Miami Travel Guide
From the sizzling nightlife of South Beach to the authentic Cuban flavors of Little Havana, Miami offers one of the richest cultural experiences of any city in the United States. Its diverse neighborhoods house everything from world-famous street art to world-class restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, and cultural venues. Miami's colorful history is matched only by the vibrancy and verve of the modern global city it's continually blossoming into today.
Miami has attracted the world's most daring and creative minds since its evolution from native Tequesta lands to the promising new frontier of railroad tycoon Henry Flagler in the late 1800s. A developing father of Florida, Flagler expanded his Florida East Coast Railway to Miami in 1896 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Miami is a destination for lovers of art, design, food, shopping, and even the great outdoors. Read on for Travel + Leisure's ultimate guide to the Magic City, covering everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip.
Eastern Standard Time (Daylight Savings Time is observed seasonally; dates vary)
Best Time to Go
Spring is one of the best times to visit Miami. You'll find fewer crowds, pleasant temperatures, and plenty of outdoor events and activities to enjoy. Plus, April and May are the Miami Attraction & Museum Months, when you can score admission discounts and BOGO deals. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Carnaval Miami, Ultra Music Festival, Miami Fashion Week, and the Miami Open are other highlights of springtime in Miami.
While Miami's beaches are at their brightest in summer, the temperatures are sizzling and the weather is humid. Crowds are at their lowest, so it's a fine time to go if South Beach tops your to-do list, but limit your sun exposure and stay hydrated. If you enjoy spoiling yourself — top restaurants and hotels, spa treatments, the works — but want to get the best bang for your buck, August is the best month of the year to visit Miami: it's the only time when Miami Spa Months, Miami Spice Restaurant Months, and Miami Hotels Months overlap.
October and November are Miami's Entertainment Months, when you can explore Miami's diverse entertainment scene for less. Don't miss the world-famous Miami Book Fair held every November. Temperatures are cool to mild during South Florida's "winter," and the weather is drier, but this also means it's peak travel time and you'll find thicker crowds of tourists and higher prices. Each December sees Art Basel, an annual convergence of the world's artistic set; winter is also prime time to catch a Miami Heat game. Visit in February to check out the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, held every Presidents' Day weekend.
How to Get Around
Metrorail: Metrorail is a 25-mile dual track that provides service to Miami International Airport (MIA) and runs from Kendall through South Miami, Coral Gables, and downtown Miami and other destinations.
Buses: Metrobus serves all major shopping, entertainment and cultural centers, as well as major hospitals and schools. Service is available from Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, West Miami-Dade, Broward County, Homestead, Florida City and the Middle Keys.
Trolley: trolley (free)
Taxis: USA Taxi, Super E-Z Taxi, Central Cab, Yellow Cab, KB Village Taxi; water taxi
Car service: various limo and chauffeur services available for hire; rideshare (Lyft, Uber)
Things to Do
Neighborhoods to Know
South Beach: Though it occupies just under two square miles on the tip of Miami Beach, South Beach is what comes to most people's minds when they think of Miami. One of the most lively spots in the city, South Beach is famous for its beaches, outdoor cafes, Art Deco architecture, and sizzling nightlife.
Surfside / Bal Harbour: Surfside and its northern neighbor, Bal Harbour Village, are upscale residential areas with shops, hotels, boutiques, and restaurants in a lush tropical setting. Though it's located on the same barrier island as Miami Beach, the area is significantly quieter and more laid-back.
Little Havana: Declared a "national treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Little Havana became the vibrant neighborhood it is today when it began welcoming thousands of immigrants — many of them Cuban exiles — at the turn of the 19th century. Today, its rich Latin culture is well preserved, with soulful Calle Ocho its heart.
Little Haiti: On track to become Miami's newest hotspot, Little Haiti offers a colorful dose of the Caribbean and a thriving art scene. Home to many immigrants from Haiti and other islands, Little Haiti's French-Creole culture can be enjoyed in its restaurants, galleries, theaters, and shops.
Wynwood: One of Miami's hottest hoods in recent years, Wynwood is the place to see and be seen, especially among the younger set. Hundreds of colorful murals — which are in fact large-scale works by some of the world's most famous street artists — helped to make the area famous, so get your Instagram ready, but there are also art galleries, funky boutiques, and bars and restaurants galore.
Miami Design District: Just north of trendy Wynwood, the Miami Design District occupies 18 square blocks and has exploded in popularity, now housing every luxury brand you can think of as well as galleries, restaurants (many of them led by celebrity chefs), and a variety of public art installations.
Downtown Miami/Brickell: While downtown Miami and Brickell make up the Miami skyline with their smattering of skyscrapers, housing both residential and office spaces, the appeal isn't solely to locals and the business crowd: there's a lot for visitors to enjoy, too. Head downtown for a taste of Miami's museums, retail, cultural and event venues, and top-notch hotels and restaurants.
Historic Overtown: Miami's historic Overtown district is also one of its oldest. The neighborhood housed the African American workers who built and serviced Miami's infrastructure as it exploded from the ground at the turn of the 20th century. Today, it's home to vibrant culture and ample soul-food spots.
Coral Gables: Located southwest of downtown, Coral Gables is a ritzy section of Miami characterized by Mediterranean architecture and streets shaded by massive banyans. It recently underwent a streetscape revitalization to make its downtown more pedestrian-friendly.
Coconut Grove: If you're looking for a lavish vibe at a more relaxed pace plus ample green space and a touch of the eccentric, you'll find it in Coconut Grove. Head to the Grove to enjoy shopping, culture, and a picturesque waterfront, all with a bit of bohemian flair.
Miami is located in the tropics, so no matter the time of year, expect warm temperatures and sunshine. Spring is mild with little rain and temperatures in the 70s and low 80s. Miami summers are hot and humid with brief light rain showers almost daily. Temperatures gradually fall in autumn, and winters are mild and dry. Hurricanes are possible between June and November during the Atlantic hurricane season.
The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month. Average annual precipitation is 30.01 inches.
January 61 - 77
February 63 - 79
March 66 - 81
April 69 - 84
May 73 - 87
June 76 - 89
July 77 - 91
August 78 - 91
September 77 - 89
October 74 - 86
November 69 - 82
December 64 - 79
Apps to Download
Wynwood Tour Guide: navigating Wynwood's works of art