Spring has officially sprung, and before you know it you’re bound to become “afflicted” with the travel bug—if you haven’t already! Fortunately, this is one fever you’ll be glad you caught. This year, perhaps the bug will take you to Miami, Florida. Miami is one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations and is home to picture-perfect beaches like the ones you see on postcards. However, if you’re not the type to lie in the sand all day, or if you really want to see what Miami culture is all about, you won’t stop with the beaches. You’ll discover a myriad of diverse Miami attractions, spanning the realms of art, history, outdoor recreation, and scientific discovery. To make the most of your Miami vacation, follow these simple tips!
Know Your Neighborhoods
Like most big metropolises, Miami’s neighborhoods are as diverse as their residents. The first thing you should do when planning you vacation is get to know the neighborhoods. In the Downtown area, the financial and commercial center, you’ll wander through the Central Business District, Park West, Omni, and Brickell. This is the place to be if you’re into shopping, museum hopping, and theater watching.
For those seeking a more alternative side of Miami, you might try the North district, which includes Midtown, Overtown, the Design District, Little Haiti, and the Upper Eastside. For the hippest attractions, you’ll head to the Design District; for authentic culture, visit the ethnic neighborhood of Little Haiti.
The West and the South districts can’t be ignored because they are home to some of the most beloved Miami communities, like the Cuban neighborhood of Little Havana (host to the annual Calle Ocho festival during Carnival) and the tropically lush Coconut Grove.
Of course, we can’t forget about Miami Beach. Although it’s actually it’s own municipality (and not just a beach!), this is probably what you first envision when someone says “Miami.” It’s where beaches and bikinis reign during the day, and clubs, restaurants, and bars come alive at night.Note: the below ads are not affiliated with SmartDestinations.com
See the Sights
There’s so much to do and see in Miami, but if we had to choose just five attractions for a first-time visitor, these are our top picks:
- Miami Sightseeing Tour
This Miami Bus Tour, which includes convenient hop-on/off service, is the ultimate way to see just about everything that makes Miami such a fascinating city. On this ultra-comfortable double-decker bus, you’ll explore South Beach, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Little Havana, and more! This is a top pick on the Miami attractions pass.
- South Beach
This major entertainment destination and lax beach location is a must on our list. Whether you’re just interested in lounging on the white, sandy beach all day or you’re really looking forward to the wild nightlife, South Beach is your best bet. However, the neighborhood is also home to many cultural attractions, such as the Miami Art Deco Walking Tour.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
If ornate architecture, Gilded-age elegance, and lush tropical gardens sounds like something up your alley, spend an afternoon at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This early 20th century mansion set amid beautiful gardens will take you away from the Miami bustle to another world, if only for a while!
- Jungle Island
Jungle Island is no ordinary theme park—you’ll find that out the second you set eyes on its lush landscape. This tropical escape brings you up close to some of the world’s rarest and most fascinating animals, from the World’s Largest cat, Guinness, to the endlessly amusing Orangutan twins Peanut and Pumpkin.
- Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkel Adventure
The Sea Experience Snorkeling adventure combines two thrilling experiences: cruising through the Atlantic on a unique glass bottom boat with unparalleled views of what’s both above and below the water and snorkeling among the vibrant coral reefs in the warm waters of the Atlantic.
Save on Attractions
There’s no need to pay full price for admission tickets to Miami’s most renowned attractions. Just use a Miami attractions pass, a convenient all-inclusive pass that features free admission to 33 Miami attractions for one low price. Depending on how many attractions you visit, you can save up to 55% off gate prices.