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11 Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida

If you’re craving a vacation but not sure where to go, there are few better cities to visit for fun in the sun than Miami. One of the best reasons to visit this Florida city is the warm and sunny weather, which are perfect for planning a beach trip with plenty of lounging time for relaxation-seekers, while water sports appeal to adventure-seekers and luxury resorts allow you to unwind. Miami is the ultimate place for shop-a-holics, fashion enthusiasts, foodies, and nightclub lovers. The culture is diverse, and it’s truly unlike anywhere else in America.

A trip to Miami can be as relaxing or as action-packed as you make it, so there are many ways to tailor a Miami vacation to your personality and travel style. So when you begin planning your trip to the tip of Southern Florida, keep these ideas in mind for fun ways to spend your vacation in Miami.

People-Watch on South Beach South Beach

People-Watch on South Beach

What Is It? It would be an absolute crime to visit Miami and not partake in its beach culture. 

Why Do It? Miami’s beaches are laid-back, yet many beach-goers here dress to impress. In addition to the ultra-popular South Beach, other beaches worth checking out are the North Shore Park Beach, Golden Beach, and Crandon Park Beach. The oceanfront in Miami Beach is called Ocean Drive, which is where you’ll pass by the historic Art Deco buildings and the posh South Beach area. 

Good to Know: Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses to lounge in the sand and watch the interesting characters pass by and frolic in the water all day long. If you’re looking for an oceanfront room with a view, check out the top beachfront hotels in Miami.

Try a New Water Sport Miami Jet Ski
Credit: Miami Jet Ski by bigstock.com

Try a New Water Sport

What Is It? The ocean waters that run along the city of Miami are warm and inviting. So don’t just take a quick dip; embrace your spirit of adventure and try out a new water sport. 

Why Do It? Some of the most popular ways to get in the water here are jet-skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing. 

Good to Know: This is a great area to see dolphins, and you can book guided tours to paddle and swim with dolphins to experience these beautiful creatures up-close and personal.

Shop ‘til You Drop on Lincoln Road Lincoln Road, Miami
Credit: Lincoln Road, Miami by bigstock.com

Shop ‘til You Drop on Lincoln Road

What Is It? Miami is a mecca for shoppers, and the must-see shopping district in the city is along Lincoln Road. 

Why Do It? Here you’ll find wonderful boutique shops, as well as art galleries, movie theaters, and hip restaurants and bars. The bulk of the shops are on Lincoln Road between Alton Road and Washington Avenue.

Good to Know: It has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and is home to your favorite designer stores, a farmer’s market, and outdoor concerts.

Explore the Everglades Everglades National Park
Credit: Everglades National Park by bigstock.com

Explore the Everglades

What Is It? If you could use a little break from the sand and tourist circuit, head outside of Miami to tour Everglades National Park.

Why Do It? Here you’ll find fascinating swamps and many species of plants and animals to learn about and see for yourself. Alligators and crocodiles are the big draws, but there are so many birds worth watching too, so bring your binoculars! 

Good to Know: Don’t forget your insect spray either, because the mosquitos can be a nuisance, especially in the summer.

Browse the Art Galleries Perez Art Museum Miami
Credit: Perez Art Museum Miami by Perez Art Museum Miami

Browse the Art Galleries

What Is It? Miami is one of the top art destinations in the country and a significant place for famous artists and galleries. 

Why Do It? Unlike art galleries in some cities, the ones in Miami are more welcoming than stuffy and more accessible than intimidating. This is a great place to learn about experimental art and browse the works of thousands of artists. 

Good to Know: Miami Art Week and Art Basel are huge art events that are worth checking out for the experience at least once in a lifetime.

See the Art Deco District See the Art Deco District
Credit: See the Art Deco District by bigstock.com

See the Art Deco District

What Is It? Speaking of art, the type of art that put Miami on the map was Art Deco. 

Why Do It? This is an architectural style that dates back to the 1920s in America and is characterized by the light pastel-colored buildings that remind us of the beach. Take a drive or walk around the retro Art Deco District, especially along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue. 

Good to Know: You can take a guided tour to learn more about this style of architecture and its significance in the city.

Browse Bayside Marketplace Bayside Marketplace
Credit: Bayside Marketplace by baysidemarketplace.com

Browse Bayside Marketplace

What Is It? Situated along the banks of the Biscayne Bay, Bayside Marketplace is next to a marina with many tour and fishing boats. 

Why Do It? This is a great place to wander around to browse for souvenirs to grab a happy hour drink. Street performers regularly take the stage here, so you’ll often hear the sounds of live music while you sit and stroll. 

Good to Know: The outdoor mall has over 150 specialty stores and eateries where you can just take a walk without any pressure to buy, and it’s open every day near the downtown area.

Bayfront Park Free Yoga Classes Bayfront Park Free Yoga Classes, Miami
Credit: Bayfront Park Free Yoga Classes, Miami by Rafael Montilla via Flickr

Bayfront Park Free Yoga Classes

What Is It? While you’re by the bay near downtown Miami, stretch out those tired muscles and rejuvenate your body with a free outdoor yoga class.

Why Do It? The Bayfront Park Management Trust hosts free yoga classes for local residents, visitors, first-time yogis, and experienced practitioners. Free classes are offered at Bayfront Park with a stunning view of the bay and surrounding area. Just make sure to bring your own mat, water, and towel, because those things are not provided. 

Good to Know: Even if you don’t catch a yoga class, take a walk or jog around Bayfront Park on the east side of Biscayne Boulevard.

Soak Up the Culture in Little Havana Painted rooster on Calle Ocho, Little Havana, Miami
Credit: Painted rooster on Calle Ocho, Little Havana, Miami by bigstock.com

Soak Up the Culture in Little Havana

What Is It? You’ll find some of the best Cuban restaurants outside of Cuba in Miami.

Why Do It? Check out Calle Ocho to visit the local Cuban restaurants, bars, and shops. This is a great place to listen to live music from Cuba and the Caribbean. 

Good to Know: Plan to visit Viernes Cultural on Fridays to watch Cuban dancing and browse arts and crafts.

Pay a Visit to Little Haiti Little Haiti Cultural Center
Credit: Little Haiti Cultural Center by Little Haiti Cultural Center

Pay a Visit to Little Haiti

What Is It? Another cultural neighborhood in Miami to check out is Little Haiti, which is in the neighborhood once known as Lemon City.

Why Do It? There are Haitian art galleries, book and music stores, and a cultural center here that hosts musical events and dance performances. 

Good to Know: The best times to visit is during the neighborhood’s Big Night in Little Haiti events. The events are hosted by the Little Haiti Cultural Center and often serve authentic food, allow attendees to make arts and crafts, and host live concerts with festive music that’s perfect for dancing.

See The Ancient Spanish Monastery Ancient Spanish Monastery
Credit: Ancient Spanish Monastery by Ancient Spanish Monastery

See The Ancient Spanish Monastery

What Is It? To learn more about Miami’s history, check out The Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach. 

Why Do It? The original monastery was built in the 1100s and rebuilt in the early 1900s. It has served as a tourist attraction and an active church in more recent years. 

Good to Know: The grounds are tranquil and serene, and the gardens are beautiful when in full bloom. You can attend mass at the monastery or take a tour.

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