This Miami travel guide is your handbook for a seamless and enjoyable stay in South Florida. It provides you with detailed descriptions of Miami’s best hotels, restaurants, and attractions, as well as insight into the local culture and history.
Things to See and Do in Miami
The Vizcaya Estate is a must-see
A trip to Miami would not be complete without a visit to this historic 50-acre estate. The European-style mansion offers a glimpse into life in turn-of-the-century South Florida. The mansion was built by industrialist James Deering to display his wealth to his friends and is filled with Renaissance furniture, artwork, and tapestries. The 10-acre Formal Gardens were designed to resemble Versailles, but with palm trees, rare orchids, and Cuban limestone. Admission is $18.
Relax on The Beach
Miami is known for its pristine beaches, including South Beach. Other great beaches include Virginia South Beach, Haulover Beach (the only legal nudist beach), and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Go early to avoid crowds on weekends. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Go out to Clubs.
The nightlife in Miami is very active, and if you like clubs, Miami is one of the best places in the world for clubbing. Most drinks are at least USD 10 and there is usually a cover charge of $20-30 USD. There’s E11even, LIV Miami (the city’s most famous), and Basement (complete with an ice-skating rink and bowling alley).
Trip to the Florida Keys
The archipelago stretches out along the south of Florida and offers stunning white-sand beaches, palm trees, and prime ocean property. The northernmost island in Miami, Key Biscayne, offers some great waterfront parks, a scenic bike path, amazing views of Miami, and great swimming spots. Take a picnic at Crandon Park or go swimming at the east end of the Key if you want to spend the whole day. To get here, you’ll need to arrange your transportation (the Keys are about two hours from Miami by car).
Explore the Fruit and Spice Park
Located on 37 acres, this tropical botanical garden was established in 1943 and contains 500 species of fruit trees and spice plants. There are many shaded paths throughout the park. Take some time to walk around and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Check out the website for details when you’re in town for upcoming events and festivals. Admission is $10. There are daily tours at 11 am, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm.
Visit Coral Gables
One of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the U.S. is Coral Gables. There are tree-lined boulevards and opulent mansions here. Designed by George Merrick in the 1920s, all buildings still adhere to the style that Merrick had envisioned for the community. While you’re here, check out the tropical botanical garden, the Lowe Art Museum, and the opulent Venetian Pool.
Visit the Art Deco Historic District
Miami Beach is known for its Art Deco Historic District, which contains over 800 Art Deco buildings within a square mile (Art Deco was a popular French architecture style between 1910 and 1939). The Miami Design Preservation League has restored many white and pastel stucco buildings to their former glory through a walking tour. The tours usually cost USD 30 and last a few hours.
The largest history museum in the state. HistoryMiami is an insightful museum that traces the city’s history – from humble beginnings as a swamp filled with mosquitoes to the modern, bustling metropolis it is today. There are exhibits here on everything from football to folklore. Admission costs $10.
Visit Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Explore the city on foot or take a 45-minute tram tour. The 84-acre garden is filled with tropical plants, flowers, and trees, including some rare ones, such as the petticoat palm. Take a 45-minute tram tour or explore on foot. A living exhibit called “Wings of the Tropics” features 40 different species of butterflies. Also on display are rotating exhibits, such as a Jurassic Garden with life-size dinosaurs scattered throughout the lush garden. Admission is USD 24.95.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery is a must-see
Built-in 1141 in Segovia, Spain, this monastery was intended to be a part of William Randolph Hearst’s California property. Due to U.S. restrictions, the monastery remained in New York until 1954, when businessmen bought it and assembled it in Miami. Admission is USD 10, and guided tours are available on weekends.
Take a tour of the Frost Science Museum
As a state-of-the-art science museum with four different buildings dedicated to science, including a planetarium and a three-story aquarium, the Frost Science Museum expanded in 2017 to a massive 250,000 square foot facility. Featuring everything from sharks to tropical fish, the aquarium takes you from the surface of South Florida’s aquatic world down to its depths. There are also exhibits on dinosaurs, biology, and more! Admission is $29.95.
View the Pérez Art Museum Miami
The PAMM is one of the largest modern art museums in the city. There’s a lot to see in this 200,000-square-foot building on Biscayne Bayfront, including a rotating permanent collection of over 1,800 items. Exhibitions range from paintings to kinetic sculptures. Take a look at the outdoor hanging sculpture garden – its elaborate design took two months to assemble! The entrance is USD 16.
Miami Travel Cost
Hostel rates – A bed in a six-bed dorm averages USD 70 per night. You can expect to pay USD 55 for a room with eight or more beds. The price for a basic private room with a shared bathroom starts at USD 80. Most hostels offer free Wi-Fi, but most don’t have full kitchens. You can book those that offer free breakfast if you’re on a budget.
Camping is available in nearby national parks (Everglades, Biscayne, Big Cypress) for as low as USD 10 per night for a basic plot without electricity.
15 Best Hotels in Miami
Miami is #25 on the 25 Best Places to Visit in the USA
In peak season, budget two-star hotels start at USD 150. In the off-season, rooms start at USD 110. You can expect basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, TV, air conditioning, and a coffee maker.
Miami has many Airbnb options. On average, a private room costs USD 75 per night while an entire house or apartment costs USD 180.
Miami is known for its Caribbean cuisine. Cuban food is available for less than USD 10 in Little Havana. You can get filling sandwiches for USD 7, tacos, and empanadas for USD 5 each. A small plate of jerk chicken costs USD 10. The pizza costs USD 5 while fast food (think McDonald’s) costs about USD 8 for a combo meal.
For $12-20 USD per the main course, you can eat at a mid-range restaurant, including vegetarian dishes and Buddha bowls. Seafood and pasta dishes are priced between $15-25 USD.
A beer costs USD 8, while a latte/cappuccino costs USD 4.50. Bottled water costs USD 1.50.
Be prepared to spend a lot if you want to splurge. At high-end restaurants, things like pasta dishes start at USD 25; tasting menus cost at least USD 55. Seafood begins at about USD 40 while steaks start at USD 45. A glass of red wine costs about USD 14.