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Unveiling Miami's Best: Your Ultimate Guide to Top Destinations and Hidden Treasures

There are so many incredible things to do in Miami, but time is always limited. We've just returned from our Miami trip, and while the memories are fresh, it's time to document our experiences. If you're wondering what to prioritize, look no further. Review this list and scroll down for detailed insights into each destination:

Review this list and scroll down to dig deeper:

  1. Miami Beach

  2. Brickell City Center

  3. Miami Design District

  4. Little Havana

  5. Wynwood Walls

  6. Downtown Miami

Miami Beach aerial view
Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is practically a city on its own, consisting of North Beach, Mid Beach, and South Beach. North and Mid Beach offer a more relaxed atmosphere, with North Beach being more residential. A must-visit spot is Lincoln Road Mall in Mid Beach, where you can marvel at the 1111 Lincoln Road parking lot, a masterpiece designed by renowned architects. For a touch of luxury, enjoy a drink at the Fountainbleu. South Beach is the epitome of Miami's glamour, especially at night. If you're with family, one evening in South Beach is recommended.

Start your South Beach adventure with dinner at Time Out Market (1601 Drexel Ave, Miami Beach), a curated selection of Miami Beach's finest chefs offering eclectic food, drinks, and desserts suitable for both meat-eaters and vegetarians.

After dinner, take a stroll down Ocean Drive, South Beach's iconic street, where you can enjoy live music, dancing, and entertainment while sipping on drinks. Park your car in one of the garages on Collins.

As you stroll down Ocean Drive, you will see beautifully lit colorful buildings, many with restaurants on the lower levels and hosts inviting you to dine with them. Each one has their menus outside so you can take a look at them before making your decision. I would recommend just drinks here - and that can be fun too with live music, dances and entertainment.

We decided to enjoy the performance of this Flamenco dancer and the talented man on the guitar. As the night progressed, the dancer changed out of her Spanish outfit and performed the Raq Sharqi - which is an Egyptian form of belly dancing. We had a great time - and the drinks were strong! Ahem.

Financial District and Brickell City Center

Brickell might seem mundane during the day, but at night, it comes alive.

Our recommendation is to visit Brickell at night. For a child-free evening, head to SUGAR, a trendy spot located 40 floors up, offering panoramic views and delightful cocktails. Reservations are suggested.

This (below) is the photo of my kiddo in the East Miami Hotel elevator going up to SUGAR! Can you visualize what it would be to actually visit SUGAR, experience it and take in the cool views?Remember that kids are not allowed in this lounge in the night so go at 4 PM.

Cocktails at SUGAR rooftop bar with kids
SUGAR, East Miami, FL

If you are with family, go to CH'I. Find it at 'The Shops' mall. It is a kid-friendly restaurant option, offering intriguing Asian-Latino fusion food, cool cocktails, DJ and a lively ambiance.

Of course, if you rather just walk the streets, this cute gelato place - Freddo is for you! Order the Dulce Le Leche and be immediately transported to ice-cream heaven!

Miami Design District

I would describe this area as Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive or NYC's 5th Ave. But there is a twist. A blend of luxury and art, this area boasts spectacular architecture, public art installations, and design-centric interiors in its luxury stores That's what sets this district apart.

As you explore the district, you'll encounter chess-inspired installations by the late Virgil Abloh and other fascinating sights.

As you walk those streets, you will undoubtedly stop to admire the exterior of each of these luxury and boutique brands. You will peep in to see the interiors and the displays. The Louis Vuitton interior is mind-blowing, and ever-changing. The Fendi interior is eye-boggling and will make you dizzy.

The public art is really cool too. The knife-for-a-door knob is clever. A line of chairs is hanging from the roof of Dior - See it to believe it! A public swing system that looks and moves like a design masterpiece. You gotta give it them - The Miami Design District is brilliant!

Even the exterior of the parking lot is something you may have never seen before! It looks like a fancy casino entrance!

This garage facade was called the 'Urban Jam' and it used 45 gravity-defining car bodies to show the rebirth of urban life where old structures have been repurposed into urban design.

45 gravity-defining car bodies show the rebirth of urban life in Miami Design District
Urban Jam Garage Facade

Finally and most importantly (lol!) -MIA Market !

Don't miss the MIA Market, a curated food court on 39th St., offering a variety of vegetarian options. While you wait for your food, relax on the designer swings outside.

Little Havana

Ooh, roosters. You can't miss them. If you see these roosters, STOP THE CAR!!

You are in Little Havana!

Of course, roosters aren't the only things to check out here. This vibrant neighborhood offers a plethora of experiences, including Domino Park, Calle Ocho (Main Street), La Colada (a Cuban coffee shop), Los Pinareños Fruteria (a fruit stand frozen in time), traditional cigar shops, Cuban memorials, and live Cuban music at Ball and Chain. Don't forget to visit Azucar, a Cuban ice-cream place, and enjoy unique flavors like guava and sweet plantain.

Lets do a deeper dive:

Domino Park: A small enclosed space with a roof and a bunch of tables. This is where you will find older Cubans sitting at tables, playing a game of dominos

Men playing a game of Domino at Domino Park in Little Havana, Miami
Domino Park, Little Havana, Miami

Walk on the Main Street - Calle Ocho, and find (in photos below):

  • An 'Instagrammable -Stop and Snap' moment!

  • A Cuban coffee shop called La Colada: We ordered the Tres Leche - It was divine and pretty darn authentic

  • The fruit stand (Los Pinareños Fruteria ): It's frozen in time, definitely get the coconut water (best way to avoid the buzzing flies around juice machine.) But if you are really into sugarcane juice, this is your spot!

  • A cigar shop that is rolling and packaging cigars (there are a few, peek into windows)

  • A shop selling traditional 4-pocket men's shirts called Guayaberas and Cuban hats - I recommend D Asis

  • The Cuban Memorial Boulevard with a flame memorial and statues

  • A Cuban Ice-cream place called Azucar and try unique flavors like guava and sweet plantain

  • Live Cuban music and drinks at Ball and Chain

  • Rooster Alley and the Little Havana Wall which represents the community, its struggles and successes and its communist history

The Cuban version of the Walk of Fame with famous stars!

Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Walls, located at 266 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127, is not just an outdoor museum; it's a powerful commentary on global issues.

On first look, Wynwood Walls appear to be unique installations and colorful murals. Look closer and you realize that the murals reflect life and are a commentary on world issues - environment problems, garbage, politics, race divide, gender strength, immigration, and the celebration of culture. It is an outdoor museum (tickets to enter and everything!) and one that you must see. If you are traveling with children, these murals may help start a conversation on important things.