What to See and Do in Miami + Tips

colorful miami beach lifeguard tower
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There is no doubt that Miami is one of the brightest and the most beautiful places in the USA. It is full of impressive beaches, tasty food and unique attractions. People from all over the world come to Miami every year for festivals, to party or just relax on the beach. It’s a great place for both families, couples and friends.

We highly recommend visiting Miami in the Spring when the weather is sunny, warm and often offers a cool breeze. March through May is our favorite time to visit Miami.

Travel Tips for the Perfect Miami Beach Vacation

#1 Decide How You Want to Get There

When it comes to transportation, you can get to Miami Beach by train, car, bus or plane.

When traveling by plane, you can arrive through Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL). If you arrive through FLL, it’s a 25-minute drive from the airport to South Beach (SOBE).

A bus is the most budget-friendly option for getting to Miami, but may also take the longest. When road tripping through the USA, we hope that you add Miami as one of your destinations. Having a car will enable you to see a lot of sights throughout the city.

Related: Where to Find the Best Flight Deals

#2 How to Get Around Miami

There are plenty of ways to get around the Miami area. You can drive, hop on a scooter, use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft and lastly, our favorite, take the FREE Miami trolley!

For a great way to get around town and learn a bit of Miami’s history and important sights, we recommend the Hop On Hop Off bus operated by City Sightseeing.  A day’s worth of rides are only $50 USD and you can often find discounts on Groupon.

Renting a car in Miami is also a great idea. When driving around Miami, download the Park Mobile parking app to pay for street parking and find parking garages around the city. We were able to find a parking garage that charged $1/hour or $15 for an entire day.

And if you want to get REALLY fancy, we recommend booking a limo ride for your party. It’ll be a great way to enjoy the nightlife without having to worry about driving or parking. We recommend using Limo Find to book a driver.

hop on hop off bus city sightseeing miami beach
Checking out Miami via the Hop On Hop Off bus

#3 Check Out the Eclectic Food Scene

Miami Beach is packed with delicious restaurants for all budgets. Miami is known for serving delicious Cuban food such as black beans, steak, chimichurri and more. They also have seafood forward and trendy restaurants that are worth trying.

Here are some restaurant suggestions that we think you’ll love!

  • Little Havana: Located in North Beach, this little joint serves up authentic Cuban fare. Their steak and chimichurri is delicious.
  • Playa Cafe: Offers delicious and budget-friendly Cuban dishes. The steak plates come with beans, rice, meat and a salad. It’s a simple yet satisfying meal. Their menu is plastered again the wall and offers images of all their different menu options. Dishes start at $7 USD!
  • Versailles: Definitely order the ceviche and steak with chimichurri here. This place is famous for their Cuban fare. Expect a wait on busy weekend evenings.
  • Joe’s Stone Crab: Come here for finger-licking seafood. You’ll crack plenty of shells and eat delicious fresh seafood served up family style. If you like crab, you’re in good hands.
  • Employees Only: This hipster haven is great for couples and small groups. The restaurant is in a little home and offers a dining area in various nooks and crannies of the abode. The steak tartare is to die for. They also offer up delicious craft cocktails.
  • Phuc Yeah: They serve a Viet Cajun inspired menu with flavor bombs in every dish.
  • La Sandwicherie: Choose from a variety of meats, toppings and bread options. Sandwiches range from $7-11 USD. We highly recommend the ham and roast beef sandwiches.
  • Mignonette: Offers fresh seafood fare with oysters and fish. You can also order their juicy prime rib. 
  • Ola: Located in the Sanctuary hotel, this restaurant offers delicious Peruvian cuisine. We love the leche de tigre (or tiger’s milk) ceviche. Expect to pay $30-50 per person.
playa cafe steak plate with beans
Steak Plate from Playa Cafe

#4 Visit the Beaches of South Beach

The beaches of SOBE are world class! Closer to the top of the SOBE beach strip is slower-paced and the water is more clear and blue. You’ll also find more families towards north SOBE.  We love planning picnics at the beach so that we can take in the view and sounds of the ocean.

The southern part of the SOBE beach coast is more packed and filled with party-goers flocking to clubs like Nikki Beach.

Bring your own towels and chairs or rent some from the hotels if you want to spend time laying out and soaking in the sun.

#5 Check Out the Neighborhoods

Miami is packed with interesting neighborhoods and with plenty of things to do. There’s definitely something for everyone in Miami.

One of our favorite neighborhoods is the Wynwood Art District. The artsy neighborhood is filled with restaurants, bars, clubs and outdoor events when the weather is nice.

Other neighborhoods we recommend are Brickell, Little Havana, Little Haiti, Coconut Grove and the Miami Design District. We recommend searching for events around Miami to help you plan your trip.

street art graffiti artist in wynwood miami
Street Art in Wynwood

#6 Connect with Nature

Miami is nestled between two national parks. To the west, you’ll find the Everglades, a swampy expanse of subtropical land that’s perfect for checking out protected wildlife. An estimated 200,000 alligators reside in the park. 

The park is also home to a number of hiking and biking trails. Take a break from the city scene and opt for an outdoor adventure.

On the east side, the Biscayne National Park is home to mangrove forests and the waters of Biscayne Bay. The bay is where America’s only living coral reef resides. Explore the park by snorkeling, kayaking or camping. Take time to revel in Miami’s amazing underwater ecosystem.

#7 Pack a Rain Poncho

The weather in Miami is more often sunny than not. However, there are times when it pours intermittently throughout the day. When it does, make sure you have a rain poncho on hand. Rain ponchos pack nicely in your purse or pocket and will prevent you from getting drenched in the event of a rainstorm.

Related: What to Wear in Miami for Women

alex tran schimiggy in miami beach wynwood
Checking out Wynwood

Final Thoughts

Miami is definitely one of our top destinations for relaxation and delicious food. It’s no surprise that in 2018 over 23 million tourists flocked to Miami. You’ll undoubtedly have a great time here. 

Have other tips for us? Tell us in the comments section of this post!

 

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