With all the Miami attractions, this paradisaical sun-kissed city on the beach has grown into a luxury getaway destination which is accessible than ever. With its multicultural neighborhoods, colorful background and a blend of creative inspirations, it attracts some of the highest-profile celebrities in the world. You will be constantly entertained with all the best things to do in Miami! From the majesty of the white sand beaches to a lively party and sophisticated party scene amount many of the other tourist attractions in Miami Florida – there are plenty of Miami attractions to keep any beach-loving, sun-craving traveler, perfectly happy. But there are many things to do in Miami that we’ve yet to tell you about, so buckle up!
South Florida, in general, is crowded with various cultures and an atmosphere that fits anyone. It can take you back in time with its classic architecture not common to the United States. It can also entertain the non-beach goers with nature as you’ve never seen before including the alligators of Everglades National Park. Other Miami attractions include classic cars, pop culture in the film and music themes, and even a quick day trip to Bahamas to immerse yourself in another country’s culture!
In this guide, we are going to explore Miami and the surrounding area from a variety of perspectives to give you the complete picture of one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of the Americas. We will look at the best things to do in Miami and other fulfilling Miami attractions and ideas.
Read on for more enticing details about the best things to do in Miami.
Top Tourist Attractions in Miami Florida
1. South Beach
What Miami attractions list would be complete without at least including South Beach somewhere on the list? The rich and famous; glitz and glam; prestige and power – we have a list of other top beaches in Miami but this one might top the list of Miami attractions. Known for its active nightlife, ocean-side dining, and of course the beach and luxury. There are loads of things to do in Miami; a visit to South Beach is one of them.
Read more in our Guide to visiting South Beach Miami.
2. Miami to Bahamas Day Trip
A day trip to Bahamas is exactly what you need to fill your Miami vacation itinerary. It’s just within an arm’s reach of the coast of Florida and is easily accessible via day trip or a longer tour of the out islands. Usually, a ferry can get you there, but you’ll lose hours on-end that could be spent relaxing on the Bahamas beaches.
That’s why we recommend a day tour through the air — it will only take around one hour to reach the Bahamas and will allow you the best views you can ask of the Bahamas. Not to mention the fact that ferries can’t take you to the unexplored out islands as a plane can. Quite simply, you will see more and have more time by taking the plane with Bahamas Air Tours.
Learn more about the amazing Bahamas Day Tour experience in my full review of the Miami to Bahamas Day Trip article, including visiting the famous the Swimming Pigs at Pig Beach.
3. Lock & Load Museum
Open to the public and free admission, the Lock & Load Museum makes one of the best budget Miami attractions. Experience a well-researched educational look at the weaponry of the past, present, and future. Also included in the collection are missiles, battleship projectiles, and swords among other military/wartime items. In addition to checking out the museum, visitors can try the machine gun experience with many of the displayed firearms.
4. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Built back in 1916 as a winter getaway, this luxury villa is a shout to the Italian Renaissance. The museum holds much of the original furnishings and artwork and is surrounded by lively, well-maintained gardens. Make sure it is open before you go! It’s not open on Tuesdays and it is usually closed by half-past four o’clock on other days.
5. Catch an Event at the American Airlines Arena
If you’re an NBA fan, you can check out the Miami Heat play at the American Airlines Center. If basketball is not in season, there is a schedule full of events and big concerts at the arena which is occupied almost every night. Not only does it host a wide variety of entertainment, it is also marvelous to look at for any architect.
6. Zoological Wildlife Foundation
If zoos are your thing, Zoological Wildlife Foundation Miami doesn’t fall short of expectations. It is the only zoo in South Florida with as many chances to see some truly exotic animals up-close. Inside the zoo, more than 40 exotic species are kept at the facility with many available for interactive experiences. The five-acre area is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Miami Florida and houses everything from domestic animals and primates to large predatory birds and mammals.
7. Wynwood Walls
This is yet another great free option for all budget travelers and others alike! Wynwood Walls was created in 2009 by the famous artist, Tony Goldman, featuring a large collection of the world’s best street art. If you’re into an alternative art scene, Wynwood Walls will be one of the top Miami attractions for you.
8. Miami Trolley Adventure
Riding the Miami Trolley has become one of the top Miami attractions and best things to do in Miami for a cheaper self-guided tour around the beach city. Just like the trolley of San Francisco, Miami’s trolley will take you around a large portion of the city at a price more affordable than a taxi.
9. Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami is one of the top tourist attractions in Miami Florida for several reasons. Being one of the largest zoos in Florida, it occupies almost 750 acres and is home to more than 3,000 animals from over 500 different species. Of the inhabitants, more than forty species are classified as endangered or on the verge of extinction. The zoo also houses more than 1,000 species of trees, palms and other plants, and over 100 special educational exhibits.
10. Miami Design District
The Miami Design District is one of the up-and-coming tourist attractions in Miami Florida. The neighborhood is dedicated to modern and innovative fashion, design, architecture, and culinary experiences. It’s a nice place to people watch if nothing else interests you about it. You can see the newest hotspot of Miami tourism in Miami Design District.
11. Safari Edventure
Yet another of the Miami attractions that gives you a chance to experience exotic wildlife! Safari Edventure is, perhaps, the most interactive of the options we’ve listed so far. Hug a Kangaroo, hold an alligator, play with wolves, pet a sloth, or do all of the above! It’s all but guaranteed you will get an up-close experience with over 100 species of wildlife from five continents around the world. Safari Edventure’s intimate experiences make it one of the best things to do in Miami.
12. Gesu Catholic Church
As soon as you step into the Gesu Catholic Church of Miami, you may be confused that you haven’t left America altogether and flown across the Atlantic to an Old World European country. This cathedral certainly has the feel of a European cathedral and will potentially transport you to a new continent. It holds regular service and is considered one of the top tourist attractions in Miami Florida.
13. Deering Estate
The Deering Estate is an environmental preserve with lush natural areas where fossil bones have been found from as long ago as 50,000 years. From canoe tours to butterfly walks and guided nature hikes, the Deering Estate has diverse activities for the whole family to enjoy. General admission is $15 for adults and $7 children (ages 4-14) but is usually closed in the early afternoon on most days.
14. Brickell City Center
The Brickell City Center is a hub of activity for tourism for Miami activities. The multitude of things to do in Miami Brickell City Center make it one of the most popular hangouts of the city. Three levels of shops and restaurants form downtown’s “city-within-a-city.” With many different culinary experiences, this area is one of a foodie’s dream Miami attractions.
15. Pig Beach Bahamas
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, is just a short trip away. Here, at Pig Beach, you will be able to experience the loveable pink Exuma pigs which swim freely in the Cays. You can feed them, pet them, and relax in the white sand that they roam around. How did pigs get to the Bahamas? That’s a folktale that is often disputed, but you can read more about the famous Bahamas Swimming Pigs.
16. Bayfront Park
Known as one of the best places in Miami to spend an afternoon, Bayfront Park has many things to do in Miami but it’s best for relaxation and people-watching. Located close to hotels with lovely parks and a beautiful harbor, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend an afternoon.
17. Monkey Jungle
Monkey Jungle is a truly unique designated wildlife area and discovery center established in 1935. It is located in a natural subtropical forest in southern Miami. The wildlife here lives just as they would in their native habitats. One can reasonably expect a very real and lively encounter with some of these amazing creatures which makes it one of the best things to do in Miami. It’s a 30-acre park with over 4,000 primates running free throughout the reserve. Imagine that.
18. The Falls Shopping Center
Miami is often known for its trendy fashion and shopping experiences and the Falls Shopping Center is one of the epicenters of all that action. Shop-a-holics unite at this gorgeous shopping center which is usually decorated according to the season and full of amenities.
19. Witness the Bahamas like the Astronauts — from the Sky!
Astronauts have been quoted as they descend from space that the Bahamas Cays are the most beautiful region of Earth from an aerial view. It is time you put their theory to the test! By taking the air tour to the Cays, you make extraordinary time for yourself to make the most of your day trip from Miami. In the comfort of a private plane (in which everyone has a window seat), you will see the Bahamas as few have. It’s a uniquely rare experience that is perfect during your Miami vacation.
20. Bayside Marketplace
Looking for a place to enjoy a drink along the water (or on it)? Grab a seat at one of Bayside Marketplace’s famous restaurants or set off on a sunset cruise touring Biscayne Bay’s islands. With a selection of live music joints and a cuisine foodies will get lost in, Bayside Marketplace is one of the best things to do in Miami when the weather is nice (every day in south Florida).
21. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
Take a step away from the hustle of Miami and visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. This is just one of the Florida botanical gardens that are all about the tropics. You will find a wide array of exotic plants and reptiles. The entire garden is divided into two regions: The Uplands and The Lowlands. These gardens are one of the best things to do in Miami, especially for garden lovers.
22. Miami Auto Museum
With a multitude of exhibits, including a great collection from James Bond movies, Hollywood films, and even a super car room, car fanatics will be frolicking like little children. A favorite seems to be the Batman film collection, which is a great way to spend the afternoon in Miami.
23. Miami Seaquarium
Conveniently located at the top of Virginia Key, the Miami Seaquarium is one of the Miami attractions everyone should see. There are worthwhile shows such as the Killer Whale Show, Flipper Show, Crocodile Flats, Shark Channel, Manatee Exhibit, and Sea Lion Show. The Miami Seaquarium features dining options, playgrounds, and picnic grounds among other amentities that will keep you busy the entire day. Because it is situated on Biscayne Bay, there isn’t a better location for a sea-themed aquarium.
Best Miami Attractions for the perfect Vacation
As we mentioned within the list of Miami attractions, the vacation of a lifetime doesn’t have to stay in Miami. Miami, in addition to being an action-packed beach destination, is also a hub for other wonderful places around the world and, mostly, throughout the Caribbean Sea. For example, it is only an arm’s length flight away to the Bahamas. The pristine turquoise waters, tropical island culture, laid-back lifestyle, and a rich culinary experience awaits you just an hour from Miami. For more information see the Bahamas Travel Guide.
A Miami to Bahamas day trip by plane is a ride of a lifetime. Whether you’re looking to book a romantic getaway a part of your Miami Vacation for your significant other or looking for fun on Pig Beach Bahamas with the entire family, a trip to the Bahamas Out Islands is one of the key advantages of vacationing in Miami or the greater South Florida area. With trips leaving from Miami and Fort Lauderdale every day, you’re guaranteed to find a spot on your trip of a lifetime.
We have included a lot of information on some of the great Miami attractions on offer in the city. In this article, we have unraveled dozens of things to do in Miami from cultural neighborhoods to historical homes; from luxury shopping centers to thriving sports and concerts venues; from glittering beaches to tamed but exciting monkey jungles. There are many more Miami attractions to add to this list, but there’s simply not enough time to include everything.