Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
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 and water sports for adventure-seekers. 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.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
It would be an absolute crime to visit Miami and not partake in its beach culture. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
Miami is a mecca for shoppers, and the must-see shopping district in the city is along Lincoln Road. 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. 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.
If you could use a little break from the sand and tourist circuit, head outside of Miami to check out the Everglades National Park. 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! And don’t forget your insect spray either, because the mosquitos can be a nuisance, especially in the summer.
Miami is one of the top art destinations in the country and significant place for famous artists and galleries. 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. Miami Art Week and Art Basel are huge art events that are worth checking out for the experience at least once in a lifetime.
And speaking of art, the type of art that put Miami on the map was Art Deco. 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. Or take a guided tour to learn more about this style of architecture and its significance in the city.
Situated along the banks of the Biscayne Bay, this marketplace is next to a marina with many tour and fishing boats. 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. This is an outdoor mall with 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.
While you’re by the bay near downtown in Miami, why not stretch out those tired muscles and rejuvenate your body with a free outdoor yoga class? The Bayfront Park Management Trust hosts free yoga classes for local residents, visitors, first-time yogis, and experienced practitioners. Free classes are offered every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday 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. All classes are located at the Tina Hills Pavilion at the south entrance of the park unless it’s raining, and then classes are held in the Bayfront Park office. Even if you don’t catch a yoga class, take a walk or jog around Bayfront Park on the east side of Biscayne Boulevard.
There’s really no better Cuban food outside of Cuba than in Miami. 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. Plan to visit for Viernes Cultural on Fridays to watch Cuban dancing and browse arts and crafts.
Another cultural neighborhood in Miami to check out is Little Haiti, which is in the neighborhood once known as Lemon City. There are Haitian art galleries, book and music stores, and a cultural center here that hosts musical events and dance performances. The best times to visit is during the neighborhood’s Big Night in Little Haiti events, which are held every third Friday and are free to attend. The events are hosted by the Rhythm Foundation and 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.
To learn more about Miami’s history, check out the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in North Miami Beach. 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. 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.