Miami. Geographically, a city in the south of Florida, within close proximity to Cuba (okay, close if you’ve got the arms of one of the Miami Dolphins – but it is relatively nearby). Culturally, it’s a hotspot for people from all over the world, enticing travelers who are looking for the very best in fashion, nightlife, cuisine, and, of course, sunshine.
So, you’ve booked your trip. Bikinis, speedos, sunglasses, and maybe an ill-advised Scarface-inspired shirt are packed. You’re ready to join the hundreds of thousands of people landing at Miami International Airport (MIA, which now welcomes more international passengers per year than any other US airport), ready and eager to get the keys to your car hire and hit the town.
But… how do you actually spend your week in Miami without missing something? Fear not, for we’ve got you covered with our guide, providing the perfect 411 on the 305.
Day 1 – You’re in Miami, Beach
The sooner you can get some sun on those pasty limbs, the sooner you’ll look less out of place in a city renowned for tanned, toned, and taut bodies.
South Beach is one of the most recognisable neighborhoods in Miami, with a nickname that tells you all you need to know – The Sun and Fun Capital of the World. We think Blackpool might have something to say about that…
The South Beach area is famous for its white sand beaches, including South Pointe and Lummus Park, often regarded as the best beaches in Miami Beach city. As well as the incredible beaches, the South Beach area is packed full of eateries and bars, so you can eat up while you heat up.
Miami’s beaches are popular 365 days a year, too, as they typically stay warm and enjoyable even during the winter.
Don’t miss: Capture the moment with a selfie at the iconic colorful lifeguard stations scattered around the beaches.
Day 2 – Little Havana
Day two. You’ve slept off the plane ride with a perfect day at the beach. Now let’s go explore Miami. Get some water bottles and snacks and hit the road in your car hire as you transport yourself to Cuba.
Little Havana offers a thriving scene – picture Latin American art galleries, bustling restaurants, strong Cuban coffee sold from independent cafes, and even cigar smokers. It’s quintessential Miami.
From Little Havana, you can also drive through Bayside Marketplace – renowned for its shops and restaurants, and a perfect place to people-watch – and head to the Wynwood Walls, Miami’s original street-art museum.
Wynwood has become the ‘Silicon Valley of the South’ so there’s no telling who or what you’ll see – from musicians filming on the streets to the headquarters of the biggest names in tech.
Don’t miss: Maximo Gomez Park in Little Havana, dubbed Domino Park by locals, is where all walks of life come together to discuss politics and more over a game of dominos.
Day 3 – Embrace the Culture: Museums and Sightseeing
You’ll want to set aside a day to book tickets to some of Miami’s cultural centers. Depending on how much you want to pack in (and what you’re interested in), this could include any of the following:
- Zoo Miami – open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – open Wednesday-Monday, 9:30am-4:30pm
- Coral Castle Museum – open Thursday-Sunday, 9am-6pm (last tour 5pm)
After you’ve done some organised sightseeing, you should finish off your third day with some spontaneous ambling. Walk the streets and stumble upon a myriad of cafes, restaurants, and more.
If you need more of a steer, head towards the famous Villa Casa Casuarina, the former Versace Mansion. You can actually indulge in a set lunch menu for just $34 (Monday to Fridays)!
Day 4 – Ocean Drive: A Place to See, Shop, and Sip
Ocean Drive is the symbolic center of Miami Beach, known for a huge variety of architecturally impressive hotels, restaurants, and bars. And where you might see a famous face.
Most of the art deco buildings in Miami Beach were built between the Great Depression and the early 1940s, so any stroll through this historic district will have you feeling like you took a step back in time.
Don’t miss: The iconic 1939 Colony Hotel, known as one of the most photographed art deco buildings in the world.
Where to eat:
- The Ocean Grill (at The Setai) – renowned for celebrity clientele including Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashians
- Queen Miami Beach – designed to capture a bygone feel of decadence, glamour, and power
- Limonada Bar + Brunch – for the more budget-friendly, this all-day sports bar and restaurant is a great place to enjoy the scene
Day 5 – Explore Beyond Miami: Key West Adventure
Now, no offense to Miami, but sometimes the joy of the city is… leaving it. Simply because of its proximity to unmissable destinations. Plus, it’s super easy to hire a car and make the most of it with a memorable day trip.
While there are a few places to choose from, our compasses point to Key West.
Key West is only 160 miles away – about 3 and a half hours’ drive. But, oh, is it worth it.
If your first few days in Miami have felt full-on, Key West is where you go to enjoy the finer things. Rent a boat, laze out under the pink skies, drink and eat at charming establishments facing out to stretches of water.
Not wanting to spend most of the day? Take a drive to the Everglades, about 20 minutes away. Here you can explore Florida’s famous swamps – and maybe even see an alligator or two…
Day 6 – Cruise Millionaire’s Row and Then Party like P Diddy
You’re on day six. You’re rested from Key West’s quieter way of doing luxury (they might have started the latest Stealth Wealth trend long, long ago). You’re ready for Miami’s ultimate excesses.
You can book bespoke tours that give you premium views of some of Miami’s finest homes and sights.
After you’ve seen homes of the likes of Jlo and P Diddy, you might feel inclined to party like them.
Some of the most popular clubs in Miami include:
Day 7 – Back to the Beaches
As your week in Miami comes to an end, you’ll likely be craving another hit of the white powder.
No. Tony Montana. Not that. Sand.
After a busy few days filled with tours, trips, and tourist attractions – oh my(ami) – a final day of rest and relaxation is most definitely needed.
Wash away the sins of the week in the crystal-clear waters, unwind in a free yoga class on the beach, pick up some final souvenirs, or just bask in the last golden rays from the Sunshine State.
So there you have it, a perfect week planned out in Miami. Make the most of your time in this vibrant and culturally rich city, and you’ll leave with memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy your trip!