Miami in one day: Downtown Miami highrises

7 Creative Itineraries For How To Do Miami In One Day (2024)

Going for a daycation to Miami and wondering how to do the city in one day that gets you the best of everything?

I have traveled to Miami for longer periods of time, for several years, and I have found out I love this vibrant southern city with the amazing beach and Latin vibe.

Here are 7 unique suggestions for one-day itineraries for The City Of Lights to help you decide how to spend a day in Miami when you only have 24 hours.

Check out the table of contents to choose the itinerary that suits you perfectly!

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

How To Spend A Day In Miami!

Miami Beach on New Years Eve

Almost the southernmost city in the whole US, what makes Miami special is its diversity.

This vibrant city is home to beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife, buzzing city vibes, culture, shopping, and, not least, a lot of the rich and famous of the world.

Another thing that makes Miami special is its Latin American influence. The Hispanic population is a whopping 70 percent, of which just over 50 % originate from Cuba.

You can, of course, mix and match from all the itineraries to create a perfect custom-made daycation just for you. Spend the night too, so you have the whole 24 hours, one day free to go exploring the “Magic City”, another of Miami’s nicknames!

Map Of Miami!

7 Fun Itineraries For How To Spend A Day In Miami

Helicopter over Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, I have my feet out the door, and far below is the white sands and the green beautiful sea with a tiny boat driving along
Helicopter over Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach

1. Spend A Day In Miami Doing All At Once

If you want to “do Miami” in one day, you have a challenge before you, and you are going to have to choose something over something else, I’m afraid.

There are really two ways to go about it.

How To Spend A Day In Miami All-In | Option 1
A Cuban sandwich with a view to Miami Beach
Cuban sandwich on Miami Beach

Option number one is to go all-in as a Tourist for your day in Miami and do sightseeing all day.

That way, you will be able to see a lot of the city and get a feel for what it’s all about!

Start your day early with a serious breakfast at Salt Cafe on 1401 Collins Avenue, South Beach, before you head over to 305 Lincoln Rd for the start of your exploring one perfect day.

Book a combo tour of Miami beforehand (as I did) that first will take you on an open-air bus tour of Miami via the Everglades and then a boat trip around the Biscayne Bay!

The open-air two-story bus departs from Lincoln Road and will show you Miami Beach, the Art Deco District, Downtown, Little Havana, and more (you can buy snacks along the way, and remember SPF).


Book the tour that starts at 9:30 am to make the most of your day!

After leaving Miami Beach, the tour goes via the Art Deco Historic District to Everglades National Park where you get to cruise a hovercraft around the glades looking for alligators!

All the while, the captain enlightens you about the Everglades area.

Explore The Vibrant Bayside Marketplace By Biscayne Bay!

The tour continues to Bayside Marketplace Downtown, where you will have a couple of hours to explore Downtown before you board for the boat trip around the bay.

Lean back with a mojito on the deck while you admire the incredible mansions (and the guide’s fun stories) on the Biscayne Bay artificial Venetian islands drifting by. Star Island, Palm Island, Hibiscus Island, and the rest of it for around an hour and a half.

When the boat returns to shore around 5 – 5:30, you can opt to stay a while at the busy Bayside Marketplace for some shopping or browsing, or even the Skyviews Miami Ferris wheel, before you jump on the bus back to Lincoln Rd.

Back on South Beach, head over to Havana 1957 Cuban restaurant on the boardwalk for a quick meal, maybe a huge Cuban sandwich, and some people-watching. After a long day of sightseeing, the beach is a welcome chill zone to wind down a bit.

Get out your towels and bathing suit (that you packed beforehand), and just relax on the sand (rental of a parasol and sun bed is at least $25), and refresh yourself in the blue waves.

From my boat tour in the Biscayne Bay on a sunny summer day, lots of people enjoying the day on the water in the sun on the aft of the boat, and there are many more white boats on the water in the distance under the blue sky.
Lovely boat trip in Biscayne Bay

And don’t worry, there are freshwater showers to get you salt-free afterward (unless you are the type that really needs a hot shower to feel ok).

Heading into the sunset, get into your sunset/evening dress and heels, and freshen up with some sun powder!

Then book an Uber to go to the amazing Mila Restaurant And Rooftop Lounge on Meridian Avenue (where you have booked a table beforehand of course) to finish your Miami day with a stunning view, into the small hours if you prefer.

How To Spend A Day In Miami City Option 2

Option number two is to be your own Master and Guide for the day and create your perfect day yourself.

This might mean a lot of Uber’ing, if you don’t want to take on the local bus system!

Start your morning (early) in Miami Beach (yeah, I do love Miami Beach), with breakfast at FL Cafe on 1360 Collins Ave.

From there, you are only a short walk away from the Art Deco Welcome Center, where you can learn a bit about the Art Deco style, Mediterranean, and MiMo and gather ideas for what you would like to see.

When you are feeling ready, book an Uber to take you to the Wynwood Walls Urban Graffiti Art Museum on the mainland.

A colorful mural in Wynwood Walls, covering a whole outdoor wall with green grass and a bench to sit and admire it in the front
Visiting Wynwood Walls

According to the creator, the late Tony Goldmann, his plan was that “Wynwood’s large stock of abandoned warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” 

Wynwood Walls is now an amazing outdoor museum displaying massive works by some of the best-known street artists in the world!

You Gotta Eat!

Feeling hungry yet? Get an Uber over to the waterfront and opt for a late lunch at Amara Paraiso for a table with a stunning view right on the edge of Biscayne Bay!

Amara at Paraiso’s food has taken lots of different Latin American flavors, blended them into delicious seafood platters, and mixed the diverse food culture of Florida in an amazing environment.

If you are still up for more creativity, you have time to explore the Miami Design District, a hub of fashion, design, art, architecture, and dining. Visit the museums, private collections, galleries, and exhibitions of cutting-edge public art and design.

After a lot of exploring on foot, now get an Uber over to Bayside Marketplace for a Biscayne Bay Sunset Cruise! The last one leaves at 7 pm, and it is a great way to wind down and just enjoy the water and stunning city views.

From the sunset cruise I did on Biscayne Bay, heading back to shore part of the miami skyline is in dark relieff to the golden sky behind it
Sunset cruise on Biscayne Bay

You will be back to shore just in time for dinner, a chill dining experience at Black Market Bayside Miami sports bar, or a fancier end of the day at the Lido Bayside Grill!

2. How To Spend A Day In Miami Beach!

Although Miami Beach looks like a tiny narrow island (from above), it is actually quite a long island, so you are probably not going to be able to “do” all of it in a day.

A good start to the day is breakfast at Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar on Washington Ave, Mid Beach (any breakfast without coffee really is not a proper breakfast). They have any kind of breakfast choice you could possibly dream of!

From here you are practically in the middle of the Faena District, a revolutionary cultural neighborhood in Miami Beach, which runs from 32nd to 36th streets.

Check out the Faena Bazar shopping mall in the old historic Atlantic Beach Hotel and admire the recently opened residential Faena House constructed to “exist in seamless harmony with the ocean” in front through its massive glass walls and modern construction.

Then, head over to the MOCA North Miami, a museum dedicated to making contemporary art available to everyone. The MOCA has been open for nearly 40 years, displaying exhibitions and hosting events.

The MOCA has both permanent collections and rotating exhibitions and is open every day of the week except Monday!

The southern part of South Beach in Miami early in the morning as the sun is about to rise, the sky and beach are pale waiting for the sun that has just reached the skyline in the far end of the photo
The southern part of South Beach Miami
A Little Miami Pampering!

While you are “up there”, there is a spa at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort that is the largest in Miami Beach!

If you are into spending time and money on wellness, this place has a ton of pampering options for a tourist with tired feet.

Here, you find a crystal steam room, experiential rain showers, a Finnish sauna, an herbal laconium (that is a dry sauna), an igloo (!), a Jacuzzi, thermal loungers, and a rooftop swimming pool.

You can easily plan your entire day around the spa, but for your one-day itinerary, maybe a massage, a facial, or a body treatment?

All revitalized, you will be ready for an experience at the North Beach Bandshell (if there are any events that you like). The North Beach Bandshell is one of Miami’s most special and captivating performance places.

Originally built in 1961, this inviting amphitheater is on the National Register of Historic Places as an illustration of modern architecture in Miami.

When you are happy (if you don’t want to stay the evening), head for the nearest Miami Beach trolley stop (or get an Uber) and travel to South Beach.

Stroll around the famous Art Deco District down Ocean Drive in the sunset hours before you head for your pre-booked table at Blue Ribbons Miami for a sushi-ending to your Miami Beach Daycay.

Sushi restaurant in Miami Beach, with low tables, a warm sparingly lit atmosphere at night, with warm lights and a cozy atmosphere
Sushi in Miami Beach

3. Slow Travel | How To Spend A Whole Day In Miami South Beach

If you have more of a slow traveler mentality, you probably don’t want to run all over the city in a short day. Maybe you would like to choose one area of Miami to spend the day in. South Beach is a great choice!

A great slow-travel breakfast choice on South Beach could be Lilikoi Organic Living all the way to the southern tip of South Beach!

When you are all fueled up, take off your shoes and step over to South Point Park, which has an amazing waterfront park with vast green spaces for chilling and an uninterrupted view of the cruise ships passing.

Step right onto the beach for a slow walk in the waves and admire the beach life and unique Miami beach lifeguard towers that are scattered along the beach.

One of the famous Miami Beach lifeguard stations, a star shaped station in white and light purple on the white sand on a bright sunny summer day with blue skies over the ocean
Miami Beach lifeguard stations

Each one is unique in shape and color. Award-winning architect William Lane created the first vibrant, artfully designed lifeguard towers, which are now scattered regularly all over the beach.

When you reach about 9th street (got your Google Maps going?), walk off the street, and you are right by Lummus Park and the famous Muscle Beach!

(If you didn’t pack your gym kit, you could just be impressed by the sporty crowd hanging and doing their thing here).

The white equipment on Muscle Beach in Miami surrounded by palm trees on the white sand on a bright sunny summer day
Muscle Beach in Miami

From here, you are within walking distance of the Art Deco Historic District centered around Ocean Drive, again, which no visitor to Miami should miss.

After taking in the atmosphere, head over to Collins Avenue and continue your stroll. Collins Avenue is a great place for shopping or just browsing, with lots of shops and cafes.

South Beach Is Full Of Great Restaurants!
Ocean Drive around sunset, the colored lights around the houses has just come on, the sky is pale blue above, and the street is full of people, cars, and life surrounded by palm trees
Ocean Drive

You can find a lunch place anywhere here, just check out the menus displayed along the sidewalk and choose whichever place with the best ambiance for you!

Or stop by the Lincoln Road Mall, a walkable 10-block stretch of fun shopping & dining. If the walking is a bit much, consider renting a bike for the day to take you around a bit faster and get you to all your sights!

On Lincoln Road Mall, you find a Sunday farmers’ market with foods fresh from the harvest, a myriad of sidewalk cafes, brimming food halls like Lincoln Eatery and Time Out Market, brand stores, and vintage furnishings.

A couple of blocks from the beach between 14th and 15th street is the former art colony Española Way, a stretch of road filled with culinary adventure, vibrant atmosphere, and historic buzz.

Española Way was built to serve as an artists’ colony, modeled after romantic Mediterranean villages in France and Spain in the 20ies!

To further fuel your history and culture account, visit the Jewish Museum of Florida on Washington Avenue, The Wolfsonian on 10th and Washington, or Art By Mariano Picos Pelegri.

As the sunset grows closer on South Beach, head for Ocean Drive to catch the soft light of the day ending and look for a nice restaurant. Like the (very) elegant Giannis or the more relaxed Icon on Ocean.

4. How To Spend A Day In Miami Downtown

The Miami skyline at night, the sea and sky is dark, and the skyline is beautifully lit with thousands of lights from the buildings, streets and cars.
Miami skyline

One day in Downtown Miami means one day among lots of high-rises and the seafront to the Biscayne Bay.

DT Miami has an Atlantic Ocean waterfront lined with marinas, off-shore islands both natural and artificial, and all backed by architecturally impressive high-rise towers plus the odd palm tree or two.

B Bistro + Bakery downtown opens at 8 am and is a super place to start your Downtown Miami day.

The good thing about staying Downtown for the day is that you really don’t need a lot of transportation.

In a short space, you will find a lot of interesting sights and venues to visit.

Between sights and exploring, try lunch at French Cafe Bastille Downtown or the Italian Soya e Pomodoro.

Formerly known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, HistoryMiami Museum has been open to the public for 75 years! E

xperience numerous exhibitions and collections on an array of themes, including aviation, maritime, technology, and archaeology.

Towards the end of your day, the Bloom Skybar is an ultra-modern and colorfully furnished rooftop bar at the Langford Hotel on 1st Street.

It is Downtown Miami’s only sky bar and a perfect place to end your evening, on the weekends it stays open until 3 am. Check out the home page for events; maybe something fun is going on.

5. How To Spend A Day In Miami Full Of Romance!

To set the mood right from the get-go in the morning, why not bring the love of your life to join in a beach yoga with 3rd Street Beach Yoga at 7 am (!).

This is a pay-by-donation kind of thing, right on the beach for the early risers.

With or without the yoga start, you definitely need a breakfast place that is slow, cozy, and morning-friendly.

Morning yoga on the beach by a lifeguard station in Miami, the sky in a golden light from the rising sun
Morning Yoga

Head for a long brekkie at the Blue Matisse Doral, a restaurant at the Intercontinental, where you can book a table starting at 6:30 am!

When you are ready, book an Uber before you leave the table and head all the way across town to the World Erotic Art Museum on South Beach!

This erotic collection spans 20 rooms and includes ancient and contemporary art pieces from different cultures.

Then, get some air in the beautiful Soundscape Park on Lincoln Road, which displays an amazing landscape architecture of trees and plants, creating a tranquil oasis in the middle of the city streets.

Get Some Pro Tips For Great Food!

When you need to refuel, South Beach Cultural Food And Walking Tour make sure you get the best of everything when you are navigating the culinary scene in a city you don’t know.

Then Get Your Adrenaline Flowing In The Sky!
Flying a helicopter above Fort Lauderdale and Miami beach, the helicopter has a glass cabin, you can see my feet and the pilots feet, some of the instruments, and the sea and beach shoreline below us.
Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach

If you both are up for an adventure that gets your blood flowing, how about heading for the air?

A small plane tour over Miami is simply awesome, the blue skies and sensational skyline at their absolute best.

You need to get an Uber to head over to the airport, but I can tell you, it will be worth it (and you get champagne!)

The Superblue Miami immersive art experience on the mainland is a bit more low-key but a wonderful experience to share.

Travel through a mirrored maze, a multi-sensory interactive floral world, walk among clouds, and more.

For a little breather before the evening, how about the two of you get pampered in a spa treatment for an hour? MySpa at Intercontinental Miami has lots of happy people saying it is amazing; a time out here will get you ready and refreshed!

Then, end your romantic day with a meal in an incredible ambiance at Terras in East Little Havana, with a breathtaking view of the harbor, just for the two of you.

Photo from a boat trip on the vast everglades, the blank quiet water reflecting the blue sky with some white clouds, and grass is popping out of the water making the marshes look almost like dry land.
The vast Everglades

6. How To Spend A Day In Miami Solo!

Whether you are a seasoned solo traveler or pondering your first-ever solo journey, you either know or are about to find out that solo traveling is awesome.

If you don’t want to be alone your whole day, however, there are things you can do to ensure you have fun and are not deprived of human contact the entire day.

You need a serious explorer’s breakfast for this, so head over to Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop in Wynwood to start your day and test the Miami version of the Cuban sandwich.

Opt for a seat at the high counter and strike up a morning coffee conversation with someone.

From Enriqutas, you can easily explore the Wynwood district, which has more than 70 galleries and, of course, the famous Wynwood Walls.

A Day Cruise On Biscayne Bay Is A Must-Do!

After a bit of exploring, I do recommend you take a boat cruise of Biscayne Bay during the day.

This is an amazing way to get a view of the Miami skyline, as well as a bit of history and entertainment (gossip) about the city (celebrities).

This day cruise is generally referred to as the Millionaire’s Row Cruise!

Also, you automatically will visit the Bayside Marketplace, the Bayfront Park, and the Downtown area, where most boat tours leave from.

Unless you want to challenge your comfort zone even a little more while you are at it solo’ing? You need to book in advance, but I challenge you to take a helicopter tour over Miami.

Me taking a selfie in the helicopter right before take-off, smiling, with the headset on still on the tarmac
Ready to fly

Head over to the meeting point (in your booking), get your purse secured and phone ready, and off you go! You will get a unique aerial view of the city, landmarks, amazing beaches, and the sea that no bus will simply get you.

Having seen the beaches from the air (or not, anyway), I suggest you spend the rest of your day in Miami Beach.

Walk the beach, see the Art Deco District, go window shopping on Collins Avenue, have a late lunch or dinner at Ocean Drive, and admire the sunset and the chill South Beach evening vibe.

As a lover of views in general and rooftops in particular, there is no better way to enjoy dinner as the sun sets than from a rooftop terrace restaurant. The Watr at the Rooftop on Collins Avenue gives you it all!

7. How To Spend A Day In Miami Immersed In Luxury

If you go all in on a luxury daycay in Miami, there are no limits as to what you can do—maybe apart from the hours you have at your disposal.

Start your day with an amazing breakfast at Habitat on Collins Avenue from 7 am, where they have an extensive a la carte breakfast menu that will keep you seated for a while!

From there, you can walk 15 minutes along Collins Avenue (or Uber) over to Loews Miami Beach Hotel, where you can rent a daybed or a cabana for a few hours!

Lounge in gorgeous surroundings by the sea, and the experience even comes with your own butler!

When you have found your zen, you can go for a private tour of Miami in a classic convertible car, getting the absolute best sightseeing experience of that Miami city can offer.

A bright pink shiny classic car from the front on Miami Beach
Miami Beach

You will be dropped at your starting point unless you say something different.

May I suggest you drop off around Downtown Miami for an hour or two among the vibrant high-rise environment that is super different from Miami Beach?

Finish off your day on the water with a private evening boat tour including champagne, which lasts around two hours!

The night view of the Miami skyline from Biscayne Bay is no less than stunning, and a sip of champagne will not do any damage.

BONUS: What To Do In Miami For One Night!

Are you having a stopover or arriving late in your rental car on your way somewhere else? With only a few hours to spend, what should you do in Miami for one night?

Having the beautiful Biscayne Bay right there and a sunset at your disposal, a wonderful place to spend the twilight hour is on a sunset cruise outside the Miami skyline.

Get yourself over to Bayside Marketplace, where most of the cruises start (book in advance)!

Find yourself a seat on the top deck, sunglasses on, and a cold drink, and feel the calm descend while listening to the entertaining guide tell you all about the celebrities and gossip that is to be known.

Then grab an Uber that takes you quickly over to Miami Beach, where you can stroll the boardwalk of South Beach and admire the Art Deco district on foot or on a bike.

Finally, you can end your night in one of the little restaurants along the boardwalk or on Collins Avenue. Or, if you feel like treating yourself, book a table at Habitat, where over 800 people have left five out of five stars for the experience before you.

Where To Stay In Miami For One Night

If you make it easy on yourself, you will narrow your search to South Beach. It’s the most convenient area for getting the most out of your 1-day Miami trip itinerary.

You will be a short taxi trip away from Downtown Miami and other interesting neighborhoods on the mainland side, as well as a free trolley tour away from exploring Mid and North Beach.

Where To Stay In Miami Cheap

When we talk about the “cheap option” in Miami, it is not like the “cheap option” in Asia or South America, where you find lots of really nice and cheap hostels and backpacker-friendly options. Miami simply is not cheap!

However, if you are willing to share your space, it can also be kind of cheap in Miami if you choose a hostel.

If not, these two places are still among the budget options, with a really nice vibe and amenities and all great reviews (including from me), so you will be taken good care of here in the heart of everything!

Budget option 1: Generator Miami Hostel is getting amazing reviews all over. A design hotel located on Collins Avenue, with 24-hour reception, free wifi, an outdoor pool & bar.

Also, the award-winning Jim & Neesie restaurant is super-fancy to be a cheap option!

Budget option 2: Freehand Miami, is also a design-hotel where guests can choose between dormitories and elegant single rooms.

Five minutes from the beach, the Freehand has an outdoor terrace with a pool, two craft cocktail bars, a seasonal restaurant, and a 24/7 front desk. And an amazing ambiance!

The bar at night in the Freehand Miami, with a smiling bartender behind the bar
Freehand Miami

Where To Stay In Miami On A Budget

Mid-range option 1: Sextant Coconut Grove, a beautiful hotel where you get a delicate room, private terrace, free parking, free wifi, and a swimming pool.

Coconut Grove is also close to Calle Ocho, the famous and vibrant shopping street in Miami!

Mid-range option 2: 1647 #3 Cuban Theme, a beautiful private studio 5 minutes from Wynwood airport.

A short Uber distance to “everything”, Design District, South Beach, Port, and Brickell. You have free wifi, some parking (check beforehand), and a fully stocked kitchen!

Where To Stay In Miami High-End

High-end option 1: Mandarin Oriental Miami in Downtown, the entertainment district, and on the waterfront.

This luxury hotel features an outdoor pool and poolside bar, buffet breakfast, an on-site spa, gym, Wi-Fi, and an excellent restaurant serving Peruvian cuisine.

High-end option 2: Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, close to the University of Miami. Enjoy the garden, terrace, and pool with cabanas and sun loungers, or visit the sauna!

Buffet breakfast, rainfall shower in your room, and (even though in Miami) a cozy fireplace in the lobby!

Interesting Facts About Miami And City Districts!

You need a little information to help you choose which part of Miami to prioritize or where to stay if you decide to spend the night!

Here are some interesting facts about Miami and the different parts of town, their characteristics, and what you find where!

Greater Downtown Miami

The city scape in Brickel Miami, with streets surrounded by shiny highrises
Brickell Avenue Miami

Downtown Miami is the historic center of the city, the oldest settled area with early pioneer settlements back in the early 19th century.

This is the core of the Miami Metropolitan area, with a population of just over 90.000 people.

Miami Downtown is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of the metropolitan area, which also has the third-highest concentration of high-rises in the US.

Downtown Miami and the adjoining Brickell area are hubs of international finance, dining, arts, and entertainment that no traveler should miss.

The Downtown area is also home to many parks, major museums, education centers, banks, company headquarters, courthouses, government offices, theaters, shops, and many of the oldest buildings in Miami.

Park West Downtown

Park West is a part of Greater Downtown Miami. The area got its name because it is located just west of Museum Park, a larger park on the shore of Biscayne Bay that is the venue for several large music festivals, concerts, and conventions.

Grab your morning coffee from El Gallito Coffee Shop, Sagrado Pastry Shop & Coffee Bar, or Pasión Del Cielo to start your day exploring.

Visit the Bayfront Park, built in 1896 as a small park that now spans 32 acres in the heart of Downtown Miami and sits right on Biscayne Bay.

Here is a wide bay walk, winding walkways, a nice beach area, a stunning fountain, and a waterfall that dates back to 1926. It is also close to Bayside Marketplace if you feel like doing a bit of shopping (or just browsing, that’s ok too).

There are also plenty of dining options in Park West, like the Fratelli Milano, Taco Chido, or KOMODO Restaurant, for a nice restaurant experience.

Omni – The Art & Entertainment District Downtown

The Arts & Entertainment District, previously known as Omni in Greater Downtown, is one of Miami’s smaller neighborhoods.

There is so much to see and do in this small area that it has quickly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

The Arts & Entertainment District is home to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Perez Art Museum, and the old Omni International Mall.

Also known as the media and entertainment district, it is an urban residential neighborhood with many high-rise residential towers, giving it a particular and quite famous skyline!

The harbor area outside Downtown Miami in the early evening, with lots of boats, the city behind them is starting to light up against the plae blue sky
Harbor area outside Downtown Miami

Wynwood District

Wynwood is one of Miami’s most vibrant districts, known for its bountiful number of vivid murals!

Here, you find Wynwood Walls, an amazing outdoor museum displaying large-scale works by some of the world’s most esteemed street artists.

Over 50 artists created the artwork at Wynwood Walls from 16 different countries. The neighborhood streets have transformed old warehouses into craft breweries, bistros, bars, and funky art galleries where trendy young crowds find their way.

Here are also chic boutiques, fashionable restaurants, and into-the-morning bars for the night owls.

One of Miami’s oldest cemeteries, the City of Miami Cemetery, is in Wynwood, as well as the historic Women’s Club that was formed in 1900 when a group of rebellious women began meeting weekly to socialize and read (a scandal at the time).

Wynwood is also home to some of Miami’s oldest churches and synagogues.

Little Havana In Miami

A vibrant bar in Little Havana with live music, lots of guests, and a busy bar with colorful yellow walls, brown bar, and details in red and yellow.
Live music in Little Havana

Little Havana was born under that name in the 60ies after Batista’s overthrow when Cuban dissidents fled Castro’s regime and began a new life in the USA.

The population of Little Havana today is a little over 50,000, of which around 98% are Latino, the vast majority of Cuban origin.

Little Havana is known as a center of social, cultural, and political activity in Miami, centered around Calle Ocho (street 8).

Calle Ocho and its surrounding blocks are jam-packed with shops, restaurants, and cafés. They’re loaded with Cuban influences and Latin American flair.

The whole area has vibrant street life, lots of restaurants, music, cultural activities, small businesses, politically passionate people (often debated over a game of domino), and warmth among its residents.

Little Havana is also home to several festivals, including the Calle Ocho Festival, where you can stroll through 15 blocks filled with entertainment, musical stages, international food, and sampling sites.

Famous landmarks you find in Little Havana are the Walk of Fame (for famous Latin artists and personalities), the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, Plaza de la Cubanidad, Domino Park, the Tower Theater, and José Martí Park.

A close up photo of a domino game in little Havana in Domino Park. You see the chips, and all the players hands
Domino Park in Little Havana

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is a narrow, palm-strewn island that lies like a barrier between Miami, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and Biscayne Bay in the west. 

It is home to incredible luxury hotels and hipster boutique hotels, four golf courses, a neverending stretch of sand and beach activities, high- and low-end shopping, and sparkling nightlife 24/7.

Miami Beach is the only city in the US that is bordered by two national parks, the Biscayne National Park and the Everglades National Park, which have a wide variety of fun activities to engage in.

Glowing sunrise over Miami Beach, the white sands and a green lifeguard station
Sunrise over Miami Beach

And, of course, there is the famous boardwalk following along the Atlantic Sea beach line!

This barrier island has beaches that stretch for around ten miles from north to south and is divided into North, Mid, and South Beach.

Encompassing world-renowned art galleries, first-class hotels, second-to-none dining, designer shopping, and a unique architectural style that makes it one of the world’s most visually distinctive regions.

In 1979, Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

4 Quick Facts About Miami Beach

  1. The first structure to be built on Miami Beach was the Biscayne House of Refuge, constructed in 1876. Its purpose was to provide food, water, and a return to civilization for people who were shipwrecked! 
  2. In Miami Beach, you find the largest collection of Art Deco Architecture in the world!
  3. Miami Beach is one of the few man-made islands in the United States, as part of the artificial Venetian Islands in Biscayne Bay.
  4. The Miami Beach area is divided into three zones: South, Central, and North Beach!

South Beach Miami

The southern end, South Beach, is known for its above-average density of celebrities and the early-20th-century Art Deco Historic District with its characteristic pastel-colored buildings.

The South Beach Art Deco District is an eccentric collection of more than 800 architecturally protected buildings from the 1930s and 1940s – a definite must-see.

The Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and comprises hundreds of hotels, apartments, and other structures erected between 1923 and 1943. 

Bright yellow Art Deco building with green details against the blue sky in South Beach
Art Deco building in South Beach

On South Beach, you also find the famous Ocean Drive, the Lummus Park and Muscle Beach outdoor gym, Nikki Beach Club as well as numerous bars, restaurants, clubs, and cafes.

When the sun sets, you can experience a flamboyant drag show at The Palace, or tuck into Latin American diners along Española Way.

Back in the 1920s, this area was one of the first commercial parts of Miami Beach, created to look like a historic Mediterranean Spanish village!

I stayed at Viajero Miami on the corner of Collins Ave and 11th St in July, in the middle of shops, restaurants, and cafes, and a couple of minutes from the beach and Lummus Park.

The Viajero is more of a hotel than a hostel that offers a range from shared dormitories on the budget end to elegant suites with a terrace on the luxury end.

In the Miami heat, there is also a chic pool and bar area in the backyard, where I had the best watermelon cocktail!

The bar at the Viajero Miami in South Beach, with brown stools with black seats next to the elegant art deco style par in reddish wood, the walls decorated with red patterned wall paler
Viajero Miami bar next to the pool

Mid Beach Miami

On Mid Beach Miami, you can enjoy a mix of the relaxed coolness of South Beach and the quiet elegance of North Beach.

The area is more relaxed and quiet than the neighboring south, a great getaway for couples and families, insightful travelers who are interested in architecture, history, and design, and lovers of food and finer experiences.

This sundry neighborhood stretches between 24th and 60th streets, with fashionable hotels, chic restaurants, and lounges; it’s an arts district of its own.

A highlight of this section of Miami Beach is the Faena District, a long passage of arts and culture stretching from 32nd to 36th streets. Faena District is infusing a cultural renaissance in Miami, creating a vibrant community.

Hotels in this neighborhood run the high-low spectrum, from the hip Freehand Miami (where I stayed for 5 days, LOVED it), a fancy hostel slash boutique hotel where a relaxed vibe hits you from you enter the door.

Freehand is also home to the famous cocktail haven The Broken Shaker, a really cool bar and restaurant in the backyard.

On the luxury end, you find the glamorous The Confidant, a stunning high-end resort-type hotel sitting right on the beach!

On Mid Beach, you also find North Bay Road, known as Millionaire’s Row. From the Indian Creek boardwalk, you can spot the insane yachts and mansions like beads on a chain across the pond.

North Beach Miami

The neighborhood that runs from 60th Street up to the town of Surfside is North Beach, a largely residential area that has an architectural style called Miami Modernism (MiMo) architecture.

North Beach’s Ocean Terrace is described as fast becoming a smaller version of South Beach, but it still has a more tranquil atmosphere.

The North Beach Oceanside Park runs as a nine-block long green lung with inviting oceanfront hotels and cafés “up here”, and the beach always only steps away.

Oceanside Park is a family-friendly area with plenty of parking, BBQ grills, picnic benches, and even a couple of dog runs!

Aerial photo of North Beach Oceanside park, a large forest park separating the residential area from the sandy beach
North Beach Oceanside Park

If park life is a bit too static for you, spend a few hours or a day at Normandy Shores Golf Club, test your tennis skills at North Beach Bandshell, or try out your balance skills at North Beach Public Skate Park.

In North Beach, you find a lot of great restaurants around the Normandy Fountain.

Jewish and Italian communities who settled here first brought their delis and trattorias, and you will also find a variety of Latin American foods like Peruvian, Colombian, Mexican, and Argentinian flavors! 

Transport In Miami

The easiest way to get around Miami, in general, when you don’t know the city, is by booking an Uber.

Around Miami, there are also free trolleys in different parts of the city, just make sure you get the schedules right and have your map up and ready!

You can easily download the Miami trolley app from the app store, which is an interactive trolley tracker in real time.

If you choose to take on the Miami Dade public transport, bus, and Metrobus it is probably smart to familiarize yourself with the routes a bit in advance and download the GO Miami Dade Transit Mobile App.

The Metrobus is $2.25 each way, and you can pay cash or with Apple Pay.

How To Get To Miami

If you are not driving, you can travel to Miami domestically by train or bus and domestically and internationally by plane to the following airports.

Airports In Miami

Booked Yet? Compare Flight Prices Here!

Miami Bus Stations

  • Grayhound Bus Station Miami is convenient for those who are looking to travel in or through Miami Express, FL.
  • Miami Bus Station, a rapid transit, commuter rail, intercity rail, local bus, and intercity bus transportation hub in Miami-Dade County

Miami Train Station

Wrap-up How To Spend A Day In Miami!

Wow, that was a lot!

I hope you are not completely overwhelmed. Hopefully, you have found a lot of useful tips on how to spend a day in Miami, Florida!

Of course, you can mix and match as you wish, or maybe you found something completely different that suits you better in the links.

Either way, enjoy your Miami Daycay.

Related blog posts:

23 Best Things To Do Solo In Miami From A Frequent Visitor

7 Best Boutique Hotels South Beach For Solo Travelers From An Expert

YES, A Day Trip To Cuba From Miami Is Possible! Here Is How To By An Expert

Like The Article? Share it!

how to spend a day in Miami
How to spend a day in Miami second option

Similar Posts