• Lisa Marie

Top 10 Things To Do In Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida should be considered a separate entity from the rest of Florida. Its Caribbean influence, food, and music has a created a distinct culture that attracts tourists from all over the world. I have lived 30 minutes from Miami for the last 30 years and I believe that I have gained enough knowledge to make sure that you have a great experience. I would like to share some of the hot spots or things you don't want to miss!

1. Miami Beach - Most tourists go to Miami Beach because they want to enjoy its most renowned attraction; South Beach. South Beach has something for everyone! There is white sand for the beach goers, an array of dining options, designer shopping, spas, people watching, and nightlife for miles.

Tip(s): Miami Beach can get pricey. If you have a car, try to park in a central location and walk for the remainder of the day because the parking prices can get very high. If you are staying at a hotel, you may find it more economical to find your accommodations outside of South Beach and uber/drive to all of the sites that you would like to see.

2. Wynwood - Wynwood was founded about 10 years ago as a way to start revitalization in the neighborhood lying between downtown Miami and the Design District. What's the best way to revitalize an area? Wynwood used art to attract a younger, more vibrant crowd. The Wynwood Walls acts as an outdoor art museum covering abandoned warehouse walls and garage doors. Wynwood offers an urban, grittier edge to the palm trees and white sand typically seen in Miami. The walls and doors are covered with bright, colorful street art and organized graffiti.

Wynwood has some really great restaurants with an innovative style and spin on what is typically served in Miami. It's a cool and vibrant area and it's worth checking it out.

Tip(s): Bring a camera so that you can use the art for your next photo shoot!

3. Bayside Marketplace - Bayside Marketplace is an outside market along the water. Don't let the title "market" fool you. This is far from a flea market. It has designer stores, party boat rentals ( to see celebrity homes or just tour the water), live performers every week, concerts, restaurants, and an upstairs food court. It's a great place to enjoy the Florida weather and indulge in the culture that Miami has to offer.

Whenever visitors come from out of town, I always take them to Bayside Marketplace. It is so different than any other marketplace that I have seen in the United States. It's family-friendly in the day and it can be a romantic night out in the evening.

Tips: Check the weather because rain can try to ruin your day at Bayside Marketplace.

4. Everglades National Park - About 30 miles west of downtown Miami, and the biggest contrast to South Beach, lies the Everglades National Park. It is the largest subtropical wetland in North America. This national park is a natural reserve that is protected due to its wildlife and vegetation. However, they do allow private airboat tours, alligator shows, educational trails, and exhibits.

Tip(s): Keep your hands in the boat and always observe your surroundings. The Everglades National Park is a safe location. However, when there is wildlife around, you should always be careful.

5. Zoo Miami - is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida and the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental United States. South Florida's climate allows the zoo to safely take care of animals from Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas. Therefore, the animals in the Miami Zoo are unlike any other zoo in the country.

The zoo is huge! It occupies almost 750 acres and is home to more than 3,000 animals! I've spent an entire day at this zoo. They also offer shows, educational tours, and the ability to interact with the animals. My niece loved feeding the giraffes.

Tip(s): The zoo does not have a lot of coverage so the sun will hit you directly. Wear light clothing, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen.

6. Museums - Miami is the home of so much history and offers a varied group of museums in the area to depict Miami's historical journey, people, and culture. The most popular museums in Miami are Viscaya Museum and Gardens, History Miami Museum, Miami Children's Museum, and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum.

7. Little Havana - Located to the west of downtown Miami, Little Havana is the central location for Cuban-Americans in Miami. Calle Ocho (8th Street) has become the epicenter of the Little Havana community. Tourist flock from all over the world to see the sights, play a game of dominoes, taste the food, and immerse themselves in the culture.

Tips: If you're interested in Caribbean cultures, you may want to visit Lauderderhill, Fl (Lil' Jamaica - a city 40 minutes north of Miami that represents Jamaican culture) or Little Haiti (an area in Miami known for its Haitian culture).

8. Miami Sports - For all the sports fans, Miami is home to the Miami Heat, and Miami Marlins. Also, the Florida Panthers arena is about 30-40 minutes north of Miami. Going to a game while you're on vacation can be a great complement to all of the other attractions that you will see in Miami.

The Miami Heat play in Downtown Miami, at the American Airlines Arena. This arena is a sports and entertainment arena located along Biscayne Bay (adjacent to the Bayside Marketplace).

The Marlins play at the Marlins Park, It is the newest and most expensive major league ballpark in the United States. The Marlins Park is located in Little Havana, so you can make a day out of enjoying some Cuban culture and seeing a ballgame.

The Florida Panthers play their games at an arena in Sunrise, Florida called the BB&T center. This arena as about 30-40 minutes north of Miami. It is conveniently located next to the largest outlet mall in the country, Sawgrass Mills Mall.

Tip(s): Book your tickets before your arrival to obtain the best seats and prices.

9. Shopping - Miami is known for finding the best designers at boutique shops and finding the greatest deals at outlet malls. There are so many shopping options in Miami that you may find more stores than beaches! Check out a few of your options:

A. Lincoln Road Mall - an outdoor mall in South Beach that offers designer stores, restaurants, and Florida sun.

B. Brickell City Centre - a five-story mall that spans across three blocks in Downtown Miami. It is also known for its great eateries.

C. Bal Harbour Shops - This an outdoor mall that carries the glitz and glam in its retail and personnel. The Bal Harbour area is an affluent area so don't be surprised if you run into a celebrity or two.

D. Shops at Merrick Park - This outdoor mall mixes high-end and mid-level retail shops together. Tip: If you shop at Nordstrom you will get two hours of free parking.

E. Dadeland Mall - This is one of Miami's largest enclosed malls. They have every and any retailer that you can possibly imagine.

F. Sawgrass Mills Mall - the largest outlet mall in the country! If you want a good deal, this is the place to go. It is located 30-40 minutes north of Miami, but it may be worth the trip for you.

G. Dolphin Mall - Miami's only outlet mall. It has a bargain deals, restaurants, and live music on the weekends.

H. Aventura Mall - an enclosed two-story mall in the luxurious Aventura region. You'll be able to find your most common retail stores.

Tip(s): The Falls (Kendall, FL) , the Shops at Sunset Place (Miami, FL), and the Galleria Mall (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) are also shopping options. However, they are not some of the most impressive retail areas that this region has to offer.

10. Night life - Miami has a different night energy than any other city in the United States. Luckily for you, there is always something happening in Miami at night, so you will not be bored at all. You'll have your pick of bars, clubs, concerts, and lounges to choose from. Ask a friend, the concierge at your hotel, or email me (contactus@thefloridapalate.com or lisa@exclusivetravelpartners.com) when you're in town and I'll share what's happening that week.

If you find any more really great locations or activities in Miami, email contactus@thefloridapalate.com . This list will continue to be revamped to offer great trips for all of our Miami, Florida travelers.

If you're not sure where to stay in Miami, I can also help you plan your next trip to Miami (flight/hotel/activities) from start to finish. My services are free. Email me at lisa@exclusivetravelpartners.com.


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