Planning to visit Miami for a day but not sure how to spend your time? Then this detailed one day in Miami itinerary will guide you!
Miami is a vibrant, culturally diverse city with a little something for everyone. From its pristine white sand beaches to its eclectic neighborhoods and bustling nightlife, you won’t run out of things to do in Miami in one day.
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In fact, you won’t be able to see everything in Miami in a day, (for those wondering if one day is enough in Miami), but if this is the only time you have, it’s still worth exploring.
To help you make the most of your time in the Magic City, we’ve put together this detailed Miami one day itinerary, covering everything from morning strolls on South Beach to a memorable dinner with a view.
Yes, you’ll miss out on something like museums and state parks but you’ll still get a glimpse of the city’s main landmarks.
How We Created This Miami in One Day Itinerary
Fair warning! While creating this Miami one day itinerary, we made several assumptions.
We assumed that you’re already in Miami and have a full day from Morning to evening. We also assumed that you’re willing to see as much as possible, so you won’t mind filling up your day!
But nothing is set in stone! If something doesn’t resonate with you or you prefer taking it slow, you can always modify your itinerary. This breakdown is just to show you how you can see Miami in a day.
We’ve also added a breakdown of the time depending on our experiences and how much time we believe is enough for each place.
And at the end of this detailed Miami 1 day itinerary, we’ve included a summary that we think will help you!
Now that you know how we created this one day in Miami itinerary, let’s show you exactly how to spend it!
Where to Stay in Miami for One Day
If you’re only in Miami for a day, we heavily recommend staying in South Beach! You’ll be close to everything we talk about in this itinerary, since wasting time in commute is not an option for such a limited amount of time! This one day in Miami itinerary also starts and ends in South Beach, so in our opinion, it’s the perfect base!
The other alternative is Downton Miami if for some reason you don’t feel like staying in South Beach! If you opt for downtown, we recommend staying at The Elser Hotel Miami. It offers a luxurious stay with stunning views of the city.
Best Hotels in South Beach To Choose From
Hotel Ocean (Budget Hotel): This hotel is located right on Ocean Drive putting you close to everything you might need! It’s also a few minutes walk to the beach and the rooms are large, with modern appliances. You can’t go wrong with this hotel if you’re on a budget!
Shepley South Beach Hotel (Mid-range Hotel): Located on Collins Avenue, by staying in this hotel, you’ll be staying in one of the Art Deco buildings South Beach is famous for. You’ll also be just a block away from the beach and the hotel itself has all the amenities you’ll need for your one day in Miami.
The Betsy Hotel, South Beach (Luxury Hotel): For a luxurious stay, we recommend staying at this hotel. From its direct beach access, rooftop swimming pool, and deck that offers views, to its perfect location on Ocean Drive and the well-decorated rooms, everything at this hotel will make you feel like an A-lister.
How to Spend One Day In Miami
Read on to see our detailed guide on how to spend 24 hours in Miami!
8:00 AM: Start Your Day at South Beach
We kick off our one day in Miami itinerary with South Beach! Though it’s quite popular with both locals and tourists, at this time of the day, you’ll almost have the place to yourself except for a few joggers.
You may not be able to swim or participate in water sports at this time but walking on the white sand stretch and taking in a beautiful sunrise (depending on the time of the year you visit) is equally rewarding, especially since you won’t have to deal with the usual crowds.
Depending on where you stayed the previous night, you can explore popular beaches like Collins Park Beach on the quieter northern end of South Beach, South Pointe Park Beach for stunning views of the ocean, and the Miami skyline, and to watch cruise ships depart from the Port of Miami, or Lummus Park Beach famous its wide expanse of white sand and clear blue waters, as well as its iconic lifeguard towers that are often featured in movies and TV shows.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, explore the bustling Ocean Drive, which is the most famous street in Miami.
It is home to the famous colorful Art Deco buildings which have become an iconic part of Miami Beach’s aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to take some photos here since it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Miami.
Ocean Drive is also lined with a variety of cafes and food trucks that cater to every taste making it the perfect place to grab breakfast before heading to your next stop!
10:00 AM: Explore the Art Deco Historic District
After enjoying your time at South Beach and Ocean Drive, head over to the Art Deco Historic District which is just a short walk away.
This architectural gem is home to a collection of over 800 beautifully preserved, colorful Art Deco buildings from the 1920s and ’30s.
Stroll through the district and you’ll be transported back in time, admiring the distinct geometric patterns, pastel hues, and neon signs that define this iconic Miami style.
You can stop by some of the most iconic buildings, such as the Colony Theatre, the Cardozo Hotel, the Carlyle Hotel, the Versace Mansion (the former home of the late Italian designer Gianni Versace), The Tides South Beach, The Colony Hotel, and more
11:30 AM: Check Out The Española Way
If you still have more time, we recommend exploring Española Way, a charming pedestrian street located just a few blocks from the Art Deco Historic District.
This tree-lined avenue is reminiscent of a Mediterranean village with colorful buildings that reflect the influence of Spanish giving it a unique and romantic ambiance.
It’s a great spot to take a leisurely stroll, shop at boutiques and art galleries, and admire the various alfresco dining options, but don’t be tempted to dine here because the next stop offers exactly that!
12:00 PM: Visit Little Havana
Even if you only have 1 day in Miami, this is one place you can’t miss!
After exploring Española Way, it’s time to immerse yourself in the rich Cuban culture of Miami by visiting Little Havana, located about 5 miles from Española Way.
To get there, you can opt for a short 15-minute taxi, or take public transportation which will take around 40-50 minutes.
We recommend taking a taxi to save time as you can’t afford spending close to an hour just in transit, yet you only have one day in Miami.
Once in Little Havana, start by walking along Calle Ocho (8th Street), the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, filled with lively streets bustling with live Cuban music, colorful murals, Cuban restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and cigar shops.
Be sure to check out the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame, which celebrates famous Latin artists and personalities.
Along the way, you’ll come across the iconic Roosters on Calle Ocho, a series of brightly painted rooster sculptures that have become a symbol of the neighborhood.
As you explore the area, visit El Titan de Bronze, a renowned cigar factory where you can witness the art of hand-rolling cigars by skilled artisans, and later stop by Domino Park (Maximo Gomez Park), where locals gather to play domino and chess and engage in friendly conversation.
By this time, you’re likely to be hungry, and Little Havana is the perfect place to eat. For a taste of authentic Cuban cuisine, we recommend grabbing lunch at local spots like Versailles Restaurant, Old’s Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina, or El Cristo Restaurant and try some Cuban classics such as ropa vieja (shredded beef), picadillo (ground beef stew), croquetas, or a traditional Cuban sandwich.
When it’s time for a sweet treat, head to Azucar Ice Cream Company, where you can indulge in delectable Cuban-inspired ice cream flavors.
still have more time? Then check out Ball & Chain, a historic venue that offers live music, and mojitos.
If you’d rather have a professional guide show you Little Havana to get the most out of your visit instead of going alone, then we recommend going on this Little Havana walking food tour.
This tour combines tasting Cuban food while also wandering the neighborhood’s streets to see the most famous attractions. Your friendly tour guide will also offer historical insights about Little Havana to fully immerse yourself in it.
2:00 PM: Admire Art At Wynwood Art District
Next on our 1 day Miami itinerary is Wynwood Art District renowned for its vibrant street art, trendy galleries, and innovative urban environment.
Located about 4 miles northeast of Little Havana, you can get there by taking an 8-minute taxi or a bus which will take approximately 40 minutes.
The area was once an industrial neighborhood that has been transformed into a thriving artistic community, with art galleries showcasing contemporary works, avant-garde exhibitions, and installations, but the highlight of your visit will be seeing the Wynwood Walls.
This outdoor museum, initiated by Tony Goldman in 2009 showcases large-scale murals created by renowned street artists from around the world.
Though the Wynwood Walls take center stage, there are so many other things to do in Wynwood.
Its streets are lined with eclectic boutiques, hip cafes, and unique art galleries, making it a perfect place to shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs or simply enjoy the creative vibe.
You can also take a moment to appreciate the district’s innovative spirit and the fusion of art, design, and commerce that have made it one of the best Miami neighborhoods!
If you’re in the mood for a quick coffee break or a quick snack, there are numerous trendy cafes, craft breweries, artisanal shops, other and eateries where you can sample local flavors and recharge before continuing your perfect day in Miami.
We recommend staying in Wynwood Art District for about 2 hours to fully experience its artistic allure and vibrant energy.
While you can explore on your own, to get the most out of your limited time, we recommend taking this Wynwood Graffiti Golf Cart Small-Group Tour.
On this tour, you’ll explore some of the most beautiful murals and graffiti in a golf cart while your tour guide gives you some historical background and fun facts about them!
Plus, it’s a small group tour, so you’ll be able to have an intimate experience and ask as many questions as you’d like.
4:00 PM: Head to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Once you’ve experienced the creative energy of the Wynwood Art District, it’s time to head to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a stunning waterfront estate located about 6 miles south of Wynwood. It takes about 15-20 minutes by taxi!
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark that features a stunning Italian Renaissance-style villa and ten acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Built in the early 20th century and owned by businessman James Deering, the estate showcases an impressive collection of European art and antiques, providing a glimpse into the opulence of Miami’s early days.
As you explore the mansion, you’ll be captivated by its ornate architecture, elaborate European furnishings, sculptures, decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th centuries, and the fascinating history that surrounds the estate. Each room tells a story of the past, showcasing the eclectic tastes of its former owner.
The gardens are equally mesmerizing, with meticulously designed landscapes, fountains, and sculptures, inspired by Italian and French gardens of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Mansion also houses a museum that has a collection of art and artifacts from Renaissance sculptures to Baroque tapestries.
The entire estate offers visitors a serene and romantic setting making it one of the most romantic places to visit in Miami whether you’re interested in art, or history, or you simply just want to take in its beauty.
6:00 PM: Stroll Around Bayside Marketplace and Bayfront Park
You can’t visit Miami and miss out on the bustling Miami downtown and there is no better way to get its bearing than strolling around Bayside Marketplace and Bayfront Park.
There are so many cool places to visit in Miami downtown like museums (from Perez Art Museum Miami to HistoryMiami Museum) and parks (like Maurice A. Ferre Park), but since you only have a day in Miami, you’ll have to skip them and just stroll along the neighborhood’s famous places.
Start with Bayside Marketplace, a vibrant, open-air shopping center located along the picturesque Biscayne Bay which offers an exciting blend of retail shops from local to international brands, perfect for picking up souvenirs or indulging in some retail therapy, eateries, and entertainment options.
Adjacent to Bayside Marketplace is Bayfront Park, a 32-acre green oasis in the heart of downtown Miami that provides stunning views of the bay and the Miami skyline.
The park offers lush green spaces, palm trees, and meandering pathways where you can take a leisurely stroll or find a peaceful spot to unwind and enjoy the waterfront scenery.
You can also admire the iconic sculptures and public art installations scattered throughout the park and the iconic Pepper Fountain.
Bayfront Park is also home to various recreational amenities, including an outdoor amphitheater that hosts concerts and events. You might even catch a yoga class or fitness session taking place on the park’s well-maintained grounds.
7:30 PM: Enjoy a relaxing cruise on Biscayne Bay
While still in downtown, another activity to add to your 24 hours in Miami itinerary is cruising on Biscayne Bay.
You may not have seen most things in Miami but going on this Biscayne Bay sightseeing cruise will give you a glimpse of the city’s highlights from another perspective.
On this cruise, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the Miami skyline, the Port of Miami, and some of the most popular islands like Hibiscus Island, Venetian Islands, Sunset Island, and Star Island where some of the most famous celebrities in Miami live.
This tranquil cruise on Biscayne Bay is the perfect way to wind down after a jam-packed day in Miami.
If you’d rather do something else rather than the cruise, then check out our list of the best things to do in Miami at night.
9:00 PM: End Your One Day in Miami with a Dinner at a Rooftop Restaurant
Conclude your unforgettable one day in Miami by treating yourself to a memorable dining experience at a rooftop restaurant.
There’s no better way to enjoy your evening than indulging in delicious cuisine while taking in panoramic views of Miami.
Whether you prefer a sleek and modern setting or a cozy and intimate vibe, you’ll find a variety of options to suit your preferences.
There are a number of rooftop restaurants in Miami but one popular spot we recommend is Juvia, a sophisticated rooftop restaurant located in South Beach.
Juvia offers a unique fusion of French, Japanese, and Peruvian cuisine, expertly crafted by talented chefs.
The stylish ambiance, combined with the stunning views of South Beach and the Miami skyline, creates a truly magical atmosphere for your evening.
Alternatively, you can check out other rooftop dining venues in Miami, each offering its own distinct character and menu.
Some popular choices include; MILA Restaurant, Area 31, and Watr At The 1 Rooftop. These restaurants also serve some of the best and most creative cocktails to go with your meal.
Regardless of which rooftop restaurant you choose, be sure to make a reservation in advance to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.
If you want to continue your night, then you can check out one of these nightclubs in Maimi for a fun night out!
Summary of the Best Things to Do in Miami in One Day
If the above Miami in one day itinerary was too much to take in, here is a summary to help you!
One day trip in Miami Itinerary.
8:00 am – South Beach: Enjoy a morning stroll along the white sand beaches and grab breakfast at one of the cafes on Ocean Drive.
10:00 am – Art Deco Historic District: Take a walking tour to admire the colorful and unique architecture of the Art Deco buildings.
12:00 pm – Little Havana: Visit Miami’s vibrant Cuban cultural center for lunch and experience authentic Cuban cuisine. You can opt for this little Havana food walking tour!
2:00 pm – Wynwood Art District: Explore the trendy district known for its vibrant street art, galleries, and hip cafes. For a guided tour, this is the one we recommend to make the most of your time!
4:00 pm – Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: Discover the stunning Italian Renaissance-style villa and picturesque gardens.
6:00 pm – Bayside Marketplace and Bayfront Park: Browse the open-air market and later relax at the beautiful Bayfront Park.
7:30 pm – Biscayne Bay Night Cruise: Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the bay, taking in the city lights and beautiful views. You can book your cruise here!
9:00 pm – Rooftop Dinner: Indulge in a delicious dinner at a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of the city.
Final Thought on How to Spend a Day in Miami
One day in Miami is certainly not enough to see everything this metropolis offers but by following this itinerary, you’ll get a glimpse of it, from its sun-kissed beaches, diverse culture, and thriving arts scene.
You’ll also discover the charm of South Beach, the historic allure of the Art Deco District, the Cuban flavors of Little Havana, and the creative scene of the Wynwood District.
We hope you have an amazing day in Miami!
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