Miami Beach is a place like nowhere else in Florida, and probably nowhere else in the world! You would be hard pressed to find a city with as beautiful beaches and so much culture. I have had trips here where I could have spent all my time at the hotel pool and beach, but there is so much else to see outside of that.
I have outlined the eleven best things to do in Miami Beach. Keep in mind, this list only covers things to do in Miami Beach and not other areas like Wynwood and Coral Gables. If you are staying on the beach side, all of these activities will be very easy to get to. If not, you can park in a public lot, as there are many around the beach areas. Most of these are fun for any age and any type of vacation. If you even do just a few things on this list, I think you will be very satisfied with your time in Miami Beach!
Take an Art Deco Tour
Miami is one of the best places in the world to see Art Deco architecture. Because of the prominence of this style when Miami Beach was being developed, parts of the area still look like a time capsule from the 1930’s! One of my most recommended things to do in Miami Beach is to take an art deco tour.
Ocean Drive and Collins Drive are home to hundreds of buildings still preserved with their pastel colors and all. You can take a paid tour and find more about the designs and history. However, I put together a self-guided Art Deco of Miami Beach blog post, so you can make your own walking tour for free! This post should have all the information you need to see the Art Deco sights.
Relax on the Beach
The beaches here are world famous and there’s a reason for that! Miami Beach has over four miles of gorgeous, white sand beaches. In fact, a lot of this sand is actually brought in from the Bahamas to help with erosion issues.
You cant go wrong with any of the beaches on Miami Beach. A lot of the hotels, like The Confidante, have their own private beach access with lounge chairs. There is no need to worry if you don’t have a hotel like that though! Lummus Park off 11th Street is one of the most well known beaches in the world and you only have to pay a small price for parking. If you want to avoid crowds, India Beach Park and North Shore Park are beautiful spots to hang out at.
My favorite public beach in Miami is South Pointe Park, which is right on the end of South Beach. The views are insane here! If you don’t mind a bit of a drive, head to Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne to feel like you are on your own island.
Miami is known for being a party city and they start the day early with parties by the pool. One of the most quintessential things to do in Miami Beach is to go to a pool party. There are tons of different ones going on all over the city day and night.
If you don’t want to pay a cover fee then The Clevelander is the place to be with lively pool parties and top notch DJ’s every weekend. We went our first time here and aside from the overpriced drinks, had a blast! On our last visit to Miami, we had a more low key time at the Confidante which had a pool party with a DJ as well. Most hotels do this on weekends.
There are plenty of luxurious pool parties to experience and I hear the 1 Hotel Rooftop is one of the best. Plan to drop at least $100 per person to get a spot at a place like here, the Shore Club, Fountainebleau or the Standard. Next time I go to Miami Beach, I will probably check out the Broken Shaker for a pool party. This is one of my favorite bars already. Considering it’s free and has some of the best cocktails around, it is definitely a great option.
Shop in Style
If you like shopping, you have definitely came to the right place! Of course, Miami Beach is full of famous designer stores where you can find the latest trends. I love walking around Lincoln Road Mall. This is an outdoor shopping area with a mix of high-end boutiques, as well as typical mall stores and all sorts of cool statues and architecture. They even have a farmers market on the weekends!
The newest Miami Beach shopping area is Sunset Harbour. Here, you can find trendy boutiques with lesser-known brands alongside some of the best eats in South Beach. Even if you don’t like shopping, the people watching here can be fun! For more shopping options, Wynwood has some unique shops worth checking out.
Have a Night on The Town
This blog post is mainly trying to prove that there is more to Miami Beach than nightlife, but obviously, there’s nowhere like Miami for a party! Most people find going out to be one of their favorite things to do in Miami Beach. We are not really clubbing people and have mainly stuck to rooftop and outdoor bars like Area 31 and the previously mentioned Broken Shaker. I have put together a list of the best places for dancing the night away for those who want that though!
These establishments vary from extremely expensive and upscale to affordable fun. Still most drinks will be overpriced and you may encounter lines. Some of the most famous are The Clevelander, STORY and LIV. If you have some serious cash, you may be interested in Mynt Lounge, Nikki Beach and Soho Beach house.
A more attainable place that most would enjoy is the BASEMENT at the EDITION. There’s tons of room to dance and even a bowling alley and a skating rink. Another spot without lines that is popular right now is Do Not Sit on the Furniture. No matter where you end up, I am sure you will have a memorable night in Miami Beach!
Stroll on South Pointe Pier
To get a taste of nature in the city, you should definitely go to South Pointe Park and Pier. This free park is located on the southern tip of Miami and offers panoramic views of the city and beaches. There is ample beach space and plenty of greenery and even a splash pads for kids.
I think the highlight is walking on the pier though! It’s the perfect area to spot dolphins or other sea creatures. Take a short stop here for pretty pictures and a scenic walk, or stay longer for a picnic in the park or fishing off the pier.
Visit the Local Museums for Culture and History
The two main museums of Miami Beach are on very different ends of the spectrum. The first one that draws a lot of visitors is the World Erotic Art Museum. This is tasteful gallery of art that is not suitable for children. It definitely is a very “Miami” experience!
Conversely, there is the Jewish Museum of Florida which features exhibits that tell the history of Jewish people in Florida. This is accompanied by a Holocaust Memorial statue a few blocks north. Obviously, this one is a lot more educational that the Erotic Art museum, but both are very unique attractions!
Explore Miami by Boat
Once you have seen Miami from land, it is time to take it to the water! There are all sorts of cool aquatic tours you can to learn about the city or just have a good time. Tours start at around $40 per person and get very expensive if you want a private yacht experience!
I think the ideal boat tour is the Speedboat Sightseeing Tour. This is a nice mix of exciting and informative. However, you can also take a Millionaire’s Row cruise and marvel at the mansions on the shoreline. Then their are large diner cruises that feature dancing ad music or even take you all the way to Key Biscayne. This is just the beginning though as you can really find any watercraft that suits your needs, including jet skis, duck boat or catamaran tours!
See the Botanical Gardens of Miami
To experience the tropics, I recommend visiting the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. This garden boasts 2.6 acres of jungle landscapes, diverse flowers and a plethora of butterflies right in the middle of the city! This includes a Japanese garden, a koi pand, a wetland garden and an edible garden.
The best part is admission is free and you can go anytime from 9 AM to 5 PM. The only exception is that it is closed on Mondays and major holidays. This is a fun way to see a different side of Miami for a couple of hours.
Tour the Town via Bicycle
One of the most fun things I have done here was renting a bike for an enjoyable ride around the city. A lot of hotels rent them for free, but the city offers affordable Citi Bikes at a variety of drop off points. If you want a more retro experience, you can roller blade through the city as well!
Maybe one day Miami Beach will have the scooters you can rent via an app, but for now the bicycles work pretty simply. You enter your payment information into a kiosk and then find another kiosk when you want to drop it off. When it is too hot to walk outside, this is the way to see more of the strip with the breeze blowing by!
Work Out on the Beach
Miamians are serious about their fitness! You can run on the beach boardwalk or take a yoga class on the beach any day of the year! 3rd Street Beach Yoga starts at 7 AM every day and sometimes at 5 or 6 Pm at night.
There are also group workouts if you want to get really serious. a Boot Camp is offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 AM off 73rd Street. A lot of hotels are fond of pop-up fitness classes as well. There was a boxing class going on at the hotel when we were there on the patio with amazing views. If you indulge to much on your trip, you can still get your workout on in Miami Beach
My Top 11 Things To Do in Miami Beach
This list covers all my favorite things to do in Miami Beach! I seem to always find more whenever I go, so I will update this post if anything else catches my attention. If you would like more information for your trip to Miami, check out my Ultimate Travel Guide. I addition to things to do in Miami Beach, this also includes attractions i the surrounding areas, places to eat and hotels to stay at!
Did I miss any of your favorite Miami things to do? Let me know in the comments and I will check it out next time! For other Florida vacation ideas check out my travel guides to St. Petersburg, New Smyrna Beach, and the Space Coast.