With glorious beaches, art deco architecture and hot nightspots, Miami, Florida, is a true “Magic City.” This nickname took hold in the 1920s, after a construction boom seemed to transform Miami overnight. Today the city’s tropical climate and easy access to the glistening waters of Miami Beach and South Beach attract everyone from honeymooners, to families, to celebrities. As well as the beaches, water and warmth, you'll find high-end shops, fine eateries and museums, beautiful gardens and plenty of night life.
Stroll through the 10-acre (four-hectare) Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Biscayne Bay. Here you'll find a European-inspired estate established in the 1910s that boasts a beautiful collection of rare orchids. The Miami Seaquarium is a great family outing. Spend a day with hundreds of marine creatures and watch the spectacular killer whale and dolphin shows. Jungle Island is another winner for families. Nestled between downtown and South Beach, the zoo houses some of the world’s rarest animals and is home to Pinky, the bicycle-riding cockatoo.
Once you’ve soaked up the sun, explore some of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, such as the Miami Beach Architectural District. Nicknamed the “Art Deco District”, it has the largest collection of 1920s and ’30s resort architecture in the U.S. Get an umbrella drink, relax, and enjoy the ocean view at one of these pastel-colored retro buildings. Take the opportunity to admire them from the inside too, as many have been converted to restaurants, bars and hotels.
Each winter the Little Havana area hosts one of the world’s biggest festivals. The Calle Ocho street festival draws more than one million people annually. If you're in Miami around the beginning of March, don't miss this no holds barred celebration of the music, folklore and food of Miami’s Latin American culture.
After you’ve ticked off the city’s key attractions, do as the locals do. Watch the Miami Heat basketball team play, or eat fresh crab at South Beach’s iconic eatery Joe’s Stone Crab, which has been serving up fresh seafood since 1913. Grab your towel and relax with some sunbathing and swimming at Miami Beach. At days end, watch the sunset from South Beach, or head out and dance until dawn at one of Miami's legendary nightspots.
Best time to visit MiamiWinter (December–April) is the ideal time to visit South Florida—the weather is warm, but not hot. During the summer, South Florida practically comes to a standstill as far as special events, cultural activities, and overall pace is concerned. If you feel like braving the heat, plan your travel from June through October and enjoy a less congested, less expensive travel experience.
Peak Season: Winter (December–April) is the peak travel season in Miami, with perfect weather and sunny skies. Plus, everything happens here in the winter; visitors will enjoy a wide array of special events and activities.
Value Season: The summer months bring a slower pace, humid weather, fewer crowds, and lower hotel rates. In addition to high temperatures during the summer, you should also expect rain daily (though often just a quick shower). The official hurricane season runs from June to November.
Shopping, Beaches and Live Music
The villa, horticultural displays and courtyard of this National Historic Landmark provide a serene oasis in central Miami, with views of Biscayne Bay.
One of the first free-range zoos in the United States is home to animals, exhibits, amusement rides and a strong focus on education and conservation.
Explore one of South Beach’s most popular meeting places to enjoy boutique shopping, outdoor dining and a selection of Miami’s premier cultural destinations.
Jump into a tropical reef and swim with fish and marine mammals at this large oceanarium, known for its dolphin and sea lion shows.
Play with tiger cubs and walk among free-flying exotic birds at this tropical zoo.
Chic boutiques, fine dining and cultural attractions make this glamorous boulevard one of Miami’s favorite places to be seen.
A bachelorette party you won’t forget in the Sunshine State
Find out the best sights and activities to make the most of a trip to Miami, from visiting the beaches to exploring landmarks.
Summer is fast-approaching, so we’re answering an important question: What should you do at the beach this year?