Sun-kissed beaches and art deco beauties make an alluring backdrop to Miami’s other charms – a burgeoning arts scene, creative cuisine and blazing nightlife. Visiting Miami is more than just visiting a single city. It is a chance to explore several unique neighborhoods, each with a distinct style, culture, and architecture.
The city’s pleasant winter climate makes it a very popular holiday destination. From the Art Deco buildings on Miami Beach to the colorful homes in Little Havana, there is an incredible array of tourist attractions in Miami for you to admire and enjoy.
Miami Beach is actually a separate municipality from Miami. It is located on an island, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. The area is known for its popular beaches and the Art Deco District, with pastel buildings from the 1930s sporting classic neon signs. An expensive tourist district, this area features numerous beachfront restaurants, shops, hotels, and plenty of sunbathing opportunities. The most popular street in the area is Ocean Drive, a section of road located along the oceanfront and home to some beautiful Art Deco buildings.
The Miami Beach Boardwalk is perhaps the best way to walk along the coast of Miami Beach. It begins at Indian Beach Park in Mid-Beach Miami, and it heads south all the way to the heart of South Beach.
Ocean Drive runs along the oceanfront in Miami Beach, passing the historic Art Deco buildings and the famous strip of sand known as South Beach. It is a popular place both day and night for a slow cruise and some drive-by sightseeing.
One block inland and paralleling Ocean Drive is Collins Avenue. it’s actually State Road A1A, and is the main oceanfront street in Miami Beach, joining numerous neighborhoods. Here visitors will find trendy and upper-end restaurants, shopping, and hotels. Be prepared for thousands of people in their best swimsuits, a plethora of nightlife options, access to white sand beaches and plenty of roller skating on the paved sidewalk just next to the road.
Art Deco District
Art Deco District in Miami Beach claims the largest concentration of the 1920s and 1930s architecture in the world, drawing visitors all over to revel in Miami’s retro-fabulous style. These pastel colored historic structures display neon signs and awnings that cover outdoor dining areas.
There are more than 800 examples of Art Deco architecture in South Beach alone, so that’s the best place for a walking tour. Don’t forget to check out the Bass Museum, which offers both an impressive collection of early 20th century pieces and an impressive Art Deco exterior.
Located at the southern end of Miami Beach where the Art Deco buildings line the waterfront road, this is the most famous and popular section of Miami Beach. In summer the clear blue water and the white sand beach is a popular draw for locals and tourists and in winter the area is simply a popular place to stroll around.
In the heart of South Beach is Lummus Park Beach, an urban park in the middle of all the action. It’s an iconic spot that has been featured in countless films, television shows, and music videos. Lummus Park Beach is the ideal place to start or end a walking tour of the top attractions in Miami, and it is just steps from wonderful bars, restaurants, shops and Art Deco architecture.
Beyond the glitz and glamor of the Magic City, Miami has the colorful and artsy Wynwood neighborhood. Wynwood has become a haven for aspiring painters, graffiti artists, creatives and young innovators alike.
If you’re a fan of art, then you won’t want to miss the incredible Wynwood Walls. This enormous outdoor exhibition is a collection of street art. More than 50 artists have been involved in the exhibit, and they come from Miami as well as from around the world. You can walk to the six main buildings, each of which transformed from a warehouse to a canvas and then to a work of art.
Little Havana and Calle Ocho
Little Havana, the Cuban district of Miami, isn’t known for its wealth of tourist attractions but more for its distinctive cultural flavor. There are restaurants, specialty food shops, and Latin music drifting through the air.
The highlight of this Miami attraction is the main drag through the district, called Calle Ocho or 8th Street. You’ll exclusively hear Spanish being spoken, and the surrounding shops on either side of the street sell Cuban favorites.
For people watching, the area offers a great deal of entertainment. There are many open-air areas where people gather to socialize. Murals on the sides of walls show important Cuban figures and scenes of daily life.
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, also known as Villa Vizcaya is one of Miami’s greatest treasures. The architecture, the grounds, and the artwork it contains are all worth the trip to visit this beautiful place. This 28-acre estate and Italian Renaissance-style villa is filled with European furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to 19th century.
The main building was once a private estate, but today it houses the museum, which boasts more than 70 rooms of European art and antiques. The gardens contain a number of Italian and French fountains, pools and sculptures. Beautifully manicured flower beds, shrubs, and shade trees dot the property, making it a popular place for events and weddings.
Crandon Beach is one of Miami’s greatest park treasures. A beautiful, sprawling campus of beaches and amenities, Crandon Park is more than a beach. With its golf and tennis facilities, unique eco-adventures and breathtaking beach, Crandon Park offers something for everyone. The beach remains the main attraction at Crandon Park. Gear up for a friendly game of beach volleyball or unpack your picnic and bring some supplies for the on-site grills.
It’s fun to explore the various ecosystems at Crandon Park, including dunes, mangroves, coastal hammock and seagrass beds. The Crandon Park Nature Center is home to exotic plants, rare fish and wildlife, and Bear Cut Preserve, a natural Environment Study Area.
Bayfront Park is a green urban park right in the very center of Downtown Miami. It borders the waters of Biscayne Bay, meaning that you can set off on an unbelievably scenic walk right by the blue waters. Bayfront Park is also home to a range of events and performances.
An attractive feature is the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain. Other highlights include an amphitheater used for musical performances of all kinds, a tower for laser illuminations, and three important monuments: the Torch of Friendship, symbolizing Miami’s relationships with the countries of Central and South America; the World War II Memorial; and the Challenger Memorial.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a stunning botanic garden, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines. This breathtaking place is located in the Coral Gables area of Miami. Surrounded by the Matheson Hammock Park, the botanic garden is a fantastic place to explore on a sunny day.
In the Wings of the Tropics Conservatory, you can spot thousands of exotic and rare butterflies, rare tropical fish, and unusual plants. Then, in the Edible Garden, you can learn about how to create your own garden at home to reap the benefits of fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables and even edible flowers.