A Local’s Guide to Best Things To Do In Miami Beach
This Miami Beach one week itinerary is perfect for anyone visiting Miami Beach and looking for the best things to do in Miami.
It doesn’t matter who you are. Or how old you are. Miami Beach is a unique destination, and its main beauty to me is that it can be a perfect fit for…anyone.
Do you want to spend your vacation time shopping? Dining in world-class restaurants? Practice their downward dog on the beach? Get inspired by the world’s best art? Or, maybe, you are just looking to forget about everything and lie on the beach?…
Miami Beach is a true paradise with its gentle sea breezes, soft sand, and clear blue waters. And I am so excited to share the best things about this paradise I now call home.
And I have a perfect one-week Miami itinerary for you, with plenty of options for every taste.
South Beach Icons
Ocean Drive Art Deco district and Lincoln Road
These are the two must-see sites in Miami. Why not check them out on the same day?
You can self-tour the art district or get a guided tour around pastel-colored Art Deco buildings, museums and monuments.
A row of 1930’s hotels refreshed and renovated but very authentic is the heart and soul of Miami Beach.
Miami Design Preservation League hosts guided tours .
Set the mood for your Miami vacation by checking out the most iconic sites in one day.
Tip: Check out Ocean Drive’s hotel row lit in neon pinks, blues and greens after dark!
Lincoln Road is a pedestrian and shopping street between Alton Road and Washington Avenue. Its time as an unconventional shopping street with Lapidus architecture and one-of-a-kind restaurants are gone. Today’s Lincoln Road is drowning in an ocean of high street stores and tourist-trap eateries.
Very few old tenants from Lincoln Road’s golden era left. And these are so worth checking out:
- Spris Pizza
- Books and Books
End the day at Espanola way- Miami’s version of Little Italy (but much more charming and clean!) Espanola was originally a gambler’s destination and Al Capone’s favorite hang-out spot.
Miami Design District, the emerging neighborhood in the city of Miami, is packed with luxury retailers, museums and restaurants.
Two museums with free admission and located right next to each other.
The Institute of contemporary art
Features artwork from around the world and a serene outdoor garden
De la Cruz
a three-story building with high ceilings shows the private holdings of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz.
Head to the Wynwood neighborhood to explore the world-famous Wynwood Grafitti, rows and rows of art galleries, antique stores, and hip bars.
Wynwood is a former industrial area transformed into a haven for galleries and artists. The area's galleries and artists have formed the Wynwood Art District Association. Wynwood is now known for nurturing experimental art. The idea behind the transformation was to take the street art out of the gallery and put it back into its natural environment.
Today Wynwood is a hub for galleries and young artists drawn to the neighborhood’s fringe appeal and cheaper real estate. There are over 200 murals now wallpapering Wynwood ! And it’s largest open-air street-art installations in the world. The graffiti has led to commercial development in a reversal of the usual progression.
Viewing Wynwood walls is free
Wynwood Art Walks are guided tours
It used to be South Beach- to describe the entire Miami Metropolitan area. Today, so many neighborhoods that used to be in the shade- becoming popular and packed with great things to do. Apart from Wynwood, Design District, and Brickell, some a authentic areas that used to be off-the-radar worth checking out.
began to form in the late 1970s (with the coming Haitian refugees). Today it’s an emerging neighborhood- you might have seen Mandolin A gean cuisine in every other Miami travel guide. There is Buena Vista Deli (don’t leave without trying their tuna melt!) right around the corner – and you got to check it out.
Sweat Records. salade niçoise
In a Cuban neighborhood where bougainvillea is prevalent, mojitos are strong, and the food is fantastic.
Don’t leave Little Havana without checking out Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center. It features one world’s most extensive privately owned Cuban art collections.
or Doralzuela or Doral is another up-and-coming neighborhood just west of Miami International Airport. Home to Miami International Mall and contemporary art museum.
Aka, Sunny Isles is a favorite staycation spot and home to the best waterfront hotel in the US.
This is where you’ll find the best-med spas and spas, some of the city’s best restaurants (and bakeries!) The dining options are so good that it’s worth driving to Sunny Isles to eat.
Haulover Beach Park is the only beach in the area with a skyscraper-free shoreline.
Shopping and Spa in Miami
Miami is home to some of the best beaches in the world. It is also home to some of the best spas. From Miami Beach to downtown Miami, you can find a spa that offers everything from diamond-infused facials to Turkish baths and everything in between. And with so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a spa that’s just right for you.
Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles
Miami is home to the best waterfront hotel in the country. Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles was voted No. 1 by USA Today. Several years in a row!
The hotel includes a 20,000-square-foot spa with ocean views, state-of-the-art treatment rooms and a healing heat and water ritual area. Four pools and a private beach spanning over four acres of coastline.
- With a mix of recovery, hydrotherapy and luxury, it’s the perfect place to unwind and relax. There’s a
- Turkish-style hammam
- aroma steam room
- Roman waterfall hot tub
- Finnish sauna
- arctic plunge
- mud lounge
- infinity pool
- body scrubs
- nail art
- Standard is also one of the best places to view the sunset in Miami Beach
Miami Beach is an open-air museum. It has the largest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world. Anywhere you walk or bike- you will spot ART.
But there are plenty of other artsy things to do and museums to see in Miami.
Perez Art Museum
Perez Art Museum, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, is worth visiting for the views of Biscayne Bay. The collection is comprehensive as well.
Wolfsonian explores the history of design from 1885 to 1945.
Mitchell Wolfson Jr., an unorthodox heir and a compulsive collector, opened it in 1995 after obtaining mountains of odd design pieces while traveling the world.
Villa Vizcaya museum
James Deering’s Miami residence -and today’s Dade County Museum of Art.
Vizcaya was designed as the perfect Mediterranean villa in the middle of Miami. If you’ve ever traveled to Italy, you won’t make a difference between Villa Vizcaya and any 16th-century Italian villa.
The Bass Museum
The Bass museum in Miami Beach is dedicated to international contemporary art. It has 16,000 square feet of exhibition space and is located in a landmark Art Deco building from the 1930s. The best (and most famous) part?! Ugo Rondinone’s massive, neon-painted “Miami Mountain” limestone rocks in the park.
And Sylvie Fleury’s “Eternity Now” neon sign on the museum’s façade.
Beach and chill
Warm weather, white sand, and turquoise water- everything in Miami make it easy to want to spend all day at the beach. And the best part is that Miami Beach is free and open to the public.
Yes, beaches in Miami are free – from South Beach to North Beach. Miami Beach has a public beach for every taste.
Are you a little ball of fire and just can’t sit still? Lummus Park and South Pointe Park offer plenty of activities if you are looking for something more than the beach.
Escape the South Beach Madness
Miami Beach is often seen as a party destination. While that’s certainly true of South Beach, there’s more to this barrier island than just clubbing and cocktails. Every day, early in the morning (and/or evening), Yogis meet for mixed-level classes at the pink lifeguard stand on Third Street Beach. They can enjoy the ocean breezes as they practice their downward dogs and watch the sun rise or set. It’s just one example of Miami Beach residents making the most of their scenic surroundings. Just a reminder that Miami Beach has plenty to offer beyond its nightclubs.
If you’re looking for a relaxing and upscale Miami Beach experience, SoFi is the place to be.
For decades, it was a dangerous no man's land. The only destination worth visiting probably was the venerable Joe's Stone Crab (iconic!). This area has undergone a significant transformation. Today it's a chic and luxurious destination. Unlike other parts of Miami Beach, SoFi feels more like a gated resort than a bustling city. It's much more European than South Beach or Daytona Beach. So is the crowd. Thanks to its wealthy second-home owners, the SoFi scene is quite cushioned compared to other areas of Miami Beach. Not to mention, the area is really safe.
Where to eat in SoFi
For seafood lovers, Joe’s Stone Crab is a must-visit spot – just be prepared to wait in line! In the mood for steak? Prime Italian is a local favorite, or for something truly unique, try the spaghetti with Kobe meatballs. For views of the Miami skyline, head to Smith & Wollensky or Monty’s South Beach – both offer outdoor seating with stunning views.
Sunset at South-South Pointe Park
South Pointe Park is a 17.5-acre oasis that reopened in March after a multi-million dollar renovation. The park is filled with native plants and flowers, walking and biking trails, and a scenic pier that offers breathtaking water views. At night, the park is illuminated by 18 light towers, creating a magical atmosphere.
End the day watching a tropical sunset over the Miami skyline (the third prettiest skyline in the US!)
South Pointe Park is located at the very tip of South Beach. It is a town square and a local’s favorite hang-out spot for sunset watching, outdoor yoga, and salsa in the park.
Know before you go!
Transportation in Miami – How to get around in Miami and Miami Beach
Whether you choose to bus, taxi, rideshare, bike or explore on your own two feet, there are plenty of options for getting around Miami Beach.
The trolley system in Miami is great for getting around the city, whether you’re visiting popular areas or commuting to work. The trolleys are free to ride and connect with Metrobus and Metrorail, making it easy to get around Miami.
Looking to take a day trip from West Palm Beach to Miami Beach? You’re in luck! Tri-Rail’s six stations in The Palm Beaches are conveniently located near various entertainment districts. The train also serves Palm Beach International Airport, making it easy to get to and from your Miami Beach destination.
The Tri-Rail system connects West Palm Beach to suburban Miami at the Metrorail station.
Taking the Tri-Rail from West Palm Beach to Miami Beach is a great option if you’re looking for a beach day.
The train serves Palm Beach International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International Airports.
How much is Tri-Rail in Miami
And fares as low as $2.50 one-way are easy on the wallet, too. Bonus: you can ride all day on weekends for only $5.
Miami Beach Parking
Where to park in Miami Beach
Parking in Miami Beach can be a big challenge. The Miami Beach Parking App helps visitors and residents find municipal parking facilities and pay for parking. Simply download the app, select your parking facility, and pay by credit card or PayPal.
No more searching for quarters! The Miami Beach Parking App makes enjoying all Miami Beach offers easy.
Getting from the airport to South Beach/ Miami Beach
How much does it cost to get from MIA to Miami Beach?
Affordable option to get from MIA to Miami beach
Looking for a cheap and easy way to get from Miami International Airport to South Beach? The Miami Beach Airport Express Bus is a great option.
For just $2.25, you can catch a ride on the bus straight to South Beach.
Getting a taxi or Uber from MIA to Miami Beach
Taxis are available at Miami International Airport and can take you straight to South Beach for a flat rate of $35. Uber and Lyft are both available in South Miami Beach. A ride from Miami International Airport to South Beach will cost you approximately $25-$30.
Bike rental in Miami Beach
I’m 100% convinced that the best way to see-explore-enjoy Miami Beach is on a bike. The first thing I did when I moved to MB- I buy a cruiser bike. Cute, art-deco-colored bike with a basket (of course!)
There are so many options for bike rental in Miami Beach.
You’ll see Citi bike stations all around Miami and Miami Beach.
It’s super convenient as you can rent it in one part of the city and drop it off at the other.
With the Citi Bike program, you can rent a bike by the hour or day.
Really looking to explore? Get a membership that allows you to check out and return any available bike from any station all day.
Looking for something more sophisticated?
Bike and Roll Miami – if you want options
- comfort bikes
- single speed cruisers
- fitness bikes
- mountain bikes
- road bikes
- tandem bike
- trailer tandem
- …and skates.
The price ranges from $20 to $69, depending on the bike you choose to rent for yourself.Most hotels also offer cute bikes that are included in the room rates.
You will LOVE exploring Miami Beach on two wheels!
Looking for more things to do in Miami Beach? Check out my 10 Unique things to do in Miami Beach blog