Things to Do in Miami, FL before You Cruise
The climate is hot and humid. It rains a little almost every day in the afternoon. There is a vibrant nightlife. Latin flavour is everywhere. It is a metropolis famous for spectacular turquoise shorelines with white sands.
It’s no doubt that Miami is the premier vacation destination in the United States of America.
If you plan to cruise from Miami for the Caribbean, explore what the city can offer the best before you set sail for the dream vacation.
It’s a great idea to cruise and stay in Miami for a couple of days at least before sailing from the Port of Miami. Plan ahead and organise the things to do in Miami, FL and make your vacation something absolutely fantastic.
Wondering what to do during your stay in Miami?
In this article, you will find the best places to go in Miami. The colours of the neighbourhood vary in Downtown, Little Havana and Coconut Grove. You may enjoy fine dining in Collins Avenue, shopping in Lincoln Road or kayaking in Key Biscayne. There are plentiful things to do in Miami more than that.
We show you what to do in Miami, Florida and the best places in Miami!
What is Miami known for?
Before you see the best things to do in Miami, let’s check out briefly what is Miami famous for.
- The Port of Miami boasts as the ‘Cruise Capital of the World’, the largest passenger port in the world. Nearly 5 million passengers annually set sail from Miami. Find out top hotels near Miami Cruise port with ‘free’ shuttle service. You can also find easy and fast ways to transfer from Miami Airport to the Port of Miami.
- Miami Beach is well known for the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture. You will find it at the Art Deco District in Miami South Beach.
- As the only U.S city, Miami is surrounded by two national parks: Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park. Take a boat tour and see the wild animals.
- Miami leads the international contemporary art scene. The city has new landmark museums, Perez Art Museum Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.
Things to Do in Miami, Florida
1. Relax at Miami Beach
The coastal high-end resort offers you unforgettable sights and sounds of Miami.
Visiting Miami Beach is the must-do things in Miami. This iconic Beach of Miami extends itself a long stretch of white sand along Biscay Bay lagoon.
What to Do in Miami Beach?
Just go and have some stress free time at the beach. This world-famous beach is perfect for a day out with your friends and loved ones. Having sunshine on white sands is the best relaxing things to do in Miami.
Miami Beach is close to the Port of Miami. The beach is itself geographically located outside Downtown Miami. It is not just a beach but a city. The beach is situated on an island and is bridged from the mainland.
One of the things to do in Miami Beach is to visit the Miami Art Deco District. The historic architecture is all lined up in the district.
What are the differences between Miami Beach and South Beach?
South Beach is a neighbourhood. It is a part of and yet a sort of the independent city of Miami Beach. South Beach is also one of the most famous beaches in the country. If you ask what are things to do in Miami, Florida, the answer is to visit South Beach.
2. Explore South Beach
South Beach is definitely the best place in Miami. There are beaches, architectural attractions and vibrant nightlife. Everything is unique and special in South Beach. Staying in South Beach is surely one of the best things to do in Miami.
What to do in Miami South Beach?
One of the things to do in Miami South Beach is a morning walk. Enjoy ‘Miami Beach Boardwalk‘. This long path extends from the north to the south of Miami Beach. The pedestrians and cyclists enjoy morning air with palm-lined roads.
Stretched white sand extends endlessly with the sounds of waves and sea breezes. The boardwalk continues through the Ocean Drive Promenade to 5th Street. South of 5th street will provide nice views of the Port of Miami where you will set sail to the Caribbean. Beach Boardwalk is the cool thing in Miami.Tweet to @CruiseGeo
Architecture & Design
3. Get Inspiration at The Wolfsonian FIU
More than 200,000 objects are kept in this stylish Mediterranean Revival building. The Wolfsonian FIU is located in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach. It is a good idea to visit this beautiful and intelligent design museum before hopping on the beach. You will see how the pursuit of beauty turned into artistic forms and design. (source)
4. Visit Miami Art Deco District
The Miami Beach Architectural District is included as one of the US National Register of Historic Places. The district is also called as Miami Art Deco District. It is one of the most famous places in Miami.
The things to do in South Beach is to go to the Miami Art Deco District. It is one of the must see places in Miami.
Miami Art Deco District is the concentrated area of the world’s largest art nouveau and art deco. This area has made what Miami is well known internationally for the largest collection of Art Deco architecture.
5. Immerse Urban Design at Miami Design District
The Miami Design District is a stylish neighbourhood. Innovative fashion, design and architectural experience are presented in an urban context. You can expect hi-end brand shopping and dining experiences. Shops and restaurants vary.
Even without buying anything, exploring the area is much enjoyable. If you are interested in what’s on today’s fashion and design scenes in Miami, it is the must place you visit. (source)
6. Reflect at Ancient Spanish Monastery
Ancient Spanish Monastery is one of Florida’s important historic sites. The monastery is the oldest building in the Americas. Built-in the 12th century, the monastery was already there before Columbus left Spain and arrived in the Americas.
As it is located in North Beach, the honeymooners to Miami enjoy a wedding at this church. In some occasions, this Spanish monastery is closed to the public for this reason. Check out availability before you visit. (source)
7. Feel the history at Freedom Tower
Built-in 1925, Freedom Tower is one of the oldest existing skyscrapers in Florida. The building has many historic backgrounds. The important role played was an immigration centre for Cuban refugees. They were arriving there at the time of Fidel Castro’s 1960s.
Freedom Tower also served as the head office of the Miami Daily News for many years. The tower is currently used as a contemporary art museum and some offices.Follow @CruiseGeo
Greens, Nature & Relaxing
8. Go Wild at Everglades National Park
One of the best things to do in Miami today is to visit Everglades National Park. It’s exciting and adventurous. Everglades is known for its unique ecosystem and wildlife. The park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States, with 1.5 million acres of wetlands. It is the third-largest national park after Death Valley and Yellowstone.
Hopping on an airboat tour is one of the top 10 things to do in Miami. Expect alligators, cranes, turtles, manatees and panthers to encounter in the Park. Everglades National Park is located within driving distance by a rental car from Downtown Miami.
9. Explore Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
This 494-acre park is located in southern Key Biscayne. The park includes a picturesque lighthouse, the Cape Florida Light. Half-watered mangrove roots are in a view while you enjoy snorkelling.
Renting out kayaks, bikes, in-line skates, beach chairs and umbrellas are all available. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is within a driving distance from Downtown Miami. The parking is close to the sand. It is the perfect place for a day out.
10. Rest at Crandon Park
A gorgeous beach is mixed together with nature and activity centre in Key Biscayne. The land was once part of the largest coconut plantation in the United States. The area has stunning beaches. It is one of the beautiful places in Miami. Parking space is plenty and so it is ideal for a family day out. Swimming is safe as lifeguards keep eye on. You can also visit the Amusement Centre and Nature Centre. (source)
11. Have Fun at Bayfront Park
This 32-acre urban park is situated in Downtown Miami waterfront. You can relax in the Park after some shopping at Bayside Market Place. The highlight of Bayfront Park is the beautiful Pepper Fountain. The huge amphitheatre is used for events and performances, with laser illuminations.
Bayfront is one of the best areas for the hotels near Miami Crusie Port. These hotels have shuttle service to the cruise port and will make your transfer very easy.
Car rentals in Miami Port for cruises are very popular. You can rent cars in Miami International Airport. And yet, car rentals are not only the thing you can consider at the airport. It is also possible to rent a car in the Port of Miami.
12. Cruise Down in Ocean Drive
Beautiful pastel architecture continues along with perm trees on the ocean view. It is about 1.3 miles long.
Ocean Drive is probably the most famous street in Miami Beach. You have got a great opportunity to drive this street.
Fashionable cars are lined up. It is the most colourful district with houses, bars, restaurants and hotels. A lot of buildings are hotels. The heart of Ocean Drive stretches out from 5th to 16th streets and runs parallel to Lummus Park.
13. Drive to Key Biscayne
Rent a car in the Port of Miami and head to Key Biscayne. It is an island connected to Miami with two bridges and the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Key Biscayne offers you beautiful nature, wildlife, beaches and marine sports. The national park is within a driving distance from Downtown Miami. Everglades National Park, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area and Crandon Park are all located in Key Biscayne.
14. Visit Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove has a more relaxed atmosphere than the heart of Downtown Miami. It’s a charming town and is a laid back village. Enjoy some driving to the north from the town.
Coconut Grove is one of the oldest neighbourhood in Miami. You will find fashion boutiques and many restaurants. The town also has a lot of cafes, galleries and shops, including two open malls.
Pro tips: In rush hour, there is significant traffic congestion in Downtown Miami. Your driving experience in Miami will be much more enjoyable when the roads are relaxed. Avoid Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard at peak traffic. It is normally from 7 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7.30 pm. You can find the details on
Arts & Culture
15. Be Inspired at Pérez Art Museum Miami
Perez Art Museum Miami showcases modern and contemporary art. This premier contemporary art museum features the artworks of the leading contemporary artists. You will find the works of Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Frank Stella.
Pérez Art Museum is a great place to go in Miami. The gallery has family-friendly interactive programs. Take your kids and make some memories with the surrounding artworks together.
16. Visit Wynwood Walls Street Art
The most colourful and artsy part of Miami can be Wynwood neighbourhood. Miami’s aspiring painters, graffiti artists and young artist transformed the district of Wynwood.
The paintings are concentrated in giant walls from six buildings. Whenever you visit, you always find something new. The mural paintings are often replaced. Wynwood is just minutes away from Downtown Miami. It is near Midtown and the Miami Design District.
17. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is the ‘must’ to go and see what’s on Miami’s art scene today. Programs and exhibitions are rich. The gallery is combining art and youth programs. This is why the atmosphere is lively and energetic. (source)
18. Soak up Authenticity at Little Havana
When you visit Miami, Little Havana is one of the must see places in Miami. You can find Cuban bars in Tokyo, London and New York and puff a bit of cigar. Here in Miami, things are more authentic and real. Miami has a large Cuban neighbourhood in Calle Ocho (SW Eighth Street). Enjoy Cuban sandwiches, guava juice or thick hot Cuban coffee. Get inspired and touched while you admire the rich cultural inheritance.
Outdoor & Adventure
19. Explore Jungle Island
Jungle Island is probably one of the most popular places in Miami. The Jungle has combined adventure and exploration in a fun and educational setting. A former Pallot Jungle, today more than hundreds of rare wildlife species inhabit. The extensive botanical garden is also equipped. This tropical oasis is located in the heart of Downton Miami.
20. Hop on a Safari Cycle at Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami was Miami’s premier wildlife center. The center is currently the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida.
Hop on a Safari Cycle and find zebras, giraffes and lions. It’s fun stuff to do in Miami.
The heat is high during the day time. Enjoy some splash at a mini water park with fountains and sprinklers where kids can cool off. Zoo Miami is a great place for a family outing.
21. Cool Down at Venetian Pool
Opened in 1924, Venetian Pool is one of the most beautiful swimming pool in South Florida. It is the largest pool in the country. There is a little touch of Venice. Freshwater comes from artesian wells. Exotic tropical plants are everywhere. Rock hill and two-foot kiddy pool are situated near the lifeguard station. It’s a wow experience and so inviting.
Venetian Pool can be the most pleasant place to cool off at the hot daytime in Miami. The pool is located in Coral Gables just outside of Miami.
22. Meet Dolphins at Miami SeAqualium
The aquarium is always one of the family’s best favourite places. Miami Seaquarium houses fish, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles, and manatees. It is one of the oldest aquariums in the U.S.
Daily events and shows are held with dolphins. When the heat is hard for kids during the day time, the aquarium is a good place to visit. It is located in Downtown Miami.
Museums & Galleries
23. Scroll around Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
The former villa and estate of a businessman, James Deering, is located in Coconut Grove. The estate of the 50 acres includes the villa and the gardens and the remaining native forest. This spectacular American villa contains Italian Renaissance formal gardens. (source)
The villa’s museum also contains more than seventy rooms of distinctive architectural interiors. The property is decorated with various antiques. The 15th through early 19th-century European decorative art and furnishings are central. The villa is Miami’s treasure and is the must on your visiting list. (source)
24. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
This science museum is consist of four buildings, the Aquarium, the Frost Planetarium, the North and West Wings. The highlight of the museum is the aquarium and planetarium. “Frost Planetarium uses 16-million-colour 8K projection, surround sound and a vast dome screen to take you on dazzling visual odysseys to outer space.” (source)
25. Be a Kid again at Children’s Museum
This place isn’t just for children. Adults can enjoy a futuristic design as well as interactive and educational exhibits and programs. Miami Children’s Museum is a non-profit educational institution. Adults and children can get together and learn Art and Culture. (source)
26. Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation
The American architect and sculptor, Kenneth Treister’s bronze sculpture is situated. The gigantic arm is rising from the earth stands next to a tranquil pond. The names of those who suffered in the Holocaust are engraved on a memorial wall. The Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is the place you can reflect and pay some respect to the holocaust victims. The memorial is situated on Miami Beach.
Nitelife & Dining
27. Club Hopping at LIV
Which cities can compete against Miami nightlife?
Miami can be the home of the nation’s club culture. LIV has been leading such Miami’s mainstream club scene. The club entrance is going inside the famous Fontainebleau hotel. LIV is the one I would love to go next and enjoy dancing all night. This mega-club has the domed ceiling, spectacular choreographed light shows and V.I.P. tables.
28. Feel Cuban at Versailles
Little Havana is officially the largest Cuban neighbourhood in Miami. Opened more than 40 years ago, Versailles (ver-sigh-yay) is one of the most known at Cuban gastronomic scenes in Little Habana.
Enjoy the excellent black-bean soup as a starter before a main dish seafood plate. If you don’t have much time, go after the iconic dishes, toasted Cuban sandwiches or authentic Cuban pastry with thick hot coffee. The menu features every dish as Cuban!
29. Enjoy Salsa at Ball and Chain
Do you like Salsa? It’s fun! You can find Cuban bars around in Miami, but Ball and Chain is a little special. Billie Holiday and Chet Baker, such musical legends, have visited this historic bar. If you like something cosy and authentic atmosphere, Ball and Chain is the one for you. Enjoy mojito, canita or pastelito daiquiri. Then you be ready for stepping onto the dance floor for Salsa.
30. Visit Bayside Marketplace
An open-air two-story shopping centre accommodates over 150 shops, cafes and restaurants. Bayside Market Place is the place to go in Miami. The Marketplace is located in the heart of Downtown Miami. You can enjoy international cuisine, national retailers’ fine shops and music. Bayside Market Place is Miami’s attraction beach situated on the beautiful waterfront setting.
The highlight is daily free live music performances from Miami’s best local musicians. Bayside Marketplace is filled with a lively atmosphere. It is one of the best fun places in Miami. It is not surprising. It’s no doubt. Bayside Marketplace is “the number one most visited tourist attractions in Miami”. Stay in Miami port hotels at Bayside are is one of the best choices while you stay in Miami.
31. Check Out Lincoln Road
Lincoln Road is an excellent outdoor mall off Collins Avenue in South Beach. It is worth to come here through. It is the pedestrian-only road. You will find some hi-end boutiques and shops. Some exclusive shops are South Beach, French Connection, Superdry, Alchemist, and Anthropologie. Many fashionable shops and art galleries are situated. Lincoln Road is one of the best places to visit for shopping.
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