Miami is one of the best vacation destinations in the South Florida region. Miami, located on the northern coast of Florida, is a large urban center and cultural treasure trove.

From the museums to the streets of Little Havana, there are plenty of things available to do. Across the bay, Miami Beach encompasses a beautiful stretch of beachfront, an impressive Art Deco District, and a fun atmosphere. In the area, Everglades National Park and other destinations are popular day trip destinations from Miami.

Planning your time and getting to the top tourist attractions will maximize your enjoyment of your trip.

1. Miami Beach

picture of Miami beach costline

Located on an island in the middle of the ocean, Miami Beach is a mix of quiet residential neighborhoods, entertainment-focused areas, beaches, and golf courses.

For visitors, South Beach and the Art Deco District are one of the main highlights. The buildings date back to the 1930s and early 1940s, and all have classic neon signs. A popular tourist district with luxurious hotels, beachfront restaurants, and souvenir shops.

The most popular street in this area is Ocean Drive, which is famous for its Art Deco-style buildings made of stone and tiles. Along Ocean Drive, one block south is Collins Avenue. Collins Avenue is actually State Road A1A. It runs along the coast of the Biscayne Bay and connects several neighborhoods in Miami Beach.

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2. Art Deco Historic District

historic district in miami architecture

You don’t have to like the beach to enjoy a visit to Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach. This architectural style which was popular in the 1930s and 1940s is dominant in Miami Beach.

The buildings were built in neighborhoods that were already impoverished and damaged by a devastating hurricane that struck in 1926. Most are hotels and restaurants that have been renovated beautifully. On some of the main streets, restaurants with outdoor dining areas are provided with awnings.

Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are the two major streets in this particular section of Florida.

If you would like to stay in one of these historic hotels, many of them still offer modern amenities while preserving historic character. There are options for those with a little more money, like the luxurious Delano South Beach or the more moderately priced Hotel Breakwater South Beach.

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3. South Beach

The area to the south of Miami Beach is known as South Beach. This expansive stretch of beach fronts the ocean in the neighborhood of the same name. This is the busiest beach in Miami and one of the best beaches in Florida.

It’s a place to be seen, but also a place to swim and enjoy the shallow waters and soak up the sun. A paved walkway lines the beach path and in behind is Ocean Drive, where motorists cruise past slowly and take in the sights.

4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

This National Historic Landmark, originally the luxurious mansion of 20th-century industrialist James Deering, was his winter home. Constructed in 1916, the house features 34 different rooms arranged parallel to a central courtyard.

The building took more than 1,100 people to complete and they dedicated their time and effort to ensuring authenticity.

The villa contains a remarkable variety of European furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th century.

Grounds and gardens have unique European fountains, pools, and statues. An ornately carved barge features female figures at the base of the steps leading into Biscayne Bay.

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4. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park in Florida is one of the most unique natural features in the state. These wetlands are home to alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and many other species of birds. This area is a shallow body of water; as such, it connects to the ocean.

Within the park is a Visitors Center, pedestrian trails, and boardwalks through which visitors can view local wildlife. One of the most popular trails in the park leaves from the Royal Palm Visitor Center. This trail is less than a mile long but contains a variety of locations which animals may be present. This trail is wheelchair accessible and easy to negotiate.

One of the most unique experiences in the Everglades is taking a guided airboat tour. Boats take tourists out into the marshes and streams where they can view alligators. The Miami Everglades Airboat Adventure with Transport includes transport from your hotel to the park, airboat ride, and return transport, all for half the cost of a hotel room.

5. Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace is an outdoor-style mall with nearly 150 shops and cafes and a daily live entertainment program. Visitors will find notable chains in addition to many unique shops. The downtown marketplace attracts both local residents and tourists.

The mall, located along the Miami waterfront, is designed to look out over docks and boats. Many people come here for the atmosphere as well.

Tour boats leave from this point, visiting places around Biscayne Bay. There are also water taxis nearby with connections to Miami Beach and downtown hotels.

6. Little Havana and Calle Ocho

Little Havana, does not need to depend on tourism to survive but is notable for its rich cultural scene. Restaurants and specialty food shops are present on every block, and Latin music fills the atmosphere. The locals gather in public spaces.

The murals on the walls of buildings show important figures in Cuban history and scenes from daily life. Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare in the district and is linked to the rest of the district through its various streets. For people-watching, there are a diverse variety of social situations. Of course, this is where the patrons of Cuban cuisine congregate.

The Calle Ocho Festival, one of the largest Cuban cultural events in the world, is celebrated in March. Over the past several years the Street Festival has expanded to include a larger variety of Latin American cultures and spices.

7. Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park, which is located on the east side of the Biscayne Boulevard, is a 32-acre green recreational area, adjacent to the Bayside Marketplace. The park has a variety of historical monuments and sculptures. One of the most unique features of the Pepper Fountain is the electronic control.

The most notable sight or experience is the Challenger Memorial commemorating the crew of the Challenger spacecraft; the Light Tower, an amphitheater used for musical performances of all kinds; and a children’s playground. Many of us frequent the park simply to walk or run on the paved trails.

8. Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami houses more than 3,000 animals from different species, including 40 endangered species. Unlike many traditional zoos, animals are housed together in their natural habitats and housed within environments similar to how they would be in the wild.

One of the most notable aspects at the zoo is the opportunity to feed the giraffes. Children will be astonished at how these giants, with their long necks, reach down to pick up their food with their hands.

The only zoo in the United States located in a subtropical climate; the Florida Zoo. A diverse collection of flora is found on the grounds, which also includes a variety of orchids.

Children will have numerous options for entertainment. If one gets bored with the animal exhibits, they can spend time at the play area featuring water-themed activities.

9. Jungle Island

Jungle Island is a botanical garden, wildlife habitat, and wildlife sanctuary. Exotic birds like parrots are often found in tropical forests, in which some birds perform in shows.

The wildlife present, including large predators such as tigers, baboons, alligators, tortoises, monkeys, and orangutans, are an important part of the attraction. The garden contains around two thousand different plant species, including heliconias, bananas, orchids, and bromeliads.

Animal interactions are a big part of the fun here, but you may interact with lemurs, sloths, pink flamingos, or a capybara.

Besides the animals, other fun things also include an extensive playground area and a tree walk village.

10. Deering Estate at Cutler

This former residence of Charles Deering is a 444-acre estate protecting globally endangered pine rockland habitats and coastal hardwood forests, marshes, and dune islands.

The Cutler Estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places having been the site of a hotel, homes built between 1895 and 1922, and an American Indian burial ground dating from 1500.

Charles Deering was an art collector, and he bought a broad range of paintings by the Old Masters. Deering himself also practiced art, and he is a representative of that art. The artist village serves as a cultural center for art and artists programs.

11. Wynwood Walls Street Art

In the warehouse district of Wynwood, the previously drab warehouse walls have been transformed into bright pieces of colorful art. The Wynwood Walls, an area plastered in street art, or what most people think of as graffiti, has revitalized this area.

Tony Goldman created the district in order to attract big-name artists from across North America and around the world. Since its inception, more than 80,000 square feet of wall space has been adorned with paintings in this unique art form.

Explore the murals on your own, or join a guided tour where you can view them in more detail.

12. Coral Castle

It was built by one man who had spent 28 years constructing, using his own homemade tools. This amazing architectural structure, constructed of limestone, was built by Edward Leedskalnin between 1923 and 1951. He kept his methods secret and did not allow people to observe him at work, leaving many individuals to wonder how he accomplished such feats.

Today, you can tour the property and see the most famous structure, a giant stone gate, which opens effortlessly with the touch of a finger, as well as carvings and statues.

13. Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower is one of the most striking buildings on the Biscayne Boulevard, characterized by a “wedding-cake” shape. One of the oldest skyscrapers in the southeastern United States, it has served many years as the headquarters of the Miami Daily News.

Its name is the place where hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees entered the United States. Today, the Cuban Embassy is a monument to Cuban immigration and serves as a venue for contemporary art.

14. Miami Children’s Museum

The Miami Children’s Museum is a fun place for children that is colorful and creatively designed with over 56,000 square feet of space. Exhibits are designed to foster curiosity and creativity in children.

Fourteen themed galleries with arts, culture, community, and communication themes are available, and four outdoor exhibits allow one to play and enjoy the outdoors.

15. Key Biscayne and Crandon Park

Beyond Miami Beach in South Florida lies a small community with lovely beaches and beautiful parks. A noteworthy example of a protected shoreline is Crandon Park, which features offshore reefs, thereby protecting the shoreline from big waves and perfect for swimming.

The park features both a Family Amusement Center, making it particularly popular with families, and a Nature Center, which attracts environmentally-conscious residents. There is a lot of parking, lots of facilities, decent chairs, lifeguards, and nice scenery.

16. Basketball Games at American Airlines Arena

The American Airlines Arena is where the NBA’s Miami Heat play their home games. The venue becomes one of the main venues for concerts and special events, including top names in the entertainment industry. It has enough seating for over 19,000 people.

The building itself, which opened in 1999, was awarded the Leed Green Building Certification for being an energy-efficient building. The Miami Arena stands out conspicuously in Miami.

17. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Ideal for rainy days and for kids, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is jam-packed with interesting things to do for all ages.

The museum is divided into four sections: the aquarium is all about the ocean, with a focus on South Florida. The planetary system helps to understand the solar system through interactive displays and displays. In the North and West wings, other permanent and traveling exhibits help to explain the world in which we live.

Across all areas, the displays are interactive and fun, and the viewing areas of the aquarium are exceptional.

18. Where to Stay in Miami for Sightseeing

Miami’s main tourist area is Miami Beach, and Miami Beach is Miami’s main tourist destination. There are various types of hotels, from small, quaint boutique hotels in landmark buildings to the large chain hotels. Most of the hotels have swimming pools, and are located near the ocean, or within walking distance of a variety of restaurants.

  • Luxury Hotels:1 Hotel South Beach is one of the trendiest luxury properties in town, with 600 feet of prime beachfront property and occupying a whole city block on Collins Ave. The hotel has 426 rooms and suites, many of which have expansive views from floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Atlantic Ocean. The decoration is maritime-themed and uses reclaimed driftwood in furniture. There are four swimming pools on-site, including the largest rooftop pool in South Beach. There are a number of restaurants with a healthy focus, and guests have access to the Tesla hotel vehicles within a three-mile radius. Pets are welcome to stay, too.Right on the trendiest part of South Beach, The Setai, Miami Beach is a stunning, Asian-inspired luxury resort that is popular with couples on a romantic getaway. It’s an all-suite hotel, and they’re starting the size of the studio and going all the way to a four-bedroom penthouse. Expect high-end decors like handmade Duxiana beds and high thread count Italian sheets. In-room espresso machines and rain showers are also available in large baths. The Setai also boasts a host of amenities, including a spa, three swimming pools, and sun loungers and parasols on the beach. There are also several restaurants on-site. Try Jaya for Asian-inspired dishes and Ocean Grill for international cuisine.With views of the Miami River, Biscayne Bay, and downtown from the hotel balconies, the Kimpton EPIC Hotel is another great luxury hotel in the middle of Miami. The decor is modern urban contemporary, and we love the tall windows, as well as the comfortable beds with quality linens. The Kimpton is known to be super dog friendly, and there’s never a pet deposit to stay. Two on-site restaurants are also noteworthy: Area 31 with outdoor patio seating and Zuma on the ground floor. The on-site spa and fitness center and two swimming pools with cabins that can be reserved complete the amenities picture.

    The Four Seasons Hotel Miami is a popular choice for families looking to stay in a luxury resort in the heart of the Brickell neighborhood of downtown Miami. The resort also doubles as a gallery in which Latin American art is exhibited and for sale. Child-focused amenities include a children’s club with organized activities and a children’s section in one of the two rooftop swimming pools. Adults can check out a class at the Equinox Fitness Center or book a massage at The Spa, both located on the fourth floor of the hotel.

  • Mid-Range Hotels:If you wish to experience South Beach without spending an arm and a leg, check out the Fashionable Urbanica The Meridian Hotel. The hotel features minimalist design, and it’s located in the hip South of Fifth neighborhood in Miami Beach. The hotel is known for its personalized service.Also there’s the Marriott Stanton South Beach, which is also known as the South Beach hotel. Set on the southern part of South Beach’s Ocean Drive, it is a kid-friendly resort but also a good value for couples on a budget. There are two indoor pools, a hot tub, a sauna, and a modern gym to keep you healthy. The resort offers a variety of dining options including a view of the sea.In modern society, it is usually more affordable to stay in the downtown area of Miami than Miami Beach, and the downtown area around Brickell has many interesting things to see. The good-value hotel features a classy vibe with contemporary art in the lobby and guest rooms. It also comes with free breakfast and swimming pool access.
  • Budget Hotels: Hotels in Miami tend to be expensive unless you travel during the less busy summer months. Spend a night at Hotel Shelley, a budget hotel right on Collins Ave. The rooms feature minimal design and marble baths.Miami International Airport is close to the city center, but it’s not inconveniently far away from the city. The hotel’s rooms provide small kitchens and outdoor pools. The free shuttle will assist you with a late or early flight.
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