Top 10 things to do in Miami, FL

Fun-fact: Most of Miami Beach is man-made; its beaches frequently have to be refilled with new sand

by Sharon
bayside marketplace

The city of Miami is not new to the ears and eyes of many people. Whether you have been in Miami or not, you have probably heard about it a lot, even from the Instagram photos or movies with a setting in Miami. In the southeastern of Florida sits this beautiful city full of life and lots of entertainment. The white-sand beaches and the sunny weather attract a multitude of people to this magical city.

You might wonder what Miami is, aside from the beaches and the seemingly unending nightlife. Well, Getawaybird is here to get you informed. History, culture, pristine coastlines, vibrant restaurants, art galleries, museums, beautiful parks, and serene natural environments are a collection of the things that melt the hearts of many visitors.

Miami is no doubt a great place to have a good time and have fun. But where do you head like a local or a visitor who just landed in the city? There are numerous places to explore which we cannot squeeze into one article for sure. That is why we have taken a step ahead to narrow down your search to the top-rated things to do while in the city. Therefore let us explore some of the top picks that you shouldn’t miss out on your visit. Let’s get started!

The top ten things to do in Miami, Florida

1. Miami Beach

south beach

South beach

Miami is extensively known for its sunny sandy beaches and nightlife, which could be one of the reasons for your visit. On the southeast of Miami is an island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. That is the famous Miami Beach where you sure want to feel the whole Miami vibe.

Miami Beach is a composition of the North beach, mid beach, and South beach. If you are into a more chilled beach environment, then North Beach is the ideal place to be. North beach tends to be less touristy as a result of being more residential.

The famous South Beach, commonly known as ‘Sobe,’ has the better part of the crowd who head to experience Miami. This is the best place to leisurely play with sand in the Miami tropical sun, swim, and enjoy the shallow waters amidst the art deco.

If you have watched most movies with a setting in Miami Beach, you already have a great visual image of the South beach. The beach features beautiful architecture, vibrant restaurants, oceanside dining, bars, clubs, and nightlife for the young at heart that kicks off while the sun still shines.

Most visitors also explore South pointe park to enjoy stunning ocean views and lush walking paths full of palm trees. The Ocean Drive and Art deco District are other nearby places to extend your walk into the beautiful sights of Miami Beach.

2. Wynwood walls

wynwood walls

Wynwood walls

Whether you love art or don’t, you will find Wynwood walls fascinating. Wynwood was established back in 2009 by the visionary Tony Goldman. From being a collection of windowless warehouse buildings, the place has now transformed into one of the world’s most incredible outdoor museums of international street art.

The outdoor museum is a great place to experience art, culture, exquisite shopping, and cuisine in one of the restaurants around. The museum has a collection of paintings, contemporary art, and murals by various artists worldwide who have contributed their artistic styles and touches on the wall. Be sure to encounter some colorful murals by leading street artists that cover the walls of the buildings. One of the famous murals you should find is Shepard Fairey, the artist who came up with Obama’s ‘Hope poster.’

To spice up a day or hours of getting lost into the meaning of paintings, a little bit of photography would be perfect for making memories and, more so, Instagram enthusiasts. Visitors who visit for the first time opt for guided tours by private companies around the walls at a fee. Wynwood is essentially the best place to experience art and appreciate the diversity of art.

3. Calle Ocho-Little Havana

little havana

Little Havana

If you want to experience much of the Cuban culture and food, then Little Havana is your exact destination to make the first stop. Located next to downtown Miami, Little Havan derives its name from the capital and largest city in Cuban, Havana. The neighborhood is essentially known for its rich social, cultural, and political activities.

A taste of Cuban delicacies spearheads your journey to knowing much about the Cuban culture. Calle Ocho is the center where all these activities happen. The center is dotted with murals, artwork from the mosaic tiles, restaurants, and food shops, where you will experience the authentic and traditional Cuban foods that are spiced up and flavored in their outstanding styles.

A visit to the famous El pub and Versailles restaurants would be worth some Cuban food and cuisine. There is more than food in the street. Live Latin music that cheers up every part of the streets and avenues in Calle Ocho will present a feeling of being in Little Havana.

For a more experience of Little Havana, head towards Maximo Gomez park to play some chess or dominoes games. Likewise, you could hit the cigar factories or the Azucar ice cream company for some artisan and Italian ice with some tropical flavors.

4. Bayside marketplace

bayside marketplace

bayside marketplace

Bayside marketplace is a two-floor open-air shopping Centre located in downtown Miami. Packed with over forty dining options, over 150 shops, numerous boutiques, and restaurants, Bayside has a beautiful setting with a lot to offer to everyone on their visit. You can enjoy live free music performances, fishing, boat riding, ship cruises, and further join the boat parties if it is something you like.

Many visitors also enjoy some Miami seafood and tropical cocktails by the water. After experiencing Miami food and cocktails, a stroll around the shops and boutiques would be worth your time. There are plenty of beautiful things to purchase and take back home.

Visiting Bayside is an advantage to exploring other beautiful Miami sights. Bayfront Park is one of the attractions adjacent to the marketplace that spans 32 acres beside the bay. Here you can experience more musical performances and a beautiful lush environment. The fountain, pavilion, and amphitheater are some of the top attractions in the park. Many visitors have had an exciting experience of the movie nights, salsa classes, yoga, and live music in the amphitheater.

5. Everglades National park

everglade national park

everglade national park

Thirty miles away from the west part of Miami sits the Everglades National Park. The park spans a massive 1.5 million acres of croc-ridden swamplands, ideally one of Miami’s most unique natural environments.

The park seeks to preserve the diverse ecosystem and vegetation. Start your journey with a private airboat tour in the northern area, not reserved for wildlife preservation. You will experience riding through the slow-moving water under the vegetation that filters water as it moves south towards Key West.

Alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and birds are among the creatures you will find in the park. The Everglades safari park best offers airboat rides, trails, and exhibits where you get enlightened more about preservation. To add to that, they also have interactive alligator shows that most visitors find to be fun.

The Everglade journey is not complete without exploring the shark valley observation tower. A two-hour guided tram tour would go a long way in creating perfect memories of the park.

6. Art Deco Historic District

art deco historic district

art deco historic district

Art Décor District is the best place to experience the culture and art scene of Miami city. It is one of the first 20th century neighborhoods placed in Florida’s National Register of Historic Places.

The neighborhood features over 800 beautiful buildings and structures with architectural styles dating back to the early years of 1920 to 1940. You will learn a lot about the exquisite Miami architecture and the pastel-colored stucco buildings that fill every part of the street.

You can stroll down the streets or join a walking tour by the Miami Design Preservation League to explore much about the neighborhood. Art Deco Museum is another viable place to spend your time discovering and learning about the art displays it has to offer.

With a lot of classic restaurants and outdoor dining areas, you could pause your tour to enjoy a meal or drink of Miami’s special kind. Art Décor has a magical experience when the night comes with its neon signs and the white and pastel-colored buildings, which complement the whole night scene.

7. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

vizcaya museum and gardens

Vizcaya Museum and gardens

If you want to experience more of Miamis’ nature, the Vizcaya is the best place to stop. The garden is in the beautiful Miami neighborhood called Coconut Grove, another attraction that most visitors like to explore in Miami. In 1916, Vizcaya was built as an estate and a winter villa to a great conservationist, James Deering. Currently, the mansion serves as a museum, housing a variety of furnishings and artwork that reflect art from the 15th to the 19th century.

The exquisite architecture and atmosphere take you back to the ancient European mansions. The villa had over 1100 craftsmen from Europe contribute to its stunning and authentic design. The museum features 34 rooms centered in a fantastic courtyard of lush surroundings and beautiful gardens.

The Italian Renaissance gardens contain stunning Italian and French fountains, sculptures, and pools where you can walk around. The natural and native landscape of trees and woodland is a breathtaking space to get lost in nature and take memorable photos.

8. Zoo Miami

amazon and beyond in zoo miami

Amazon and Beyond in Zoo Miami

On the southwest of Miami, you will find the Zoo Miami, which spans over 750 acres of land. It is one of the greatest zoos in Florida and is uniquely a zoo in a subtropical climate. This spot is fun to explore, with over 3,000 animals of 500 different species and over 40 endangered animals.

The beautiful exhibits in the zoo replicate the animals’ natural habitats, which are well maintained and suitable, especially for the endangered species. You will learn that most animals are grouped on how well they co-exist with each other in their natural setting. A unique feature about the zoo is how well you can view and interact with the animals up close. The animals are not kept in a cage-like environment and instead enclosed by well-positioned moats to separate them from the visitors.

Most people, especially children, are fascinated by activities in the zoo, such as giraffe feeding and watching the birds in their exhibits. With over 100 exhibits, learning about the different animal species and scientific topics is more than fun. The Amazon and beyond display is one popular exhibit in the zoo where you will get thrilled by some of the animals like the monkeys, snakes, leopards, and alligators, to mention a few.

The zoo isn’t natural with, of course, some trees. There are more than 1000 tree species, palms, and other plants that contribute to the natural environment of the zoo. If you are towed with children, they tend to get bored naturally for being in one place for some time. Heading on to the play areas would be tremendous fun for them to play around at the water-themed play area.

With plenty of rides and events throughout the year, the zoo is a must-visit destination in Miami for people of all ages. If you are an art lover, the zoo Miami walls would be exciting to explore.

9. Crandon park

crandon park

Crandon park

Crandon Park is one of the best attractions in Key Biscayne that was a coconut plantation initially. The park is a perfect spot for relaxing and having family time in the white sand and palm trees that make the surroundings extremely beautiful. Crandon Park is pure entertainment with the sporting activities such as golf courses and the tennis Centre, which has 26 complete courts. Moreover, the park also has a beach and marina to extend your fun around.

Crandon Park Beach is known for its clean waters and safety. You are safe to swim on the offshore reefs after some good time of getting soaked in the sun. Diving and kite surfing are yet other water activities that surfers can enjoy while on the beach.

Away from the beach, you can explore nature by strolling around every corner of the beautiful serene environments of the park. The park does not house numerous restaurants and amenities, and therefore packing up yourself with some food and drinks would be wise. The sun can be intense to some levels, which is why many visitors recommend having umbrellas and chairs with you if there is a need to avoid the extra costs of renting them.

10. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Phillip and Patricia Frost museum of Science

Phillip and Patricia Frost museum of science

Why not learn something new after quenching your thirst for Miami’s fun, beach, and nightlife? Within downtown Miami’s waterfront Maurice A., is the vast museum that features four buildings of unique arrangement and architecture; the frost planetarium, the aquarium, North and south wings. There is so much to learn about science, which is why many visitors find it exciting all through.

The museum has grown technology-wise, which explains why there are vivid learning experiences related to science on the giant high-definition screens. In addition, different exhibits in the museum are a great way of getting informed on a wide array of topics. The exhibits’ interactive displays explain everything from science, chemistry, physics, humans, animals, traveling, and more.

The planetarium is an ideal spot to learn about the solar system through interactive displays and shows. The 250-seat frost planetarium of 16 million color 8k projection visual system and surround sound creates an illusion of traveling through space. You can also head on to the ocean gallery, where you explore the power of science, research, and discoveries by scientists.

Kids, as well as the old, will enjoy some time in the aquarium. The three-level aquarium sends you on a virtual tour of South Florida’s aquatic life and ecosystems. You learn about the beautiful waters, sea creatures, natural habitats, and the science behind them.

Other spots to get informed about science include the bachelor foundation gallery and the Baptist health galleries. The museum of science is pure bliss and a site worth visiting for everybody.

Final note

Miami is the ideal place to be if you are planning for a spot to have tremendous fun and lifetime memories. The white-sand beaches, tropical climate, and Miami’s unending nightlife never seem to be enough. However, there is more than that in the city of Miami. The art galleries and walls, beautiful shopping Centres, dining areas, parks, and museums are other places to experience Miami.

Whether for family vacations, couple or individual visits, Miami has something for everyone to enjoy. Taking a break from the everyday routines and environments is always fun and rejuvenating. Vacations and tours are among the best ways to divert from the norm and experience new things and new people. I hope you get inspiration from our list of the top 10 things to do in Miami and travel to one of the world’s famous touristy cities in the US.

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