Planning a trip to Miami but not sure where to start? Look no further! This 3-day itinerary will take you to the most important places in Miami while also highlighting some off-the-beaten-path gems. From beaches to museums to food, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!
Day 1: Exploring Miami Beach
No trip to Miami is complete without a visit to Miami Beach. Start your day by taking a stroll on the famous Ocean Drive, where you can see the iconic Art Deco architecture and people-watch to your heart’s content. Next, head over to Lummus Park, a picturesque park along the beach that’s perfect for a picnic or just soaking up some sun.
In the afternoon, make your way to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, a hidden gem in the heart of South Beach. This 2.6-acre garden features a Japanese garden, a subtropical garden, and a water garden. Plus, admission is free!
After a day of exploring, head to Yardbird Southern Table & Bar for dinner. This restaurant serves up some of the best Southern food in Miami, with dishes like fried chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits. Plus, the cozy ambiance and friendly staff will make you feel right at home.
Day 2: Cultural Immersion in Little Havana
On day two, it’s time to explore one of Miami’s most vibrant neighborhoods: Little Havana. Start your day with a café con leche and a pastelito at Versailles Restaurant, a local institution that’s been serving up Cuban cuisine since 1971.
Next, take a stroll down Calle Ocho, the main street in Little Havana. You’ll find colorful murals, live music, and plenty of shops selling cigars and souvenirs.
In the afternoon, head to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a modern and contemporary art museum located on Biscayne Bay. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by Ai Weiwei, Mark Bradford, and Wifredo Lam, among others.
For dinner, head to Ball & Chain, a historic bar and lounge that’s been around since the 1930s. The menu features classic Cuban dishes like ropa vieja and lechón, as well as live music every night.
Day 3: Outdoor Adventures in the Everglades
On your final day in Miami, it’s time to explore the great outdoors. The Everglades National Park is just a short drive from Miami and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching, and airboat tours.
If you’re up for a hike, head to the Anhinga Trail, a 0.8-mile loop trail that takes you through a sawgrass marsh and past plenty of alligators and wading birds. If you’d rather take an airboat tour, there are plenty of options available that will take you deep into the heart of the Everglades.
After a day of adventure, head to Joe’s Stone Crab for a classic Miami dining experience. This restaurant has been serving up stone crabs since 1913 and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try the famous key lime pie for dessert!
Travel Tips in Miami
- Weather: Miami has a tropical climate, which means it can get quite hot and humid. Be sure to pack light, breathable clothing and plenty of sunscreen.
- Transportation: Miami is a sprawling city, so it’s best to have a car or use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. There is also a public transportation system, including buses and a metro rail system.
- Language: Miami is a multicultural city with a large Latin American population, so it’s common to hear Spanish spoken. However, English is also widely spoken and understood.
- Safety: As with any big city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe. Stick to well-lit, populated areas and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables.
What to See in Miami
While this itinerary covers some of the top sights in Miami, there’s plenty more to see and do in this vibrant city. Here are some other places to add to your list:
Art Deco Historic District: Located in the heart of South Beach, the Art Deco Historic District features over 800 buildings from the 1920s and 1930s, with distinctive pastel colors and geometric shapes.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: This stunning estate was built in 1916 and features 34 rooms filled with European art and antiques, as well as beautiful gardens overlooking Biscayne Bay.
Wynwood Walls: This outdoor street art museum features colorful murals and graffiti by local and international artists.
Routes in Miami
If you’re interested in exploring Miami on foot or by bike, there are several routes you can take. Here are a few options:
Baywalk: This 3.5-mile walkway runs along Biscayne Bay and offers stunning views of the water and the Miami skyline.
Miami Beach Boardwalk: This 4-mile boardwalk runs parallel to the beach and is a great spot for a morning jog or leisurely stroll.
South Beach Art Deco Tour: Take a self-guided walking tour of the Art Deco Historic District and learn about the history and architecture of this iconic Miami neighborhood.
Where to Sleep in Miami
There are plenty of accommodation options in Miami, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are a few suggestions:
Freehand Miami: This trendy hostel in the heart of South Beach offers both private and shared rooms, as well as a pool, bar, and restaurant.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach: This iconic hotel has been a Miami Beach landmark since the 1950s and features luxurious rooms, multiple pools, and several on-site restaurants.
Mandarin Oriental Miami: This upscale hotel overlooks Biscayne Bay and features spacious rooms, a spa, and several on-site dining options.
Where to Eat in Miami
Miami is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, from Cuban cuisine to seafood to fusion dishes. Here are a few must-try restaurants:
El Palacio de los Jugos: This casual outdoor market serves up fresh fruit juices, Cuban sandwiches, and other Latin American specialties.
Joe’s Stone Crab: As mentioned above, Joe’s has been a Miami institution since 1913 and is famous for its stone crabs.
La Mar by Gastón Acurio: This Peruvian restaurant located in the Mandarin Oriental Miami features ceviche and other traditional Peruvian dishes, as well as stunning views of the bay.
Free Tours in Miami
Exploring Miami on a budget? No problem! There are plenty of free tours and activities in the city. Here are a few options:
Miami Beach Art Deco Walking Tour: This free 90-minute tour is led by the Miami Design Preservation League and takes you through the Art Deco Historic District, with stops at iconic buildings like the Colony Hotel and the Cardozo Hotel.
Barnacle Historic State Park: This historic park in Coconut Grove offers free tours of the Barnacle House, a historic home built in 1891.
Little Havana Cultural Tour: This free tour, led by the Little Havana Tours company, takes you through the streets of Little Havana and introduces you to the neighborhood’s history and culture.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to visit Miami?
The best time to visit Miami is between December and May, when the weather is dry and sunny. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher and crowds may be larger.
Do I need a car to get around Miami?
While it’s possible to get around Miami using public transportation or rideshare services, having a car will give you more flexibility and allow you to explore areas outside of the city center. However, keep in mind that parking can be expensive, especially in popular areas like South Beach.
Is Miami a safe city?
Like any big city, Miami has its share of crime and safety concerns. However, by taking basic precautions like sticking to well-lit, populated areas and avoiding carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, you can minimize your risk.
What are some other nearby destinations I can visit while in Miami?
There are plenty of other great destinations within driving distance of Miami, including:
- The Florida Keys
- Fort Lauderdale
- Everglades National Park
- Palm Beach
- Naples and Marco Island
For more information on these destinations and how to get there, check out the official tourism website of the city of Miami https://www.miamiandbeaches.com/.
With its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious food, Miami is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Whether you’re exploring the Art Deco Historic District or venturing into the Everglades, there’s something for everyone in this exciting city. We hope this itinerary has given you some inspiration for your trip to Miami!