Best things to do in Miami

Sparkling sandy beaches, sparkling nightclubs, luxury cars, glittering glass skyscrapers, and flamboyant wealth on display at every turn make Miami a fascinating place for a weekend getaway.

Sunny days give way to nights filled with happy revelers enjoying the good weather and amazing Latin cuisine.

Some of the information in this article was obtained during a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are mine.

Things to do in Miami

There is so much to do in Miami that narrowing down the options will be the hardest part of your adventure. With the city’s abundant sunshine, outdoor activities are popular with locals and visitors alike.

Sandi Barrett

To play golf

Chasing that little ball with a bag full of clubs has never been more fun than on one of the many golf courses in the Miami area.

For a 36-hole luxury resort, opt for a stay at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa and play one of their two courses, the Miller Course or the Soffer Course. Beautifully maintained from tee to green, these courses feature wide open fairways and forgiving greens. They are an oasis of peace amidst modern high rise buildings that provide an interesting backdrop.

There are also many public courses, such as the Miami Beach Golf Club. As a visitor, you can book a tour up to five days in advance and still find early departure times that will keep you out of the midday heat. Pretty, unobstructed views and challenging shots await you on lush green fairways and fast greens.

A beach in Miami.
Sandi Barrett

Hit the beach

Miami is lucky to beautiful beaches that call on locals and visitors to relax in the sand or walk for miles. A visit to South Beach is a must; however, take the time to explore the other beaches along the coast. The options available will delight even the most seasoned beach goer.

The epitome of Miami Beach is south beach. Stop for an afternoon of sun and people watching, or join the crowds and stay for the sparkling nightlife. South Beach is the place to see and be seen in Miami.

If you’re looking for a clothing optional beach look no further than Haulover Beach. This is the perfect place to get rid of those tan lines and save money on your swimwear purchases.

A churro in Miami, Florida.
Sandi Barrett

Example of Cuban cuisine

You can’t leave Miami without experiencing the local cuisine. the Little Havana Food and Culture Tour by Miami Culinary Tours will take you to the heart of Calle Ocho (8th Street) for authentic Cuban cuisine. Feast on cigars and dominoes while enjoying delicious finger foods. Sip a mojito – you’ll never get a better one! – while discovering the history of the district.

Shop till you drop

Miami fashion is all about luxury brands. One place that exemplifies Miami’s shopping style is the Brickell Town Center. Buy Chanel, Coach and Rolex, then enjoy a Häagen-Dazs as a reward for a hard day’s work browsing the stores.

Enjoy the water

Whatever activity on the water you can imagine, you’ll find it in Miami. From luxury yachts to jet skis, there are plenty of water play options.

Renting a yacht and exploring Miami by water is easy with YachtLife, which has everything from a 38-foot Chris-Craft to a 128-foot Oceanfast that sleeps 12. Live on the high seas under the care of a dedicated captain.

If you want to explore the water one day at a time, head to Miami water sports for daily rentals. Jet skis, stand-up paddles, and equipment for parasailing and windsurfing are available, and much more. Flyboarding is the latest trend and Miami Water Sports offers rentals and instructional classes. If you’re not up for giving it a try, no worries – you can always watch others struggle to master high-level balance.

Take a ride

the Miami Big Bus Tour is an easy way to see the city’s highlights if you’re short on time. The tour offers 33 different hop-on hop-off stops in the city, including stops at major landmarks such as South Beach, Little Havana, Coconut Grove, and downtown Miami. Save your feet and step right into the heart of the action.

Pro tip: Upgrade your tour to include a boat trip to Biscayne Bay for views of this stunning city from the water.

Best restaurants in Miami

Dining out is part of Miami culture, and the plethora of options can leave you overwhelmed. Below is a selection of first-class restaurants that offer elegant dining, fun meals, and hearty breakfasts.

Egg breakfast from zone 31.
Sandi Barrett

Zone 31

Fine dining and magnificent city views define Zone 31. Seafood and local products are the hallmarks of the menu. On a sunny Miami morning, brunch on the 16th-floor patio is the perfect way to start your getaway. You can enjoy everything from oysters and burgers to a traditional breakfast. Toast your vacation with a classic brunch cocktail like bellini or mimosa, and immerse yourself in the glittering Miami lifestyle.

Havana 1957

The five Havana 1957 The restaurants, located in hot spots around the city, offer diners modern Cuban cuisine in a fun and festive setting.

Start with a classic mojito, served with the traditional slice of sugar cane. Their signature dish, Pollo Havana 1957, is perfectly roasted Cuban chicken served with rice, black beans and plantains. Stop for a drink or dinner and enjoy the party atmosphere.


Elegant Wayku offers diners fascinating dishes accompanied by delicious cocktails. Try the pork cotoletta served with Andean mashed potatoes with truffles or the cauliflower kanka served with a mango coconut curry sauce. Don’t forget to try one of their signature cocktails – the Latin Lover, made with rum, vermouth, pecan honey and Aztec bitter chocolate, is one of the best. Wayku is the perfect place for a sumptuous and relaxing meal.

Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini in the Kimpton Hotel Palomar brings a taste of Italy’s Emilia Romagna region to Miami. Sip a Morini Classico Negroni or an Aperol Crush, and you’ll feel like you’re sitting in a cafe in Parma or Ravenna. The mouthwatering cuisine is anchored in magnificent pasta dishes like the truffle ricotta ravioli served with prosciutto and the rigatoni served with a stew of wild mushrooms, rosemary and black truffle. The elegantly relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a romantic evening.

A balcony with a view of the Kimpton.
Sandi Barrett

Best hotels in Miami

Miami hotels and resorts cater to weekend travelers. The options below are located in trendy neighborhoods that you can explore without needing a car.

Kimpton EPIC Hotel

Sleek design meets casual elegance in Kimpton EPIC Hotel, which embodies the sophisticated feel of its downtown location. Water-view rooms with private balconies, on-site spa, 16th-floor infinity pool, and several dining options are offered at a relatively affordable price. For a pampered and luxurious stay in Miami, the EPIC is a top choice.

JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa

A weekend getaway where you never have to leave the resort is a stress-free and relaxing experience. the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa offers everything you need to make your stay perfect. Reserve a tee time at one of their two championship courses. Dine at Michael Mina’s famous Bourbon Steak, sip a cocktail in Soff’s Lobby Lounge or grab a bite at the Surf House Bar & Grill by the pool. Grandchildren will love Tidal Cove, the resort’s family water park. Whether you are planning a family reunion or a romantic weekend away, this resort will have everyone’s delight.

Stiles Hotel

South Beach is where Miami’s nightlife action explodes. the Stiles Hotel is a tropical oasis close to all the action. Comfortable Florida style with clean lines and art deco details gives the Stiles an urban and cozy feel. The Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery is the perfect place for a nightcap to end an adventurous day.

Pro tip: Driving in Miami can be difficult. The roads are crowded and there are often four or more lanes in each direction. Parking can also be complicated and expensive. Carpool options are the best way to get around.

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