Things to do in Miami
by Daniel | Last Updated June 21st, 2019
A city known for its sand, sun, and beaches, Miami is a travel destination for tourists from all over the world looking to pack a lot of fun and sun into their vacation. It is one of the top vacation spots in the world. Miami has a completely different reputation than Orlando (which is only a few hour's drive away and is home to Disney World), yet it draws in millions of tourists a year. That is because Miami caters to everyone; it is not known for any one specific attraction.
Regardless of your interests, if you want to spend time in a city that has a lot to offer all day and all night, Miami is undoubtedly one of the places on your list of places to visit. You can spend your days relaxing on the beach, visiting art studios, or watching a major sports team play a game. If you want to have adventures, there is snorkeling, auto racing, and deep-sea fishing. The nightlife in Miami is one of the biggest attractions for some tourists.
Miami is a city where there truly is something for everyone, regardless of what you enjoy doing. You can spend your days outside, or you can enjoy the wide range of indoor activities. It is entirely up to you how you want to spend your time in the city.
Hotels in Miami
Like any major city (particularly one known as a tourist hotspot), there are a lot of hotels in Miami. Finding the right one is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. There are some great hotels, but we have found that there are two that stand out.
Four Seasons - Surfside
The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami is exactly what you would expect from a hotel that carries that famous name. From the moment you walk into the hotel, you start to feel like you have entered paradise.
Located right along the gorgeous waterfront, you can look out over the unbelievably blue water every morning. At night you can see the lights of the city reflecting off of the ocean as if the stars were close to Earth.
From the beginning, the owners have known how to really make an impression. Located near Bal Harbour and a lot of shopping, the Four Seasons attracts many people who love to shop. If you aren’t interested in shopping, it is also located near a lot of the scenic parts of the city where you will have a plethora of opportunities to take pictures to remember your time in the city.
W South Beach Hotel
A part of the international W hotels, the W South Beach is located right on the waterfront, too, but on the picture-perfect South Beach. They have an extensive list of things for visitors to do. If you would like to dine at Beijing Cuisine, you can plan to spend one evening in their restaurant Mr. Chow. If you prefer American food, you can eat at The Dutch.
There is a spa for relaxing and a heated pool for relaxing after a long day. Make sure to go to the rooftop to enjoy the spectacular view, and maybe play to play a little basketball or tennis while you are up there.
Located near nearly everything you would want to do, like shopping, clubbing, or spending time at a park, you won’t have to travel far to have a great time.
Restaurants and Cafes
You can certainly get some incredibly delicious, authentic Cuban food in Miami, and you definitely want to try a few of the Cuban restaurants. As a major international vacation destination, they have a lot more than just fantastic Cuban food.
We do have a few recommendations about where to get some of the best food and drinks that you may miss otherwise. Miami has something for everyone, but we find these three locations are standouts in what they provide.
Located in Wynwood, this branch takes a minimalist approach to the interior design, providing a very pleasant Mexican street food experience.
It also lets you fully appreciate the taste of the food as there is less to distract you from really savoring each bite. The food is made right in Coyo Taco, from the tortillas to the guacamole – they pride themselves on having fresh food for their customers.
For the food items that are purchased, such as the vegetables, they work with local farms to ensure that everything is fresh. They also make sure that the meat comes from farms that raise the animal in ways that are humane and natural.
The owners of Coyo Taco go to great lengths to ensure not only fresh food but food that is organic and safe.
Their dedication to fresh materials stretches to the drinks they offer, they even make the aguas frescas and margaritas right there on site.
They do not use any pre-made mixes for your drinks, so you can enjoy some of the freshest alcoholic beverages you have ever had while filling up on some of the most delicious Mexican food you have ever tasted.
Spend a little time going over the menu before heading to Coyo Taco. It will help you start to determine what you want, something that can take a lot longer than you would expect given how good everything on the menu sounds.
For a completely unique experience, consider the OTL Café. Their focus is on design and art, which comes across in everything you can order.
Located in the Miami Design District, you can sit back and enjoy some great food in a very pleasant and inspirational environment. You can order breakfast all day.
They also have fantastic sandwiches and salads if you aren’t in the mood for breakfast.
OTL Café is the kind of place that you can quickly make your go-to spot for relaxing in the middle of your time away for your hotel or to start your day.
They also have some incredibly delicious pastries made in the store that you can enjoy with a great cup of coffee.
Four Seasons – Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar
Even if you don’t plan to stay in the Four Seasons, you have a reason to stop by for an evening. It has the same elegance and outstanding service you would expect of something with the Four Seasons’ name.
The focus is advertised right there in the name – this is the champagne bar to visit if you want an amazing drink.
Of all the places in Miami, they have the largest selection of champagnes for you to look over before finally making your selection.
They also have an incredibly impressive mixology program that will leave you feeling warm as you settle into sleep.
Things to Do and Places to See
Where Miami really shines is in how many activities there are to do and places to see. It is a city that is filled with things to do and see, making it almost impossible to fit everything into a single vacation.
To help you narrow down your activities, here are the things that we suggest you work into your plans.
Wynwood was once a warehouse district that was on the decline.
The late genius, Tony Goldman, saw the long stretches of windowless buildings and recognized that they offered an entirely unique opportunity for artists and developed Wynwood Walls and revitalized the area. It was like the warehouses were constructed as building-sized canvases and all they needed were the artists. In 2009, he began the revitalization project on 25th and 26th street focusing on six buildings.
Anyone could be an artist in this area, and it has become a place where graffiti artists have turned a bleak area into something unbelievable.
Today, you can purchase tickets to stroll through and view some absolutely mind-blowing works that now decorate this once glum area.
Sidewalks and greenspaces also make it a great place to picnic and enjoy some of the best in international graffiti. It has come to be described as “a Museum of the Streets.”
South Beach is known for being a great place to go and sunbathe, but there is so much more to it than that, especially if you go to Miami for the nightlife.
As the heart of Art Deco Miami, there is so much to do and see, especially after the sunsets.
From street festivals to Ocean Drive, there is something for every night owl to enjoy once the lights turn on.
There are also alternatives if you prefer to be out in the sun.
The Bass is a tiny museum that has some of the worlds’ most renowned contemporary art with exhibitions coming through all of the time. The museum’s diminutive size belies the big names and works that you can find here. Do check their schedule so that you can coordinate to see a particular exhibit.
Both the Lincoln Road Mall and New World Centers are located in South Beach. The Mall was one of the first of its kind, offering pedestrians a safe place out of the elements to do their shopping.
The New World is where you will want to go to catch an unforgettable performance. As the home to the country’s only full-time orchestral academy, there is always something to watch and enjoy.
Bal Harbour Shops
Founded by Stanley Whitman, the Bal Harbour Shops are to the retail world what Disney is to animation.
The luxury shops are a testament to his vision, and they continue to offer the best in luxury shopping experiences.
Bal Harbour Shops was a labor of love, and he spent a lot of time watching how customers shopped and interacted. His end goal was to create a place that would withstand the test of time and never go out of fashion because it would constantly be revamped to be the height of fashion and design in retail.
To those who experience it, the shops are not just a place to buy things, it is an emotional experience.
Many people have developed a connection to it because it is a shopping experience, unlike anything you can find anywhere else.
Miami Design District
You can find virtually anything from the world of fashion and luxury in the Miami Design District.
If you aren’t able to make it to Bal Harbour Shops, you will still be able to find virtually anything you could want or need while you are in Miami.
Spend some time browsing their extensive list of shops to gain a full appreciation for everything that they have managed to fit into a single area.
If you are a car enthusiast, you definitely need to make sure you put a day aside to stop by Prestige Imports.
They have some of the most amazing vehicles that can show you not only how powerful a car can be, but how unbelievably chic and beautiful someone can make something so practical.
Even if you aren’t in the market for a car, you can spend a couple of hours just looking over some of the most extreme instances of luxury and power you can find from around the world.
It is the place of dreams for any car enthusiast’s interest, right down to their regular events. If you are an avid fan of stylish cars, you will find yourself in your own unique paradise at Prestige Imports.
Aventura Mall offers a lot in the way of luxury shopping, but it is their art collection that you can really appreciate if you visit.
In addition to luxury shops and the works of art decorating the mall, they have some of the best cuisines you can find in a mall.
Stop by any one of these shops to recharge after a couple of hours of shopping.
With so many different places to shop, you can make a vacation just out of shopping to gain a full appreciation for just how much shopping the city has to offer.
With some of the most noteworthy shopping centers in the country, there is something to appreciate about each of them.
Welcome to LuggageGuru!
My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.