Want to talk about palm trees, turquoise waters, Art Deco style buildings, luxury cars, and cruises? Well, if you want to get all these in one place, then Miami is the answer to your wishes. Miami is a very contrasting city. Here, you can find luxury residences, but also normal houses, maximum fun nightclubs in South Beach, but also relaxing walks out in nature. English language, but also Spanish, both are spoken in approximately the same proportions on the streets of the world’s cruise capital.
Although you can easily find many interesting things to do and see in Miami, you should know that with a little organization, you can enjoy this spectacular city in just 3 days. That’s exactly what I did during the first visit to Miami, so I will show you how to spend your time in the city and tick as many things as you can on your list.
Of course, the fatigue accumulated on the exhausting road on your way to Florida has to be rewarded with a few hours spent at the beach. Having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world at your disposal, you just can’t be in Miami and not enjoy the white sand and the blue waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Put on your swimming suit, don’t forget your sunscreen, your goggles and a towel and book yourself a spot on the beach. If you enjoy hearing Latin rhythms coming from pubs and restaurants on Ocean Drive, then go and get tanned in South Beach. If not, move your deck chair to the north in Mid Beach or North Beach. It is also very beautiful, but less crowded.
Art Deco architecture
In the afternoon, you should wander the streets of South Beach on foot and admire the Art Deco architecture of the hotels. Miami contains the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world.
Lincoln Road Mall
In the evening, head to Lincoln Road Mall, which is a great place to walk around, to serve a colorful cocktail or smoke a hookah at a terrace. Basically, here you will find an outdoor mall with a very pleasant and extremely lively atmosphere. If you need to, you can also do some shopping because the area has no shortage of shops of all kinds and for all tastes.
You can buy a tour consisting of 3 parts. I wrote about it in the article How to spend a perfect day in Miami. The 3 parts of the tour are coach riding through the streets of South Beach and Downtown Miami, Little Havana and a superb little town, Coral Gables plus a boat ride on Biscayne Bay. Little Havana is a true replica of the real Havana, the capital of Cuba. At this place, the driver will stop for half an hour (if I remember correctly), during which you can go to visit a tobacco factory and you can also serve the most delicious coffee in the world, Cuban coffee.
Next destination, Coral Gables, is perhaps the most elegant and beautiful city that I’ve ever visited. Gorgeous villas, the most beautiful trees in the world (giant banyan trees), and a unique swimming pool, The Venetian Pool, which is built of coral stone; these are all parts of Coral Gables beauty.
Biscayne Bay boat tour
The third part of the tour, but also the most luxurious one was the boat tour in Biscayne Bay. On this tour, you can admire the opulent residences on Star Island and the 40 million $ apartments on Fischer Island (from a distance, of course), while the guide will explain everything to you. The boat tour was, by far, my favorite.
In the evening, you can get around the Downtown by car. It feels so good, especially since many of the skyscrapers are illuminated in bright colors, like flashy pink. Also, what I like about the Downtown of Miami in the evening is the fact that is not crowded at all, and it’s even rare to see people wandering the streets. However, I believe it’s kind of dangerous to venture out in the streets by yourself and on foot, so make sure you’ve got some company and a car.
In the morning, you can visit Crandon Park, a park located on the Key Biscayne Island, having a very large and beautiful beach, filled with palm trees. In Crandon Park is likely to encounter exotic animals and birds. I, for example, saw a peacock and an iguana. If you are an extreme sports lover, you have to know that Crandon Park is the perfect place for parasailing and other fun activities water-related.
In the afternoon, make some time to visit Miami Zoo, located at about a half hour drive away from Crandon Park and 40 minutes from South Beach. Miami Zoo is the largest zoo in Florida and the only tropical zoo in the continental USA. I don’t agree with the idea of keeping animals in captivity, but I do appreciate Zoo Miami for the special conditions and great treatment they offer to animals. Instead of the usual fences and cages, the animals live in a habitat very similar to their natural one, but at the same time, they keep the visitors safe and protected by some deep trenches.
I didn’t have time to see it all in just half day because it really is huge, but I really enjoyed the parts that I did have time to explore. If tired, you can rent a surrey with 5 or 8 seats, which will take you from one continent to another. Besides animals, birds, and reptiles, there is also the Amazon & Beyond Lake where you can rent Paddle Boats for 3-5 people at a price of $15-$20. Thus, the fun is assured.
In the evening, you should definitely visit Dolphin Mall, a huge outlet comprising over 240 stores and restaurant. True, it’s impossible to cover it all or even just a quarter of it in only a few hours, but it’s still worth a visit.
Basically, in only 3 days I managed to visit:
- South Beach
- The Art Deco collection
- Lincoln Road Mall
- Downtown Miami
- Little Havana
- Coral Gables
- Biscayne Bay boat tour
- Crandon Park
- Zoo Miami
- Dolphin Mall
- What do you think of my proposed itinerary?
- What else would you like to visit in Miami?