Known for its beautiful beaches, strong Latin influence and pleasant climate throughout the year, Miami is the second most visited American city by foreign tourists.
Miami is home to an array of must-see attractions including world-renowned museums, art galleries, Michelin-starred restaurants and its famous nightlife.
In this article, we will explore possible itineraries for three groups of tourists:
- A group of friends looking for fun, culture and an unforgettable night out
- A family with children looking to enjoy the sea, nature and good food
- A couple looking for unique experiences with unusual activities, international cuisine and shopping
Our perfect Miami weekend started on a sunny Friday and all the groups were in the same place: South Beach.
Located in the heart of Miami Beach, with its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and exciting nightlife, it’s no wonder that South Beach is one of Miami’s top tourist attractions.
During the day, visitors can sunbathe, swim, or practice water sports such as jet skiing or paragliding.
The nightlife transforms the city into a different atmosphere, with live music and dancing in the best restaurants and bars in the region.
Lunchtime arrived without warning and with so much variety, each group opted for a different culinary option.
Miami has a wide range of cuisines, from upscale seafood restaurants to casual street food stalls.
The city is home to many chefs and world-renowned restaurants, as well as a thriving selection of food trucks.
Visitors can sample different dishes from international cuisines, including Cuban, Latin American, Caribbean and Asian.
The city is also home to several food markets, including the Lincoln Road Farmers Market which is open on Sundays and offers local and artisanal produce.
The afternoon schedule was also diverse among our groups. The friends decided to check out the Art Deco historic district.
Art Deco Historic District
A must-see for fans of architecture. In this beautiful region, there are approximately 20 blocks that house more than 800 buildings in the Art Deco style, which were built between the 1920s and 1940s and present a unique mixture of colours, shapes, and ornaments.
The district is home to many hotels, restaurants and shops, making it a popular destination for tourists looking to experience Miami’s culture and architecture.
The couple chose to visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
A historic property featuring an impressive Italian Renaissance mansion and beautifully landscaped gardens.
The mansion, built in the early 20th century, is full of antique furniture, art and decorative objects.
The gardens, which cover more than 40,000m2, are home to a variety of plants, flowers and trees as well as sculptures and fountains.
The family decided on an interactive and stimulating activity for the children, they visited the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
A state-of-the-art science museum with interactive exhibits on various subjects including space, the environment and human anatomy.
The museum has several galleries including an aquarium that houses over 500 species of marine animals.
Visitors can also watch live science demonstrations and participate in hands-on experiences such as building robots or conducting experiments.
The night approached and all the groups, once again, had the same idea; to watch an NBA match at the FTX arena.
Home to the famous basketball team, Miami Heat, this multipurpose arena is perfect for sports and entertainment.
The arena has a capacity of over 19,000 and is a popular venue for shows, events and sports in general.
Some of the biggest names in national and international music and entertainment have performed at the FTX Arena, so it’s worth checking the calendar if you’re a fan of music and sports.
To end the night, the couple opted for a drink in one of Ocean Drive’s vast selection of bars, but our group of friends decided on something more energetic and ended the night at a Latin club in Little Havana.
The neighbourhood is a popular destination for tourists looking to experience Miami’s Cuban community’s vibrant culture and history.
Located west of downtown Miami, Little Havana is home to many Cuban-owned businesses, including restaurants, bakeries, tobacconists and Latin clubs.
Visitors can explore the area and experience authentic Cuban cuisine, enjoy the iconic Domino Park or catch a live performance at the Tower Theatre.
Saturday started with the same tourist attraction for all groups; a tour of the Everglades.
A vast subtropical wetland located west of Miami. It is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including alligators, crocodiles, manatees and countless types of birds.
The Everglades is a unique and fragile ecosystem and is home to many endangered species, including the Florida panther and American crocodile.
The best way to explore the Everglades is to take a guided tour, which often includes airboat rides, a wildlife photo safari and walks in the swamps.
The Everglades is a must-see destination for nature lovers or those interested in learning more about South Florida’s unique flora and fauna.
In the afternoon, the group of friends decided to enjoy some street art and visit Wynwood Walls.
An outdoor mural park, featuring over 50 large-scale murals by artists from around the world.
Murals cover the walls of buildings in the Wynwood Arts District and are a form of celebration of street art and graffiti culture.
Visitors can choose to take a guided tour of the site or simply walk around and admire the artwork on their own.
The family wanted to make their dream come true by swimming with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium.
Located on the shores of Biscayne Bay, the Miami Seaquarium is a marine life park spanning over 150,000m2 and is full of marine animals, such as dolphins, sea lions, seals and others.
Visitors can watch live shows featuring dolphins and sea lions or participate in interactive experiences such as feeding the animals or swimming with dolphins.
The Seaquarium also has a variety of educational exhibits that teach visitors about the importance of preserving marine animals.
The couple decided on something more exclusive and rented a private yacht with a captain, in order to discover the natural beauties of Miami in an unforgettable way.
At dusk, the family also opted for a boat trip. The Miami Sunset Cruise is an excellent option to discover Miami by boat but in an affordable way.
Saturday night promised to be fun for the group of friends. Miami is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a variety of options ranging from chic nightclubs to laid-back bars and clubs with live music.
The city is home to many world-famous nightclubs, including LIV, E11EVEN and Story, which attract the world’s best DJs. Visitors can also enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere at one of the many bars and lounges available.
The couple decided to dance salsa at the iconic Mango’s Tropical Cafe in South Beach. Miami has an excellent selection of Latin clubs in Little Havana, South Beach and Brickell.
The last day of our weekend had arrived and each group’s morning would be different. The group of friends preferred to start Sunday with a good dose of adrenaline and go on a speed boat ride.
The family chose to experience the extraordinary Jungle Island. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COUPLE?
A tropical wildlife park which is home to over 3,000 animals, including orangutans, kangaroos, lemurs and parrots.
Visitors can watch live shows with the animals, participate in interactive experiences such as feeding the parrots, playing with the kangaroos or simply exploring the environment on their own.
The couple spent Sunday morning at the beach, enjoying the beautiful weather, sunshine and relaxing activities like stand-up paddle.
The end of this brilliant weekend would be the same for all groups: shopping. Miami is considered a shopper’s paradise with a wide range of options from high-end designer boutiques to discount stores and open-air markets.
The city is home to several upscale shopping malls including Aventura Mall, Bal Harbor Shops and Lincoln Road Mall with its vast selection of upscale retailers, dining and entertainment options.
The Aventura Mall is very popular and gets busy, so you might want to arrive early to avoid having to park a long distance away.
For a more unique shopping experience, visitors can explore the street markets and artisan shops in neighbourhoods like Wynwood and Little Havana.
The weekend comes to an end in beautiful Miami. We experienced it through the eyes of three distinct groups of tourists.
All enjoyed the best that Miami has to offer, with different focuses, budgets, and interests but with much in common; the desire to experience the culture, cuisine and natural beauty of the unforgettable Miami.