While Miami is dotted with a long list of luxury hotels and upscale restaurants, shops and spas, there are still plenty of free attractions for budget-conscious travelers to enjoy as well. These family-oriented attractions will take you to the picturesque shoreline, interesting museums and the heart of Miami without costing you a penny. Fun-filled activities that won’t break the bank, here are the best free things to do in Miami.
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Soak up the sunshine at the beach (Hotel Prices & Photos)
This is Florida, a visit to the beach is required. Miami lures you in with its ideal weather, and it would be a shame to miss out on its gorgeous shoreline. Grab a towel and some sunscreen and visit Miami Beach Central with its raised boardwalk for walking or head to Crandon Park Beach to explore its three-mile, lagoon-style beach with barbecue grills on-site. If you’re looking for a remote spot, head to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park to see its iconic lighthouse.
Do yoga at Bayfront Park (Hotel Prices & Photos)
You’ve got no excuses to skip that exercise, as you’ll get a good stretch at the free yoga spots in Miami. Head to Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday to namaste with friendly locals, while Coconut Grove has groups on Saturday mornings at Kennedy Park and Wednesday and Saturday evenings at Margaret Pace Park. Want a beautiful view of the bay while you do the Downward-Facing Dog? Head to Mondrian in South Beach on Sunday mornings.
Listen to live jazz at MOCA (Hotel Prices & Photos)
You’ll find free outdoor concerts, whether rain or shine, the last Friday of every month at 8pm on the plaza outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Music lovers gather together to listen to notable artists that play anything from the saxophone to the flute, trombone in addition to percussionists and local artists, you’re guaranteed to wow’d by the live performances on offer.
Visit the Jewish Museum of Florida (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Housed in two restored buildings that once served as synagogues for Miami Beach’s first congregation, the Jewish Museum of Florida is a must-see for history enthusiasts. Free on Saturdays, head to the South of Fifth neighborhood, then marvel at the museum’s 80 beautiful stained glass windows, Deco chandeliers and a Moorish copper dome. Step inside to discover a rotating collection of temporary exhibits, then browse the permanent MOSAIC: Jewish life in Florida, 1763 to present exhibit.
Stroll through Little Havana (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Head to one of Miami’s most diverse neighborhoods and take in the vibrant smells and sights along Calle Ocho. Walk through the heart of Little Havana to discover hand-rolled cigars and fragrant coffee, then step inside Maximo Gomez Park to watch older folks gathering to play dominoes and share stories.
Marvel at the graffiti art at Wynwood Walls (Hotel Prices & Photos)
While Miami’s Ocean Drive and Art Deco buildings serve as a postcard image of the city, its Wynwood Walls that takes the cake as the most popular place to admire colorful street art. This local favorite is decked out with striking graffiti art that spans the entire arts district of Wynwood. Admire the murals and masterpieces created by artists from around the world, then visit nearby Panther Coffee for craft coffee and latte art.
Admire art at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Newly renovated, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science boasts a large array of hands-on exhibits that older kids will be captivated by. From fascinating exhibits on different ecosystems, the human body and the adventure of flight, to the 250-seat planetarium that will take you to outer space, you are sure to be spoiled for choice at this attraction. Highlighting South Florida’s aquatic ecosystems, the on-site aquarium gives visitors insight into the depths of the underwater world. The museum gives plenty of opportunities to explore and discover, while the outdoor Wildlife Center houses over 170 reptiles and birds of prey.
Explore South Pointe Park and Pier (Hotel Prices & Photos)
A perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or bike ride, South Point Park and Pier at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach is a 17-acre park with walking paths and gorgeous views of the ocean. You can bring the entire family, as there is a playground with water features and a dog park. Admire the art and light sculptures that dot the park, watch the cruise ships and small yachts come and go or head to the pier to watch the fishermen.
Join an art walk (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Miami is known for having some of the best art walks in the state, which are a perfect place for you to learn more about the culture of the city. One of the most established walks in the Coral Gables Gallery Night on the first Friday of the month where can visit the variety of galleries, while Second Saturdays are when you can go to Wynwood for the Art Walk to watch artists at work. Lastly, the Bird Road Art Walk is on the third Saturday of the month.
Take the kids to the Miami Children’s Museum (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Free on the third Friday of each month from 3pm – 9pm, the Miami Children’s Museum is a perfect activity for when you need a break from Florida’s heat with its range of innovative hands-on exhibits. Centered around a miniature world, here you’ll find replicas of places such as the grocery store and the bank for children to visit, while they can learn a new skill set such as recording music or making newscasts. A fitness exhibit teaches kids about health and wellness, where you’ll find plenty of places to keep the kids entertained, from a rock climbing wall to a sand castle with a slide and a neat replica cruise ship.
Snap photos of Art Deco along Ocean Drive (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you’re an architecture fanatic, a walk along Ocean Drive is a must. It’s one of the most famous boulevards in the city and is known for its distinct Art Deco buildings and glitzy hotels and clubs that illuminate when the sun goes down. Snap some photos of the iconic street and its bustling atmosphere that epitomizes Miami.
Hike through Big Cypress National Preserve (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Immerse yourself in some of Florida’s most stunning natural beauty at Big Cypress National Reserve. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the scenic trails for an adventurous day out with the entire family. You can also hop in a canoe, go kayaking or take a bike ride down the scenic paths. Wildlife watchers will delight in the chance to spot manatees, eagles and other wildlife roaming the mangroves and swamplands.