Your Foolproof Guide To Visiting Miami

Suns out, buns out in Miami.

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Art deco architecture, skyscrapers lining the postcard-perfect beaches, no shortage of music, and foodie heaven– all things one thinks about when Miami is brought up. Before booking a trip to the Magic City, make sure you don’t miss these spots to make you the envy of all your friends.

Top 3 Districts

1. Coconut Grove

Known locally as “The Grove”, Coconut Grove will bring out your inner Bohemian side. Just south of Downtown Miami, the boutique-lined central area is an eclectic mix of cafes, bars, and nightlife. The weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market and Coconut Grove Art Festival in February as big draws.

2. Coral Gables 

The glory days are still alive and well in Coral Gables. The iconic neighborhood that was founded in the 1920s is now a mix of old meets new. The famous Historic Miracle Mile contains a number of high-end restaurants and shops, while the residential side of the district plays home to many celebrities.

3. South Beach 

The white sand beaches and crystal clear water of South Beach are what bring everyone to Miami. South Beach has something for everyone from the glamourous nightlife to laid-back days on the beach. Española Way has no shortage of restaurants while Washington Ave is the perfect spot to find a club. Even better, the area is very pedestrian-friendly with many using the free Miami Beach Trolley or bikes.

Top 3 Attractions

1. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

The Italian Renaissance villa of businessman James Deering will have you dreaming that you escaped off to the Mediterranean. Wander through the pristine 10 acres of gardens or explore the curated “breathtaking Gilded Age estate on Biscayne Bay.” A National Historic Landmark that frequently tops the lists of must-see attractions not only in Miami but the entire United States.

2. Everglades National Park

Technically not right in Miami, but a stop that should be on everyone’s list. The 1.5 million-acre swampland is home to snakes, birds, and, of course, alligators and crocodiles. Airboat tours are the perfect way to see as much of the Everglades as possible and perfect as many tours will pick you up from your hotel. For those who want to go on their own, walking trails do allow glimpses of the wildlife. One of the most popular trails leaves from the Royal Palm Visitor Center and will give you the chance to see alligators in their natural habitat.

3. Art Deco Historic District

Pastel buildings and neon signs transport you back to the 40s. The Art Deco Historic District is not only Instagram-worthy, but also an important part of Miami’s history. The area was destroyed in 1926 by a hurricane but restored to its former glory. Walk down Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue for the best views.

READ MORE: The 5 Tastiest, Most Instagrammable Outdoor Dining Spots in Miami

Top 3 Restaurants

1. Tropezón 

Price Range: $$

This Andalusian-style gin and tapas bar brings old Spanish charm to Miami. Some of the highlights include over 20 gin variations and traditional dishes like tortilla Española. Other sharing dishes include empanada murciana and shishito peppers.

 

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2. The Drexel

Price Range: $$

The charcoal grill and wood oven transport you to the bygone era of Miami. Head to The Drexel for brunch of spinach-aged feta baked eggs or munch on a smoked guanciale pizza for dinner.

 

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3. Layla

Price Range: $$$

Dine on modern Middle Eastern food while sitting on the canal side rooftop terrace. The lively atmosphere is complemented by dishes like grilled octopus, falafel, and braised lamb. Local bakery, Zaytounna, which employs Syrian refugee women, makes the delicious baklava for dessert.

 

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Best Ways To Get Around

While you might be able to walk around neighborhoods, Miami is a big city, and a car or public transportation will be needed. Plus, with the humid sunny weather walking will quickly get old.

Uber is a popular choice for those who don’t want to be responsible for renting a car. A free public trolley comes every 15 minutes and hits numerous spots, check their site for the full map and schedule.

More free transportation is the Metromover for the Brickell and Downtown area. Lastly, the Metrorail runs for $5 a round trip. The Metrorail isn’t expansive but does the trick and since it is above ground you get a view of the city.

Best Time Of The Year To Visit & Weather

Miami is one of the few places in the United States that has sunny weather year-round. The tropical climate is best between March and May when the weather is around 70°F (21°C). Summer months can get up to 89°F (32°C) plus humidity, it also starts off storm season. Between June to August, hurricanes become a threat and can put a stopper in vacation plans.

Language

English is the official language of Miami, but the Flordia city has a huge Spanish influence. As much of the population is from Spanish speaking countries, around 60 percent of people speak the language.

Currency & Tipping Customs

Tipping is expected when dining out, at a bar, or even on a tour. The standard range is between 15-20 percent depending on how you feel the service was.

Miami uses US currency and most places accept major credit cards.

Emergency Info & Local Pharmacies

Police, fire, and ambulance can all be contacted by calling 911.

Walgreens is the most popular pharmacy while in Miami, followed by CVS and local spots. The aforementioned pharmacies, as well as Target and Walmart, sell rapid COVID-19 tests should you need one.

 

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