Where would you go if you visit Miami? With magnificent artistic beaches, fantastic weather, history, culture, sports, and entertainment, Miami is one of South Florida’s premier tourist destinations.
Downtown Miami is a modern city and cultural treasure trove, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach. There is always something to do in Miami, from museums to the alleys of Little Havana. Miami Beach, across the bay with its Art Deco District, beaches. Everglades National Park, which is close by, is one of several popular day trip locations from Miami.
With our list of the top tourist attractions in Miami, you can plan your trip and discover the best locations to go.
1. Miami Beach
Miami Beach is a combination of calm neighborhoods, vibrant entertainment-focused regions, and large lengths of soft-sand beaches, located on a barrier island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. The historic and action-packed district known as South Beach is located on the island’s southernmost tip, and it is here that you’ll discover many of the island’s top attractions and things to do.
The Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach is one of the city’s most popular attractions, with pastel buildings from the 1930s and early 1940s featuring classic neon signs. This is an upscale tourist zone with numerous coastal restaurants, shops, hotels, and plenty of options for sunbathing.
Ocean Drive, a portion of road located along the coastline and home to numerous spectacular Art Deco structures, is the primary route in this neighborhood. In May of 2020, Ocean Drive was closed to all traffic except pedestrians, but in 2022, it reopened to one-way car traffic from 15th Street to 5th Street.
Collins Avenue is one block inland, running parallel to Ocean Drive. Collins Avenue, also known as State Road A1A, is the primary thoroughfare in Miami Beach, connecting a number of neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in the neighborhood, check out our list of luxury, mid-range, and economy hotels.
2. Historic Art Deco District
Even if you don’t care for the beach, a visit to Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District is worthwhile. The stylish South Beach district is dominated by this architectural style, which was prominent in the 1930s and 1940s.
Following a disastrous hurricane in 1926, these were erected in a variety of pastel colors and with enormous neon signage. The majority of the hotels and restaurants have been wonderfully restored. Awnings on the lower levels of these buildings provide shade for outdoor dining spaces along several of the main roadways. The two main thoroughfares in the neighborhood are Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.
Many Art Deco buildings still serve as hotels and offer far more character than modern hotels if you want to stay in one of these historic jewels. The upscale Delano South Beach or National Hotel Miami Beach, as well as the more affordably priced Hotel Breakwater South Beach, are both excellent choices.
3. South Beach
The always-bustling area of South Beach is located on the southern end of Miami Beach. When many people think of a beach vacation in Miami, they think of this. One of the main attractions is the lengthy stretch of beach that runs parallel to the ocean along Ocean Drive. This is the most popular beach in Miami and one of the best beaches in Florida, and it is often crowded in the summer.
This is a location to see and be seen, but it’s also a spot to swim in the shallow waters, cool off, and soak up the sun. The streets are lined with Art Deco structures that offer luxury hotel rooms and a diverse range of dining alternatives.
4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
The magnificent winter home of 20th-century industrialist James Deering, set on 28 acres, is now a National Historic Landmark. The home, which was built in 1916, has 34 rooms organized around a central courtyard.
The Vizcaya project required around 1,100 workers and craftsmen, many of whom were recruited in from Europe to assure design accuracy.
The outstanding collection of European furniture and ornamental arts from the 15th to 19th centuries is housed in the Italian Renaissance-style home.
Beautiful Italian and French fountains, pools, and statues may be found throughout the grounds and gardens. An ornately carved barge with female figures serves as a barrier at the base of the steps going into Biscayne Bay.
3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131
http://vizcaya.org/ is the official website.
5. Everglades National Park
Just a short drive from Miami, Everglades National Park protects one of Florida’s most unique natural characteristics. Alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and birds live in these swamplands, which total 1.5 million acres. The entire area is essentially a shallow river that flows out to sea.
A Visitors Center, as well as walking routes and boardwalks for wildlife watching, are located within the park. The Anhinga Trail, which begins at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, is one of the park’s most popular walking pathways. This track is less than a mile long, but it passes through territory where alligators and other creatures are likely to be seen. This trail is non-strengthening and wheelchair accessible.
An airboat tour is one of the most enjoyable ways to see the Everglades. Visitors can observe alligators and other wildlife on these high-speed boat tours through the marshes and streams. The half-day Miami Everglades Airboat Adventure with Transport includes transportation from your hotel to the park, a 30-minute airboat ride, and a live alligator display at the Everglades Alligator Farm, as well as transportation back to your hotel.
6. Bayside Marketplace
Bayside Marketplace is a big outdoor-style mall with over 120 specialized and tourist shops, as well as a variety of cafes and restaurants, as well as daily live entertainment. There are several well-known chain stores as well as numerous unique, one-of-a-kind establishments for visitors to enjoy. The market attracts both locals and visitors.
The mall is located along Miami’s waterfront, with views of docks and boats, as the name suggests. Many visitors simply come to take in the atmosphere. From here, tour boats depart for destinations throughout Biscayne Bay. A water taxi service is also available to and from Miami Beach and the downtown hotels in the region.
The Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel is a fresh new attraction at Bayside Market. This massive Ferris wheel, which stands 200 feet in the air, contains 42 climate-controlled passenger gondolas and one glass-floored VIP version. During your 15-minute journey, you’ll get beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and Miami.
401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33131
http://www.baysidemarketplace.com/ is the official website.
7. Little Havana and Calle Ocho
Little Havana, Miami’s Cuban district, is noted for its distinct cultural environment more than its abundance of tourist attractions. The streets are lined with restaurants and specialty food stores, while Latin music fills the air. Locals congregate in public areas to socialize.
Murals depicting famous Cuban people and situations from daily life adorn the walls of structures. The district’s main thoroughfare, Calle Ocho, is where much of the action takes place, but Little Havana extends far beyond it, into the adjacent streets and avenues. The neighborhood provides plenty of opportunities for people-watching. Of course, this is the place to go for Cuban cuisine or, as most visitors are surprised to learn, a nice haircut at one of the many barbershops.
The Calle Ocho Festival, which takes place in March, is the world’s greatest celebration of Cuban culture. This street festival has grown to include more Latin American cultures over the years, and it is now a fantastic way to sample Latin American music and Caribbean cuisine.
8. Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park is a 32-acre natural park close to the Bayside Marketplace on the east side of Biscayne Boulevard. Several notable monuments and sculptures may be seen throughout the park. The electrically operated Pepper Fountain is one of the distinctive features.
The Challenger Memorial, which honors the crew of the Challenger spacecraft, the Light Tower, an amphitheater that hosts a variety of musical acts, and a children’s playground are among the other attractions. Locals frequently visit simply to run or walk on the paved pathways.
From Bayfront Marketplace to the park, a waterfront walk runs by the FPL Solar Amphitheater. The Freedom Tower, the FTX Arena, and Maurice A. Ferré Park are all within walking distance of the park.
9. Perez Art Museum
The Perez Art Museum, often known as the PAMM, is located on beautiful beachfront real estate in Miami. Artwork from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is kept inside an aesthetically spectacular edifice constructed by Herzog & de Mueron.
For more than 25 years, the museum has been showcasing the work of local and international artists. Temporary exhibitions are rotated around the PAMM on a regular basis. The building’s interior is nearly a work of art in and of itself. Light, open settings, along with breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay, evoke a sense of peace and reflection, aiding in your enjoyment of the artwork. Permanent displays are often found on the first and second levels, whereas temporary exhibits are typically seen on the second floor.
Verde, the on-site restaurant at the PAMM, is well-known. Take a seat at a table inside or on the spacious terrace and enjoy a light lunch while taking in the spectacular views of the ocean.
Combining a visit here with a trip at the Phillip and Patricia Museum of Science, which is immediately next door, can save you a few bucks on parking (a fixed charge of $15).
1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33131
https://www.pamm.org/ is the official website.
10. Miami Seaquarium
The Miami Seaquarium, which is located on the Rickenbacker Causeway on the route to Key Biscayne, is a fun spot to take the family for a day of entertainment and education. A broad range of sea species call this aquatic facility home, including killer whales, dolphins, stingrays, seals, and penguins, to name a few.
The Seaquarium has a variety of animal exhibitions; but, as of this writing, the killer whale and dolphin displays have been halted. But don’t worry, Salty the Sealion will continue to perform! Animal interactions are offered for an extra cost if you want to get up up and personal with the animals. Three opportunities for interacting with dolphins, one with penguins, and a chance to swim with seals are available.
The Sea aquarium offers a large variety of educational animal exhibits as well as a marine conservation area in addition to the performances and animal interactions.
In addition to the cost of admission to the Seaquarium, there is a $10 tourist parking fee.
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida
11. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is jam-packed with intriguing items for all ages and is ideal for a wet day or if you’re searching for something to do away from the beach.
The museum is split into four sections: The aquarium focuses on the ocean, with a special emphasis on South Florida. Through interactive displays and presentations, the planetarium aids in the study of the solar system. Other permanent and touring displays in the North and West wings aim to describe the world we live in.
The aquarium’s viewing rooms are outstanding, and the displays are interactive and exciting in every section.
1101 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33131
12. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens
The abundant rain, moderate temperatures, and bright days support the lush tropical vegetation that thrives here. The Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens is one of the greatest venues to observe Mother Nature’s spectacular display. The organization, which was started in 1938, is currently operated entirely by volunteers and is a first-class operation.
The grounds are large, spanning 83 acres, and you may stroll for kilometers. If that seems too overwhelming, go for one of the 45-minute tram trips. The excursions are supervised by an expert guide and offer a fascinating look inside the grounds. Even if you have only a passing interest in plants, one of the 27 displays and collections will pique your curiosity.
The majority of the attractions are located in the southwest section of the gardens, which may be accessed by walking straight from the main gate to the tram stop area and then turning right. Look down on the sidewalk to observe all kinds of leaves engraved in the cement along the route. Take a walk through this tourist attraction region, where the mist snakes down the footpath and rain showers fall amid the plants.
The Clinton Family Conservatory and the Wings of the Tropics exhibit are located beyond the rainforest region. When you go into the structure, you’ll be greeted with a rainbow of butterflies and tropical flowers. Have your camera ready and try to capture a photo of the beautiful blue morpho butterfly.
Eleven sculptures, are scattered across the grounds. The Glasshouse Café is a wonderful place to eat a quick lunch. Tables are strewn among the foliage, and it’s a relaxing and rejuvenating area.
Unless you’ve gone farther afield, you could find yourself as a tourist strolling back via the Lougheed Spiny Forest of Madagascar, one of the more exotic plant exhibits in the gardens. Touching large trees with spikes is strongly discouraged! A big baobab tree planted by the founder, David Fairchild, in the mid-1930s stands nearby.
10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami, Florida 33131
13. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Miami is lucky in that it is only a short bridge ride away from one of Florida’s most gorgeous state parks. Bill Baggs saved this brilliantly preserved environment from development in the 1960s, making it ideal for a family beach day excursion. The soft-sand beach, which offers spectacular vistas, is one of the primary attractions.
Park at access #6 if you merely want to go to the beach as a tourist. Park at access #7 if you want to go to the beach and see the ancient lighthouse. Are you more of a fisherman? Park near the washrooms at the far end of the road and stroll out to the fishing docks or pitch up camp on the seawall.
The park is also a haven for migrating birds. Walk Robin’s Birding Trail to increase your chances of observing birds.
14. Hobie Beach
One thing you immediately discover about Miami is that it may be a pricey city. Toll roads, restaurant rates, and park and attraction entrances may soon add up. Head to Hobie Beach for a relaxing beach experience that won’t break the bank.
It’s easy to find to a tourist, and there’s even free parking! This beach is one of the most accessible in the area, with soft white sand and mild waves (if any). Dogs are welcome at Hobie Beach, where they may run free on the sand and in the ocean.
The area that hires sailboats and is popular with the windsurfing and sailing tourist enthusiasts is the first stop as you cross the bridge.
15. Zoo Miami
More than 3,000 wild animals, including 40 endangered species, are housed at Zoo Miami. Unlike many traditional zoos, animals here are maintained in environments that are close to their natural habitats and are grouped with other species with which they would typically coexist happily in the wild.
Feeding the giraffes is one of the most pleasurable activities at the zoo for many tourist. These gentle giants will astound children as they reach down with their lengthy necks to pick a goodie from their hands.
In the continental United States, this is the only zoo with a subtropical climate for the tourists. On the grounds, there are over 1,000 different tree and plant species, including a big collection of orchids.
Children will have a plethora of activities to choose from. If the animals bore them, kids may go to the play areas and have fun splashing about in the water-themed play area.
16. Deering Estate at Cutler
This 444-acre estate protects internationally endangered pine rockland habitat, as well as coastal tropical hardwood rockland hammocks, mangrove forests, salt marshes, and a coastal dune island, and was formerly the residence of Charles Deering.
The Richmond Cottage, which functioned as a hotel, as well as historical structures spanning from 1896 to 1922 and an American Indian burial mound dating from 1500, are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Charles Deering was an art collector who amassed a large collection of Old Master paintings. Deering was a painter as well, and some of his work is on show here for tourist. The estate’s Artist Village has grown into a significant cultural hub, including art and artist programs.
17. Wynwood Walls Street Art
The formerly drab exterior warehouse walls of Wynwood’s warehouse neighborhood have been converted into bright works of art. The Wynwood Walls, which are covered in street art or what most people refer to as graffiti, have given the region a new lease on life.
Tony Goldman founded the neighborhood in 2009, and it has drawn prominent personalities in the field of street art from all across North America and the world. More than 80,000 square feet of wall space has been blessed with paintings in this unique artform since it began.
The entire neighborhood is covered in vibrant street art. You can wander around on your own or sign up for a guided tour to learn more about the murals. There are 35 walls, retail shops, and galleries inside this guarded neighborhood. This location used to be free, but now there is a charge for admission for tourist.
18. Miami Children’s Museum
The Miami Children’s Museum is a colorful and imaginatively constructed facility with over 56,000 square feet of space that is always a great outing for kids. Children’s curiosity and inventiveness are piqued by educational and entertaining exhibitions.
Fourteen themed galleries focus on arts, culture, community, and communication, while four outdoor displays provide opportunities for children to play and enjoy the outdoors. Some of the displays are clearly Miami-themed, such as the option to visit a cruise ship and the Port of Miami.
19. Key Biscayne and Crandon Park
Key Biscayne, located south of Miami Beach and across the Rickenbacker Causeway, is a small hamlet with wonderful beaches and parks. Crandon Park, in particular, is notable for its offshore reef, which protects the shoreline from large waves and makes it ideal for swimming.
The park features a Family Amusement Center and a Nature Center, making it particularly popular with families. There is usually plenty of parking, excellent amenities, chair rentals, and lifeguards on duty.
Kiteboarders tearing through the waves, towed by their multicolored kites, can be seen on windy days.
20. Basketball Games at FTX Arena
The Miami Heat play their home games at the FTX Arena, formerly known as the American Airlines Arena. It also serves as the primary location for huge concerts and other special events, which frequently feature well-known singers and entertainers. It has a capacity of around 19,000 people.
The construction was received the Leed Green Building Certification for being an energy efficient building when it first opened in 1999. On Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami, the arena stands out like a sore thumb.
601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33131
21. Venetian Pool
Head to the historic Venetian Pool if you’ve had enough of the beach, the wind has picked up, or you just want to swim in some freshwater. The pool dates from the early 1920s and is located in the lovely city of Coral Gables, just south of Miami. The pools’ water is as pure as it gets. The water is incredibly clear and refreshing, and it comes from an underground spring. The spring drains and refills the 820,000-gallon pool every day.
The pool is a remnant of a previous quarrying activity that used coral mined from here to build homes in Coral Gables. The area around the pool resembles a Venice scene. The pool is surrounded by bridges, towers, and little plazas, giving it a European atmosphere, while caves, grottoes, and two waterfalls provide hours of entertainment for both children and adults.
Every year from the beginning of February to the end of November, the pool is open to the public. In the public lot across the street, there is plenty of free parking.
22. Coral Castle
The Coral Castle is the result of 28 years of carving using his own hand-made tools by one guy. Edward Leedskalnin designed and built this amazing limestone structure between 1923 and 1951. Many people were left wondering how he did it because he kept his tactics secret and wouldn’t let anyone watch him work.
Today, visitors can take a tour of the property and witness the most famous construction, a massive stone gate that opens with the touch of a finger, as well as sculptures such as stone tables and chairs, distinctive figures, and other items.
23. Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower, one of Biscayne Boulevard’s most remarkable structures, is designed in a “wedding-cake” style. It is one of the oldest buildings in the Southeast, having been built in 1925 and serving as the headquarters of the Miami Daily News for many years.
It got its name from the fact that it was used to handle hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles who arrived in the 1960s. It now serves as a memorial to Cuban immigrants and, in part, as a contemporary art museum.
Where to Stay for Sightseeing in Miami
Miami Beach, with its magnificent soft-sand beaches, Art Deco structures, and dynamic atmosphere, is the city’s most popular tourist destination. There are hotels of different sizes and types here, ranging from small, cute boutique hotels in historic buildings to major chain hotels. The majority of the hotels feature pools and are conveniently located near the beach and a range of excellent eateries.
Hotels of the highest grade:
1 Hotel South Beach is one of the hottest luxury buildings in town, with 600 feet of excellent beachfront land and a whole city block on Collins Ave. The hotel includes 426 rooms and suites, many of which have windows with views of the Atlantic Ocean. The furniture are made of recovered driftwood. Guests have access to rides in the hotel’s Tesla automobiles within a three-mile radius, and there are a variety of eateries with a healthy focus. Pets are welcome to stay as well.
The Setai, Miami Beach is a magnificent, Asian-inspired luxury resort that is popular with couples on a romantic break. It is located right on the trendiest portion of South Beach. It’s a hotel with just suites, which start at a studio and continue all the way up to a four-bedroom penthouse. Expect high-end furnishings like as handcrafted Duxiana beds and Italian bedding with a high thread count.
There are also espresso machines in the rooms, as well as rainfall showers in the huge bathtubs. A luxurious spa, three swimming pools, and sun-loungers and umbrellas on the beach are just a few of the attractions available at the Setai. There are also other restaurants on the premises. For Asian-inspired cuisine, go to Jaya, and for international cuisine, go to The Ocean Grill.
The newly rebuilt Kimpton EPIC Hotel is another top luxury lodging, literally in the midst of the Miami skyline with views of the Miami River, Biscayne Bay, and downtown from the balconies linked to every room and suite. The decor is urban contemporary, and we adore the floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable mattresses with high-quality linens.
The Kimpton is noted for being extremely dog-friendly, with no pet deposit required. Two on-site restaurants are also worth mentioning: Area 31, which has outdoor patio dining, and Zuma, which is located on the ground floor. The amenities include an on-site spa and fitness facility, as well as two swimming pools with cabanas that may be booked.
The Four Seasons Hotel Miami is a popular alternative for families looking for a luxury resort vacation in downtown Miami’s Brickell district. The resort also functions as a Latin American art gallery, with a multi-million-dollar collection on display across the property. Adults can sign up for a class at the hotel’s Equinox fitness center or schedule a massage at The Spa, both of which are located on the fourth floor.
Hotels in the Mid-Range:
If you want to be near South Beach but can’t afford to spend a bunch, the boutique Urbanica The Meridian Hotel is a good option. The hotel, located in Miami Beach’s trendy South of Fifth district, has a minimalist style with white and beige tones and is noted for its customized service.
The Marriott Stanton South Beach, which is situated on the beach, is another upmarket, mid-range option. It is a kid-friendly property on the southern side of Ocean Drive in South Beach, but it can also work for couples on a budget. On-site amenities include two swimming pools, a hot tub, a spa with sauna, and a modern gym. There are also a few dining alternatives, including a decent restaurant with a view of the sea.
Staying in downtown Miami is usually less expensive than staying on Miami Beach, and there is enough to do in the downtown area of Brickell, where the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton – Miami-Brickell Downtown is located. The budget-friendly hotel offers a sophisticated ambiance and even has its own contemporary art collection. A free breakfast and a swimming pool are among the other perks.
Hostels on a Budget
Unless you visit during the off-season, even budget hotels on Miami Beach are expensive. For a good night’s sleep on a cheap, stay at the Hotel Shelley, which is located on Collins Avenue in an Art Deco edifice. The rooms have marble bathtubs and a simple style.
Although the Element Miami International Airport is located near the airport, it is not in an awkward location for getting around the city. This hotel features newly refurbished rooms with tiny kitchenettes as well as an outdoor pool. For late or early flights, the complimentary shuttle is really useful.
How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Miami with Tips and Tours
A Big Bus Tour is a great way to view the sites of Miami at your own leisure. With a total of 40 stops, the three lines cover all of the key locations, including South Beach, Downtown Miami, Coral Gables, and Little Havana.
Sightseeing, Cruise, and Everglades Tour: If you truly want to make the most of your time in Miami, a Miami Combo Tour: City Sightseeing, and Everglades Airboat Ride is the most convenient way to visit the attractions. In a single day, this tour covers everything except the seashore. A narrated coach tour of the city, a cruise on the magnificent waters of Biscayne Bay, and an airboat excursion through the Florida Everglades are all included in the trip.
Visit Key West: Take a Key West Day Trip to visit the renowned bridges that connect the Keys, spend an afternoon walking about Key West, or add on a glass-bottom boat tour, snorkeling cruise, Key West hop-on-hop-off tour, or parasailing. This 12-hour tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, bus transportation from Miami to Key West, and plenty of free time to visit the sites.