What’s your tropical paradise? As the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, Miami offers something for everyone.
Miami has an average yearly temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows Miami to offer year-round beach weather. However, this cosmopolitan city offers just as much indoor fun, from world-class museums to luxury shopping.
Get ready to pick a spot along the city’s thirty-five miles of white sand beach. In addition, scroll to the bottom to see my hotel recommendations!
This diverse and vibrant city is famous for its Caribbean and Latin American population. Little Havana and Little Haiti neighborhoods are great spots to see this vibrant culture firsthand. Also, these cultures contribute to the diversity of food, music, and art that the city has to offer.
So slather on some sunscreen, and get ready for the wonders that Miami and South Florida have to offer.
Ocean Drive is one of the most quintessential Miami streets. It’s a strip of famous art deco buildings, restaurants, bars, and shopping all right next to the beach.
If you want some Instagram-worthy photos, this is the perfect street. Nearby, you can hop on the beach path and bike along the Miami Beach Bike Trail.
2 – Visit the Wynwood Walls and the Wynwood Neighborhood
This collection of murals is a must-see for any trip to Miami for a weekend! In fact, it’s an amazing feat of urban redevelopment. Tony Goldman turned the Wynwood neighborhood from a collection of aging warehouses into an outdoor graffiti museum. It now showcases art from world-renowned innovators in street art.
Don’t forget to take some time and enjoy the neighborhood in Wynwood. There are tons of fun bars, restaurants, shops, and art outside of the official Wynwood Walls.
See where it all began: Miami’s original neighborhood, Coconut Grove. Its tropical vibe, banyan trees, and quiet residential streets make it ideal for a morning stroll on your weekend getaway.
Furthermore, this region was originally inhabited by Bahamian immigrants and in the 1960s it became popular with the counterculture set. Today you’ll find an eclectic mix of Gilded age mansions and funky art deco cafes.
Miami is a city known for fun rooftops, bars, and clubs. I’m not a big clubber, but when I went to Miami for a weekend it was a must. I recommend visiting the rooftop and restaurant Gitano Miami Beach for a cocktail. Kiki on the River is great for the most fun party dinner on the river and if you want to get weird head to the 24-hour nightclub, E11even.
5 – Tour the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
While you’re taking in Coconut Grove, be sure to stop by the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This is an estate built between 1914 and 1922 by industrialist James Deering. Today this site is a National Historic Landmark.
In addition to the thirty-four-room Mediterranean-style home, you’ll find curated art collections focused on different European cities. The grounds cover twenty-five acres of endangered forest lands and ten acres of immaculately landscaped gardens.
This innovative neighborhood is home to some of the coolest architecture in the city, from modern designs to art deco.
In this neighborhood, you’ll find 130 art galleries, showrooms, creative services, luxury fashion stores, eateries, and bars. You would never know just a hundred years ago, this whole district was a pineapple plantation.
Also, luxury shoppers will appreciate the storerooms for designer fashion and home goods. And there’s inventive public art around the neighborhood for everyone to enjoy, including a prototype of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye geodesic dome.
7. Take a Boat Tour
Several boat companies offer tours of Biscayne Bay and the Miami coastline. This is a thrilling way to catch views of Miami.
Depending on which tour you choose, you might see the Cruise Ship Channel, PortMiami, the US Coast Guard Station, Flagler Monument Island, the Venetian Islands, and Star Island. In addition, you’ll see the mansions and yachts of some of your favorite celebrities, and maybe even the former home of Al Capone.
Similarly, you can also rent out private boats, party boats, or private yachts. Anything goes in Miami!Check out the top-rated boat tours here.
8. Spend a Day at the Beach
Your trip to Miami for a weekend wouldn’t be complete without a dip in the ocean. In fact, at Miami’s most iconic beach, South Beach, you can find year-round sun and tropical temperatures.
Also, Lummus Park is one of the most popular places to hit the beach and features volleyball courts and gymnastic structures.
9. Visit the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Looking for a day trip that’s fun and educational? The Frost Museum of Science features an aquarium teeming with marine life. For example, you’ll see mahi-mahi, devil rays, hammerhead sharks, and thirty interactive exhibits to inspire a life-long love of our ocean friends.
Next up, one of the most advanced planetariums in the United States will blast you into outer space with a 16-million-color 8K visual system.
Little Havana is one of Miami’s most famous neighborhoods in the heart of Miami’s Cuban population. Within this area, you’ll walk down Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) filled with places to buy croquetas, mojitos, and cafecitos. I recommend going on this food walking tour that will take you to some of this area’s hot spots. Want a fun dinner? Head to the famous Ball & Chain restaurant.
Want to experience Miami by food truck? You should! Miami’s food trucks demonstrate the rich diversity and vivid cultures that make up the city.
Latin American and Caribbean heritage is especially well-represented. Authentic tacos can be found at several food trucks throughout the city. Caja Caliente in Midtown and Taqueria Los Chilangos in Little Havana are incredible.
However, for a true taste of Miami, find Don Mofongo, a Caribbean truck that specializes in mofongo. These are smashed plantains with chicharrones, and garlic sauce.
11. Visit the Van Gogh Immersive Experience
Want to experience something unique in Miami? Head over to the Van Gogh experience located at the famous Olympia Theater. You will get to experience the history of Van Gogh and his art in a 20,000 square foot light and sound spectacular.
Plus, this experience features two-story projections of Van Gogh’s art in 360 degrees. They also have yoga nights and other fun events. So check out what is going on while you’re in town!
This free museum is dedicated to promoting continuous experimentation in contemporary art. Above all, they regularly host dance performances, lectures about contemporary art, and more. In the past, they have hosted art by some of the world’s most renowned artists, including Pablo Picasso and Roy Lichtenstein.
Originally the home of yacht designer Ralph Munroe, this estate features the oldest house in Miami-Dade County to remain in its original location.
Two replicas of his sailboats are moored in Biscayne Bay, Egret, and the Flying Proa, designed in 1898. The park is also popular with birdwatchers because of its diverse range of fauna. For example, you could see doves, woodpeckers, nightjars, herons, pelicans, kingfishers, and cormorants.
Want a unique way to get around Miami for a weekend? Take the trolley! It’s a free way to explore Miami’s waterside neighborhoods.
The Miami Beach Trolley stops at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach Convention Center, and North Beach Bandshell with trolleys running every thirty minutes.
The City of Miami has thirteen routes in its trolley system. It visits Miami’s most popular neighborhoods including Wynwood, Coconut Grove, and the Design District.
15. Hear Live Music in Little Havana and Watch Dominos in the Park
The heart of Miami’s famous Cuban population, Little Havana is a bustling cultural district. Visit the Calle Ocho Music Festival, a celebration of Miami’s vibrant Latin and Caribbean cultures on a long weekend trip. Or, enjoy other musical offerings that can be found year-round at The Cubaocho Art and Research Center and the Tower Theater.
Make a stop at Máximo Gómez Park in Little Havana. Better known as Domino Park to the locals, this spot is a social hang. It’s also a great place to stop by after getting Cuban coffee. Or ice cream from the nearby Azucar Ice Cream Company.
While playing games requires a membership, the players don’t mind spectators. The park features the Little Havana Paseo de las Estrellas (Walk of the Stars). In the style of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, stars here are given to Latin American actors, musicians, artists, and writers.
16. Get a Drink at Bayside Marketplace
According to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, this outdoor shopping center is the most visited spot in the region. It’s not hard to see why.
The banks of Biscayne Bay hug the building and provide breathtaking views of the harbor. Shop your favorite brands or discover local favorites.
In addition, feel free to take advantage of the Bayside Marketplace’s open container policy by strolling along the waterfront with your beverage
17. Check Out a Local Farmers Market
Miami is home to a plethora of farmers’ markets with year-round fresh produce and homemade goods.
Supporting farmer’s markets is a great way to benefit the local economy and take part in city culture.
You can find everything from tropical fruit to local veggies. From baked goods to fresh kombucha. Get a taste of the flavors south Florida has to offer. See some of the best ones here.
18. Enjoy Nature at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens
Find a tropical oasis in the heart of bustling Miami Beach. General entrance is free to this three-acre landscape with several distinct ecosystems: Japanese Garden, Native Garden and Edible Garden, and the Collins Canal Promenade.
Enjoy the shade of 100 species of palm trees, relax by the koi pond and smell the sweet scent of the ylang-ylang tree. Also, the garden hosts events throughout the year. These include yoga classes, lectures on permaculture, and more.
Even in a city known for its vibrant architecture, the Little Haiti neighborhood stands out with its high-pitched roofs and bright pastel colors.
The Caribbean Market is a modern recreation of the Iron Market in Haiti with a creative design by renowned architect Charles Pawley.
The 9,000 square foot venue features fresh produce, authentic Haitian art, and crafts for sale as well as live music. Furthermore, the market is open on Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm.
20. Bike Out to South Pointe Park
This 17-acre park is located at the southernmost tip of South Beach. And while it’s technically a park, it’s unique in that it’s waterfront. In addition, it’s kid-friendly with playgrounds, but also has a fishing pier, green spaces for lounging and people watching. And even has a “Bark Park” for dogs.
In addition, and not surprisingly for Miami, the park benches are also works of art!
21. Time Out Market Miami
Time Out Markets have been sprouting all over the world. But Miami’s market has a uniqueness that is all its own. Inside you’ll find long communal tables in an industrial setting with 17+ vendors from some of the area’s best chefs. Plus, everyone can grab any food stall they want and meet up at the tables. In addition, there are great cocktails and alcoholic options.
Soho Beach House is a members-only club set in a 15-story tower in the Art Deco district. We were lucky and traveled with a friend who was a member. Unfortunately, you can only enter if you know someone that’s a member or is a member yourself. If you do get the chance to visit, be sure to have brunch a the wonderful Cecconi’s Restaurant. Enjoy time at the beach, and party at the rooftop pools.
Looking for a hotel in Miami’s South Beach that won’t break the bank? The PaliHouse is a wonderful design option. This hotel was established in 1940 and has been reimagined with thoughtful decor and a fun beachy vibe. However, most of the rooms don’t have ocean views. If that’s your vibe you might want to choose somewhere else. They do, however, have a great pool and lounge area as well as a fun little bar!
This hotel is quintessential South Beach Miami. Located on Ocean Drive, the Betsy Hotel sticks out in a line of Art Deco hotels. Rooms inside are spacious with great marbled bathrooms. Moreover, you’ll be able to hit up the two pools and rooftop that has views over the ocean.
This hotel is in the downtown Financial area, Brickell. It’s got a fun and playful design. Also, it’s a great spot if you want to be near downtown and off Miami Beach. The rooftop pool is beautiful and surrounded by downtown high rises. If you’re into design and want to stay somewhere central, this might be a great option.
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.