3 Day Itinerary | Miami, Florida

3 Day Itinerary | Miami, Florida

Miami is so many things, it’s an art deco heaven, a diversified city with tons of fantastic restaurants. And don’t forget about the turquoise waters and palm trees galore! Miami is a city of contrasts and so sprawling, that it can be easily overwhelming. Miami is truly a city where over-the-top luxury meets down-to-Earth culture.

She’s quirky, she’s gritty. As you walk down her streets, the ocean air whips past you with the promise of your cosmopolitan adventure to come. You will no doubt fall in love with Miami and you CAN get a well-rounded experience of the grandeur of the city in just three days! But first, the basics.

Choosing a place to crash. If this is your first visit to Miami, it may be a good idea to find a place at or near South Beach. This area is very touristy, but it is a very good home base, as many of the attractions are nearby, and there are many transportation options. Airbnb’s are generally a less expensive option, and you get the advantage of a local’s perspective from your host.

Getting Around. If you want to have the full Miami experience, rent a convertible! But just be aware that parking may be hard to find as all the streets are typically filled with other tourists and locals, especially if you’re trying to get to the beach.

Pro Tip:

Park your car in a nearby parking garage or several blocks away and Uber to your destination.

For a more budget-friendly option, take public transport. When exploring the downtown area, hop on the free Metromover, which stops at all of the major attractions.

Miami is a big city, with tons of attractions. And everyone has different preferences, but for first timers to the city, this 3-day itinerary covers the basics and then some!

Infographic

Day 1

Wynwood Walls. Miami has the largest collection of art deco buildings in the world. And South Beach has a nice collection of them. The pastel color palette and rounded corners guide you gently to the laid-back Miami lifestyle. Also, be sure to hit up Wynwood Walls. An incredible collection of street art murals painted on the side of warehouses, along with traditional art galleries and trendy cafes.

Pro Tip:

When you’ve conjured up an appetite, have lunch at one of the nearby food trucks, or go for a burger and wash it down with a craft beer.

Little Havana. If you don’t think you’ll ever make it to Cuba, you must visit Little Havana. A pretty good replica of the actual Havana, walk the streets and visit the tobacco factory. Then stop at a cafe and savor some of the best coffee in the world. Truly. Coffee lovers will go nuts. This really is an authentic section of the city, where you will find Cuban men leisurely playing dominos in Maximo Gomez Park, or whiling away the afternoon, simply people-watching.

Coral Gables. A truly beautiful area in its own right, the sprawling Banyan trees, and Spanish style homes create an elegant atmosphere that entices you to linger there.

Pro Tip:

You must visit the Venetian Pool. Built out of coral stone, what was once a coral rock quarry has been transformed into a gorgeous oasis. Freshwater flows in daily from artesian wells, and people come here to swim their cares away.

Fun Fact!

Several times in its history, the pool was routinely drained of water so that the Miami Symphony could perform inside of it. Its acoustic properties made for some incredible-sounding concerts!

Day 2

Lincoln Road Mall – browse (I said BROWSE unless you have money to burn!) Lincoln Road Mall has its high-end shops and restaurants. It is the perfect place to sit at a local cafe out on the patio and people watch. As you walk along Ocean Drive, you will hear infectious Latin rhythms wafting out of pubs as restaurants. And when you’ve had your fill of sand and ocean, go to nearby Lincoln Road for some outdoor mall shopping. 

Pro Tip:

If you are on any sort of budget, do not eat anywhere on Ocean Drive. The prices for food and drink tend to be a lot higher. You are better off eating or grabbing a drink before or after visiting this beach.

Perez Art Museum. If museums are your thing, this is one of the best spots in town. The Perez Art Museum, Miami Museum and the Frost Museum of Science are all clustered together for your convenience. Museum Park itself is located near the water, where you may just catch the comings and goings of cruise ships.

Dolphin Mall. This is the largest outlet shopping and entertainment mall in the area. If you love shopping, carve out a few hours to hit this mall. With over 200 stores and restaurants, you could easily spend all day here.

Day 3

Biscayne Bay. Did you say coral reefs? If you are adventurous and daring, check out the many activities that Biscayne Bay has to offer here!

Pro Tip:

If you prefer beaches a little less touristy and a lot less crowded, head to Mid Beach and North Beach.

Crandon Park. Located on Key Biscayne Island, this park is peppered with wildlife, such as peacocks and iguanas. This is a park you wouldn’t want to miss out. It offers bike trails if you’re feeling adventurous and hammocks when you need to relax. Enjoy water activities, such as parasailing and jet skiing.

Fairchild Botanical Garden. Step into a true tropical garden of Eden. You will stroll past a huge variety of exotic plants from rainforests and others wet climates around the world. The gardens are divided into two main sections, the Highlands and the Lowlands, with different species of plants and flowers in each. There is also a large scientific presence here, as botanists from all over come here to study certain rare species. There are both guided and self-guided tours available.

Jungle Island. Ever want to talk to a Macaw? Well, you can do it here! Just don’t expect them to hold a conversation! This is a zoological park that prides itself on giving you an adventure, with discovery and animals. You can immerse yourself in the jungle vibe, and get up close and personal with wild birds, kangaroos and even gators (don’t worry, it’s safe).

Pro Tip:

Bring the family here, the kids will not stop talking about their adventures here!

How would you spend 3 days in Miami?