Things to Do in Miami

Sabah Drabu

5 mins read

Dec 26, 2023

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A Guide to Things to Do in Miami

We’re about to dive headfirst into the sun-soaked, salsa-infused wonderland that is Miami! Forget everything you think you know about this city because there’s a whole universe of cool waiting for you to explore beyond the golden beaches and killer cocktails. Picture this blog as your Magic City cheat code, revealing the insider’s guide to Miami’s hidden gems and unexpected treasures.

This blog will discuss a list of the best things to do in Miami. So, whether you’re a culture vulture, an adrenaline junkie, or just looking for the best mojito in town, Miami’s got your back. Let’s flip the script on the typical Miami experience and discover why this city deserves its title as the Magic City.

Cultural Delights

Art Deco Historic District

So, let’s kick things off with a stroll down the memory lane of Miami’s past in the Art Deco Historic District. Over 800 buildings flaunt the 1920s and 1930s glamour, creating a vibrant tapestry of architectural wonders. As the sun sets, the district lights up, becoming a captivating scene from a classic movie. Do yourself a favor and join one of the Miami Design Preservation League’s tours – it’s like having a backstage pass to the city’s history.

Allapattah

Let’s venture west to Allapattah, a neighborhood like the United Nations of Miami. Thrift shops, hipster bars, and Latin restaurants line the streets, creating a cultural melting pot. But the real gem here is the Rubell Museum. It’s like the Louvre of contemporary art, housed in former industrial buildings and showcasing works by heavyweights like Keith Haring and Jeff Koons. And right across the street, Superblue offers an art experience that’s so immersive you won’t be able to decide between soaking it in or documenting every second for your Instagram followers.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Are you feeling the need for a nature fix? Head over to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, an 83-acre oasis of tranquility. Take the free tram tour – trust us, it’s one of the best things to do in Miami. Stop by the butterfly garden; it’s like stepping into a fairy tale. And don’t forget to give a nod to the docents – those unsung heroes who know the difference between a frangipani and a hibiscus.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Miami

For art lovers, the Institute of Contemporary Art, or ICA Miami for short, is your haven in the Miami Design District. The building is a piece of art, thanks to the Spanish architects who had a vision. Inside, you’ll find a curated collection like a crash course in contemporary art featuring names like Picasso, Yves Klein, and Roy Lichtenstein. The best part? You won’t need a Ph.D. in art history to appreciate it.

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Unique Neighborhoods and Experiences

Española Way

Española Way is a charming pedestrian-only street like a time machine to the 1920s. String lights, Mediterranean architecture, and lively cafes create an atmosphere that’s as Instagrammable as it gets. Sip on your coffee or cocktail while salsa, samba, and jazz serenade you. And if you’re lucky enough to be here on a weekend, you might catch a flamenco show or stumble upon a local makers’ market. It’s like stepping into a romantic European village with a Miami twist.

Brickell City Centre

Brickell City Center is your playground for those who crave a dose of urban chic. Imagine a complex that spans three city blocks, with a mix of retail, restaurants, and cinemas. The Climate Ribbon installation overhead adds a touch of artistry, making it the coolest spot for a stroll. And here’s a pro tip: Hit up the Mandarin Oriental nearby for a happy hour that’s a craft cocktail lover’s dream come true. Thank us later.

Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center

With its vibrant colors and pulsating energy, Little Havana is a must-visit in Miami, and the Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center is the cherry on top. Dive into Cuban culture with pre-revolution art and modern works that tell a story of resilience and creativity. As the sun sets, the place transforms into a lively hub of live music, dance, and mojitos. Take a break from your walking tour and soak it all in – this place deserves more than a glance.

Upper Buena Vista

Now, for something a bit off the beaten path – Upper Buena Vista. Picture a majestic oak tree that’s been around for 120 years, serving as the centerpiece of a funky shopping destination. It’s a blend of businesses, micro-boutiques, and gardens that’s so quirky and unique you’ll forget you’re still in Miami. The Bodhi “wish tree” adds a touch of spirituality, making it a free and peaceful respite from the sometimes-frenetic pace of the city.

Entertainment and Adventure

Faena Theater

Faena Theater is your destination if you’re up for a night of extravagance and theatrical wonder. Inspired by grand European opera houses, this place is dripping in luxury. Tryst—a Lovers’ Rendezvous is the star of the show, a cabaret-style spectacle that’s part circus, part burlesque. With only 150 seats, it’s like having front-row tickets to the most exclusive show in town. Bon Jovi, Macy Gray, and Miike Snow have graced this stage.

Coral Castle Museum

For curious minds and lovers of the mystical, the Coral Castle Museum is must-see. A sculpture garden made entirely of coral rock, created by one man, Ed Leedskalnin, in secret. How? Why? The questions are almost as fascinating as the sculptures themselves. Some say it’s a bit pricey, but the tour guides here are like real-life storytellers, weaving tales of intrigue and mystery. It’s a classic roadside attraction with a twist of the unknown.

Deep Sea Fishing

Alright, enough with the arts and culture – let’s talk adventure. Miami’s waters aren’t just there to look pretty; they’re teeming with life waiting for you to discover. Captain Stan Saffan’s 58-foot sportfish boat is your ticket to a day of deep-sea fishing. Marlin, sailfish, hammerhead sharks – pick your prey and cast away. And don’t worry if you pair up with strangers; the love of the ocean is the great equalizer.

Shopping and Leisure

Miami Design District

Miami Design District is a shopper’s paradise with boutiques, showrooms, and galleries that scream luxury. Whether you’re into high-end fashion, home furnishings, or just people-watching, this district has you covered. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Mia Market food hall are the spots to refuel, ensuring you’re all set for round two of retail therapy.

Cape Florida Lighthouse

For history buffs and those who appreciate a scenic view, the Cape Florida Lighthouse is a gem tucked away in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne. It’s not just a pretty lighthouse; it’s a portal to South Florida’s tumultuous past. A knowledgeable park ranger will guide you through its history – a mix of nautical adventures, slave smuggling, and Native American attacks. And yes, you’ll need comfortable shoes because climbing 109 steps to the top is like a mini workout with a side of fascinating stories.

Lincoln Road Mall

Let’s wrap things up with a mile-long extravaganza at Lincoln Road Mall. Designed by the architect behind The Fontainebleau Hotel, it’s like a runway for Miami’s diverse and vibrant energy. With over 100 shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes, you’ll need more than a day to explore it all. From high-end names to local boutiques, the retail options are as diverse as the people you’ll encounter. And here’s a little secret: the real party starts when the shops close, with the restaurants and bars keeping the energy alive into the late hours.

Conclusion

Miami isn’t just a destination; it’s a journey through art, culture, adventure, and style. So, throw on your shades, embrace the vibrant energy, and let the Magic City cast its spell on you, one best thing to do in Miami at a time. Whether you’re an art connoisseur, an adventure seeker, or someone looking for a good time, this city has some magic for everyone.

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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