The Magic City: Miami Highlights
Glittering Miami is where all of the energy and dynamism of the city meets the laid-back lifestyle of the beach. There are so many reasons this Florida hotspot is known as the Magic City: streets lined with glamorous bars and nightclubs, a sea salt-scented breeze blowing over a teal-coloured ocean and a distinct Cuban influence that brings eclecticism and rhythm to its cafés and cigar shops. If you’re tempted by a holiday to Miami, here are our top recommendations of where to go, eat and sleep.
Beach Holidays in Miami
Look a little closer at the pristine beaches that line Florida’s southern coastline and you’ll find they offer so much more than just chilling out (although you can also do plenty of that, of course). Here are some of our favourites for Miami holidays.
- Take a short drive over the Rickenbacker Causeway and you’ll glide over sparkling azure water to connect to the barrier islands of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne. On the latter you’ll find a wide variety of beaches, including the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area. As well as tropical sands, you can enjoy exploring the oldest landmark in south Florida – the Cape Florida Lighthouse.
- The Biscayne National Park is home to vibrant reefs and mysterious shipwrecks, making it the ideal spot for some diving or snorkelling. On your way over the Rickenbacker Causeway make sure to stop off at local favourite, Hobie Beach.
- If you’re looking to try your hand at water sports on your Miami holiday, this is the place to do it; Hobie Beach is also known as Windsurfer Beach. It’s positioned between the city and the barrier islands, so you’ll benefit from a calm atmosphere while enjoying unbeatable views of Miami’s impressive skyline.
Attractions in Miami
Whether you’re on a honeymoon or a family trip, there’s plenty to keep you entertained on holidays to Miami.
- Little ones will love a day exploring at Seaquarium. Immerse yourself in the exhibits and learn more about the prominent rescue and rehabilitation programme that supports the re-release of wild animals.
- Take an exciting airboat tour and discover the Everglades – a National Park made up of two million acres of wetlands on Florida’s southern tip. It’s an abundant wildlife habitat, so bring along your camera to capture flamingos, leatherback turtles and West Indian manatees. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare Florida panther (from the safety of your boat, of course).
- Keep fit and active while you're on holiday by exploring Florida’s biggest urban park, Oleta River State Park, located on Biscayne Bay. Explore the many miles of off-road bike trails, kayak on the river or discover the mysterious mangrove forests.
Culture in Miami
Why not add in a few of these arts and culture suggestions to your Miami itinerary?
- After a day of relaxing and exploring, put the cherry on top of the cake and catch an opera, ballet or theatre performance at the Adrienne Arsht Centre, one of Miami’s prime hubs for the performing arts. Have dinner beforehand at the onsite fine dining BRAVA restaurant, where you can enjoy seasonal food from award-winning executive chef Brad Kilgore.
- Head to downtown North Miami for an afternoon strolling around the innovative and provocative exhibits of the Museum of Contemporary Art, coffee in hand. Alternatively, bask in the sunshine while you wander around the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a grand villa and European-inspired gardens dating back to 1916.
- The Cuban community in Miami is mainly concentrated in Little Havana. On Calle Ocho, the neighbourhood’s main street, you’ll find traditional music, locals playing seemingly endless games of dominoes and authentic street food.
- For a unique breakfast, check out the Versailles Bakery. Rather than sit in the restaurant, stop by the takeout window, La Ventanita, where regulars gather to chat about politics over their espressos with condensed milk and morning empanadas.
Luxury Holidays to Miami
With its high-end boutiques, glamorous nightclubs and all-inclusive resorts, Miami is the home of unadulterated luxury. Here’s how to indulge yourself on holidays in Miami.
- Elegant art deco hotel Metropolitan by COMO has just 74 rooms, creating an exclusive, boutique-style vibe. Recharge at the Shambala Urban Spa (try a shiatsu massage) or just relax in the rooftop infinity pool with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- All-inclusive holidays in Miami don’t come much better. Get the elevator all the way up to the 40th floor of the stylish EAST hotel to reach the Sugar rooftop bar. Enjoy cocktails and Asian tapas while looking out over the Miami skyline and islands beyond. It has a smart dress code so leave your sandals at home, and expect to pay around $20 for a drink.
- Serious shoppers will love CocoWalk, Miami’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination, located in the heart of the Coconut Grove neighbourhood. You can spend all day exploring here, as designer boutiques sit alongside Latin-inspired eateries.
Eating and drinking in Miami
We hope you’ve worked up an appetite, because Miami is definitely not short on gastronomic delights.
- Return to Little Havana for a cafecito coffee (a traditional Cuban recipe, with sweet crema on top of strong espresso) while people-watching on the vibrant Calle Ocho. There’s no better way to spend a lazy afternoon.
- Situated on the waterfront at Miami Beach Marina, casual-cool hotspot, Monty’s Raw Bar, is one of the best places in the city to enjoy seafood – don’t miss the steamed clams or the cracked conch.
- It doesn’t come much hipper than NE 11th Street. It’s lined with cocktail bars like the charming Floyd Miami and nightclubs in which to dance the night away (try the rooftop lounge at E11EVEN).
Events and festivals in Miami
Get the most out of holidays to Miami by booking your visit to coincide with any one of these exciting events and festivals.
- Film buffs should come in March for the internationally renowned Miami Film Festival, which has been running since 1984 and aims to bring the best of world cinema to the city.
- For an unforgettable holiday, visit in October and be immersed in the carnival season. Vibrant and colourful pageants and parades hit the streets in infectious Caribbean style.
- Kooky and quirky, the King Mango Strut costume parade takes places in December in Coconut Grove. It professes to invite revellers to 'make fun of everything and anything', and celebrates individuality, creativity and, above all, wackiness.
Inspired to visit Florida's Magic City? Plan your visit now and find out more about our Miami holiday packages.