From relaxing white-sand beaches and luxurious spas to unique attractions (some completely free) and great restaurants, Miami is an easy South Florida weekend getaway, providing couples and families with an array of exciting new experiences. Take a painting class with a twist, explore art-filled neighbourhoods, see exotic animals, go shopping, sunbathe on the beach, dine on amazing seafood or Italian foods, and discover other fun things to do in Miami. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.South Beach

South Beach
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Nicknamed SoBe, South Beach can arguably be described as one of Miami’s “hottest spots.” The rich and famous rub shoulders with the quirky and eccentric at buzzing beach cafés and bustling restaurants. Beautiful art deco buildings line the palm-fringed beachfront that is packed with walkers, runners, roller skaters, and body-builders, and the vibe is nothing less than electric. Exploring South Beach is one of the best things to do in Miami.

Long, sandy beaches are dotted with umbrellas and sun-worshippers while the tropical waters are ideal for swimming and paddle boarding. The oceanfront boardwalk is a perfect place for a stroll while people-watching, and the plethora of restaurants and bars overlooking the beach offer everything from fine dining to handmade sandwiches for the beach.

Evenings see colorful cocktails and chic martinis make their appearances as the stars come out to play. For something less glamorous, head to Haulover Park for a game of golf or tennis, excellent fishing, and bicycle rides along the coast.

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2. Zoological Wildlife Foundation

Zoological Wildlife Foundation
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The Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF) is an appointment-only zoo that specializes in intimate, interactive, and hands-on guided wildlife tours that aim to educate visitors about rare and endangered animal species in both captivity and the wild.

Spanning five acres of lush landscape that is home to a range of endangered and rare species, including the white African lion, snow leopard, binturong, and the exceptionally rare Amur leopard, the park provides invaluable insight into the importance of wildlife conservation and education.

Tours include interactive encounters with some of the animals, such as feeding camels, lemurs, toucans, and more, as well as an up-close-and-personal interaction with some of the world’s most beautiful felines in the contemporary Encounters Amphitheater. End your tour with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of an individual experience with one of the baby felines. If you are wondering what to do in Miami this weekend with kids, this is a great place to visit.

16225 SW 172nd Ave, Miami, Florida 33187, Phone: 305-969-3696

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3.Places to Visit in Miami: Coconut Grove

Places to Visit in Miami: Coconut Grove
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Originally settled in the 1800s, Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously inhabited community in Miami and remains a charming, bayside village in the heart of Miami’s bustling urban vibe.

Coconut Grove’s pedestrian-friendly village center is lined with sunny sidewalk cafes, elegant art galleries, and stylish, independent boutiques, giving the small village a laid-back bohemian charm. Sip coffee in the sun and relax at one of the cafés as you watch the world stroll by. Coconut Grove enjoys some open-air parks with views over the bay, such as Kennedy Park, Peacock Park, and the Barnacle Historic State Park, where hiking, biking, and picnicking can be enjoyed.

The area also boasts CocoWalk, a large multi-level entertainment complex with shops, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife, and a major attraction for both locals and tourists. An afternoon exploring Coconut Grove is one of the best things to do in Miami.

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4. Versailles Restaurant

Versailles Restaurant
© Versailles Restaurant

Versailles Restaurant opened its doors as a humble sandwich and coffee shop in 1971 and has been serving the South Florida community award-winning Cuban fare ever since. Visited by musicians, celebrities, and politicians alike, Versailles’ menu serves traditional, authentic Cuban food based on tried-and-tested family recipes, with five unique dishes that have made this “Little Havana” mainstay a beloved Miami institution.

The Cuban sandwich is packed with roast pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles; the golden and crispy croquetas are a crowd-pleaser, while the Vaca frita of shredded flank steak and onions fried on a flat grill is a firm favorite. Don’t miss the Pastel de platano, which is similar to a Cuban-style lasagna, and Versailles’ most favorite dish, Lechon Asado.

3555 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33135, Phone: 305-444-0240.

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5.Painting with a Twist

Painting with a Twist
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Painting with a Twist is a unique and fun way to spend an evening learning how to paint and enjoying a drink with friends under the expert guidance of lively instructors. A franchise of the original Corks N Canvas, Painting with a Twist offers step-by-step instruction in the art of painting in a friendly, fun-filled, and relaxed environment.

Public classes range from two to three hours and cups, paint, paint brushes, canvas, and professional art instructors are provided-guests just need to bring their own wine and creativity. Private classes and special events can be arranged, and each month, studios raise funds for various charities in the region.

924 71st Street, Miami Beach, Florida 33141, Phone: 786-352-8511

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6.Semilla Eatery and Bar

Semilla Eatery and Bar
© Semilla Eatery and Bar

Located in the heart of Miami Beach, Semilla is a contemporary Euro-style gastropub that serves delicious small plates of tapas paired with craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, and fine wines.

Prepared with the freshest, farm-to-table organic ingredients, Semilla specializes in tapas with a range of dishes on order, including dim sum, succulent seafood, and cold cuts. The eatery boasts a Teppanyaki station with traditional woks and grills where Chef Frederic Joulin creates some of Miami Beach’s finest tapas, ceviche, and tempura, as well as chicken, meat, and fish dishes, including lamb belly confit, pork shoulder rillettes, and fresh scallops.

Head to the u-shaped bar for Happy Hour every day from 4 pm for a range of unique local craft beers and creative cocktails and an extensive wine list served by the glass and by the bottle.

1330 Alton Road, Miami Beach, Florida 33139, Phone: 305-674-6522

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7. Things To Do in Miami: Jungle Island

Things To Do in Miami: Jungle Island
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Jungle Island is a contemporary and interactive zoological park in Watson Island, where visitors of all ages can get up close to a variety of extraordinary animals and birds from all around the world.

Founded in 1936 as Parrot Island with the idea that birds could “fly free,” Jungle Island has evolved to include a wealth of animals as well and now features a range of exotic wildlife, including rare twin orangutans and the world’s only trained cassowary. The theme park features a variety of exciting and interactive exhibits, displays, and habitats in which the animals and birds live.

The Parrot Bowl features an impressive array of birds from around the globe, including the Andean condor and the king vulture, while the Serpentarium is a reptilian heaven, with snakes, lizards, and snapping turtles. Visit Hercules, the 900-pound liger (a cross between a lion and a tiger), watch the fascinating "Tale of the Tiger" in the modern Jungle Theater, or head to the petting zoo where the kids can interact with a number of domestic and exotic animals, including red kangaroos. Jungle Island is one of the top attractions in Miami. Read more

1111 Parrot Jungle Trl, Miami, Florida 33132, Phone: 305-400-7000

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8.Fun Things To Do in Miami: Olympia Theater

Fun Things To Do in Miami: Olympia Theater
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Once Miami's grandest silent movie palace and Vaudeville house, today, the Olympia is one of Miami’s top entertainment venues, hosting an array of live performances, films, and social events.

Opened in 1926 and located at the Gusman Center, the Olympia Theater rests in the heart of a thriving urban center, playing an important role in the revival of the area.

The theater has played host to a number of exciting performers in the arts and entertainment industry throughout history, including cultural icons such as Luciano Pavarotti, B.B. King, and Elvis Presley, who have wooed fans under the stars.

If you are looking for romantic date night ideas in Miami, watch a show at the Olympia Theater. The theater is easily accessible via public transport (rail and road) and is surrounded by a wealth of restaurants, cafés, bars and clubs to enjoy dinner or drinks after a show.

174 E. Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33131, Phone: 305-374-2444

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9.Things To Do in Miami: Wynwood

Things To Do in Miami: Wynwood
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The Wynwood Arts District has evolved from a dilapidated and run-down district into one of the city’s most vibrant and eclectic art scenes.

Home to more than 70 art galleries, featuring local and international works, an array of retails stores, antique shops, buzzing bars and quirky cafés, the Wynwood Arts District also boasts one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world.

Neglected warehouses, unused buildings, and shuttered factories have been rehabilitated and transformed into modern complexes housing art galleries, performing art spaces, and other creative businesses, as well as restaurants, cafés, wine bars, and pubs.

Every second Saturday of the month sees a popular Art Walk through the District and has been hosting the Art Basel Fair every year since 2002.

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10.Icebox Cafe

Icebox Cafe
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Bright and spacious, Icebox Cafe’s Miami Beach location in Sunset Harbor is immensely popular (they have another one at the airport) and the move to the new, larger place did not hurt it at all. The menu is New American, diverse and health-conscious, offering fresh juices, rotisserie, and a full bar. Let’s not forget their desserts, world-famous and Oprah-approved. Most dishes are light, bursting with flavors, and consist of organic, seasonal ingredients. But, even if you stuff your face with something like pappardelle with braised short rib ragù with Angus beef, Grana Padano, and basil, leave some space for incredible desserts like the Chocolate Delight with dark chocolate ganache and several layers of cheese cake brownie.

1855 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-538-8448

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11.Bulla Gastrobar

Bulla Gastrobar
© Bulla Gastrobar

Bulla Gastrobar is an elegantly casual eatery and gathering place for food-lovers and friends in Coral Gables, inspired by Spain’s favorite tapas bars.

Taking a page from the best of Barcelona’s drinking establishments, Bulla’s primary focus is the beautiful bar in the center of the restaurant; however, they don’t miss a beat when it comes to their fare either, where an emphasis is on culinary creations from Catalan and Spain.

Aiming to bring guests a “high-quality food in a bar ambiance,” Bulla’s ambiance is vibrant and energetic, not unlike that of a bar in Spain, serving great tapas and Catalan-inspired dishes, local and imported craft beers, wines and spirits, and handmade cocktails. The menu offers a range of well-executed small plates that evoke a Barcelona tapas bar.

2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, Florida 33134, Phone: 305-441-0107

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12.Ayesha's Kitchen

Ayesha's Kitchen
© Ayesha's Kitchen

Travel to India without leaving the kitchen! Ayesha's Kitchen offers cooking classes and culinary experiences in the art of making Indian cuisine.

Owned and managed by Ayesha D’Mello, Ayesha's Kitchen takes guests on a delicious journey through authentic Indian traditional cuisine, where it comes from, what it’s made of, how it’s all put together, and its natural medicinal health benefits in fun-filled, personalized cooking classes.

Designed to inspire guests about the benefits and beauty of Indian cooking, Ayesha’s classes and recipes reflect her passion for India and her food, with ingredients, herbs, and spices making vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from the mountainous regions of northern India to the beautiful coastline in the south.

Learn how to make everything from succulent seafood meals to savvy street fare, homemade Indian bread, and mouthwatering sweet desserts.

9105 SW 115th Terrace, Miami, Florida 33176, Phone: 305-254-0693

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13.Miami points of interest: Star Stables Miami

Miami points of interest: Star Stables Miami
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Star Stables Miami is an equestrian center that offers a range of equestrian-based services, from deluxe boarding and stabling, horse lease and sales, horse training, and horseback riding lessons for all levels of rider.

Conveniently located in Horse Country, an area known for its beautiful open landscapes, an active agricultural community and passion for animals, the stables offer both horse and rider comfort and peace of mind. Learn to ride at Star Stables, where experienced and passionate personal instructors teach all levels of rider, from beginners to advanced, as well as how to understand and care for horses.

Classes range from the essential elements of riding to high-quality training for dressage, show jumping, and other disciplines of the sport. Lessons are customized to each individual’s capabilities and can be taken as a one-on-one private lesson or in a group.

11970 SW 64th St., Miami, Florida 33183, Phone: 305-262-8303

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14.Ocean Drive Exotic Cars

Ocean Drive Exotic Cars
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Drive in style and turn heads with Ocean Drive Exotic Cars, a car hire company in South Florida that specializes in exotic car rentals and VIP transportation.

Featuring an exclusive and ultra-prestigious fleet of high-performance vehicles, Ocean Drive Exotic Cars offers services such as chauffeured airport and hotel transfers, luxurious transport for special occasions, dinner reservations, and more.

Vehicles are fully maintained and in mint condition, with a model for every desire, from Rolls Royce to McLaren, so whether you are looking to fulfill your adrenalin-rushing needs for a day or in need of a stylish ride for a celebrity party, Ocean Drive Exotic Cars has it all.

Located in Fort Lauderdale Beach, cars can be delivered to South Beach as required, as well as surrounding areas within an hour’s notice.

421 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316, Phone: 954-256-5760

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15.Shallow Tails Fishing Trips

Shallow Tails Fishing Trips
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Shallow Tails offers guided fishing trips on the flats and backcountry of Biscayne Bay, the Upper Keys, Islamorada, and the Flamingo Everglades. Fishing trips are conducted by professional fishing guide Captain Raul Montoro, who has over 20 years of experience fishing the waters around Florida, specializing in light tackle fishing for tailing bonefish, rolling tarpon, and permit.

Guided fishing trips include all the necessary fishing licenses for Florida, bait, tackle, and ice, as well as light tackle, including fly-fishing gear, spinning gear, artificial lures, and bait.

To maximize the fishing experience, trips are limited to one or two anglers per boat, which is a 17’9” Kevlar skiff. Trips range from half day to full day trips, and a special Night Tarpon Trip.

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16.Things To Do in Miami: Bayside Marketplace

Things To Do in Miami: Bayside Marketplace
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Bayside Marketplace is a vast shopping mall located on Biscayne Boulevard and features a variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment facilities, and services.

The mall boasts all the big brand name stores, as well as smaller boutiques, shops, and stalls and features an array of places to eat and drink, ranging from fine dining to fast food. Bayside Marketplace services include cash machines, visitor information, and ticket sales for local attractions, newspaper vending and taxi services, weekend valet parking, and wheelchair rental.

A number of Miami’s main sightseeing and tourist attractions are situated within close range of the Bayside Marketplace, such as Jungle Island, Miami Art Museum, Miami Seaquarium, and the Children’s Museum.

401 Biscayne Blvd. R106, Miami, Florida 33132, Phone: 305-577-3344

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17.Places to Visit in Miami: AmericanAirlines Arena

Places to Visit in Miami: AmericanAirlines Arena
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Home of the Miami Heat basketball team, the AmericanAirlines Arena is a massive sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Miami overlooking Biscayne Bay. Boasting over 2,000 club seats, 80 luxury suites, and 76 private boxes, the stadium also houses the Waterfront Theater, which is used for music concerts, theater performances, stage shows, and other family-orientated events.

Since its grand opening on December 31, 1999, the AmericanAirlines Arena has hosted some of the world’s top stars, including U2, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga, to name but a few, providing exceptional floor-to-ceiling acoustics, a proscenium stage, theatrical lighting, and breathtaking drop chandeliers.

The arena is also home to NBA Champions, Miami Heat, and has hosted a range of other top sporting events, such as championship boxing, tennis, and gymnastics.

601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33132, Phone: 786-777-1000

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20 Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida

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