Miami. Geographically situated in the south of Florida, within close proximity to Cuba, Miami is a cultural hotspot that attracts people from all over the world. It entices travelers seeking the best in fashion, nightlife, cuisine, and, of course, sunshine.
So, you’re all set for your trip to Miami – bikinis, speedos, sunglasses, and maybe an ill-advised Scarface-inspired shirt packed and ready. As you land at Miami International Airport (MIA), one of the busiest airports for international passengers in the US, you’re eager to grab the keys to your car hire and dive into all the excitement this city has to offer.
But how do you plan the perfect week in Miami without missing out on anything? Well, worry not, because we’ve got your back with the ultimate guide to the 305.
Day 1 – Embrace the Miami Beach
The first thing you’ll want to do in Miami is soak up some sun and blend in with the locals, who are known for their tanned, toned, and taut bodies.
Head to South Beach, one of the most recognisable neighborhoods in Miami, also known as “The Sun and Fun Capital of the World.” Here, you’ll find beautiful white sand beaches like South Pointe and Lummus Park, considered the best in Miami Beach city. While you’re there, take advantage of the plethora of eateries and bars to enjoy some delicious food and drinks.
The best part is that Miami’s beaches are popular all year round, so even if you visit during the winter, you’ll still get to enjoy the warmth.
Don’t miss the chance to take a selfie at the iconic colorful lifeguard stations that dot the beaches.
Day 2 – Dive into Little Havana
On day two, after a perfect beach day, it’s time to explore Miami further. Grab some water bottles and snacks and hit the road in your car hire as you transport yourself to Cuba, figuratively speaking.
Little Havana is a vibrant neighborhood that showcases Latin American art galleries, bustling restaurants, and cafes selling strong Cuban coffee and cigars. It’s an essential Miami experience.
From Little Havana, drive through Bayside Marketplace, known for its shops and restaurants and a great place to people-watch. Then, head to the Wynwood Walls, Miami’s original street-art museum, which has turned into the “Silicon Valley of the South,” attracting musicians and tech giants alike.
Don’t miss Maximo Gomez Park in Little Havana, known locally as Domino Park, where people from all walks of life gather to discuss politics over a game of dominos.
Day 3 – Immerse Yourself in Culture and Museums
Dedicate a day to exploring some of Miami’s cultural centers and museums. Depending on your interests, consider visiting:
- 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 your organised sightseeing, take some time to stroll through the streets and discover numerous cafes and restaurants.
For a bit of history and luxury, visit the famous Villa Casa Casuarina, once owned by Versace. You can even indulge in a set lunch menu for just $34 (available Monday to Friday).
Day 4 – Experience Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive is the heart of Miami Beach, famous for its architecturally impressive hotels, restaurants, and bars. As you stroll through this historic district, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, thanks to the art deco buildings dating back to the Great Depression and the early 1940s.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the iconic 1939 Colony Hotel, one of the most photographed art deco buildings in the world.
Where to eat on Ocean Drive:
- 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
As much as you enjoy Miami, consider taking a day trip to Key West. It’s only about a 3 and a half hours’ drive, approximately 160 miles away from Miami, and absolutely worth it.
Key West offers a more relaxed and luxurious atmosphere, where you can rent a boat, laze under pink skies, and enjoy the charm of waterfront establishments.
If you’re short on time, take a 20-minute drive to the Everglades and explore Florida’s famous swamps, maybe even spotting an alligator or two.
Day 6 – Experience the Excesses: Millionaire’s Row and Miami’s Nightlife
On day six, it’s time for Miami’s ultimate excesses – Millionaire’s Row. Book a bespoke tour to get premium views of some of Miami’s finest homes and sights, including those of celebrities like Jlo and P Diddy.
After a day of luxury, immerse yourself in Miami’s renowned nightlife. Some of the most popular clubs in the city include:
Day 7 – Final Day of Relaxation at the Beaches
As your week in Miami comes to an end, indulge in one last day of relaxation on the beautiful beaches. Let the crystal-clear waters wash away any stress from the past days, join a free yoga class on the beach, grab some final souvenirs, or simply bask in the glorious rays of the Sunshine State.
Miami has provided you with a perfect week filled with adventure, culture, luxury, and relaxation. Take home some fantastic memories and start planning your next visit to this vibrant city!