The Miami Grand Prix is around the corner and there’s no place quite like South Beach.
You want to be a tourist if you’re visiting the area for the first time and really make the most of what this world-famous city has to offer.
Step 1 is go to South Beach, soak up the sun and people watch.
But after that, there are so many things to do in Miami. So here’s a list you can tick off as you take in the vibes and get ready for the F1 Miami race weekend.
1. Watch Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs
It’s NBA Playoffs and Miami Heat are red-hot after finishing the regular season on top of the ladder for the Eastern Conference.
Watching a regular NBA game is an experience, but the NBA Playoffs are a whole different vibe.
Think stadiums packed with crazed fans cheering on the very best in the world with their whole season on the line.
Miami Heat has a stacked team with NBA All-Stars like Jimmy (Buckets) Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo.
Plus rap mega-star Jack Harlow has a song named after Heat young gun Tyler Herro.
Don’t miss a game (if you can secure a ticket!).
2. Miami Speed Week
Miami Speed Week will take place from May 7-8 at Bayfront Park and promises to be “an immersive fan experience” to accompany the Grand Prix.
There will be meet and greets with various people from the world of motorsport there, as well as interactive skills challenges, e-sports events and demonstrations and plenty of food and drinks to go around.
Tickets start from $20 and can be bought online from Miami Speed Week’s website.
Bayfront Park is easily accessible, with a Metromover station right opposite the park entrance and multiple bus stops on the edge of the park along Biscayne Boulevard.
Government Centre station on the Miami Metrorail is also nearby and there’s a large parking garage within walking distance.
3. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is one of the most interesting attractions in Miami.
Originally known as Villa Vizcaya, it was the home of the famous American businessman James Deering (part of the family who founded what is now known as the International Harvester company).
It’s now owned by Miami-Dade County and is fully open to the public.
The property was designed in the Mediterranean Revival architectural style and has 10 acres of formal gardens in the style of the Italian Renaissance, as well as a native woodland landscape and a compound of historic outbuildings.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is the location for a huge number of events in the Miami area.
This includes the Vizcaya Village Farmers’ Market, which happens every week.
It’s definitely worth checking what events will be there whilst you’re staying in Miami!
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is served by Vizcaya Station on the Miami Metrorail, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get there even if you don’t have access to a car.
4. Wynwood Walls
The Wynwood Walls is another unique place in Miami.
It’s an outdoor graffiti art museum in the middle of the densely-packed Wynwood district, tucked away in a side street.
Launched in 2009 during that year’s Art Basel, some of the world’s most acclaimed artists have since contributed to the art on the walls.
These artists include Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGuinness and Kenny Scharf, among others!
There are plenty of ways you can enjoy Wynwood Walls, ranging from a regular admission ticket to arranging a private tour for that full private museum experience.
Wynwood Walls isn’t too far away from downtown Miami, so it’s fairly easy to get to.
There’s a bus stop right around the corner and there’s a big parking garage just a bit further up the road.
5. Art Deco District
If you’re into architecture and anything to do with the aesthetics of the early 1900s, the Art Deco district is definitely somewhere you’ll want to visit when you’re in Miami!
Officially known as the Miami Beach Architectural District, the Art Deco District is a historic district in the South Beach area of Miami.
It has the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world, all of which were built between the Great Depression and the early 1940s.
These buildings were designed by multiple famous architects of the era, including Albert Anis, Lester Avery, Lawrence Murray Dixon, Charles R. Greco and Henry Hohauser.
It’s also where the famous Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace lived (and was assassinated) – his mansion Casa Casuarina is located on Ocean Drive and is now a luxury boutique hotel.
As it’s right on the shoreline of Miami Beach, you of course get a long and fantastic sandy beach.
On a glorious sunny day, with the beautiful art deco-era buildings running along Ocean Drive behind you, there’s probably no better place to unwind and just take in the beauty of it all.
6. Bayside Marketplace
Bayside Marketplace is the most-visited attraction in the whole of Miami.
It’s an open-air shopping centre that’s open all year round and is right next to the banks of Biscayne Bay and the City of Miami marina.
You’ll definitely recognise Bayside Marketplace if you’re a fan of the TV show Miami Vice, as it was frequently featured on the show!
As well as shops (which include all the typical chains you’d expect to find in the US), Bayside Marketplace has live music every single day as well as plenty of restaurants and bars.
You can also take a bike tour around the city of Miami that starts from there, as well as boat tours from the nearby marina.
Getting to Bayside Marketplace is pretty easy, as it’s served both by the Miami Metrorail (at Government Centre station) and the Metromover (at College/Bayside station).
7. Venetian Pool
Located in the neighbourhood of Coral Gables, Venetian Pool is a historic public swimming pool that’s been in use for almost 100 years.
Built out of a coral rock quarry that was abandoned in 1921, it was completed and opened in 1924.
It’s the largest freshwater pool in the United States and, so far, is the only pool listed on the US’s National Register of Historic Places.
As you’d expect from a pool named after the legendary Italian city, the pool has several design elements which are directly inspired by its namesake.
The pool has a Venetian-style bridge and classic Venetian-style mooring posts (the pool used to have Venetian-style gondolas that docked there on an island within the pool, but the gondolas were removed later).
The Venetian Pool’s most distinguishing feature, however, is the grand waterfall that falls from an artificial rock face above the pool.
The pool operates most days of the year, only being closed over the Christmas period and on certain national holidays.
Prices for non-residents start at $16 for children and $21 for adults, with residents’ prices starting from $5.50 for under 13s to $6.50 for over 13s.
8. Lincoln Road
Located in the South Beach area of Miami, Lincoln Road is a very famous shopping street that extends across the city centre.
Pretty much every kind of shop you could expect to find in the US is somewhere on that street, as well as plenty of places to eat and drink. It’s the perfect spot to people watch.
The restaurants in the area serve a wide variety of different cuisines, including Cuban, Japanese, Peruvian, Mexican, Spanish and Italian.
Lincoln Road is the location for quite a few regular local events.
These include a farmers’ market which takes place every Sunday, an antique market that runs from October to May every year and free to enter movie screenings that are shown on a 7,000 square foot projection wall.
9. Las Olas Beach
Situated a little bit away from Miami in Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Beach is a beautiful tropical sandy beach that’s one of the most famous in the area.
The beach is free and open to the public and it’s situated away from the busier beaches in the Fort Lauderdale area.
It’s a great place to relax, sunbathe, do some water sports or even some snorkelling and diving.
You can experience a bit more of a party atmosphere too if you stay on into the evening, although you won’t find any alcohol or hear any loud music on the beach itself as that’s not allowed and strictly enforced by local police officers.
There are plenty of hotels in the area if you want to make Las Olas Beach your home base whilst you’re in the area, as well as restaurants and shops.
There are also paid excursions you can do in the area, such as a jet ski adventure tour and private fishing charters.
The private fishing charters do seem to be very popular, so if you want to specifically do one of those you might have to book a spot well in advance.
Las Olas Beach is accessible via the Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley bus service, as well as the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi.
10. Midtown Shopping Centre
Another urban shopping mall in the Miami area, the Midtown Shopping Centre is located near Wynwood.
It has all the typical shops and restaurants you’d expect to find in an American shopping mall and regularly holds events.
The mall also regularly holds outdoor movie screenings, something that’s definitely worth taking advantage of with the tropical Florida climate!
Like pretty much any other American mall, Midtown Shopping Centre has a huge parking garage on-site so getting there by car is very easy.
It’s also very easy to get there by bus, as there is a bus stop right outside the entrance to the Target on NE 36th Street.