Insider Tips: Planning a trip to Miami
Megan & Aram is a travel blog that focuses mostly on travel in the Nordics and Eastern Europe with the occasional trip beyond those regions. We love coffee, promoting small businesses, and sports.
What should I do on my first trip to Miami?
Miami is a city of contrasts and is easily one of the most dynamic American cities. If you're visiting for the first-time, you will definitely want to check out the Art Deco buildings in South Beach. Not only is South Beach home to these renowned buildings, but the area is also famous for its vibrant nightlife! If you're into art and color, check out Wynwood, a neighborhood famous for its Wynwood Walls... but it really has so much more to offer. You can find delicious food, cultural centers, and more there. And one of the best things to do in Miami is actually to take a day trip to the Everglades! This unique eco-system is home to alligators, snakes, crocodiles, birds, and more. You can hike in the park, or even take an airboat ride just outside of the US National Park.
What are some hidden gems to see in Miami?
Many people that visit Miami get stuck on the beautiful beaches of the city (not a bad thing at all) but there is so much more to explore, starting with the food scene of the city. Head to Little Havana and grab a coffee and sandwich at a small, family-owned business there. Then find the best ceviche place near you on a map and check it out. The city has a remarkable food scene with its many Caribbean, Central American, and South American transplants to the place. Another place that many people fail to visit when there is Key Biscayne National Park. This US National Park is mostly water and you can catch a boat out there and enjoy the unique place! While Key West is a popular day trip from Miami, the Florida Keys have a lot more to offer than just Key West. Spend a morning at Bahia Honda State Park in the keys and you will quickly see for yourself.
How much time should I spend in Miami?
If you are not slotting aside time for the beach, you can see the main highlights of Miami in 3-4 days. However, a week will allow you to explore beyond the city limits and take advantage of some of the cool places nearby (like the Everglades!). You can also take a day trip to Key West, or even the Bahamas. A full week in Miami will give you the flexibility to enjoy a lot of what the South Florida city has to offer.
What food is Miami known for?
You will find Cuban food ever-present in the city, but also be on the lookout for Haitian, Jamaican, Venezuelan, Peruvian, and more. Venezuelan arepas are a quick and easy eat for lunch and Peruvian ceviche makes for a nice, sit-down dinner. The food truck culture is alive in Miami, as well, and you can find a variety of dishes at your fingertips. If you're into fine dining, don't worry, Miami has that as well. Spend a night and head to Joe's Stone Crab in South Beach where you can get local, seasonal stone crabs from October until May. It is one of the most famous places in the city.
What is the best way to get around Miami?
Miami has remarkably good public transportation for a US city (in my opinion). The Miami Metrorail is a 25-mile rail system that runs from the Miami International Airport to downtown Miami (and further to Kendall). This is a quick and easy way to get into the city where you will have additional options from there. Once you're in Miami, you can use the Metromover, a free public transportation service that conects Downtown Miami and Brickell. You can also hop onto a Metrobus which will take you to various other parts of the city. Other options for getting around are the trolley system and taxi apps."
What are the best months to visit Miami?
Miami is located in the South of Florida and has a pretty desirable climate all year round! However, it is cooler and far less rainy during the winter months (after fall when the tropics are active). You will experience fewer mosquitoes and evening storms during this time, making it easier to maximize your time without weather playing a factor. During the summer months, it is hotter and stickier as the air is more humid and you will experience more rain. Nevertheless, there is not a 'bad' time to visit Miami.
What are the best neighborhoods for food?
Miami is full of exciting (and diverse) neighborhoods. One can't-miss location is Little Havana. You can take a guided tour of the neighborhood to learn its history and see the best of Calle Ocho, the most well-known street in the area. South Beach is iconic for its Art Deco and nightlife and it is worth a visit. Be sure to also check out Wynwood, which used to be a warehouse district. Today, you can find cool concept shops, delicious eateries, and a lot of vibrant street art (including the famous Wynwood Walls). Miami's Design District is famous for its art galleries and high-end fashion boutiques and is a great place to go shopping. Coconut Grove and Coral Gables are two other neighborhoods to put on your Miami itinerary.
What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?
Miami is a shopping paradise and you will find some of the nation's best shops and boutiques in the city. The Design District and Bal Harbour are great for those looking for designer pieces. Lincoln Road Mall in South Beach is also a good place to explore for your standard finds, but it also is home to some art galleries and museums. If you're an outlet shopper, check out Dolphin Mall where you'll find the largest outlet mall in Miami.
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Miami?
Miami has a plethora of neighborhoods to stay in and while it is touristy, it really is fun to stay in Miami Beach on your first trip to the city. You will be near many historic hotels and things to do and it is what most people think of when they think of Miami in the first place. Espanola Way is a pedestrian street in Miami Beach that is located between 14th and 15th Street and the area has some boutique hotels worth checking out. Not only will you be located near a lot of the nightlife and things to do, but you're also only a stone's throw from the beach.
What's are 4 best tips for a person traveling to Miami?
1) Plan your trip ahead if you're not renting a car. Miami can be expensive to get around if you rely on taxis! Either rent a car or get familiar with the public transportation system and allow yourself enough time between activities and attractions to get there if you go this route! Miami is a great place to take tours, as well. This helps maximize your time without having to ride around on transit too much.
2) Miami Beach can be expensive if you're staying close to South Beach. So, if you're on a budget, stay a little further north. You will still have beautiful beaches and delicious restaurants, but North Beach offers cheaper prices (and it is a pretty easy connection by bus to South Beach).
3) Plan more days than you think you'll need! Especially if you're renting a car or wanting to take tours. You can see so many amazing things from Miami on day trips - the Everglades, the Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Key Biscayne National Park, and even the Bahamas.
4) Chat with the locals. Miami has a reputation for being flashy, but the city's energetic vibes come from its residents. They are so friendly and hospitable and they all have a story to share.
What should people avoid doing in Miami?
Avoid going into areas of the city that are not deemed safe. Before your trip, do a little research to see which neighborhoods are currently unsafe or ask locals once you arrive. Also avoid chain restaurants in Miami if you can help it. The food is fabulous and you can find a lot of unique spots, including many family-owned restaurants. "
What are your top 5 favourite GetYourGuide experiences in Miami?
1) Everglades National Park: Airboat Tour and Wildlife Show
2) Miami: City Cruise to Millionaire's Homes & Venetian Islands
3) Miami: South Beach Private 30-Minute Guided Flight Tour
4)From Miami: Key West Bus Tour
5) Miami: Sightseeing Speedboat Tour
What is one thing that surprised you about Miami?
Miami seems so far south and like it kind of just hangs out by itself down there - but there is so much to do! While I discussed it above, the city has SO many amazing day trips and day tours that it is essential to plot a few extra days in the city to take advantage of this. It actually surprises me every time I head down there as I discover something new near the city.
What are the best beaches around Miami?
Miami is world-famous for its beaches and some of the top ones to add to your itinerary are South Beach, Surfside, Virginia Key Beach Park (super underrated!), Crandon Beach Park, North Beach, and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach.