Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by experts who love Miami
Why We Love Miami: In all honesty, beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife can be found anywhere – Miami included. Miami’s beaches are stunning, and its nightlife is incredible. But what makes Miami standout amongst other beachfront destinations is its cultural identity. This city has served as a haven for Latin American immigrants for decades and every aspect of the city reflects their influence. The sunshine, glitz, and glamour are a nice touch, but what makes this city truly incredible are the people who live here, the culture they bring, and the institutions they’ve built. Like many, I originally moved to the Miami area for an endless summer and the gorgeous beaches. However, I ended up staying for everything else this amazing city had to offer.
Best of Miami
Believe it or not, Miami offers much more than just an epic party scene:
- Wynwood Walls – street art paints the walls of alleyways and formerly downtrodden buildings in this revitalized neighborhood
- Art Deco District, South Beach – South Beach is more than a party with the historical Art Deco buildings lining the streets
- Little Havana – Calle Ocho, Maximo Gomez Park, Ball & Chain, and Versailles are just a few culturally significant points of interest in this Cuban enclave
- Cape Florida Lighthouse – the climbable 19th-century lighthouse reveals epic views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami
- Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – Experience opulence at James Deering’s Mediterranean-style villa overlooking Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove
👉 Explore all things to do in Miami.
Between downtown and the beach, you’ll have plenty of options on where to stay:
- South Beach, Miami Beach – boutique hotels occupy the neon-lit art deco buildings of Miami’s most famous beachfront neighborhood
- Downtown Miami – events, museums, art galleries, and other things to do are never lacking in Miami’s downtown district
- North Beach, Miami Beach – a quiet and family-friendly alternative to the partygoers of South Beach
👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in Miami.
🛎️ Best Hotels
Beachfront resorts, boutique hotels, and downtown penthouses await in Miami:
- Four Seasons Hotel Miami – a high-end hotel with scenic views of downtown Miami.
- Biltmore Hotel – a historical hotel constructed in 1926 in nearby Coral Gables.
- Loews Miami Hotel – luxurious beachfront resort with its own pool, spa, and fitness center.
Although offering cuisine from all over the world, the city’s specialty is authentic Cuban-style food:
- Versailles Restaurant – Miami’s most famous Cuban restaurant serving the likes of many former US presidents and Latin American icons
- Yardbird Table & Bar – Miami Beach’s exceptional take on Southern comfort foods
- El Palacio de Los Jugos – delicious cafeteria-style Cuban eatery specializing in freshly squeezed juices
- Rusty Pelican – great happy hour with the best view of downtown Miami on Virginia Key
- Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza – exclusive pizzeria in South Beach and Coconut Grove
Miami’s entire coastline is filled with the only true tropical beaches found in the continental United States:
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park – family-friendly beach on Key Biscayne shadowed by a 19th-century lighthouse
- Haulover Beach – a popular oceanfront park with picnic tables, BBQ grills, and restroom facilities
- South Beach, Miami Beach – lively beach geared towards partygoers and Spring Breakers
- North Beach, Miami Beach – quiet alternative to the craziness of South Beach
- Crandon Park, Key Biscayne – picturesque sandy shore directly cut from a Caribbean postcard
- Fort Lauderdale – South Florida’s boating capital with 300+ miles of navigable waterways
- Key Largo, Florida Keys – the best snorkeling & scuba diving in Florida
- Jupiter – old Florida charm mixed with a hint of outdoor adventure
- Islamorada, Florida Keys – epic deep sea fishing in the Sportfishing Capital of the World
- Fort Myers Beach – a family-friendly beach town on Florida’s Gulf Coast
👉 Read all day trips from Miami.
- Wynwood – revitalized neighborhood featuring street art, craft breweries, delectable coffee shops, and local nightclubs
- South Beach – beautiful beach and vibrant nightlife serving as the epicenter of tourism
- Little Havana – Cuban cultural capital with authentic restaurants, streetside cafes, and salsa clubs
- Brickell – upscale end of town with rooftop cocktail bars, fancy restaurants, designer shopping, and high-end hotels
- Downtown – best location for major events, art galleries, and museums
- Mango’s Tropical Cafe – lively bar and eatery on Ocean Drive in South Beach
- The Wharf Miami – Massive open-air bar along the Miami River
- Nathan’s Bar – relaxing, LGBT-friendly lounge on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach
- El Patio – a local’s favorite nightclub for Latin vibes in Wynwood
- Sugar – Chic rooftop bar in the luxurious downtown neighborhood of Brickell
☀️ Outdoor Activities
- Snorkeling – the nation’s only natural coral reef is a short drive away in Key Largo
- Paddling – SUP or kayak on Virginia Key, Oletta River State Park, or Coconut Grove
- Sailing – hire a Captain to sail Biscayne Bay or rent a small catamaran on Key Biscayne
- Hiking – tropical hammocks and secluded beaches await hikers in Everglades National Park
- Cycling – the Rickenbacker Causeway and the A1A in Miami Beach are cycling favorites
🏞️ State & National Parks
- Everglades National Park – Florida’s largest National Park home to millions of alligators
- Oletta River State Park – natural mangrove estuary in the heart of an urban area
- Biscayne National Park – Unique US National Park consisting of 96% water
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park – historical grounds overlooking Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean
- John Pennekamp State Park – America’s first underwater State Park located in nearby Key Largo
Miami Travel Advice
🗓️ Best Time to Visit
Miami is as tropical as it gets in the United States. Therefore, our temperatures are always mild to hot year-round with plenty of sunshine and more rain than you’d expect.
- 🌼 Spring – best season to visit with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall. As such, most expensive time to visit
- 🌞 Summer – scorching temperatures and daily afternoon rainfalls. Excellent beach and boating conditions in the mornings.
- 🍂 Fall – Cheapest time to visit due to hurricane season, heavy rainfall, and high humidity.
- ❄️ Winter – Mild temperatures with the occasional cold spell passing through.
🚌 Getting Around
If staying in downtown or South Beach, a rental car may not be necessary. Otherwise, here are some other ways to get around South Florida:
- 🚶♀️ Walking – Downtown Miami and South Beach are the safest and most walkable neighborhoods.
- 🚗 Driving – recommended if wanting to visit or stay in surrounding areas. Unnecessary if staying in South Beach.
- 🚇 Public Transit – efficient trolley system moves up and down Collins Ave in Miami Beach. MetroMover is a cheap way to go around downtown.
- 📲 Ride Share – affordable outside of peak hours. Evening Ride Shares in South Beach and Brickell prove to be costly.
- 🚴♀️ Biking – Miami Beach in its entirety is safe for cycling along the Boardwalk & cycling lanes
👉 Tips & Things to Know
- 📕 Practice Your Spanish – particularly if you’re visiting areas outside of the main tourist neighborhoods of South Beach and downtown.
- 💦 Prepare for the Humidity – on top of the heat, the humidity can be insane
- 🥵 Beat the Heat – a dip in the ocean, pool or an escape into the A/C are the best ways to cool off
- ☂️ Expect Rain – afternoon showers occur daily, especially in the summer
- 🌅 Plan Outdoor Activities in the AM – when temperatures are the coolest and the winds are the calmest
🧳 What to Pack
- 🧴Reef Safe Sunscreen – popular sunscreen brands contain harmful chemicals to our local coral reefs. Choose a reef-safe brand instead
- 👕UPF Clothing – the South Florida sun is no joke to your skin. It’s best to cover up.
- 🎒Dry Bag Backpack – with so many water activities, a dry bag is a great way to keep your valuables dry
- 🕶️ Sunglasses – after all, you’re here for the beach, aren’t you?
- 🦟 Bug Spray – despite being in a city, mosquitoes are wicked year-round in Miami
🤓 Facts & Info
- Census Population (2020) – 478,251 (city), 6,166,488 (metro area)
- Time Zone – EST Time (UTC -5:00 / UTC -4:00 during daylight savings)
- Area Codes – 305 & 786
- Airports – Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Nickname – Magic City
- Demonym – Miamian
- State – Florida
- Country – United States of America
💵 Costs & Budgeting
- 3 Star Hotel Room – $120 – $300/night
- 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $150 – $320/night
- Rental Car – $100+/day
- Public Transit Ticket – ~$5 – $10 ($3 to airport from center)
- Ride Share from Downtown to Airport – $25
- Take Out Meal for Two – $40
- Sit Down Dinner for Two – $100+
- Draft Beer – $7 – $10
FAQs About Visiting Miami
Is Miami safe for tourists?
Miami is generally very safe for tourists. As with any city, some areas of Miami should be avoided, though these neighborhoods are generally far away from the main points of interest in Miami. Be mindful of petty crimes like pickpockets or bag grabs on the beach when you go in the ocean for a swim.
What is Miami mainly known for?
Miami is known for its stunning beaches, electric nightlife, Latin influences, and world-class cuisine. The city is the cultural capital of the United States with subpopulations from all over the world. Popular attractions include Vizcaya Museum, Zoo Miami, South Beach, Everglades National Park, and the Deering Estate.
How many days in Miami is enough?
For a trip exclusively in Miami Beach or Downtown Miami, we recommend staying for at least 3 days. If you’re looking to explore other parts of the region, like the Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Keys, and Palm Beach, we recommend staying a minimum of 7 – 9 days.
Is a trip to Miami worth it?
A trip to Miami is worthwhile for all sorts of travelers. Beach bums, partygoers, adventure seekers, and art lovers will all find plenty of things to do for a fun, multi-day trip.
📰 Florida Travel Guides
The stark contrast between Miami and the rest of Florida cannot be overstated. These are two completely different destinations. So if Miami isn’t your scene, be sure to check out all of our guides for the Sunshine State:
- Where to Stay in Miami (Best Areas & Places for 2022)
- 47 Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida (in 2022)
- 21 Best Fort Lauderdale Boat Tours (By a Local Captain)
- 21 Things to Do In Orlando for Kids (By a Local Mom)
- Best Time to Visit Disney World (By an Orlando Local)
- 23 Best South Florida Beaches for 2022 (By a Local)
- The Best Time to Visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2022
- The Best Time to Visit Orlando? When to Go, By a Local
- 13 Best Beaches in Fort Lauderdale (By a Local)
- 25 Things to Do in Central Florida (A Local’s Picks)
- 33 Best Places to Visit in Florida in 2022 (By Locals)
- 15 Fun Day Trips from Miami to Take Now
- Orlando on a Budget – How to Eat, Stay, & Do It Cheaply
- 23 Best Beaches in Florida for 2022 (Picked By Locals)
- 33 Best Things to Do in Florida in 2022 (By Locals!)
- 21 Fun Things to Do in Jupiter, FL (in 2022)
- 27 Fun Things to Do in South Florida (By a Local)
- Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale in 2022 (By a Local!)
- Where To Stay in Orlando, By an Area Local 
- 33 Best Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale in 2022 (By a Local!)
- 33 Best Things to Do in Orlando in 2022 (By a Local!)
- 15 Epic Day Trips from Fort Lauderdale (By a Local)
- 15 Epic Day Trips from Orlando for 2022 (By a Local!)
Meet Our Miami Travel Experts
Andrew Bloem is an adventure travel writer from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A pirate at heart, Andrew’s travels usually don’t stray too far from a palm tree and an ocean view. When he’s not writing guides for Travel Lemming, you can find him typing away at the local tiki bar for his site OceanWide Explorers.