When you think of Miami, visions of white, sandy beaches, bright sunshine, Art Deco architecture, and a vibrant culture. One of the most unique cities in the United States, Miami is one of the top tourist destinations in the world for those looking for sunny days on the beach and world-class nightlife.
From museums, unique restaurants, sports, culture, and more, Miami has a little something for everyone. Here are some top attractions great for locals and tourists alike in The Magic City.
This iconic beach needs no introduction. One of the most recognizable beaches in the world, Miami Beach is a town of idyllic neighborhoods, miles of beaches, and some of the best nightlife in the world.
Tip: Stay at one of the unique Art Deco hotels or one of Miami Beach’s newest boutique hotels for the best dining, nightlife, and spas in town.
Location: Miami Beach is located just outside of the city of Miami and was built on man-man barrier islands between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
One of Miami’s best-known features is the Art Deco District. This architectural style, popular from the 1920s-1940s, lines famous streets like Ocean Avenue in Miami Beach. The Art Deco District houses trendy restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hotels, and nightclubs in vintage Art Deco buildings. Neon signs adorn these classic buildings for an eye-catching aesthetic.
Tip: If you want to learn more about the history of Art Deco in Miami, visit the Art Deco Museum.
Location: 1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
South Beach is the place to see and be seen. One of the top beaches in Florida, South Beach, is the ultimate Miami hotspot. Whether you enjoy soaking up rays during the day or living it up at night, South Beach is a hot spot any time, day or night. Sunny, white sand beaches and crystal clear waters combined with world-class dining make South Beach one of the best beaches in the United States.
Tip: If you are looking for a more family friendly trip, South Beach offers numerous outdoor activities including watersports, bike sharing/rental, and parks.
Location: You can find South Beach in Miami between 5th Street to Collins Ave.
Everglades National Park provides protection for 20% of the Florida Everglades and is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States east of the Mississippi River. Everglades National Park is the third largest National Park. This 1.5 million acre park is home to numerous species of native Florida wildlife like alligators, freshwater crocodiles, birds, and more. Along with sightseeing, you can find hiking trails, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, and camping.
Tip: If you’re staying in Miami, plan a day trip to Everglades National Park on the Miami Everglades Airboat Adventure. This half-day excursion takes you on a tour of the best parts of the park, with a 30-minute airboat ride and complimentary transportation back to your hotel in Miami.
Location: 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034
This Italian Renaissance-style villa was built by famed 20th-century industrialist James Deering in 1916 to house a collection of antique European furniture and decorative arts. Today, the Vizcaya Museum is a National Historic Landmark and serves as a museum, garden, and an event venue.
Location: 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33129
If you want a little retail therapy while in Miami, look no further than Bayside Marketplace. This outdoor mall is home to over 150 speciality stores, boutiques, and restaurants. At Bayside Marketplace, you can enjoy browsing through stores while over Miami’s gorgeous waterfront.
Tip: Several tour boats leave from Bayside Marketplace and you can catch a water taxi service to Miami Beach and downtown attractions in the area.
Location: 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132
One of the oldest nature parks in the country, Jungle Island serves as a bird sanctuary, wildlife reserve, botanical gardens, and theme park. At Jungle Island, you can have encounters with exotic animals and visit a private beach. Jungle Island is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Florida and has been in operation since 1936. The park is known for its eco-conscious efforts and does not use pesticides or fertilizers on any of its vegetation.
Tip: The Discovery Kids Course is a popular attraction at Jungle Island. This attraction is a kids only obstacle course with ziplines, bridges, and more!
Location: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132
Built by James Deering, brother of Charles Deering, who built what is now the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the Deering Estate is another historical property in Miami. The Deering Estate features salt marshes and mangrove forests that serve as a habitat for endangered Florida wildlife. Step into the past with historic buildings, view wildlife, and explore an ancient Native American burial ground at the Deering Estate.
Tip: The Deering Estate is also home to a thriving arts scene and regularly hosts special events and exhibits. View the event schedule here.
Location: 16701 SW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33157
You’ve never been in a pool like this one! A historic public swimming pool that has been in operation since 1924, Venetian Pool was built from a coral rock quarry. With much of the original coral still intact, the Venetian Pool is filled with natural spring water and an underground aquifer. The natural water keeps the pool clear and clean. In the summer months, the pool is filled and drained daily. Located a short drive from Miami in Coral Gables, Venetian Pool is a must-see.
Tip: When visiting the Venetian Pool, make sure to swim through the cave-like grottos.
Location: 2701 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals and 40 endangered species. Known for grouping species together as they would live in the wild, Zoo Miami is the only zoo in the United States located in a subtropical climate allowing for many animals to live in their natural habitats year-round.
Tip: When visiting Zoo Miami, make sure to feed the giraffes-the zoo’s top attraction the whole family will love.
Location: 12400 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177
There’s no denying Miami is home to some of the best beaches in the world, but it is also home to many popular museums-The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is no exception. Here, you can find an aquarium, a planetarium, and a host of rotating exhibits. Before visiting, make sure to check their website for current and upcoming events.
Tip: The Frost Museum has many interactive exhibits for children.
Location: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
Located in Aventura, Gulfstream Park is South Florida’s ultimate entertainment complex. With a casino, a racetrack, shopping, and a variety of restaurants and bars, Gulfstream Park is the perfect place to do it all in Miami. The Gulfstream Park Casino features slots and horserace betting.
Tip: Gulfstream Park also hosts regular events like a yearly holiday light display, concerts, and yoga classes.
Location: 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
The Coral Castle Museum was built by Edward Leedskalnin between 1923 and 1951 and features hundreds of hand-carved sculptures made from limestone and coral. Leedskalnin never allowed anyone to watch him work, and his motives behind what is now called the Coral Castle is unknown. These mysterious structures are one of Miami’s top attractions.
Tip: You can tour the Coral Castle using audio stands located around the sculptures. While you’re there, visit the Castle’s most famous structure–a giant stone gate that visitors can open with the mere touch of a finger.
Location: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033
A visit to the Miami Children’s Museum is fun for the whole family. With a mission statement to “to take formal learning in the classroom and make the experience real and lasting”, the Miami Children’s Museum hosts interactive and educational exhibits your kids will love.
Tip: The Miami Children’s Museum is currently closed due to COVID-19. The Museum has special online programs including videos and fun, interactive activities children can participate in virtually called Museum at Home.
Location: 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132
Key Biscayne is one of the Florida Keys connected to Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway. It lies between Crandon and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Just a short drive from Miami, Key Biscayne is the ultimate Miami day trip. Full of gorgeous beaches and parks, Key Biscayne is Florida’s hidden gem.
Tip: Visit Crandon Park for EcoAdventure tours, cabana rentals, kayaking, and more!
Location: 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
If you are looking for the best authentic Cuban cuisine in Miami, Versailles Cuban Cuisine is the place to go in Miami. One of the most well-known Cuban restaurants in Miami, Versailles is popular with locals and tourists alike. From early breakfasts to late nights, Versailles can cure your Cuban cravings.
Tip: When visiting Versailles, make sure to order a cafe can leche or a noche media sandwich.
Location: 3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
This 32-acre park is a spot of greenery in the middle of downtown Miami. Located adjacent to Bayside Marketplace, this park is a popular spot for locals to take a break and for tourists to visit. Bayfront Park is home to a children’s playground, several miles of paved trails, and an amphitheatre used for regular performances.
Tip: Bayfront Park features numerous sculptures, a memorial to the Challenger space shuttle, and is home to regular yoga classes.
Location: 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
Street art and graffiti have evolved into one of the most popular and accessible forms of art in the world. Since 2009, Wynwood Walls have transformed drab exteriors in the warehouse district of Wynwood into a vibrant art exhibit. Don’t miss out on one of the coolest places in Miami.
Tip: Wynwood Walls includes more than 80,000 square feet of street art. While visiting Wynwood Walls, make sure to stop by Joey’s Italian Cafe for some of the best pizza in Miami.
Location: 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 3312
Home to the NBA’s Miami Heat, American Airlines Arena is Miami’s main venue for large events like concerts and sports. Holding more than 19,000 people, American Airlines Arena is known for its early efforts in becoming energy efficient.
Tip: Most events have been postponed due to COVID-19. Make sure to check out American Airlines Arena’s schedule for new event dates.
Location: 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
One of Miami’s most interesting attractions, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, is a must-see for any train or history enthusiasts. Since the 1950s, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum has been home to over 30 historic locomotives. The Museum regularly hosts special events and exhibits.
Tip: Young fans of Thomas the Tank Engine will especially enjoy the Museum’s working Thomas train car during the A Day Out With Thomas Event.
Location: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
If you like your sightseeing with a little more speed and thrills, check out Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventure. These speedboats are power catamarans certified by the US Coast Guard. This off-shore thrill ride is not for the faint of heart.
Tip: This boat ride is 45 minutes and travels to Miami landmarks like Ship Channel, Port Miami, the US Coast Guard Station, Flagler Monument Island, the Venetian Islands and Star Island.
Location: 401 Biscayne Blvd. #T5880, Miami, FL 33132
The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is one of the most popular Miami museums. Known for its unique exhibits, the PAMM is home to numerous permanent and rotating exhibits, including The Caribbean Cultural Institute. Current exhibits include virtual art, paintings, and sculptures.
Tip: Make sure to download the PAMM app before visiting the museum. The app includes more information about current exhibits and augmented reality (AR).
Location: 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
The Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA ,is both a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Located in North Miami, you can find numerous rotating and permanent exhibits featuring the best in contemporary art. MOCA also hosts concerts and virtual classes and exhibits.
Tip: If you want to paint but aren’t sure where to start, join MOCA’s free virtual adult art classes.
Location: 770 NE 125th St, North Miami, FL 33161
St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church, or what locals call the Spanish Monastery, is a medieval style monastery purchased by philanthropist Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr. Pentland. The monastery was disassembled and moved to Miami in 1964. This unique attraction brings history alive in Miami.
Tip: Regular church services are conducted at the Monastery. Tours are conducted when the facility is not in use for either weddings or services. The Monastery is currently closed due to COVID-19. Visit their website for more information about closings. Virtual church services are held on Sunday.
Location: 16711 Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160
Cauley Square Historic Village is a piece of history come to life. The village, constructed in 1903, provides “a glimpse of Old South Florida at its best”. Cauley Square is home to shops, restaurants, and provides a unique space for entertainment and events. One of Miami’s hidden gems, Cauley Square, is a must-see.
Tip: When visiting Cauley Square, be sure to check out The Chalet, an authentic 1920s style bar with an excellent selection of beer and wine.
Location: 22400 Old Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33170
This gorgeous green space is the perfect place to take a break and enjoy some nature. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a 2.6-acre urban greenery that includes 6 different gardens including a native Florida plant life, an edible garden that grows tropical fruits, and a wildlife preserve.
Tip: If you visit the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, stop by the Garden Center where you can purchase plants grown right there in the gardens. On-staff horticulture experts can help you find the perfect plant.
Location: 2000 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The Holocaust Memorial was built and is maintained by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. The memorial was commissioned by a group of Holocaust survivors who relocated to Miami. Construction began in 1984 and was completed the next year.
Tip: The Greater Miami Jewish Federation hosts regular events and festivals, like the Miami Jewish FIlm Festival scheduled for 2021.
Location: 1933-1945 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Called “the best way to explore Miami”, Island Green Cruises offer several ways to explore and experience Miami. From the top-rated Party Cruise that lets you dance the night away with your friends, to the Everglades Safari Park airboat tours, Island Queen Cruises is the best way to see Miami.
Tip: If you want a more intimate and luxury experience, Island Queen Cruises offers private charters. Experience fine cuisine and craft cocktails while on a luxury yacht in the gorgeous waters of Miami. Private cruises are great for birthdays, weddings, or a vacation treat with family and friends.
Location: 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132
Tidal Cove Waterpark at The Marriott Turnberry Resort & Spa is just a short drive from Miami in Aventura. Tidal Cove is the perfect place to make a splash in Miami. From afternoons on the palm-covered lazy river to the world’s first uphill water slide and speed slides, there’s all kinds of aquatic fun at Tidal Cove.
Tip: If you want to experience all the fun and thrills of the water park but want a more luxurious experience, check out renting a private cabana. The cabanas at Tidal Cove are perfect for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, or any other reason to celebrate! Cabana service includes food, drinks, a flat screen TV, and private lounge chairs.
Location: 19999 W Country Club Dr, Aventura, FL 33180
One of the most popular areas of Miami, Little Havana and Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) are the epicenter of Cuban culture in Miami. Settled by Cubans exiled by Communism in the 1960s, Little Havana and Calle Ocho is now a vibrant Latin neighborhood filled with Cuban culture, food, and people. While exploring Little Havana, enjoy a delicious pressed Cuban sandwich, sip a mojito, get an afternoon pick me up with a Cuban coffee, or enjoy live music and dancing.
Tip: For an in-depth look at Little Havana, sign up for the Secrets of Little Havana Walking Tour for an insider experience.
Location: Little Havana is located near downtown Miami adjacent to Coral Gables.
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