20 Top Things to Do in Miami: Restaurants, Museums, Beaches & National Parks

by Editorial Staff

Miami is a fantastic coastal city that is a center for commerce, art, culture and travel. The city is one of the most visited in the U.S. and is home to world-famous museums, historic architecture and some of the best restaurants in the country. You can spend almost an entire week in the city visiting everything from lighthouses and national parks to public art installations and art deco buildings.

While this isn't a complete guide to the famous city, here are some of our favorite things to do when visiting Miami. Let's know in the comments what we forgot, and here we go.

1. South Beach

Beautiful South BeachPhoto by miamidaily.life

South Beach covers more than 2 miles of the southern part of Miami Beach and is often voted one of the best beaches in America. The beach is stunning, with white sand as far as the eye can see, and it's a gathering place for people who want to enjoy the Miami climate. There are many colorful lifeguard towers on the beach, which are a popular subject for photographers.

The beach also has a nice walking and biking path that passes by popular places like Muscle Beach in Lummus Park. South Beach is a great place in Miami to experience during your visit. Right next to South Beach is our next recommendation.

2. Miami Art Deco District

Art Deco District of South BeachPhoto by Mia2you / Shutterstock.com

In this Miami Beach neighborhood, you can see the historic Art Deco buildings lit up by neon lights at night. Most of the buildings here were built in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and this area is an incredibly popular spot for tourists and nightlife.

It's understandable, because it's just a cool neighborhood. When you're in Miami Beach, some streets are mostly blocked off so pedestrians can walk in front of the old hotels, restaurants and bars and stores and enjoy the historic charm. We recommend visiting the city both during the day and at night, because at night it has a completely different atmosphere when the neon lights highlight the architecture.

If you're a photographer, Instagramer, selfie fan or just interested in the city's nightlife, you'll especially love this place. Our next recommendation is South Pointe Park.

3. South Pointe Park

A couple picnics in South Pointe Park and watches a passing cruise shipPhoto by miamidaily.life

South Pointe Park is located at the southern tip of Miami Beach and is a great place to watch the sunset.

This beautiful park offers plenty of open space with public art, a playground for families, and a pier for you to walk on. The pier is great for relaxing because it has benches you can sit on and gives you a great view of South Beach. The park also has a beautiful path that runs along the water, and if you come for sunset, you'll have a breathtaking view of the setting sun behind the city skyline.

If it's raining and you're lucky, you can see a rainbow after a downpour that will reinforce your love for this place. Before you leave Miami Beach, we recommend a stop at the Holocaust Memorial.

4. Holocaust Memorial

The Holocaust Memorial in Miami BeachPhoto by Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

The Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach is one of the most impressive and somber memorials you'll ever see, and something you'll never forget when you visit.

The circular memorial is surrounded by a hand that rises out of the water and stretches into the sky. On one side of the memorial, the story of the Holocaust is told in words and pictures, and on the other side you'll find a list of those who died in the concentration camps. If you go to the center, you can see the sculptures surrounding the hand. The whole experience is incredibly moving and shouldn't be missed on a trip to Miami.

Now we leave the Miami Beach area and head back into the city to our next recommendation, the Wynwood Walls.

5. Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Gardens - MiamiPhoto by Julian Prizont-Cado / Shutterstock.com

The Wynwood neighborhood has become the capital of street art. As soon as you turn onto Second Avenue, you'll see art everywhere and on almost every building.

This neighborhood has become one of the most popular places for tourists in Miami with its great restaurants and walls. The Wynwood Walls are a collection of about a dozen murals that change every three to five years. These works of art are amazing and you can see them all on the outdoor grounds.

You may not know what to expect when you go there, but you'll be blown away by the art and really enjoy exploring the Wynwood Walls. Be sure to walk a few blocks to grab a snack or a drink at one of the many stores while you enjoy the beauty of this open-air museum. Our next recommendation is a neighborhood rich in history and culture, Little Havana.

6. Little Havana

Little Havana DistrictPhoto by miamidaily.life

Little Havana is a Cuban cultural center in Miami. This area is full of life and color and is known for areas like Calle Ocho, the Walk of Fame and Domino Park. Little Havana is a great place to discover public art like the large chickens that can be seen everywhere and the live chickens that walk the streets, cigar stores and fantastic food.

Little Havana emerged in the 1960s and has become a central location for social and cultural activities in Miami. While you're there, be sure to grab a Cuban sandwich and scoop of ice cream at Azucar while you explore the city.

7. Bayside Marketplace

 Bayside Marketplace & Ferris Wheel - Aerial viewPhoto by Noah Densmore / Shutterstock.com

Bayside Marketplace is one of the top tourist spots in Miami. The mall, with its stores, restaurants and attractions like the Ferris wheel, is a great place to explore the city.

The Marketplace is also the starting point for boats that take you on tours of Miami's famous homes. And at Christmas, it gets all dressed up. With a big tree and even a tree made from Jack Daniel whiskey barrels.

If you want a good overview of the city, you can also ride the Ferris wheel. It's pretty touristy, but still a great place to visit in Miami. Next, you should visit the Design District.

8. Design District

Miami Design District upscale storesPhoto by Olga V Kulakova / Shutterstock.com

The Design District is a unique neighborhood in Miami that not only houses classy stores like Luis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Fendi and Dior, but also stunning architecture and public art integrated into the mall. Even if you're not a fan of the stores or can't afford them, you'll love strolling through the mall and admiring the artwork. You can visit it in the morning, when there aren't so many people around yet, and admire the famous installations. Finally, you can visit the Vortex, a funny mural on one side of the Design District.

Dining at Miami Design District is an experience like no other! With its luxurious atmosphere, tantalizing cuisine and unforgettable ambiance, your evening will be full of excitement and glamor. Embark on a tantalizing journey through unique restaurants in the Miami Design District that will enchant your senses!

If you like public art, shopping or architecture, you shouldn't miss this place. Our next recommendation is one of Miami's best museums, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

9. Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of SciencePhoto by Mia2you / Shutterstock.com

Some visitors feel that the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science is more of an aquarium than a museum. The truth is, it has one of the most impressive aquarium viewing areas you'll ever see. From this viewing platform, you're practically under the tank and can look up and see the sharks swimming above you. That's just one of the exhibits you can see and explore at the museum. There are also exhibits about skin, different types of fish, and even a planetarium.

One of the highlights of the museum is the rooftop terrace, which gives you an unobstructed view of Downtown Miami and its skyscrapers. It's definitely breathtaking and worth the price of admission.

10. Miami Circle National Historic Landmark and The History Miami Museum

Miami Circle National Historic LandmarkPhoto by Francisco Blanco / Shutterstock.com

The Miami Circle is located directly in the Brickle area of Downtown Miami and is home to the oldest ruin in the city. The site consists of a circle with holes cut into the limestone and is believed to have been built over 1700 years ago by the Tequesta people.

The ruin is covered for its protection, but if you're in the area, you can still walk along the shore and learn about the site. If you're interested in Miami Circle, you should also visit the History Miami Museum. It's the city's history museum and has a small exhibit about Miami Circle with artifacts found during the excavations.

For the next recommendations, we go outside of Downtown Miami. The first place is the Fairchild Garden.

11. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic GardenPhoto by miamidaily.life

There are many tropical gardens in Miami that you can explore, but one of our favorites is probably the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables.

This garden is 83 acres and features a wide variety of plants and aquatic elements. The park is stunning and you can easily take a day to explore it. There is also an indoor butterfly garden where butterflies flutter around you, which is special in itself.

The park was opened to the public in the late 1930s and has since collected many rare tropical plants for you to enjoy. Be sure to check it out and let's know in the comments if you know of another garden you like. Next up, we have the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

12. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Vizcaya Museum & GardensPhoto by miamidaily.life

The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was once the home of millionaire James Deering and is located right on Biscayne Bay. The estate was built in the early 19th century and originally included 180 acres of pristine land. Today, the house is open for tours and you can walk through the mansion, peek into the mini bedrooms, and explore the stunning architecture.

At the back of the property you can see the cement ship that greeted guests when they came to parties, and at the side of the house there is a beautiful garden that you can walk through. If you're visiting Miami, you can easily spend a few hours at this beautiful place. Our next recommendation is the Venetian Pool.

13. Venetian Pool

Venetian Pool in Coral GablesPhoto by Marco Borghini / Shutterstock.com

The Venetian Pool is the largest public freshwater pool in the United States. It's a very special place in Miami that charges a small fee and is really fun to swim in. The pool is huge, has waterfalls and a tropical ambiance.

If you're traveling with your family, this is a great place in Miami to spend half a day swimming and having fun. It's also interesting to learn about the pool's unique history, which dates back to 1924. Our next recommendation is the Cape Florida lighthouse.

14. Cape Florida Lighthouse

Cape Florida LighthousePhoto by miamidaily.life

Cape Florida Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It's about 30 minutes from Miami, but the drive there is beautiful and takes you past gorgeous homes and beautiful beaches.

To get to the top of the state park, you can walk along the boardwalk and look for fish, explore the tropical vegetation on one of the mini trails, or take a tour to the lighthouse. Guided tours are offered several times a day to take you to the top of the lighthouse if you're interested.

You can also explore the grounds without a tour and get a good view of Stiltsville from here. If it's a nice day, you can also just relax on the beach. Our next recommendation is Biscayne National Park.

15. Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National ParkPhoto by miamidaily.life

Believe it or not, Miami actually has two national parks, one on each side of the city. Biscayne National Park is almost completely underwater, but there are a few interesting lighthouses and keys you can visit in the park if you're interested. There are a few boat tours offered each week that will take you to the lighthouses and give you a chance to explore the Keys.

Our next recommendation is another great national park on the other side of Miami, Everglades National Park.

16. Everglades National Park

Everglades National ParkPhoto by Andy Lidstone / Shutterstock.com

While most people don't visit Biscayne National Park, almost everyone who visits Miami visits the Everglades.

You can spend a whole day exploring the Everglades and we have to say it's a very special place that you should definitely see. The park covers more than 1.5 million acres of wetlands, where the terrain and vegetation change with only slight elevation changes.

If you visit the southern part of the park, you can explore the mini trails that lead you through the park and maybe even spot an alligator or crocodile. Or you can visit the northern part of the park and take a streetcar ride through the Shark Valley area. The 15-mile streetcar ride, which you can also do by bike or on foot, is accompanied by explanations and introduces you to the park and its unique landscape.

During the ride you can observe many wild animals. It'll also take you to a viewpoint at the end of the trail, from which you'll have a 360-degree view of the park. This is one area you definitely shouldn't miss in the Everglades. Before we wrap up this section, we'd like to give you a few culinary tips that you're sure to love in Miami.

Miami is one of the best places in the US when it comes to food, but since there are a few dozen restaurants in Miami, this list is far from complete. Plus, these restaurants are some of the more expensive in the city. Our first recommendation is Joe's Stone Crab.

17. Joe's Stone Crab

Joe's Stone Crab in South BeachPhoto by miamidaily.life

Joe's Stone Crab is a Miami institution and has been a staple in the city for over 100 years. It's often voted one of the best seafood restaurants in the U.S., and it's hard to disagree when you visit. The crabs are caught on site and are succulent.

And the service is top-notch, too. You can have your first meal in Miami here, and you'll find that few other restaurants can match it. Order the stone crab, but save room for the key lime pie - that's our best recommendation for you.

18. Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine

Versailles Cuban Restaurant in Little HavanaPhoto by Galina Savina / Shutterstock.com

Versailles boasts of being the most famous Cuban restaurant in the world, and judging by the crowds that greet you at any time of day, any day of the week, that's probably a true statement.

This place is pretty much always busy, but the restaurant is large and serves good food at good prices. While you wait, you can have a cafe con leche in the small café inside the restaurant. Then when you get to dinner, try one of the combination plates that have a little bit of everything and give you a good introduction to Cuban cuisine.

19. CVI.CHE 105

CVI.CHE 105Photo by miamidaily.life

This upscale restaurant near Bayside Marketplace has a colorful interior with lots of art. The restaurant is famous for its seafood, especially its ceviche, which you should definitely order.

You can order the ceviche sampler with three different ceviche flavors and a large amount of fresh fish to share. You'll see and taste that ceviche is a fantastic food, you'll be thrilled and resolve to visit the restaurant more often in the future.

20. Gekko

Gekko MiamiPhoto by gekko.com

Gekko is a modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of Miami run by David Grutman in collaboration with superstar Bad Bunny. Gekko offers a wide selection of authentic Japanese cuisine with dishes from traditional and modern Japanese culture. The menu includes sushi, sashimi, tempura, yakitori, udon, teriyaki and more.

The restaurant is spacious and inviting, with a contemporary interior design that blends modern and traditional Japanese elements. At Gekko, you can expect an intimate and cozy dining experience with attentive and friendly staff who know food and drink.

So there you have it, our list of some of our favorite places in Miami. Let's know in the comments what we forgot and we'll see you in the next post.

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