Fun Things to Do in Miami Beach, Florida
The greater Miami area can be a whirlwind destination, chill beach town, or all of the above. With all the fun things to do in Miami Beach, Florida, it’s worth it to spend a little time planning your getaway. Are you into museum or island hopping? Indulging your taste buds or your lust for adventure? With our guide to Miami Beach, and neighboring Miami, you’ll have all the info you need to plan your vacation.
Best Beaches of Miami Beach
What’s a vacation to the Sunshine State without a little sun? Of all the fun things to do in Miami Beach, hanging out at the beach takes the cake. Miami sits right on the coastline, with Miami Beach jutting out into the ocean, so there’s plenty of water to go around. This stretch of the Atlantic Coast is great for kids and windsurfers, alike. Lummus Park on Ocean Drive is happening with colorful locals and magazine-ready beach bodies. Haulover Beach has a monopoly on surfer-friendly swells. The Oleta River State Park, on the other hand, offers up a more laid-back time, drawing in fishermen and boaters. If you’re not up for a swim, but a great view, check out the lovely South Pointe Park. Then, of course, there are the Miami Beach mainstays: North, Mid, and South beaches – each with plenty of on-land distractions, like sidewalk cafes and Boardwalk roller bladders.
For a bigger adventure, Miami Beach has plenty of local companies that specialize in charter fishing, scuba diving, parasailing, and whatever other activity the Big Blue inspires in you.
Miami Beach Hotspots
► Get Your South Beach FixSouth Beach is cool enough to warrant an abbreviated nickname, SoBe. You may even spot a celebrity here! While a slew of sophisticated attractions, like the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Holocaust Memorial, Art Deco Historic District, and Miami City Ballet, fill SoBe’s 23 blocks, the vibe here leans toward the edgy and glitzy. Here’s where you’ll find topless sunbathing, the World Erotic Art Museum, Miami Fashion Week, plush shops, luxurious dining, and 100+ nightclubs. Favorite areas include the photogenic Ocean Drive, quirky Espanola Way, shopping central Lincoln Road, and nighttime hot spot Washington Avenue. “Must eats” include Joe’s Stone Crab, Prime One Twelve, and the Burger & Beer Joint. For after-hours dancing and mingling, you can’t lose with Mansion, Nikki Beach, or Cameo.
► Little HavanaVisit the real Miami in Little Havana. When it comes to Cuban cigars, food, music, dancing, and history, this is the jackpot. Little Havana is the best way to visit Cuba without actually visiting Cuba. Calle Oche is a neighborhood hot spot, featuring the Versailles Restaurant, the famous Calle Oche festival, Maximo Gomez Park – where the older population gathers to play onlooker-worthy games of dominoes, and the Cuban Memorial Boulevard Park, great for soaking up some local history.
► Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami, previously the Miami Metro Zoo, is the United States’ only tropical zoo. Visit with 2,000+ animals, from orangutans to African elephants to stingrays. Kids will get a kick out of Wacky Barn, a petting zoo located at the Children’s Zoo. And don’t miss out on the gardens – 1,200 plants, including the goofy Sausage Tree and striking Rainbow Eucalyptus tree, call Zoo Miami home!
► Miami Seaquarium
Forget SeaWorld, the Seaquarium is the longest-running marine animal park in the country. This is no hum-drum aquarium, but a sanctuary for all kinds of ocean life. Think dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, sea turtles, crocodiles, and manatees. The Seaquarium offers up live shows, close encounters, and a mangrove habitat called Discovery Bay.
► Jungle Island
Jungle Island takes bird watching to a whole new level. See parrots, penguins, flamingos, and more in their day-to-day lives, or performing at a show. But Jungle Island isn’t just for the birds. Tigers, Ligers (a mix between a lion and a tiger), kangaroos, alligators, and chimpanzees are just a handful of the animals you’ll discover here. There’s also “La Playa,” a private beach featuring views of Biscayne Bay, water slides, and swimming.
► The Everglades
Miami makes a great home base for a vacation to the Florida Everglades. The Everglades Safari Park provides airboat rides, wildlife shows and exhibits, and even a restaurant and gift shop. Gator Park also serves up airboat rides, plus a chance to hold a small alligator. The wetlands of the Everglades are home to an array of animals – wild boar and endangered birds, to name a few.
► Monkey Island
Hate looking at zoo animals locked up in cages? Then Monkey Island is your new favorite attraction. Instead of the howler monkeys, orangutans, spider monkeys, and other zoo residents being caged, they roam free while you explore their world on a caged path.
Golf and Spa
Florida may be a beach destination, but it's almost as well-known for its golf and spa options.
Florida is known for challenging, championship courses that come with striking ocean views. And Miami is no exception. Top Miami golf courses include the Palmetto Golf Course, Killian Greens Golf Club, Doral Golf Resort, Westview Country Club, and the Miami Beach Golf Club.
Miami Beach is a huge spa destination, and with all the activity on the beach and at the bars, it’s no wonder tourists need a little help unwinding. Favorite local spas include the South Beach Massage & Bodywork, Bodies Kneaded Massage Spa, Spa 101, Agua Spa at the Delano, Standard Spa, and the Spa at Mandarin Oriental.
The Miami area has lot of great Florida beach destinations. Key Biscayne, with an enticing collection of beaches, is an island just south of Miami Beach, and is the most day trip-worthy. Meanwhile, there’s Coral Gables, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Hollywood, and the Florida Everglades to explore.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our free guide to the most fun things to do in Miami Beach, Florida. If you’re ready to go on your vacation, don’t overlook our great selection of Miami Beach vacation rentals, for every budget and taste.