9 Must-Try Things to Do on a Beachy Miami Vacation

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
July 1, 2021

Known as the “Magic City,” an escape to Miami promises everything from beachy outdoor excursions to a fusion of foodie flavors and rich culture. So no matter what your ideal vacation itinerary entails, it can be the perfect memory-making backdrop. 

Plus, this Sunshine State hotspot isn’t far from sunny Fort Lauderdale (about 35 minutes in the car), meaning your getaway can have double the activities and fun. Begin your search for a home-away-from-home with one of our Miami vacation rentals, then fill your days with these top things to do. 

In This Article: 
Best Beach Activities
Best Foodie Activities
Best Arts and Culture Activities

The Best Beach Activities

Aerial view of the South Beach Boardwalk in Miami, Florida

With 20 miles of Atlantic coastline, Miami is a water-lover’s dream. Whether you’re searching for scenic ocean views, a lively strip of sand, or a fun boating adventure, these beach activities offer an oasis for everyone.  

1. Hang Loose at South Beach 

Year-round, surfers can enjoy salty swells at South Beach. Perfect for beginners and seasoned waveriders alike, this popular spot boasts warm water and nonstop waves. More experienced surfers can awaken their inner thrill-seeker at Jupiter Inlet, where beach breaks and outer sand bar breaks let you hang loose! (For private lessons, check out Sobe Surf.)

2. Take in the Sights From the Miami Beach Boardwalk

A must-see in Miami, this scenic pathway stretches almost 40 blocks and offers both ocean and city views. You can break a sweat jogging the path, grab a bite at one of the many eateries, or cycle just south of 21st Street (this area is particularly bike-friendly). Regardless of your activity, the boardwalk is perfect for catching up with loved ones while seeing the sights.   

3. Set Sail on a Boat Tour

After exploring Miami’s best off-the-water attractions, hop on a boat to explore Everglades National Park or Biscayne Bay. While an airboat tour into the glades provides a more up-close-and-personal experience with nature, Biscayne Bay boat tours are best for those who want to see glitzy mansions and unbeatable skyline views. If an adrenaline boost is more your style, book a speedy jet boat tour. (They’re safe for the kids, too!)

The Best Foodie Activities

Shrimp appetizer and a martini overlooking the Miami, Florida skyline

Get a taste of authentic Cuban culture, seafood feasts, and local favorites — all packed within this soul-food city. Foodies are sure to love the range of culinary goodness at these top Miami spots. 

1. Dine and Shop at Bayside Marketplace

The most visited tourist attraction in Miami, this open-air marketplace features international bites in a waterfront setting. Whether you’re craving spicy cajun, savory seafood, or sweets like churros and gelato, you can treat your tastebuds to a sure-to-please meal. Plus, this mecca hosts all of your favorite stores and local boutiques — making Bayside Market a one-stop shop for souvenir shopping and flavorful feasting. 

2. Dig in to Legendary Seafood

A trip to Miami isn’t complete without a visit to Joe’s Stone Crab! The namesake stone crab is obviously a must, but keep in mind the hash browns and key lime pie shouldn’t be missed, either. 

If you haven’t gotten your fill of fish from Joe’s, follow the crowd to Garcia’s Seafood Grill & Fish Market — it’s a popular outdoor eatery with peaceful Miami River views and an on-site market worth perusing. 

3. Savor the Flavors at the South Beach Seafood Festival

For a real culinary treat, plan your trip to align with the South Beach Seafood Festival. Deemed the best seafood festival in the U.S. by the Travel Channel, this tasty event takes place every October and has plenty of opportunity to enjoy food, drinks, games, music, and more.

The Best Arts and Culture Activities

Art Deco buildings in Miami's famous Art Deco Historic District

You can feel Miami’s heartbeat in the city’s rich cultural history and world-famous artistry. Museums, art fairs, and intricate architecture await with these top things to do.

1. Get Lost at Art Basel 

North America’s most robust international contemporary art fair, Art Basel is held every December during Miami Art Week at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Thousands of enthusiasts gather to celebrate art and culture with world-class galleries, panel discussions, dazzling parties, and satellite showings. While Art Basel has a few invitation-only days at its start, the fair always opens to the public.

2. Tour Vizcaya Museum and Garden 

Blending art, nature, history, and sustainability into one beautiful estate, this Gilded Age attraction should be at the top of the to-do list for garden lovers and history buffs. Tour the 38,000-square-foot Main House through audio or guide books first, then stroll 10 acres of manicured, Italian-inspired gardens and the mangrove shore. 

3. Soak in Art Deco Architecture 

From colorful buildings to intricately-detailed decor, you can tour the glamorous historical structures — like the Colony Theatre or notably-nautical Essex House Hotel — found in Miami’s famed Art Deco Historic District by segway or on foot. Located on Miami Beach between 5th and 23rd streets, the architecture here is not to be missed.

Explore More of Miami, FL 

Beautiful beaches, mouthwatering munchies, and artistic adventures only begin to describe the endless activities awaiting you in Magic City. To learn more about visiting — including where to find a great vacation rental to serve as your home base — check out our vacation-made easy guide to Miami.

Rest Easy with Evolve

The moment you book your vacation, you should start looking forward to your trip — not worrying about the little details. When you choose Evolve for your Miami vacation, you can feel confident that the home you book will live up to our standards.

Every Evolve vacation rental comes with a team of hospitality experts, and we’re here to help make your stay comfortable 24/7. To help you feel even more confident, we created our Rest Easy Promise: if a stay doesn’t match our standards, we’ll make it right.

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