal location to immerse yourself in Cuban culture whether this is trying some authentic Cuban coffee and the infamous Cuban sandwich or checking out the lively bar scenes of the neighbourhood.
Make some waves
Life’s a beach in Miami. Whether you prefer lounging in the sun with a cocktail, swimming, enjoying some fine food or all the above. Whatever your vibe is, it’s never been easier to find your perfect beach. Even more so if you have specific criteria like being great for the kids, dog friendly (if you are borrowing a Stateside pooch) or if you want to try your hand at surfing, paddle boarding and more. There are endless possibilities for water sport activities whether you’re seeking a group adrenaline-rush with friends or a tranquil paddle out into the water.
Shop ‘til you drop
Make sure you leave some room in your suitcase for some Miami goodies. From the eye-opening Lincoln Road in South Beach where you can find over 200 shops, designer brands, boutiques, art galleries & restaurants to the chic and contemporary boutiques of Biscayne Boulevard where you will also see the best of Miami’s musicians performing live every day. Whether your style is glitzy glam, urban cool or quirky vintage, shopping is one of the best things to do in Miami.