15 Best Things to Do in Miami Beach (Florida)

Written by Bethany Storms
Updated on
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I recently had the pleasure of vacationing in Miami Beach, and let me tell you, it was an experience like no other. Nestled between the vast Atlantic Ocean and the serene Biscayne Bay, this vibrant city in Florida is the epitome of luxury and style. I knew I was in for a treat from the moment I arrived.

Miami Beach has a rich history, having been incorporated in 1915. It’s not just a glamorous destination; it’s also conveniently located near some of Florida’s most sought-after attractions. I explored the nearby Everglades National Park, its breathtaking wilderness, the Big Cypress National Preserve, and the enchanting Florida Keys during my stay. These natural wonders added an extra layer of adventure to my vacation.

But it was Miami Beach itself that truly stole the show. The city is renowned for its lively nightlife, and I couldn’t resist immersing myself in its all-night clubs. The atmosphere was electric, with music pumping through the air and people dancing unbridled joyfully. It felt like a never-ending party, and I relished every moment.

I indulged in the city’s upscale eateries when I wasn’t dancing the night away. Miami Beach boasts an impressive selection of posh restaurants, where I savored delectable dishes prepared by world-class chefs. Every meal was a culinary delight, from fresh seafood to innovative fusion cuisine.

Of course, I couldn’t visit Miami Beach without spending ample time on its pristine white beaches. The sun-kissed sand and crystal-clear waters were a sight to behold. I lounged under the warm sun, feeling the gentle breeze brush against my skin. It was pure bliss, and I understood why this place is a haven for beach lovers.

As I explored the streets of Miami Beach, I couldn’t help but admire the stunning art-deco architecture that adorned the buildings. Each structure was a testament to the city’s unique style and artistic heritage. Walking through the colorful neighborhoods, I immersed myself in the vibrant culture that Miami Beach had to offer. The diverse mix of cultures was evident everywhere, from the tantalizing aromas of international cuisines to the lively celebrations of various traditions.

During my time in Miami Beach, I made sure to tick off the top 15 things to do in this captivating city.

1. South Beach

South BeachSource: pisaphotography / shutterstock
South Beach

Often referred to as the American Riviera, I found myself in South Beach, the playground of the rich and famous. It was a place that attracted a large number of visitors annually, and I was determined to explore this glamorous destination, even though I wasn’t a high roller.

As I stepped onto the streets of South Beach, I couldn’t help but notice the vibrant atmosphere. The locals and tourists alike seemed to be effortlessly stylish, wearing trendy clothes and designer brands. I realized that if I wanted to blend in, my fanny-pack and a pair of Hush Puppies might make me stand out a bit. However, I refused to let that deter me from experiencing the best of what this place had to offer.

The main draw of South Beach, as its name suggests, were its stunning beaches. The golden sands stretched out before me, beckoning me to soak up the sun and dip my toes in the crystal-clear waters. The beach was bustling with people from all walks of life, and I felt a sense of belonging amidst the diverse crowd.

But South Beach wasn’t just about the beaches; it was also home to a treasure trove of historic art-deco buildings. To truly appreciate their beauty and significance, I decided to take a tour. Walking through the streets, I marveled at the intricate details and pastel-colored facades. Each building had a story to tell, and I felt transported back in time, imagining the glamorous era when these architectural gems were first built.

Exploring South Beach had whetted my appetite, and I soon discovered that the food scene here was nothing short of extraordinary. Renowned for its international influences, the restaurants in this area offered a culinary adventure like no other. While some establishments were exorbitantly priced, I was pleasantly surprised to find reasonably priced options as well. From savoring delicious Cuban cuisine to indulging in fresh seafood dishes, my taste buds were in a constant state of delight.

2. Miami Children’s Museum

Miami Children's MuseumSource: Andrei Medvedev / shutterstock
Miami Children’s Museum

Located on one of the smaller islands between South Beach and the city, I found myself at the Miami Children’s Museum—a hidden gem amidst a city known for its adult-oriented entertainment. As I stepped onto the island, the museum stood before me, a beacon of family-friendly fun in the midst of a bustling metropolis.

Entering the museum, I was immediately struck by the vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. The exhibits were designed to be both entertaining and educational, catering to the curious minds of children. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement as I embarked on this adventure.

One of the highlights of the museum was a magnificent mock castle. It stood tall, beckoning young explorers to step inside and let their imaginations run wild. I couldn’t resist the urge to join in, pretending to be a knight defending the castle against imaginary foes.

Another fascinating exhibit was a giant piggy bank. Children eagerly lined up, their eyes wide with anticipation, waiting for their turn to deposit their small treasures. The sound of coins clinking filled the air, accompanied by the laughter and delight of the little ones. It was heartwarming to witness their joy and learn the importance of saving at such a young age.

As I continued my journey through the museum, I stumbled upon a music production studio. The room was alive with creativity as kids experimented with different instruments, recorded their voices, and mixed beats. The sounds echoed throughout the space, and I couldn’t help but tap my feet to the rhythm. It was a place where dreams of becoming a musician could take flight.

While the Miami Children’s Museum was undoubtedly a fantastic destination year-round, it was particularly inviting when the South Florida weather wasn’t ideal for outdoor activities. On rainy days or scorching afternoons, families could seek refuge within the museum’s walls, escaping the elements while still having a blast.

I had heard rumors that the museum offered one free evening per month—a gesture to make it accessible to everyone. It was an opportunity to save on the cost of admission, but I knew I would have to contend with hordes of other cost-conscious families. Nevertheless, the thought of joining a community of parents and children, all eager to explore the wonders of the museum, was enticing.

3. Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive, MiamiSource: lunamarina / shutterstock
Ocean Drive

As a lover of architecture, I couldn’t resist the allure of Ocean Drive, with its iconic forms and sleek lines that epitomized the art-deco movement. It was a place I had dreamt of visiting, and now I found myself standing in the heart of this architectural marvel.

As I strolled along Ocean Drive, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the beauty and elegance of the buildings that lined the street. The art-deco style was on full display, with its geometric shapes, vibrant colors, and intricate detailing. Each structure seemed to have its own personality, telling a story of a bygone era when Miami Beach was transforming into a glamorous paradise.

I must admit, as an average Joe, many of the hotels and restaurants in this area were out of my financial reach. However, that didn’t deter me from exploring this scenic area and immersing myself in its rich history and culture. I discovered that joining a guided tour was a convenient and relatively inexpensive way to experience the essence of Ocean Drive.

With a local guide leading the way, I embarked on a journey that revealed the historical and architectural insights hidden within this enchanting district. As we walked, my guide shared fascinating stories and anecdotes about the buildings and the people who had shaped this iconic stretch of road. I found myself transported back in time, envisioning the glamorous parties and the vibrant social scene that once filled these streets.

Along the way, the tour led me to some unexpected discoveries. Hidden amidst the more extravagant establishments, I stumbled upon affordable and relatively undiscovered gems. These hidden spots offered a glimpse into the local culture, where I could mingle with the residents and experience a more authentic side of Ocean Drive.

With each step, I found myself appreciating the art-deco movement even more. The attention to detail, the playfulness of the design, and the timeless elegance of the architecture left me in awe. It was a testament to the creativity and vision of the architects who had left their mark on this iconic stretch of Miami Beach.

4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and GardensSource: travelview / shutterstock
Vizcaya Museum And Gardens

Located in the serene neighborhood of Coconut Grove, I stumbled upon the hidden gem known as the Viacaya Museum and Gardens during my vacation in Miami Beach. Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist spots, this enchanting destination might not be as widely recognized, but it certainly left a lasting impression on me.

As I entered the museum grounds, encompassing nearly 50 acres of meticulously cultivated gardens, I was immediately struck by the sheer natural beauty that surrounded me. Lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and towering trees created a tranquil oasis, inviting me to explore and discover the wonders that lay within.

Walking through the gardens, I marveled at the attention to detail and the harmonious blend of colors and scents. The paths guided me gracefully through the landscape, offering glimpses of hidden nooks and crannies where I could pause and soak in the serenity. It was as if I had stepped into a living canvas, where every turn revealed a new masterpiece of nature.

But the Viacaya Museum and Gardens had more to offer than just its captivating flora. Perched atop the grounds stood a magnificent Italian Renaissance villa, exuding an air of elegance and grandeur. I made my way towards the villa, drawn by its commanding presence and the promise of breathtaking views.

From the villa’s terrace, I beheld a sweeping panorama that stretched out before me. The city skyline glimmered in the distance, and the tranquil bay shimmered under the warm Miami sun. It was a mesmerizing sight, a juxtaposition of urban vibrancy and natural splendor that I will forever hold in my memories.

As I explored further, I discovered that the Viacaya Museum and Gardens was not only a haven of natural beauty but also a hub of activity and cultural experiences. The venue boasted a diverse calendar of events, catering to all interests. From yoga sessions that allowed me to connect with my inner self amidst the serene surroundings to live entertainment that delighted and captivated, there was always something exciting happening at Viacaya.

One of my favorite experiences was stumbling upon an arts and crafts show during my visit. Local artisans showcased their talents, offering unique and handmade treasures for sale. I couldn’t resist picking up a few souvenirs, tangible reminders of the wonderful time I had spent in this captivating place.

Before heading out, I made sure to check the Viacaya Museum and Gardens’ website for directions, hours of operation, and admission costs. It was essential to plan my visit accordingly and make the most of my time there. Armed with the necessary information, I bid farewell to this idyllic sanctuary, grateful for the enriching experiences it had provided me.

5. Spanish Monastery

Monastery of St. Bernard de ClairvauxSource: Mariusz Lopusiewicz / shutterstock
Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux

I recently had the opportunity to visit South Florida, a region with a rich and captivating history. As I delved into the exploration of this remarkable area, I discovered that it is home to the longest continuously inhabited settlement in the entire country. It was truly awe-inspiring to think that I was walking the same land that had been inhabited for centuries.

One particular place that piqued my curiosity was the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. This magnificent structure had a history that spanned over seven centuries, and it held a special place in the hearts of the locals. It was intriguing to learn that Spanish merchants and monks were among the first to venture into this area, establishing a connection that would endure through the ages.

The Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux had an interesting journey of its own. Originally constructed in Spain, it found a new home in South Florida thanks to the vision of an American newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst. In the 1930s, Hearst purchased the monastery, had it disassembled, and carefully shipped it across the ocean to Florida. The sheer magnitude of this undertaking was astounding, considering the tens of thousands of individual pieces that had to be transported and reassembled.

Arriving at the monastery, I was greeted by a sight that was nothing short of breathtaking. The meticulous reconstruction was a testament to human ingenuity and dedication. As I explored the halls and chambers, I couldn’t help but marvel at the intricate details and craftsmanship that adorned every corner. It was a true labor of love, and I felt honored to be in the presence of such a South Florida treasure.

What surprised me even more was that this remarkable site was open to the public every day. The opportunity to immerse myself in history and witness the beauty of the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was within reach, and it came at a surprisingly affordable price. It was heartwarming to see that efforts had been made to make this historical gem accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or budget.

6. Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial, South BeachSource: s4svisuals / shutterstock
Holocaust Memorial

Though I was surrounded by the glitz and glamour of the city, I found myself drawn to an unexpected place in South Beach. In a city filled with flashy displays of wealth, vanity, and materialism, the Holocaust Memorial stood as a powerful and thought-provoking attraction. I decided to venture there, curious to experience something different and educational.

As I arrived at the memorial, which opened its doors to the public in 1990, I was immediately struck by its unique features. The combination of striking sculptures, intricate architectural elements, and a tranquil meditation garden created a serene atmosphere that contrasted sharply with the bustling city outside.

One sculpture, in particular, commanded attention. It stood tall and evoked a sense of profound anguish and torment, depicting the suffering endured by the victims of death camps like Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The sculptor had captured the indescribable pain and anguish in a way that left an indelible mark on my memory.

As I observed the memorial, I couldn’t help but notice the impact it had on other visitors. Many of them spoke of how the memorial was one of the most powerful and memorable experiences of their entire trip. It served as a stark reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and the importance of remembrance.

What made the experience even more accessible was the fact that the memorial was free to visit. It was heartening to see such an important historical site open to the public without any financial barriers. For those who desired a deeper understanding, guided tours were available, providing a more comprehensive exploration of the memorial’s significance and historical context.

7. Phillip and Patricia Museum of Science

Phillip and Patricia Museum of ScienceSource: Felix Mizioznikov / shutterstock
Phillip and Patricia Museum of Science

As I stepped into the Phillip and Patricia Museur of Science, I was immediately captivated by its grandeur. The sheer size of the museum was awe-inspiring, with hundreds of thousands of square feet filled with fascinating exhibits, captivating displays, and engaging activities. It was a place where learning and fun converged, making it the perfect destination for a few hours of exploration, especially for those accompanied by children.

The museum was spread across four magnificent buildings, each promising its own treasures to discover. But there were a couple of attractions that stood out as the clear favorites among visitors. I couldn’t resist the allure of the massive aquarium, housing an astounding half a million gallons of water. As I approached, the sight of the vibrant underwater world within was simply mesmerizing. Countless colorful sea creatures danced gracefully in the water, their movements both enchanting and mind-boggling. It was like stepping into a different realm, where the wonders of the ocean were brought to life before my very eyes.

Not far from the aquarium, I discovered the planetarium, beckoning me with its promise of cosmic exploration. I eagerly joined one of the guided tours that took us on a mesmerizing journey through the vast expanse of the cosmos. The planetarium’s domed ceiling transformed into a stunning canvas, displaying the wonders of the universe. I marveled at the sight of distant galaxies, shimmering stars, and celestial phenomena, all vividly projected onto the celestial canopy above. The experience was enhanced further by the captivating laser shows that added a touch of excitement and spectacle to the cosmic voyage.

What truly set the Phillip and Patricia Museur of Science apart from other museums was its dedication to providing unique and memorable experiences. One such event that caught my attention was the museum’s slumber parties. These special occasions allowed both children and adults to spend the night within the museum’s walls, creating unforgettable memories. Chaperones ensured the safety and comfort of the participants while organizing a host of kid-friendly activities that kept everyone entertained. From hands-on experiments to interactive exhibits, there was never a dull moment. The slumber party even included delicious meals, ensuring that our energy levels remained high as we embarked on this extraordinary adventure.

8. Wynwood Brewing Company

Wynwood Brewing Company - Tap RoomSource: wynwoodbrewing.com
Wynwood Brewing Company – Tap Room

Like much of the rest of the country, I’ve witnessed the beer renaissance that has taken place in South Florida in recent years. It’s been an incredible experience being a part of this exciting time for beer lovers. One of the places that truly stood out as a pioneer in the area was the Wynwood Brewing Company.

As I walked into Wynwood Brewing Company, I couldn’t help but notice its unassuming location in a simple warehouse. It was clear that the real magic happened inside those walls. The moment I stepped inside, I was greeted by the tantalizing aroma of hops and barley, instantly making my mouth water in anticipation.

What made Wynwood Brewing Company truly special was its impressive array of high-quality microbrews. They had an astonishing variety of styles to choose from, each one crafted with meticulous attention to detail. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, they had something for every discerning palate.

Although you could find some of their brews at local retailers, I knew that the best way to appreciate their craftsmanship was at the taproom. So, I made my way to the bar, eager to dive into their offerings firsthand. As I sampled their beers, I was transported to a world of flavors and textures, each sip revealing new complexities and surprises.

But Wynwood Brewing Company wasn’t just about the beer. They also offered a selection of delicious food to complement their brews. It was the perfect combination, allowing me to escape the scorching Florida sun for a few hours and indulge in both culinary delights and outstanding beer. The atmosphere was vibrant, with friendly staff and fellow beer enthusiasts sharing their love for the local brews.

Being at Wynwood Brewing Company wasn’t just about enjoying great beer and food—it was also about supporting the local economy. I felt a sense of pride knowing that my patronage was contributing to the growth and success of this beloved establishment. It was a testament to the power of community and the passion of those who dedicated themselves to the art of brewing.

9. Deering Estate

Deering EstateSource: Elisa.rolle / Wikimedia
Deering Estate

As I stepped onto the grounds of the Deering Estate, a sense of awe washed over me. It felt as though I had traveled back in time to a bygone era. Originally, this place was the cherished winter retreat of a wealthy family, but now it stood as a captivating historic attraction, open to the public.

The estate sprawled before me, a collection of various buildings and structures nestled amidst lush greenery. I could hardly contain my excitement as I embarked on a guided history and nature walk, ready to immerse myself in the rich stories that awaited me.

With each step along the elevated boardwalk, I could sense the weight of history in the air. The highlight of the estate was the Native American archaeological site, a remarkable testament to human presence dating back nearly 50,000 years. As I gazed upon the ancient artifacts and remnants, I couldn’t help but feel a profound connection to the past.

Our knowledgeable guide led us through the estate, weaving together tales of the Deering family and the historical significance of the site. The stories came alive, transporting me back to a time when this land was inhabited by Native Americans who thrived here for countless millennia before European settlers arrived.

As I walked amidst the enchanting surroundings, I imagined the vibrant lives of those who had once called this place home. I could almost hear the whispers of the wind, carrying echoes of ancient rituals and the harmony between humans and nature.

The Deering Estate had become more than just a tourist attraction to me. It had become a portal to the past, a place where I could glimpse the vibrant tapestry of human history. I was filled with gratitude for the opportunity to explore and learn, to understand the profound legacy of those who had walked this land before me.

10. Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Walls, MiamiSource: EQRoy / shutterstock
Wynwood Walls

With humble beginnings, I found myself standing in front of the Wynwood Walls, a vibrant and ever-evolving outdoor art gallery in Miami. The sun’s warm rays kissed my skin as I marveled at the colorful murals that adorned the walls around me. It was hard to believe that this place had started with just a few commissioned artworks.

As I walked through the streets of Wynwood, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the transformative power of art. The walls, once dull and lifeless, now burst with creativity and expression. Each mural told a story, a testament to the talent and vision of the artists who had brought them to life.

Over the years, the Wynwood Walls had grown exponentially, boasting nearly 40 stunning murals. It was a testament to the allure of this place that renowned artists from around the world had contributed their masterpieces to its ever-expanding collection. I felt fortunate to be in the presence of such extraordinary talent.

The dynamic nature of the Wynwood Walls intrigued me further. The murals changed frequently to coincide with the annual Art Basel event, a world-renowned art fair. I had heard stories of the walls being transformed overnight, as new artists arrived to create their monumental works of art. I couldn’t help but hope that I would witness this incredible process someday.

I learned that the Wynwood Walls welcomed visitors year-round, and the best part was that it was completely free to explore. Anyone could wander through the streets, immersing themselves in this artistic wonderland. But for those seeking a deeper understanding of the murals, their creators, and the inspiration behind each piece, affordable one-hour guided tours were available.

Intrigued by the opportunity to delve into the stories behind the artwork, I decided to join one of these guided tours. With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, I discovered the hidden meanings, the techniques employed, and the personal narratives woven into the murals. It was a fascinating journey that enriched my appreciation for the art and the artists who had poured their hearts into it.

11. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanical GardenSource: S.Borisov / shutterstock
Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

I had the incredible opportunity to explore the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in south Florida, a place where nature thrives under the warm sun and abundant rainfall. With its sub-tropical climate, this region provides the ideal conditions for a diverse range of plants, trees, and flowers to flourish, and the garden was a true testament to this natural splendor.

As I entered the garden, I marveled at its vastness, encompassing nearly 90 acres of land. It was named after a renowned local botanist, and it was clear that his passion for plants and botanical wonders had been carefully cultivated here. The garden was a haven for both native species and plants from all around the world, creating a vibrant tapestry of colors and scents that embraced me as I wandered through its paths.

One of the highlights of my visit was the museum within the garden. It was a treasure trove of knowledge, offering insights into the rich botanical heritage of the region and the incredible diversity of plant life that called this place home. I found myself lost in the exhibits, captivated by the stories of the plants and the intricate connections they shared with the environment.

Exploring the various gardens was an absolute delight. Each one had its own unique ambiance and featured carefully curated collections of plants. From tropical rainforest gardens to desert landscapes, I felt like I was embarking on a botanical world tour. The gardeners had truly worked their magic, creating an immersive experience that transported me to different corners of the globe.

To make the most of my visit, I hopped aboard a narrated tram tour. It was a wonderful way to learn more about the garden’s history, the fascinating plants that adorned its landscapes, and the tireless efforts of the dedicated staff and volunteers who nurtured this living masterpiece. The tour provided fascinating insights into the garden’s evolution and showcased the ongoing conservation and research initiatives taking place.

But the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden wasn’t just a place for peaceful exploration. It was also a hub of seasonal festivities and activities. I was lucky enough to attend one of their vibrant festivals, where guest speakers shared their knowledge, artisans displayed their creative works, and delectable food and drink options tantalized the senses. It was a celebration of nature and community, bringing people together to appreciate the beauty and importance of the plant world.

12. Perez Art Museum

Pérez Art Museum, MiamiSource: mariakraynova / shutterstock
Pérez Art Museum

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found myself standing in the vibrant city of Miami. It was as if I had stepped into a world where creativity flowed through the streets, and art was a way of life. Miami and Miami Beach, the meccas of the contemporary art world, had drawn artists, gallery owners, and collectors from every corner of the globe, and I was about to immerse myself in this artistic haven.

One of the highlights of my visit was the Perez Art Museum, nestled along the picturesque Biscayne Bay. The moment I stepped foot inside, I knew I was in for a treat. The museum boasted one of the country’s premier collections of modern art, featuring works in a variety of mediums by some of the biggest names in the game. I was surrounded by masterpieces that pushed the boundaries of creativity and challenged my perceptions of art.

But what surprised me the most was that the museum wasn’t just a straight-laced and hands-off venue. It had something special in store for everyone, including the little ones. The museum had interactive exhibits and programs designed specifically with children in mind. I watched as young minds eagerly explored the artwork, their faces lighting up with wonder and awe. It was heartwarming to see art ignite their imagination and spark their curiosity.

After wandering through the captivating displays, I made my way to the museum’s gift shop. It was a treasure trove of artistic wonders, offering unique and eclectic items that I couldn’t resist. From art prints to funky accessories, the shop had something for every art enthusiast. I couldn’t help but pick up a few souvenirs to remind me of this extraordinary experience.

Feeling hungry, I headed to the museum’s trendy onsite restaurant. As I sat down, I was greeted by a breathtaking view of the bay. The restaurant blended art and cuisine seamlessly, creating an ambiance that was as visually appealing as it was delicious. I savored every bite of the delectable meal while basking in the beauty of the surroundings. It was the perfect way to end my artistic adventure at the Perez Art Museum.

13. Little Havana

Little Havana, MiamiSource: Fotoluminate LLC / shutterstock
Little Havana, Miami

South Florida holds a special place in my heart with its vibrant Cuban community, a legacy of the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980. Having grown up here, I’ve had the privilege of immersing myself in the rich Caribbean music, culture, and cuisine that permeate the region. Little Havana, in particular, stands out as a neighborhood that captures the essence of this heritage, offering an array of delightful experiences for both locals and visitors like myself.

As I stroll through the streets of Little Havana, I’m greeted by the enticing aromas wafting from the numerous restaurants and cafés. The vibrant colors and lively atmosphere create a sense of warmth and excitement. The neighborhood is filled with unique shops, inviting me to explore their treasures and take a piece of Cuban culture home with me.

One of my favorite aspects of Little Havana is its collection of distinctive art galleries. These galleries showcase the talent and creativity of local artists, each piece reflecting the rich Cuban heritage and its contemporary influences. I find myself captivated by the fusion of traditional and modern styles, and I can’t help but appreciate the unique perspective these artists bring to the table.

And then there’s the food – a true highlight of any visit to Little Havana. The neighborhood is renowned as a fusion-cuisine hotspot, where young and talented chefs put their innovative spins on classic Cuban dishes. It’s a true delight to witness the evolution of traditional flavors and techniques, resulting in culinary masterpieces that satisfy both the palate and the soul.

For an authentic and immersive experience, I decide to venture into a local hole-in-the-wall eatery. The air is thick with the aroma of slow-cooked meats and freshly brewed coffee. I order a classic Cuban sandwich, lovingly prepared with layers of succulent roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, all pressed together to perfection. As I savor each bite, the harmonious blend of flavors transports me to the streets of Havana itself. And to complete the experience, I indulge in a strong and aromatic Cuban espresso, invigorating my senses and leaving me fully immersed in the moment.

14. Everglades National Park

Everglades National ParkSource: Andy Lidstone / shutterstock
Everglades National Park

As I stepped foot into the Everglades, I was instantly awestruck by the sheer vastness of the landscape before me. More than a million acres of untouched wilderness stretched out as far as the eye could see, a pristine haven of forests, mangroves, and swamplands. It was clear that this place was a natural treasure, home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country.

I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement as I thought about the incredible wildlife that called this place home. American alligators and crocodiles, Florida panthers, and a myriad of predatory and wading birds thrived in this unique habitat. I had seen them in pictures and documentaries, but being here, surrounded by their natural habitat, was an entirely different experience.

Although the Everglades National Park was open to the public, I knew that exploring it on my own could be overwhelming. That’s why I decided to join a guided tour, and it turned out to be an excellent decision. The knowledgeable guide would undoubtedly enhance my experience and provide insights into this incredible ecosystem.

The moment I climbed aboard the airboat, excitement coursed through my veins. The powerful engine roared to life, and we glided across the water with an exhilarating speed. The wind whipped through my hair as we maneuvered through the labyrinth of mangroves and shallow waters.

As we ventured deeper into the Everglades, I marveled at the abundance of life around me. It seemed like every turn revealed a new wonder. The airboat came to a gentle stop, and there, just a few yards away, was an American alligator lazily sunning itself on the riverbank. Its powerful jaws and menacing eyes made me appreciate their primal beauty and respect their place in this delicate ecosystem.

But it wasn’t just the alligators that fascinated me. The airboat tour allowed me to get up close and personal with a multitude of swamp denizens. We encountered vibrant wading birds gracefully skimming the water’s surface, their long legs and elegant beaks a testament to their adaptability in this watery realm. I even caught a glimpse of the elusive Florida panther, a majestic and endangered creature that symbolized the fragility of this environment.

The airboat ride offered an unmatched perspective of the Everglades. The unique vantage point allowed me to witness the intricate interplay between land and water, as well as the delicate balance of nature. It was as if I had been transported into a hidden world, where every twist and turn revealed a new marvel.

15. Do Some Clubbing

Bleau BarSource: fontainebleau.com
Bleau Bar

No ‘things to do’ list of Miami Beach worth its salt would exclude the world-famous clubs that this vibrant city has to offer.

Stepping into the club scene in Miami Beach is an experience like no other. The pulsating energy, the thumping beats, and the electrifying atmosphere are enough to make anyone’s heart race with anticipation. As I found myself immersed in this nightlife paradise, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement course through my veins.

The clubs here are legendary, known worldwide for their extravagant parties and celebrity sightings. It’s a playground for the young, wealthy, and undeniably attractive, where the party never seems to stop. The allure of these establishments is undeniable, promising nights filled with glamour and debauchery.

If you happen to find yourself in the fortunate position of belonging to that elite category, clubs like Bleau Bar and STORY will undoubtedly meet your expectations. These high-end venues exude luxury and cater to those seeking an exclusive and opulent experience. From the moment you step inside, you’re enveloped in an atmosphere of sophistication and grandeur.

However, if you’re like me, someone who prefers to avoid the long lines and pretentious snobbery, fear not. Miami Beach also offers alternatives for those of us with more modest means. There are hidden gems among the club scene that provide a more low-key but equally enjoyable experience.

These lesser-known clubs often offer evening out tours that go beyond just dancing the night away. They frequently include dinner and drink deals, which not only enhance the value but also provide a complete evening of entertainment. As I discovered, these options allow you to have a fantastic time without breaking the bank.

15 Best Things to Do in Miami Beach (Florida):

  • South Beach
  • Miami Children's Museum
  • Ocean Drive
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
  • Spanish Monastery
  • Holocaust Memorial
  • Phillip and Patricia Museum of Science
  • Wynwood Brewing Company
  • Deering Estate
  • Wynwood Walls
  • Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Perez Art Museum
  • Little Havana
  • Everglades National Park
  • Do Some Clubbing