36 Best Things to Do in Miami 2021 — Free, Outdoors, With Kids, For Couples, At Night, On a Budget, Day Trips
Located in Southeastern Florida, Miami is a popular vacation spot. The city is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, great weather, lively nightlife scene, and Latin American culture. If you’re looking to travel somewhere vibrant, warm, and exciting, this is a great destination to pick. You’ll want to make sure that you fill your itinerary with the best attractions and activities that Miami has to offer. Not sure what to do while visiting? We took the time to outline our favorite things to do while in Miami:
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Yes, there are free things to do in Miami. You can have fun without spending money. Here are the best free things to do:
1. Browse Art at the Museum of Art and Design
If you’re a fan of art, a trip to the Museum of Art and Design is a great free activity to do while in Miami. This museum is located at Miami Dade College. Here you’ll find modern visual art and design pieces. Free admission is available every Thursday from 4 to 8 PM. Free entry is also available on the last Sunday of every month from 1 PM to 6 PM. The normal admission price at other times is $12. Additionally, if you are into art, you may also enjoy the Miami Museum of Graffiti.
2. Catch a Movie at Soundscape Park
If you’re in the mood to see a movie while on your trip, you’ll like that free weekly movies are available at Soundscape Park. Named the SoundScape Cinema Series, movies are free on Wednesdays from November through May. The movies are projected onto the 7,000 square foot projection wall, and the event is free for all to attend.
3. Take a Free Yoga Class at Bayfront Park
If you like to be active, you may want to check out the free yoga classes at Bayfront Park. These classes are free to attend and are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. At this time, they’re virtual, but they’re usually held in person. Mats are not provided. Therefore, we recommend purchasing a suitable travel yoga mat.
4. Explore the Wynwood Art Walk Block Party
Every second Saturday of each month, Miami’s lively and artsy Wynwood neighborhood transforms into a block party. It’s free to attend the Wynwood Art Walk Block Party. There are food trucks, vendors, live music, games, and a lot of art to see.
The Vacationer Tip
Miami has free transportation options.
While in the Miami Beach area, take the free trolley. The trolley runs seven days a week from 8 AM to 11 PM. You can also ride the Metromover, an electric rail system that spans a 4.4-mile loop around the downtown and Brickell areas. It runs seven days a week from 5 AM to Midnight.
If you like spending time outdoors, Miami has some great outdoor activities that are worth it. Here are our favorite ideas:
5. Adventure Around Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne is a town on an island across from the Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami. This area has many outdoor activities to take part in, including kiteboarding, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding at Crandon Park, hanging out beachside at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, or exploring the Cape Florida Lighthouse. Additionally, Biscayne Bay is a perfect place for a jet ski rental, parasailing, or sightseeing boat tour.
6. Hike at Bear Cut Nature Preserve
Located in Crandon Park at Key Biscayne, Bear Cut Nature Preserve is a great place to visit if you love spending time outdoors. There are many trails to explore where you can see local wildlife, nature, and gorgeous ocean views. Take a relaxing walk or spend time soaking up the sun at the beach.
7. Get Close to Dolphins and Seals at Dolphin World
Dolphin World is another activity that you can enjoy while in Miami. This company offers unique experiences. You can swim with dolphins, take part in dolphin encounters, or swim with seals. These experiences are outdoor adventures that you’ll never forget. If you are interested in Dolphin World, you also likely will be interested in feeding giraffes at Zoo Miami.
8. Make a Splash at the Venetian Pool
In Coral Gables, you’ll find the Venetian Pool. This is a historic swimming pool that was built from a coral rock quarry. Today, much of the coral rock serves as the border to the pool. The pool itself is filled with spring water. It’s gorgeous and makes for a fun day. Admission is $15 for kids and $20 for adults.
9. Spend the Afternoon at the Beach
Miami is, of course, known for its many beaches. If you love to spend time in the water or even if you prefer to lay on the sand and catch a tan, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so while in Miami. Some of the best beaches include South Beach, North Beach, Mid Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, and Surfside. You may also want to consider a beach day on Bimini Island in the Bahamas which is easily accessible via express ferry.
Best Things to Do with Kids
Miami is a family-friendly destination with plenty of activities and attractions that kids will appreciate. Here are some options that your kids will love:
10. Check Out the Miami Children’s Museum
Miami has its own children’s museum known as the Miami Children’s Museum. This educational institution encourages children to learn, discover, and play. Here kids can enjoy interactive exhibits and special daily programing. The museum also offers seasonal activities and classes. Florida residents pay $15 for admission, and non-state residents pay $22 for admission. Children under the age of 1 are free.
11. Go to the Miami Seaquarium
If you’re planning a family trip to Miami, a visit to the Miami Seaquarium is worthwhile. This 38-acre oceanarium is located near downtown Miami. It’s more than just an aquarium. You can enjoy special performances, daily presentations, and hands-on adventures. If your kiddos love sea creatures, they’re going to appreciate the experiences offered here. Admission prices vary, and sometimes the company runs promotions. Tiqets also offers an exclusive family fun pass that gives you admission to the Seaquarium, Zoo Miami, and the Hop-on Hop-off bus.
12. See All the Creatures at Zoo Miami
The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, also known as Zoo Miami, is the largest zoo in Florida and the fifth-largest zoo in the country. The zoo occupies about 750 acres, and you’ll find over 3,000 animals here. You’ll find animal exhibits, wildlife presentations, animal feedings, playgrounds, rides, and water play areas. Guests can also take part in special programs and tours. Tickets are $18.95 for children ages 3-12 and $22.95 for adults ages 13+. Book your Zoo Miami tickets in advance to beat the line.
13. Splash Around at Grapeland Water Park
This urban water park is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day. Grapeland Water Park is one of Miami’s most popular parks. Attractions include slides, a lazy river, and pool areas. There is a designated area for younger kids. Lifeguards are on duty and there are life vests available. Admission ranges from $7 to $15.
14. Explore Monkey Jungle
Monkey Jungle is a 30-acre wildlife park and garden. The creatures featured here live very similarly to how they would live in their natural habitat. Here you can walk around and explore the animals going about their natural behaviors or take part in guided shows. This attraction is a fun, unique experience that kids will enjoy. Admission fees range from $23.95 to $29.99.
Museums, History, and Art
Miami is well known for its many museums and presence of art. There are plenty of interesting and informative attractions to experience while here. These are some of our favorite options:
15. Tour the Deering Estate
The Deering Estate was the Florida home of Charles Deering, an environmentalist, art collector, and philanthropist. It’s considered a historical site and the houses and grounds are gorgeous and the buildings are very well maintained. If you visit during the winter months, you’ll get to enjoy all of the holiday decors. Plan to spend a couple of hours strolling around here. Admission is $7 for children and $15 for adults.
16. Visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami
The Pérez Art Museum Miami is a modern and contemporary art museum featuring international artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries. Both the architecture and the artwork are impressive. A restaurant and cafe are also located inside the museum. Admission tickets are available from $12 to $16.
17. Appreciate the Art at the Rubell Museum
The Rubell Museum houses one of the biggest private contemporary art collections in North America. Complimentary guided tours are available and are included with admission on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Noon and 3 PM and Fridays at Noon and 5 PM. The admission fee ranges from $10-$15. The Miami Museum of Graffiti is another place to see unique, contemporary art.
18. Adventure Through the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was the former villa of James Deering. The villa was built as a tribute to the Italian Renaissance. The architecture is beautiful, and you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Much of the original artworks and furnishings can be found within the museum. If you like to explore historic properties, this is worth a visit. At this time, you must purchase tickets online. Entry is $10 for children ages 6-12 and $22 for adults. Buy your museum tickets with transport in advance to beat the lines.
Things to Do As a Couple
If you’re traveling to Miami with your partner, you’re going to have a great time. Here are some excellent things to do as a couple:
19. Take a Stroll By Bike
Another way to enjoy Miami is by bike. You and your partner can explore the city on wheels by renting a bike through Citi Bike Miami. There are bike stations located throughout the city, and you can easily rent from one station and return to another. A 2-hour pass is $10, A 4-hour pass is $18, and a one-day pass is $24. Other options for biking include South Beach Bike Rental and a 2-hour Art Deco Bike Tour.
20. Explore Little Havana Together
Little Havana is Miami’s neighborhood with Cuban flair. Here you’ll find Latin American restaurants, shops, and art galleries. You’ll probably want to explore this area more than once because there are many fantastic restaurants and eateries. Be sure to share a Cuban cigar and Cuban coffee while you’re in Little Havana. You may consider the Little Havana Food, Culture, Mojito & Street Art Tour.
21. Try Different Drinks at Local Happy Hours
Planning a happy hour evening is a great couple activity, and there are plenty of great happy hours in Miami. You can plan to enjoy a few happy hour visits during your trip to try a variety of drinks. Some recommended places include Beaker & Gray, Baby Jane, The Sylvester, MO Bar and Lounge, Lost Boy, and The Doral Yard.
22. See Miami’s Best Sports Teams
If you like sports, it’s worth checking out a live game while visiting. Miami has several professional sports teams. Go see a Miami Dolphins game at Hard Rock Stadium, watch a Miami Heat game at FTX Arena, or catch a baseball game featuring the Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park. If ice hockey is more your thing, you can see a Florida Panthers hockey game at the BB&T Center.
23. Visit a Jazz Club Together
Miami is well known for its live jazz music performances. If you’re looking for something to do as a couple, head to a jazz club or two to check out some shows. This will make for a romantic evening together. Here are some excellent clubs and performance venues: Ball & Chain, High Note Jazz Club at Cuba Ocho, Le Chat Noir, The Olympia Theater, The Corner, and Lagniappe.
Things to Do at Night
Miami doesn’t shut down at night. If anything, it becomes more vibrant and fun. Here are the best things to do at night:
24. Explore the City By Water on a Sunset Cruise
If you want to explore the waters while in Miami, you’ll want to go ahead and book a sunset cruise. You can take advantage of incredible views and get those great photos that you want to remember your vacation. Some options include Happy Cruises, Miami Yachting Company, Island Queen Cruises and Tours, and Tropical Sailing. Be sure to book your sunset cruise in advance. Additionally, if you prefer not to cruise, you may enjoy a Private Sunset Sightseeing Airplane Tour or a South Beach Segway Tour at Sunset.
25. Visit the Best Nightclubs
Miami is known for all of its nightclubs, and you’ll never run out of options while visiting here. Enjoy the music, drinks, and entertainment as you dance the night away and meet like-minded people. Some nightclubs you’ll want to check out include E11even, Basement Miami, Club Space, AM to PM, and SHOTS Miami.
26. Ride the Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel
The Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel is open in the afternoon, evening, and at night. But it’s a perfect place to be at night because the views are impressive. As you sit in your climate-controlled gondola, you’ll be able to take in views of Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park, and the Downtown Miami skyline.
27. Book a Miami Sunset Helicopter Tour
When Miami is all lit up at night, it looks spectacular. If you want to take advantage of a unique view of the city from above, booking a Miami sunset helicopter tour is a great idea. You’ll want to make a helicopter booking in advance of your trip. Check out Miami Seaplane Tours and Heli Air Miami.
Things to Do on a Budget
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun in Miami. These are some excellent things to do on a budget:
28. Go See the Cape Florida Lighthouse
If you’re thinking of visiting Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, you’ll be happy to know that the entrance fee is only $8 per vehicle or $2 per pedestrian or bicyclist. You’ll want to make sure that you visit the Cape Florida Light, which is the oldest structure in Miami-Dade. You can tour and climb the tower.
29. Appreciate the Unique Art at Wynwood Walls
If you like art, you’re going to want to check out the Wynwood Walls. The transformed warehouse district is now home to amazing street art. This outdoor museum of sorts features bright, colorful graffiti and murals. The entry price is $10. You may also want to consider a buggy tour of the Wynwood Art District.
30. Eat Cuban Sandwiches
You can’t leave Miami without first trying a Cuban or Cubano sandwich. This iconic sandwich is made with pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and Cuban bread. If you’re looking for affordable things to do while in the city, make it a point to try a few different sandwiches from some of the best eateries. You can try the Cubano at Sanguich De Miami for $11.99, the Cuban Sandwich at Atlantis Cafe for $6.95, the Cubano at Olds Havana Cuban Bar for $11.95, or the Cuban Sandwich at Babe’s Meat & Counter for $9.49. Though a little pricier, a Little Havana Walking Food Tour is also a perfect way to try some iconic Cuban foods.
31. Spend Time at the HistoryMiami Museum
As you might have guessed, The HistoryMiami Museum celebrates the history of the city. It’s the largest history museum in the state of Florida. You can enjoy both regular exhibits and special events. Admission is affordable. The cost is $5 for children 6-12, $8 for seniors and students, and $10 for adults.
Nearby “Day Trips” Outside of Miami
If you’re looking to get outside of the city for a bit while visiting, you have many options. These are our recommended nearby “day trips”:
32. Go on an Everglades Park Fan-Boat Tour
Located less than an hour from Miami, Everglades National Park is a perfect spot for a day trip. Enjoy an exhilarating fan-boat tour on the Everglades, watch an alligator show and, enjoy other wildlife. Choose from a variety of different tour durations.
33. Shop Till You Drop at the Palm Beach Outlets
If you love to shop and appreciate a good deal, then a day spent at the Palm Beach Outlets is a great idea. Palm Beach is a little over an hour’s drive away from Miami. The outlets feature over 100 stores, and it’s easy to spend a whole day here. Be sure to leave extra room in your suitcase so you can easily bring home your shopping finds.
34. Get Your Drink on at Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery
If you like to drink, you’ll want to check out Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery. They’re known for their exotic fruit wines. Here you can enjoy their tasting room, restaurant, and tavern. It’s just under an hour’s drive from Miami, making it an excellent day trip option.
35. Take in the Magic of Walt Disney World
If you’re hoping to check off a trip to Walt Disney World while in Florida, it’s definitely an option if you’re visiting Miami. The drive from Miami to Orlando is about 3.5 hours. If you choose to go this route, be sure to allow a couple of days to fully explore several Walt Disney World parks. You can get discount Walt Disney World tickets at Undercover Tourist.
36. Spend a Few Days in Key West
Key West is an island city in Florida. While it’s a further trek than some other “day trips,” you could easily spend a couple of days here. Key West is the southernmost point in the United States, and it’s a trendy vacation destination due to its beaches, weather, and architecture. While it takes about 3.5 hours to drive here, the drive offers incredible views. And, many Key West day trip tours from Miami do exist.
Visiting Miami between November and April will offer you the best temperatures. It can be busy during the winter months, though. If you want to avoid crowds, you may want to visit in February, March, or April. Do be aware of spring break when planning your trip.
Miami has many excellent beach options. This includes South Beach, North Beach, Surfside, Mid Beach, and Sunny Isles Beach. Be sure to explore several beaches to find the perfect spot for you.
There are many great neighborhoods in Miami. Where you choose to stay will depend on what you’re looking for while on your trip. If you want to be close to nightlife and the beach, Miami Beach is your best bet. Wynwood is a good neighborhood option if you want to be in a very artsy hip area. For younger travelers, South Beach is a trendy area with a lot going on. If you prefer not to be surrounded by tourists, North Beach is a good choice.
Miami does have public transit available, and it’s considered to be good. The Metrobus and Metrorail are available for a fee. The Metromover is available for free, and it covers the downtown and Brickell areas. Both Lyft and Uber are available, as are rental cars.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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