You will never run out of fun things to do in Miami, Florida no matter how much time you spend here. But that’s what makes Miami so remarkable. The bright lights, lively nightlife, stunning beaches, hidden nature, unique history, and rich cultural identity make Miami an eclectic gem.
I live in nearby Fort Lauderdale and my wife grew up in Miami. We’ve seen and done quite a bit in the Miami area, but we’re still scratching the surface of all there is to do in the Magic City.
And that’s why I’ve compiled this handy list of things to do in Miami so you don’t feel so overwhelmed when you visit!
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!
Best Things to Do in Miami
Art Deco District in South Beach
Vibrant nightlife and a beautiful beaches aside, Miami’s most famous neighborhood, South Beach, often gets overlooked for its most distinct feature: the Art Deco District.
The colorful and retro architecture is a perfect encapsulation of 1920s Miami when the city boomed into the cultural capital it is today. Visit the Art Deco Museum for self-guided tours along Ocean Drive and the Art Deco District.
Experience Miami Nightlife
It’s no secret that things tend to heat up after dark in Miami. The city features many world-renowned bars and lounges like Blackbird, Blue Martini, El Patio, and more. Most are concentrated in Wynwood, Downtown, and Brickell – each offering its own unique brand and experience.
After you’re done with your bar crawl, keep the party going at “the world’s only Ultraclub,” E11EVEN Miami! Rub shoulders with a-list celebrities, witness incredible theatric performances, sip on cocktails and enjoy live performances and DJ sets by the likes of Drake, Post Malone, Cardi B, Nicky Jam, Diplo, and many more. Open 24/7, it’s definitely the marquee nightlife spot in a city known for them!
Dance Salsa at the Ball & Chain
Nothing speaks to the Latin influence in Miami quite like a nostalgic salsa club. The Ball & Chain, seemingly plucked directly from the streets of Havana, is an iconic dance club serving food and drink late into the evening.
Live salsa, bachata, and merengue are most commonly played, but be on the lookout for swing and jazz music, as well.
💃 Want to learn salsa? Taking dance lessons in Miami Beach is a great way to get comfortable before stepping onto the dancefloor at a Miami Salsa Club.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne
Standing tall amongst the thick tropical hammock of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a scenic lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Constructed in 1825, the lighthouse guided vessels into the calm waters of Biscayne Bay for centuries. Today, the spiral staircase winds to one of the most stunning views in all of Miami.
Everglades National Park
Topping every list of things to do in South Florida is a trip to Everglades National Park. The unique ecosystem is home to millions of alligators and rare tropical birds. Activities in the park are diverse: including walking trails, tram rides, cycling routes, dolphin cruises, and airboat tours.
The park is massive – spanning the entirety of Southern Florida. So, be sure to plan a day exploring the Everglades if you’re wondering what to do in Miami. It’s a must-see!
Island Hop to Boca Chita Key
Everyone knows about Everglades National Park, but few people realize the city of Miami borders another US National Park: Biscayne Bay.
Biscayne Bay is home to a series of keys, most notably Boca Chita Key – a hotspot for boaters as they picnic, camp, and explore the history of the National Park.
Tours to the island depart from the National Park visitor center in Homestead but is also accessible from marinas in Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.
Enjoy Rooftop Bars
Part of the Miami experience is living a life of luxury. And what better way to get a taste of the high-life than enjoying a meal, or just a few drinks, from a rooftop bar?
South Beach and Brickell neighborhoods have plenty of rooftop options like Sugar, Area 31, and MILA, all offering stunning views of downtown Miami.
Play Dominoes at Maximo Gomez Park in Little Havana
For a heavy dose of traditional Cuban culture, head to Domino Park in Little Havana. No matter the time of day, you’ll find regulars bantering with one another over extremely competitive games of dominoes.
Audiences are more than welcome during the immersive Latin experience. Checking out the domino scene is one of the coolest activities in downtown Miami.
Wynwood has become one of the most lively neighborhoods in Miami and one of the top things to do in the state of Florida.
Colorful street art sticks to the concrete walls of craft breweries, vibrant nightclubs, edgy art galleries, and fancy restaurants. The most picturesque is the Wynwood Walls – a labyrinth of creativity winding through alleyways and side streets.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Opulence is on full display as you wander through the halls of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Overlooking Biscayne National Park, the estate’s original owner, James Deering, was an avid conservationist.
The grounds surrounding the Mediterranean-inspired villa reflect a natural beauty found sparingly in Miami.
Drink a Colada at Versailles Restaurant
In the heart of Little Havana is the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant: Versailles. Ex-presidents, celebrities, visitors, and locals alike all flock here for the scrumptious Cuban-style cuisine. However, if you’re just passing by, head to the cafe section for a Cuban-style espresso known as a Colada.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami is one of the most awe-inspiring institutions in the United States.
Featuring a jaw-dropping aquarium and a dazzling planetarium, the state-of-the-art facility is a testament to the power of science. The entire family will enjoy an afternoon exploring the various exhibits the museum has to offer.
Miami Sites & Attractions
📍 Google Maps | Phone: 305-251-0400 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily | 👉 Purchase Tickets Ahead of Time due to Daily Capacity
As the only tropical zoo in the United States, Zoo Miami boasts exhibits, animals, and gardens found nowhere else in the country.
With more than 3,000 animals living on a span of 750 acres, it’s easy to spend an entire day at Zoo Miami. Just be sure to purchase tickets in advance as they currently limit daily capacity.
Miami Sea Aquarium
Facing Biscayne National Park on Virginia Key is the Miami Sea Aquarium. One of the largest oceanariums in the country, the Miami Sea Aquarium features exhibits including marine mammals, reef fish, sharks, sea turtles, and tropical birds.
Jungle Island combines Miami’s tropical setting with an array of exotic animals including flamingos, tigers, and parrots. Exhibits are spread throughout the grounds providing an entertaining afternoon for the entire family.
Venetian Pool in Coral Gables
If you’re sick of sandy feet, turn in your beach days for a relaxing afternoon at the Venetian Pool. Carved from the limestone bedrock underneath the city of Coral Gables, the public oasis is filled and drained daily from the naturally flowing water of the underlying aquifer.
Coral Castle in Homestead
📍 Google Maps | Phone: 305-248-6345 | Website | Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM Thursday and Sunday, 9 AM – 7 PM Friday and Saturday, Closed Monday – Wednesday | Entrance: $18 adults, $8 children 7 – 12, free under 6
The Coral Castle in Homestead tells the tragic tale of one broken-hearted man, Edward Leedskalnin. Recently rejected by the love of his life, Edward spent the next 28 years of his life carving a monument from ancient coral rock.
He completed his work in 1936 before moving the sculptures to their current location in Homestead.
Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach
In the heart of South Beach is the Lincoln Road Mall – the premier outdoor shopping center of South Florida.
You’ll find familiar stores like Apple, Nike, and Macy’s alongside local taquerias and neighborhood bodegas. This is Miami, after all, so luxury design stores are plentiful as well. Another option for high-end shopping is the Miami Design District.
Established in 1933, Monkey Jungle is home to over 300 primates roaming freely in a 30-acre subtropical forest. Upon entry, you’ll meet over 90 Java monkeys, the main attraction in the park, as they boast their diving skills by collecting shellfish in the nearby mangrove habitats.
Sip a Milkshake at Robert is Here in Homestead
Robert is Here is a family-owned and operated fruit stand specializing in exotic fruits. Most of the produce is grown right on their farm with much of it being used to make tropical jams, spreads, and the most delectable milkshakes in Florida.
Museums, Art & Culture in Miami
Miami Children’s Museum
The entire family will find entertainment at the Miami Children’s Museum on Watson Island. With 14 bilingual exhibits, daily programming, and ever-developing classes, young minds get brighter with each visit to the museum.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Featuring thousands of rare tropical plants, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden provides a tranquil reprieve from the busyness of the city. While roaming the 83-acre property, you’ll notice aquatic exhibits, cycads, rare palms, and plants hailing from distant Caribbean islands and not-so-distant Keys.
Perez Art Museum
Officially the Jorge M. Perez Art Museum, this gallery features 20th and 21st century works from artists of Caribbean, Latin American, and African descent. The halls consist of 1800 permanent pieces with rotating exhibits throughout the year.
🖼️ Love Contemporary Art? Along with the Perez Art Museum, the city has two other world-renowned galleries: the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art.
New World Center
An iconic venue in Miami Beach, the New World Center opened in 2011 as home to the New World Symphony – a training ensemble for classical musicians. The modern enhancements make for a soothing evening of live music.
And, if you’re looking for one of the best free things to do in Miami, check out their WALLCAST® concerts – where you can bring a blanket, a picnic, and enjoy listening to a live concert projected onto a 700 square foot wall!
Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Railways built this country, and particularly, helped build Miami. This fact isn’t lost at the Miami Railroad Historical Society and their commemoration of this forgotten history.
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is locally funded achieving great feats in its preservation, exhibition, and operation of the historical equipment found throughout the museum.
Van Gogh: the Immersive Experience in the Olympia Theater
In conjunction with the historic Olympia Theater, Van Gogh: the Immersive Experience brings an interactive element to the famous artist’s most profound pieces of work.
Thanks to developments in virtual reality, you’ll witness iconic artworks come to life before your eyes in an unimaginable way.
Housing the experience is the Olympia Theater – a glimmering performing arts center listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The scenic hall is an excellent venue to catch a concert, dance, or play.
Outdoor Activities in Miami
You may not think of partying at a sandbar as a cultural experience, but trust me, Haulover Sandbar is something to behold – it’s as Miami as Miami gets.
This place is wild, with some of the nicest boats, and full of the craziest people making frequent appearances. Haulover Sandbar is one of the best experiences in Miami if you’re looking to really immerse yourself in the local scene.
If partying isn’t your scene, don’t worry; the sandbar is nestled in a beautiful setting with lush mangrove islands, a sandy beach nearby, and glistening turquoise waters surrounding its entirety.
Neptune Memorial Reef
Developed by a marine biologist, Neptune Memorial Reef is the world’s largest columbarium, mixing ashes into concrete to form attachment sites for a thriving marine habitat.
Local dive charters bring visitors to the artificial reef as they explore the underwater statues featuring plaques commemorating those who have decided to give their remains back to the ocean.
South Beach Boardwalk
Parallel to Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is the South Beach Boardwalk. If you’re staying nearby, the boardwalk is a great place to rent a bike and cycle for miles or simply go for a short walk.
The lush tropical hammock provides ample shade and a cool environment to beat the South Florida heat while you get some exercise.
Paddle Board or Kayak from Virginia Key
Secluded shores await explorers who choose to embark on a stand up paddle board (SUP) adventure originating on Virginia Key.
Seas are usually calm as you paddle along mangrove forests while skimming over seagrass beds stocked full of marine life: manatees, dolphins, turtles, and stingrays are commonly spotted.
At low tide, sandy beaches are unveiled as the water recedes into the Atlantic.
Mangrove Forests in Oletta River State Park
At one point, the coast of Southeastern Florida was primarily mangrove-lined waterways – an important ecosystem where the Everglades met the ocean.
Today, Oletta River State Park preserves this natural habitat with miles of navigable waterways within its boundaries. SUP and kayak rentals are readily available at the park’s main visitor center.
Miami Beaches & Parks
Bayfront Park and Bayside Marketplace
Overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay is the oldest public gathering space in Miami: Bayfront Park. The 32-acre space is a refreshing hint of green amidst the concrete jungle. Local joggers, cyclers, and skaters typically gather in the morning for exercise.
Right next door is Bayfront Marketplace, a massive outdoor shopping complex. Shops are geared towards tourists with many selling Miami-branded souvenirs for your loved ones back home. The connected marina offers daily boat tours of the Miami waterways.
South Pointe Park
During peak season, South Beach can get incredibly crowded and the party atmosphere can be overwhelming.
Head over to South Pointe Park in Miami Beach if you’d like to enjoy the beautiful shores without the crowds. It’s a local’s secret, so keep it on the down-low.
Brickell is a high-end neighborhood in downtown Miami with scenic views, luxury shopping opportunities, bars, restaurants, and rooftop nightclubs. Everything is immensely pricey, but a self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood is a fun way to take it all in without breaking your bank.
The best place to start is at the Miami Circle National Historic Landmark, an archeological site featuring remnants of Miami’s original inhabitants.
Crandon Park is a postcard image of a tropical paradise; it’s where you envision your dream vacation to be. And compared to other beaches in Miami, it stays relatively quiet, as well.
My favorite part is the perfect spacing of its palm trees – it’s an excellent spot for beach bums to sling up a hammock, read a book, and fall asleep to a soft ocean breeze.
🌴 Need a beach hammock? While traveling to renowned beach destinations, I always bring an ENO hammock. It comes in handy when stumbling upon incredible settings like Crandon Park.
The scenic bridge between Virginia Key and downtown Miami is a local’s favorite for exercise and stunning views of the city.
Ascending to the top is no easy feat, whether you’re walking, running, or cycling, but the epic view you’re treated with will be well worth all the huffing and puffing.
Greater Miami Area and Beyond
Key West is the southernmost city that’s possible to visit as a day trip from Miami, but we recommend staying for a few days instead.
Key West is among the top destinations in Florida and should be enjoyed as such. After all, how else are you going to sail to Dry Tortugas National Park, live it up on Duvall Street, visit the Hemingway House, and soak up the sun at Fort Zachary Taylor Beach?
Bimini, The Bahamas
Believe it or not, it’s possible to visit the Bahamas on a day trip from Miami. The ferry departs daily from Fort Lauderdale, where two hours later you’ll step foot onto the sugary white sands of Bimini, the westernmost island of the archipelago nation.
Your ticket includes access to the Hilton Resort and some of the most pristine beaches in the Atlantic.
Snorkeling in Key Largo
When you’ve exhausted all things to do in Miami, look no further than just beyond the city.
For those seeking a snorkeling adventure, head an hour south to the Florida Keys, home to the only natural coral reef in the continental United States. Key Largo, specifically, features the most pristine marine habitats and many top-notch snorkeling charters.
Deep-Sea Fishing in Islamorada
Known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World, Islamorada is a must-visit for those looking to reel in a monster catch.
I lived and worked at a restaurant in town for a year, and let me tell you, fishermen bringing in their fresh catch of the day was endless. Mahi, Wahoo, Kingfish, and the occasional swordfish often made appearances on the grill.
The Town of Jupiter, FL
An outdoor enthusiasts’ dream, the Town of Jupiter is the northernmost city in greater Miami and one of our favorite places in South Florida.
Jupiter is filled with fun things to do with many hiking trails, historical buildings, paddling routes, dive sites, and beautiful beaches unlike any other throughout the region.
Boating in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is a city known for its 300+ miles of navigable waterways and glistening coasts. And it’s only 30 miles north of Miami! This makes taking a Fort Lauderdale boat tour one of the best things to do when visiting the Miami, Florida area.
Boating tour options include snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, paddling, and even a Water Taxi bringing passengers to attractions all over Fort Lauderdale.
Miami Sports & Events
FTX Arena (American Airlines Arena)
The Miami Heat is the city’s most popular professional team. So naturally, the best thing to do at FTX Arena (formerly American Airlines Arena) is to witness a Miami Heat basketball game.
Similar to Hard Rock Stadium, FTX Arena hosts all sorts of other events, particularly concerts headlined by prominent Latin American artists.
For a race day experience, few other speedways compare to Miami’s. NASCAR regularly hosts events for an atmosphere similar to that of Daytona and Talladega.
When the renowned race groups are out of town, it’s possible to visit the Speedway to test drive exotic vehicles like Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini.
Hard Rock Stadium
Hard Rock Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins, the city’s NFL team, and also plays host to a litany of major events.
I’ve been to a professional soccer game, a drive-in movie, Cirque Du Soleil, and a mega-country concert all within the same venue. The building is an incredible architectural feat, so visiting for something, whatever it may be, is worth the trip.
Home of the Miami Marlins, the city’s Major League Baseball team, Marlins Park is a state-of-the-art facility with an incredible skyline view of downtown Miami. Tickets are usually cheap and the park is rarely busy, making it a fun, and affordable outing for the entire family.
The International Polo Club in Wellington
An hour north in Palm Beach County is Wellington, home to the International Polo Club – one of the country’s premier venues to witness a Polo Match.
Tickets are surprisingly affordable, including quality seats and multiple glasses of champagne during the famed halftime toast. It’s a fun way to experience a sport found in few other places in the world.
FAQs About Things to Do in Miami
What is Miami, Florida famous for?
Miami is famous for its vibrant local culture, nightlife, fun beaches, and great weather.
What are some other things to do in Miami that we may have missed? The list could easily go on so we’d love to hear from you in a comment below!
Be sure to check out our guide to fun day trips from Miami so you don’t miss a thing that South Florida has to offer.
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?