From relaxing white-sand beaches and luxurious spas to unique attractions and great restaurants, Miami is an easy weekend getaway, providing couples and families with an array of exciting new experiences.
Take a painting class with a twist, explore art-filled areas, see exotic animals, go shopping, sunbathe on the beach, dine on amazing seafood, and discover other fun things to do in Miami.
1. 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. Browse more South Beach getaways.
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2. 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. Browse the best beaches in Miami.
16225 SW 172nd Ave, Miami, Florida 33187, Phone: 305-969-3696
3. 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. Dine at great Miami restaurants on vacation.
4. 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. Explore Miami outlet malls if you enjoy shopping.
1111 Parrot Jungle Trl, Miami, Florida 33132, Phone: 305-400-7000
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5. 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. Browse top seafood restaurants in Miami.
1566 SW 22nd St, Miami, FL 33145, Phone: (305) 204-6964
6. Miami Seaquarium
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Committed to wildlife conservation and the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned sea creatures, the Miami Seaquarium offers visitors a unique take on a traditional aquarium. Yes, you will be able to admire a wide cross-section of marine life in various tanks, but you can also enjoy some remarkable up-close-and-personal animal interactions, like Meeting a Dolphin or even swimming with these remarkable sea creatures. Other experiences include touching a variety of animals in the petting pool and stingray pool, meeting a penguin on Penguin Isle or joining a Seal Swim. You will also see and learn about gravely endangered animals like the Manatee and several species of sea turtle. More info
Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, 305-361-5705
7. Area 31 Restaurant
© Area 31 Restaurant
Located on the 16th floor of the Kimpton EPIC Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard Way, Area 31 Restaurant offers a Miami dining experience you do not want to miss. There are sweeping views over the water from every angle. The innovative cuisine at the restaurant is prepared using the freshest local sustainably sourced ingredients. A rooftop herb garden supplies fresh herbs to the restaurant and bar. There is a wonderful Terrace Lounge, perfect for relaxing after a day exploring the sights of Miami. The restaurant serves daily breakfast, a light pool-side lunch menu, dinner and weekend brunch. Delicious artisan cocktails are a must. Florida day trips offer a great way to explore nearby.
270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305 424 5234
8. 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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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. Read about the best Florida weekend getaways for a relaxing vacation.
10. 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. Browse our best places to visit in Florida guide for more ideas.
1855 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Phone: 305-538-8448
11. Bulla Gastrobar
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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. Florida beaches offer a cheap way to enjoy the state's natural beauty.
2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, Florida 33134, Phone: 305-441-0107
12. Ayesha's Kitchen
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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. Browse our best places to visit in Florida guide for more ideas.
9105 SW 115th Terrace, Miami, Florida 33176, Phone: 305-254-0693
13. Bayfront Park
Built in 1896, Bayfront Park was formerly known as the Royal Palm Park. As the Greater Miami communities’ first gathering place, the park has welcomed generations of locals and visitors who come to play or relax. Visitors who come to enjoy Bayfront Park today will find a huge 32-acre oasis of green right in the heart of Downtown Miami. Here families come in large numbers to enjoy the fresh coastal breezes as they relax, exercise or enjoy a simple ball game. Facilities include a wide bay walk, a sandy beach area, wide-open lawn areas and a performance area. As you make your way around the park you will notice several impressive sculptures by the renowned sculptor Isamu Nogushi.
Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132, 305-358-7550
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14. Semilla Eatery and Bar
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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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15. Alice Wainwright Park
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Offering unsurpassed views of Biscayne Bay, the Alice Wainwright Park protects a unique closed-canopy forest which is home to endemic evergreen trees and shrubs. The park offers locals an ideal place to enjoy the coastal breezes, walk, run, cycle, relax with a book or walk the dog. Other facilities in the park include a basket ball court, an outdoor gym and playground and a large lawn area where you can kick back and relax as you gaze out over the bay. There is also a BBQ area, several first-come-first-served picnic shelters and clean restrooms. The park is open from sunrise to sunset every day. Find out where to go snorkeling in Florida on your getaway.
Alice Wainwright Park, 2845 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33133, 305-856-6794
16. 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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17. 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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18. HistoryMiami Museum
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Protecting and showcasing the fascinating history of Miami-Dade County, the HistoryMiami Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate museum which has strived to educated locals and visitors about the origins of their county since it was established in 1940. The museum holds a permanent collection of more than 37,000 artifacts which range from prehistoric archaeological finds to modern-day Cuban folk art. When you visit their primary permanent exhibition, Tropical Dreams, you will learn about 10,000 years of southern Florida history and about the thousands of immigrants who have shaped the city’s future. The museum also presents regular temporary exhibitions on various subjects of interest to the Miami Dade community.
HistoryMiami Museum, 101 W. Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130, 305-375-1492
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19. The Wynwood Walls
Established in 2009 to showcase the work of several prominent street artists, Wynwood Walls is a unique outdoor museum of international graffiti art. The Museum has been an overwhelming success and has spurred the establishment of many other street art projects throughout the Wynwood district. Visitors come from all over the world to see one of the best and most concentrated collections of street art by celebrated artists like Futura, Swoon, Kenny Scharf and many more artists from around the globe. There are more than 50 stunning murals to admire; you can wander around at your own pace or join a guided tour.
The Wynwood Walls, 266 NW 26th Street, Miami, FL 33127, 305-576-3334
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20. SuperBlue Miami
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SuperBlue Miami is unlike anything else you have ever experienced. The museum is made up of a series of large-scale immersive art installations, created by talented artists who invite you to step inside their works of art and become part of their artistic endeavor. Basically, the museum is a walk-through space where visitors can not only see visual art but also touch and interact with the installations, causing them to change shape or format. In one installation you will find yourself in a mirror maze, while in another you will be surrounded by ethereal clouds. The museum offers timed visits, which means that you will not have to compete with hundreds of other visitors as you enjoy the experience.
SuperBlue Miami, 1101 NW 23rd Street, Miami, 33127, 786-697-3414
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21. Rum Renaissance Festival
Whether you're a long time rum lover or simply someone looking to learn more about this timeless alcoholic drink and taste some of the finest examples from all over the globe, the Rum Renaissance Festival is a must visit event, bringing all of the best rums from across the globe together under one roof, with tastings, seminars, and more helping to make the event a fully-featured experience you'll never forget.
The Rum Renaissance Festival is a celebration of one of the world's most historically significant and beloved alcoholic drinks. It will bring together dozens of popular, highly rated rum brands from all over the world to offer tastings of their amazing products to every guest. Some of the top rum brands you can expect to find at the Rum Renaissance Festival include Koloa Rum, Gubba Rum, Nicks and Bruce Gordian Knot Reserve Rum, Islamorada Distilling, Madi Rum, Trois Rivieres French Plantation Rum, Nine Leaves, Skotlander, and Starr Rum. Food will also be served at the Rum Festival, and seminars will be running to help you learn more about rum, with many talks being run by leading rum experts from Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States. For upcoming dates, visit rumrenaissance.com.
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22. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
© Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
The whole family will enjoy a fun and educational trip to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, which encompasses a planetarium and an aquarium. In the 3-level aquarium, visitors can explore the vast range of aquatic creatures which inhabit the unique Florida ecosystems. You can see everything from hammerhead sharks to delicate little sea horses. In the state-of-the-art planetarium you can experience thrilling and immersive shows that will totally amaze you. Other brilliant exhibitions include the Power of Science, the Skin exhibit, the Feathers to Starts exhibit (which explains the origins of flight) and the very popular Mammoth exhibit. The store stocks a large selection of educational toys and books.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132, 305-434-9600
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23. Versailles Restaurant
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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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24. Fun Dimension
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Fun Dimension skillfully combines an array of fun activities for the whole family with an attractive setting and a great restaurant. Ideal for family fun days out, the facility is equally suited to adults who would like a comfortable workspace while their children enjoy the many activities. Dynamic activities for the family include a climbing wall, indoor playground, bumper cars, a games arcade and a brilliant laser tag arena. When you have worked up an appetite you can head to the restaurant to enjoy delicious food from around the world and a selection of beverages including specialty coffees, craft beers, soft drinks and wine.
Fun Dimension, 2129 NW 1st CT, Miami, FL 33127, 786-360-1766
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Maurice A. Ferre Park
Encompassing the longest waterfront bay walk in the city, the 21-acre Maurice A. Ferré Park was formerly called Museum Park. This was because this large and popular public area links several of the city’s best museums, via the long promenade which stretches from Biscayne Boulevard to Biscayne Bay. Miami locals flock to this breezy waterfront area to walk, jog or attend large public events – the park can accommodate around 45,000 people and is a popular concert and musical festival venue. As you make your way along the palm-lined pathways you will notice several thought-provoking large-scale sculptures and a monument honoring the Spanish Navy.
Maurice A. Ferré Park, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132, 305-358-7550
Places to Visit in Miami: AmericanAirlines Arena
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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