Miami’s iconic sights and quirky entertainment

They say that every journey is a small life, and I can’t help but agree with that. While traveling, we discover new countries and cities and experience positive emotions.

I like to prepare thoroughly for trips, looking for information about attractions, events, places to eat, and, of course, asking people about their experiences, places that are not found in popular travel guides, and life hacks (for example, how you can save on admission tickets). This approach helps you see the most iconic locations even with a limited time frame and allows you to invest in your budget.

I’ve been thinking about a trip from Los Angeles to Miami for some time now and decided to share the “Miami Attractions You Must See at Least Once in a Lifetime” cheat sheet in case this city is also on your must-visit list. This short guide will also interest those who have just moved to the city and want to know it better. Moreover, we would like to bring to your attention an overview of the local establishments and up-to-date information on the cost of entrance tickets.

Top 10 Miami Attractions You Must See

Miami is a city of clean beaches and majestic skyscrapers located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. He is widely known in the United States and far beyond the country’s borders. Every year, it is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world. After conducting “research on the area,” I came to two conclusions: this city must be seen at least once in a lifetime, and it is simply impossible to consider all the tourist attractions in Miami within the framework of one article. I decided to stop at the most iconic locations and make my TOP.

Wynwood Walls

Amazing things await in the most unexpected places. Wynwood may be one of these locations. This old industrial area is bordered by Florida State Road 112 to the north, I-95 to the west, NW 21st Terrace, NW 22nd St, NW 20th St to the south, and E Coast Ave to the east.

It is likely that Wynwood, as the least prosperous quarter, would have sunk into oblivion. But fate decreed otherwise—this location was spotted by the now-deceased American developer Tony Goldman. With his filing, Wynwood has become a “creative oasis” for artists worldwide.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

Now the block is an open-air contemporary art gallery and one of the top tourist spots in Miami. The walls of the local buildings are painted with all kinds of graffiti, from the surreal in the style of Salvador Dali to the now popular pop art.

However, Wynwood is not only colorful graffiti, against which you can take cool photos, but also museums (The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE, Museum of Graffiti, Original Selfie Museum, Paradox Museum), galleries (it simply makes no sense to list them, because there are dozens of them here), art complexes, art studios, fairs, as well as all kinds of restaurants, coffee houses, and shops.

Wynwood Walls (the official museum) is at 266 NW 26th Street, Miami, FL 33127. Entrance through the Welcome Center: The adult ticket price is $12 (tax not included). Tickets can be purchased on the website.

 Tip: Wynwood Walls is an open-air museum, so it’s best to check the weather forecast before heading out 

The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on other days (official tours are held). Entrance doors close 30 minutes before the end of the museum.

Where should we have lunch?

They say that the local restaurants fully reflect the spirit of the quarter and offer visitors creative dishes. I love Asian cuisine and would visit the “Back Door Monkey” establishment. The average check here is $16–$30. Check out the menu here. Back Door Monkey is at 2328 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127.

Little Havana

Another area on my list of “where I recommend going in Miami” is Little Havana. The block is centered around Calle Ocho (Southwest 8th Street).

It is the best place in all of America to experience Cuban culture. There is a festive atmosphere here, and locals while away playing dominoes in Máximo Gómez Park (also known as Domino Park)—all this against the backdrop of intricate drawings and sculptures that can be found at every turn in this quarter.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

As a big cinema fan, I would not miss the chance to look into the “Tower Theater Miami,” made in the art deco style.

The Little Havana Welcome Center is located between Domino Park and McDonald’s.

Where should we have lunch?

Another feature of Little Havana that attracts me is the small, colorful restaurants serving Cuban cuisine. Locals advise you to try the Cuban sandwich (ham, pork, cheese, mustard, pickles, and the “secret” ingredient, Cuban bread) and a delicious coffee at La Colada.

Rumor has it that local sweets, such as the champagne sorbet served at Azucar Ice Cream, deserve special attention.

 Tip: Cuban cigars can be brought as a souvenir from Little Havana. Moreover, there are a lot of shops that sell these world-famous tobacco products.

Miami Beach Boardwalk

Coming to Miami and not visiting the Beach Boardwalk is like visiting Paris and not seeing the Louvre. Although this barrier loses to the Parisian sights, it is still the city’s hallmark and acts as the number one location you should go to.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

The Miami Beach Boardwalk is a scenic walkway made of wood. This location is sometimes called the South Beach boardwalk, as most of the waterfront passes through the most popular places in the area above. The total length of the dam is about 7 miles (11.3 km). The Miami Beach Boardwalk stretches along the Atlantic Ocean on one side and luxury hotels, parks, and residential complexes on the other.

The Miami Beach Boardwalk is at Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Ave. If you enter from the north side or 500 Ocean Dr. from the south. The boardwalk begins at 87th Terrace and ends at 23rd Street.

The Miami Beach Boardwalk is such an iconic place that it has a dedicated website. You can argue for a long time about the design of the resource itself, but not its content. You can find maps with detailed descriptions, information about the local hotels, restaurants, and cafes, and a tab with frequently asked questions.

Where should we have lunch?

There are many restaurants and cafes along the Miami Beach Boardwalk, from budget to fine dining.

Speaking about specific establishments, we can note “Mr. Chow” (Chinese cuisine; prices are above average); “STK Steakhouse” (the name speaks for itself; prices are above average); “Matador Room” (Latin American cuisine; prices are average +); “La Côte” (Mediterranean cuisine; prices are average +); and “Donna Mare Trattoria” (Italian cuisine; prices are average).

Focus on your gastronomic preferences and budget. I would take a break on the beach or in one of the adjacent parks and enjoy a nature picnic.

Even a thousand words written about Miami cannot convey the beauty of this wonderful city, but the video does. This 4-minute video will introduce you to Miami, its sights, residents, and visitors in absentia.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Villa Vizcaya was built in 1922. The building itself is a tribute to the Renaissance. It is believed that representatives of the XIV–XVI-century Italian nobility lived in houses of this type.

Some believe the building was moved from Italy to the United States. The fact is that Americans take Cicero’s phrase too literally: “I carry everything that is mine with me.” And they can even transport their own houses when moving! But Vizcaya itself was built in Miami by both European and local workers. The estate’s construction on the Biscayne Bay shores lasted eight years, but the result was worth every minute spent. Villa Vizcaya is a piece of Europe in the heart of the United States and falls under the definition of what you need to see in Miami.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

The main house is over 45,000 square feet. It has 54 rooms (excluding basements), of which 34 are open to the public.

Initially, the mansion served as the winter residence of American entrepreneur James Dering. Now it is a museum complex, including a villa and an extensive botanical garden with fountains, waterfalls, and sculptures.

Vizcaya Museum And Gardens is located at 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33129, and admission is $25 for adults, $10 for children aged 6 to 12, and free for children under the age of 5. Beneficial categories of citizens also have the right to free admission. You can get acquainted with the museum’s exposition and find more information on the official website.

Please note: In winter, the museum is open from Wednesday to Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased directly on-site or online.

Where should we have lunch?

On the territory of the museum complex, there is a cafe called “The Vizcaya Café and Shop.” You can find it on the north side of the main house. The pool grotto and orchidarium, located in the neighborhood, can also serve as reference points. You can attend a traditional tea ceremony if you come to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in the autumn.

Bayside Market Place

As someone who has watched the movie “Shopaholic,” starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy, five times and, what’s more, never misses an opportunity to go shopping, I can’t ignore Bayside Marketplace. It is located on the shores of Biscayne Bay, next to Bayfront Park and the American Airlines Arena. On the territory of the Bayside Marketplace, there are a huge number of shops specializing in the sale of children’s clothing and accessories, souvenirs, shoes, health and beauty products, jewelry, men’s and women’s clothing, toys, art supplies, clothing and equipment for sports, etc.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

Since this is a port shopping mall, you can also find offices here that help organize leisure activities, such as ordering a water taxi, excursion, or boat rental.

Address: 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132

Where should we have lunch?

“Bayside Marketplace” is ready to offer visitors treats for every taste. Here you can find cafes, restaurants, and bars such as:

  • 305 Daiquiri Bar
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Fat Tuesday;
  • “Hard Rock Cafe”;
  • “Lola Bar”;
  • Mambo Cafe;
  • “Mammamia Gelato Italiano”
  • “Mojito Bar”;
  • “Sugar Factory”;
  • “Wonderfruits,” etc.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co is the most famous institution of all of the above. The chain’s first restaurant was opened in California in 1996, and its background is connected with the Robert Zemeckis film “Forrest Gump,” released two years earlier. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. specializes in seafood dishes, the main favorite among which is shrimp. Learn more about the restaurant and view the menu here.

Jungle Island

Winston Churchill would mention Jungle Island if he advised what to see in Miami. The legendary Prime Minister of Great Britain visited here in 1946 (at that time, this attraction was also called Parrot Jungle).

In a nutshell, the history of Jungle Island began in 1936, when parrot lover Franz Scherr decided to create a theme park.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

Jungle Island fully lives up to its current name thanks to the local flora, which includes, for example, the sausage tree and rare species of sago palms. However, the local fauna is no less incredible. The park hosts twin orangutans and over 3,000 species of birds, including the tame cassowary.

Visitors can enjoy flora and fauna of this wonderful place by walking along winding paths, whose total length is 2.35 miles (3.8 km). Ticket prices range from $10 (admission only; no animal shows) to $299 (VIP Tour). You can buy them at

Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, Florida 33132

Important: Jungle Island is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but visitors are not allowed after 3 p.m.

Where should we have lunch?

If you want a gourmet dinner, go to “Joia Beach,” a restaurant and beach club. Please note that Joia Beach has a dress code. Provocative and sportswear, beach shorts, sweatshirts, and flip-flops are prohibited. You can view the menu and book a table here.

Miami Seaquarium

If you come to the city with children and are thinking about what to do in Miami, then be sure to go to the Miami Seaquarium—the kids will be delighted.

The Miami Aquarium opened its doors to visitors in 1955. On its 38 acres, sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, penguins, sea lions, and other fauna have found refuge; their habitats are closely related to the water element. The Miami Seaquarium hosts daily shows featuring residents. Moreover, you can even swim with dolphins.

Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149

Tickets for adults (10 years of age and older) will be $43.99 (online) or $49.99 (at the Aquarium box office). For a ticket for children aged 3 to 9, you must pay $33.99 or $39.99, respectively. Children up to 2 years old, inclusive, are free of charge.

Miami Seaquarium is now open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Please note: Days and opening hours of the aquarium may vary depending on the season, so it is better to check the calendar presented on the website.

Where should we have lunch?

On the territory of the Miami Seaquarium, there are several locations where you can have a delicious meal. For example, you can look at “Manatee Bay Cafe” (on the menu: hamburgers, chicken wings, french fries), “Whale Spout Pizza” (a place for pizza lovers), and “Dockside BBQ” (on the menu: ribs, sandwiches). You can buy ice cream at Scuba Scoops or Dippin Dots, and snack lovers (nachos, hot dogs, pretzels) should choose Dolphin Lobby Snack Bar.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Another location in Miami that will appeal to both adults and children is the local science museum.

Miami's iconic sights and quirky entertainment

Created in 1950, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science includes four buildings: the West and North Wings, the Frost Planetarium, and the Aquarium. This is an ideal place for the curious, as here you can learn about the structure of the universe, physical and chemical phenomena, and the secrets of the human body and mind. The museum features frequently updated exhibitions, interactive exhibitions, and science shows.

You can study the museum map and read about exhibitions and expositions on the official website.

Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132

The museum is open 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To save money, it is better to buy tickets online. admission for adults is $29.95 (Monday–Thursday) or $32.95 (Friday–Sunday).

 Tip: It is advisable to plan a trip to the museum in the morning, as there are fewer visitors at this time than at lunch or in the evening.

Where should we have lunch?

On the territory of the museum, there is a cafe called “[email protected],” where you can have a snack and drink a cup of coffee. The menu includes pizza, sandwiches, burgers, salads, homemade cakes, and special dishes for children.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Another iconic Miami attraction is the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, which covers an area of 83 acres and is famous for its incredible collection of rare plants.

This tropical oasis is named after its creator, American botanist David Fairchild, who traveled the world for 37 years searching for rare and useful plants. During this time, he managed to visit all the world’s continents (except Antarctica) and collect an impressive collection of plants.

In 1938, Mr. Fairchild, with his friends and like-minded people’s assistance, presented his life’s work to the public—a tropical botanical garden.

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is open to the public 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $24.95. The Wings of the Tropics exhibition deserves special attention, where you can see exotic butterflies and unique plants.

Address: 10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami, Florida 33156

Where should we have lunch?

You can try soup made from organic products, sandwiches, salads, rolls, and all kinds of desserts directly on the territory of the botanical garden. To do this, look at “The Glasshouse Café by Le Basque.” The cafe is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The menu can be found here.

Kennedy Space Center

The last location on my list is Kennedy Space Center. It should be noted here that this space center is located at Cape Canaveral. Geographically, this is about a 3.5-hour drive from Miami. The path is long, but I cannot imagine a trip to Miami that would not include a visit to the “launch pad for conquering space.”

You can learn more about how Kennedy Space Center is ready to surprise visitors on the official website.

Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953.

The Kennedy Space Center is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but beginning March 13, the park’s opening hours will be extended by one hour. The last bus tour leaves 2.5 hours before the park closes, and visitors are no longer allowed inside an hour before closing. For a one-day entrance ticket, you must pay $75 (for adults) or $65 (for children from 3 to 11 years old).

Where should we have lunch?

Depending on gastronomic preferences, visitors to the Kennedy Space Center can choose:

  • “Orbit Cafe” (offers breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, pizza, and desserts);
  • “Space Bowl Bistro” (acai bowl, “build your bowl”);
  • “Moon Rock Cafe” (fast food);
  • “Red Rock Grill” (hot dogs, french fries);
  • “Milky Way” (milk (and not only) cocktails, ice cream);
  • “Space Dots” (ice cream).

Seasonal activities in Miami

We have already figured out what to see in the city, so it’s time to discuss what to do in Miami. Here you will have access to the following entertainment:

Visit the House of Horror Haunted Carnival

When: All Saints’ Eve. Address:

1625 NW 107th Ave, Doral, FL 33172 Cost: Generally, the price ranges from $20 to $40. You can buy tickets on the website.

If you, like me, like to tickle your nerves, you will also appreciate the opportunity to wander around a giant abandoned department store.

Return to the past thanks to the “Florida Renaissance Festival.”

When: February 4 to March 26, 2023 (dates subject to change next year). The festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to sunset. Address: 401 S Powerline Rd, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442 Cost: A one-day entry ticket is $32 for an adult and $14 for a child. You can buy tickets on the website.

If you like jousting tournaments, fairs, puppet theaters, and more, then by all means, visit the festivals “Middle Ages” and “Renaissance.” 

Belly feast at the “South Beach Wine & Food Festival.”

When: February 23–26 (dates subject to change next year) Address: Miami Beach, Florida (there may be several locations; you must check the website). Cost: The ticket price will depend on the day of the week and the specific events you want to attend. You can find all the information about upcoming events and prices here.

The main focus of this festival is culinary traditions, world cuisine, and winemaking. Both professional chefs and gourmets who appreciate gourmet food will enjoy the holiday.

Useful information for future travelers

I’m just going to go to Miami, so as a potential tourist, I have many questions, from the approximate cost of the trip to the weather conditions at one time or another of the year. Fortunately, some of my friends have already managed to visit this city. For example, David lives in Florida but is a tourist in Miami. Also, not so long ago, I met Alena. Alena lives in Germany but loves to travel around the USA.

What are the must-sees in Miami?

I asked this question to David. His recommendation is the Fairchild Botanical Garden. According to him, this is just a unique place.

David also advises visiting Sunny Isles Beach and looking at the Ararat restaurant, which serves Armenian cuisine. Another recommendation is to visit Fort Lauderdale, as the local high-rise buildings lined along the canals are amazing.

What is the best month to visit Miami?

The best time to visit Miami is mid-autumn through May, but locals say you can’t swim in the ocean in January and February. Summer in Miami can be quite hot and occasionally rainy.

How much money do you need to relax in Miami?

There is no definite answer to this question since some (mainly Floridians and residents of neighboring states) travel by car and do not stay in the city long. Accordingly, a trip to Miami does not cost them too much. Others travel from distant states or countries, so the price is much higher. Miami is a rather expensive city, so on average, you must pay F300 per person per day for a vacation here. This includes the cost of a hotel, lunch at a mid-range restaurant, transportation around the city, and museum tickets. You must pay over $2,000 per person for a week-long vacation in Miami. Plus, add the cost of the flight to this amount.

Alena, a tourist from Germany, lived in the “Hotel Chelsea” in the South Beach area. Two weeks of accommodation (only accommodation!) cost her about $2,000+ ($400 for check-in).

What is the most beautiful part of Miami?

As expected, opinions were divided. Some call them “sunrises and sunsets, which should be admired on the ocean coast. Others prefer Downtown with its skyscrapers, fashionable restaurants, and shops.

Alena, in turn, really liked South Beach. She recommends enjoying the sunsets, swimming in the ocean (she was there in July, and the water was quite warm), and visiting “Gianni’s in the Versace mansion. She also noted that Downtown, Ocean Drive, and Wynwood are worth seeing. But most of all, she liked the beach and ocean relaxation.

What is the best view in Miami?

Many advise visiting the Skyviews Miami Wheel. They say it offers an incredible view of the city and the coast, but this pleasure is overpriced. A regular ticket for an adult will cost almost $20, and a VIP ticket will cost $50, and this is for a 15-minute ride.

Why is it worth taking the time to travel to Miami?

In short, Miami is

  • about 500 hotels scattered throughout the city;
  • about 800 parks and squares;
  • tens of kilometers of beaches;
  • thousands of interesting locations.

This city has a special charm. Endless shopping opportunities, magnificent nature, clean beaches, and luxurious nightclubs and restaurants are just some of what Miami offers travelers. There is always something to do here!

And if we have already touched upon the topic of holidays in the USA, then we must not forget that the United States is the “Mecca of cinema.” And yes, filmmakers also went to Miami. For example, such films as “Scarface,” “Miami Blues,” “The Bodyguard,” “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “Crazy About Mary,” “Marley and Me,” and many others took place here.

Also, the second season of the American Crime Story television series, dedicated to the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, was filmed here since the famous Versace mansion is located in Miami.


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