Traveling to Downtown Miami but not sure what to do? This article will show you all the best things to do in Downtown Miami for a fun trip.
One of the best places to visit in Miami is nonother than Downtown. With a rich blend of history, culture, art, buzzing nightlife, delightful culinary experiences, and beautiful water views, Downtown Miami is one of the neighborhoods you can’t afford to miss.
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Whether you’re an art lover, a sports enthusiast or just want to take in the beauty of the city’s skyline, there is a plethora of things to do in Downtown Miami that will keep occupied for days.
Not sure where to start? Here is a list of the best places to visit in Downtown Miami.
Best Things to Do in Downtown Miami
From hopping on a Miami BigBus Night Tour and watching a game at the Miami-Dade Arena to riding the Skyview Miami Wheels, here are the fun downtown Miami activities you shouldn’t miss.
1. Visit the Perez Art Museum Miami
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Perez Art Museum is one of the best contemporary and modern art museums in South Florida, and one that should be on your list of things to see in downtown Miami.
The 200,000 sq. ft space boasts a stunning collection of 20th and 21st-century modern art from Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas, that is not only intriguing but also interactive.
While the 2000 works on display are impressive, take some time to admire the beauty of the building and its surroundings. From the lush hanging gardens, massive sculptures outdoors, and swings, to the water views.
And if you enjoy activities like art workshops, lectures, exhibits, and community events, the museum almost always has at least one going on.
After admiring art, be sure to refuel at the onsite restaurant, Verde which not only serves delicious meals but also stunning water views.
For souvenirs, stop by the museum’s shop and opt for any of the handmade accessories, art books, and miniature decorative objects.
>>> You can access Perez art museum by purchasing this Miami city pass which comes with free entry to more than 25 attractions in Miami.
2. Learn About the History of Miami At the Freedom Tower
Designed by Schultze and Weaver, the Freedom Tower located at Biscayne Boulevard is one of America’s National Historic Landmarks.
Built in 1925 to be the headquarter of Miami News, this architectural gem once served as a refuge for Cubans who escaped political turmoil in Cuba.
Today, it stands as a symbol of their resilience, housing fascinating galleries and exhibits that narrate the city’s rich history.
Over the years, its role in Cuban immigration has even earned it the nickname “Ellis Island of the South” among Miamians.
While history and art lovers will enjoy the exhibits and learn about the history of Cubans in Miami, the building itself becomes an attraction at night when it transforms into a dazzling spectacle, adorned in a myriad of colors that breathe life into Miami’s skyline.
So if you’re looking for what to do in downtown Miami, the Freedom tower is one attraction not to miss either during the day or at night.
3. Go on a Big Bus Miami Night Tour
One of the best ways to see the major highlights of Miami in the shortest amount of time is by going on this big bus Miami night tour.
On this 90-minute night tour, you’ll be able to take in the beauty of the city’s skyline and iconic landmarks illuminated under the thick of the night.
Besides enjoying the views of the city on an open-top double-decker bus, your tour guide will share fascinating stories, fun Miami facts, and insider tips, providing you with a unique perspective of Miami’s nightlife.
Some of the places you’ll see along the way include the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, Brickell City Center, Port of Miami, and more.
4. Shop at Bayside Marketplace
If shopping is your thing or you’re simply looking for the best souvenirs, then Bayside Marketplace is the best place to go in downtown Miami.
This lively open-air market is a paradise for shopaholics, offering an eclectic mix of brand-name stores, local boutiques, and artisanal markets.
Browse through trendy fashion, unique souvenirs, and handmade crafts, all while soaking in the stunning views of Biscayne Bay.
And when you’re ready to take a break, savor delicious meals at one of the many waterfront restaurants or indulge in a refreshing cocktail.
With live music and street performers adding to the bustling atmosphere, Bayside Marketplace will give you an unforgettable shopping experience that truly captures Miami’s spirit!
Related Post: Best Rooftop Restaurants in Miami
5. Relax at Bayfront Park
Chilling at Bayfront Park is another favorite on our list of downtown Miami things to do among tourists and locals alike.
Located on the edge of Biscayne Bay, this scenic 32-acre park offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle without leaving the city.
It boasts picturesque waterfront views, green spaces, a children’s playground, vibrant art installations, and an outdoor amphitheater where a number of events like music and food festivals are organized.
The park is also home to a number of monuments worth checking out like Plaza de la Marina Espanola/Spanish Navy Plaza, Isamu Noguchi, World War II Veterans’ Memorial, Julia Tuttle statue (the woman who created Miami), and many others.
Whether you choose to explore the winding walkways, take a leisurely stroll along Biscayne Bay, or simply relax under the shade of swaying palm trees with a book in hand, Bayfront Park is one of the best Miami downtown attractions not to miss.
6. Learn about The History of Miami at the HistoryMiami Museum
If you are a history nerd or would simply like to learn more about the city, consider paying a visit to the HistoryMiami Museum, which is actually the biggest history museum in Florida.
This captivating museum brings Miami’s story to life through intriguing exhibits, artifacts, and hands-on displays.
You’ll learn about the indigenous people, early pioneers, and creative visionaries who helped shape Miami from a small settlement into the bustling city it is today.
For a truly immersive experience, we recommend joining one of the guided tours organized by the museum.
7. Go Sightseeing on A Biscayne Bay Boat Cruise
Going on this sightseeing cruise on Biscayne Bay is possibly one of the best things to do in Downtown Miami!
Lasting a little over one hour, you’ll be able to take in the views of Miami’s skyline and admire gorgeous private homes owned by some of Miami’s famous and richest people, get a glimpse of Venetian Islands, the Port of Miami, Miami Beach, and more while your tour guide shares interesting facts and backstory about them.
If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, and manatees along the way.
And if you’re traveling with your loved one, this is one of the most romantic things to do in Miami.
8. Catch A game at Miami-Dade Arena (American Airlines Arena)
Get ready for an electrifying experience at the Miami-Dade Arena, the epicenter of sports and entertainment in downtown Miami.
Home to the city’s beloved basketball team, Miami Heat, this place will give you an unforgettable night filled with excitement and energy.
Put on your team colors and join other passionate fans as you cheer on your favorite players in a nail-biting game that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Beyond basketball, the arena also hosts concerts, ice shows, and other special events, so even if you’re not a fan of sports, you can still enjoy a music concert here.
Some of the big names who have held music concerts here include Dua Lipa, Mariah Carey, Shakira, Celine Dion, and many other A-listers.
9. Explore the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
For science enthusiasts, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is one of the best attractions in downtown Miami to visit.
This museum offers a diverse range of exhibits that delve into the wonders of technology, biology, and astronomy, ensuring an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
It’s even better when you’re traveling with kids as it has fun and kid-friendly activities like interactive exhibits, science demonstrations, trivia nights for the family, and amazing wildlife.
You’ll also get an up-close encounter with marine life at the impressive three-level aquarium, marvel at the stars in the high-tech planetarium, and participate in hands-on experiments that make learning about science fun.
Also, don’t miss seeing the 31-foot Oculus lens which has become a popular Instagram spot in Miami.
10. Relax at Maurice A. Ferre Park
Unwind and enjoy a peaceful retreat at Maurice A. Ferre Park, a charming green oasis in downtown Miami.
Maurice A. Ferre Park offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, with lush landscaping and palm trees, picturesque waterfront views, scenic walkways, and plenty of open space to relax and soak up the sunshine.
This lovely park is also a popular venue for outdoor events, from fitness classes to cultural festivals! Plus, it’s dog-friendly so you can bring your dog along.
This nicely-manicured park is perfect for a relaxing afternoon after your visit to the Perez Art Museum and Philip and Patricia Frost Museums due to their proximity to each other.
So, if you’re looking for free things to do in downtown Miami, this is one not to miss!
11. Take Instagram-worth Photos At The Social Hub
The Social Hub is the perfect place for making creative and appealing content for your social media.
The 3,600 sq. ft multi-use photo studio and content creation lab has 20 professionally designed and cute sets to inspire all sorts of creativity from floral backgrounds, resto styles, and colorful walls, to chic designs.
It is ideal for those who want to up their Instagram, TikTok, or any kind of social media game, shoot music videos, and take professional photos.
The studio is in a league of its own with its quality lighting, staged settings, props, and other equipment.
They also have roomy dressing rooms to make your content production session not only stress-free but also fun.
While the hub recommends booking an appointment online to secure a spot, you can easily walk in, pay, and use it if you don’t find huge crowds.
12. Take in the Beauty of Miami Tower At Night
Miami Tower might be just another random office skyscraper during the day but that changes at night.
Granted, this might not be for everyone, but it remains high on our list of the best things to do in Downtown Miami for both locals and tourists.
This iconic 47-story skyscraper, known for its unique design becomes a wonder at night with a mesmerizing display of vibrant changing colors, making it not only the best light show in Downtown Miami but also the most photographed building in the city’s skyline.
13. Take in The Views of Downtown Miami From the Skyviews Miami Wheel
One of the best Miami downtown attractions is the Skyviews Miami Wheel.
Rising 200 ft above the ground, you will enjoy some of the most panoramic views of Downtown Miami’s best attractions while riding this Ferris wheel including Bayfront Park, Biscayne Bay, and the city skyline.
For an even more exciting experience, you can opt for the first-class VIP luxury Gondola with leather Ferrari-style bucket seats and a glass floor.
That said, it is perfect for a date night in Miami, offering not just the views of the water and surrounding landmarks but also the night lights of the city.
And when you’re done, you can wrap up the evening with a dinner at any of the cozy restaurants nearby.
14. Have an Evening of Fun At Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is one of the best places to visit in downtown Miami for visitors looking to add some cultural activities to their visit.
The center hosts events like the Miami City Ballet and the Florida Grand Opera amongst other well-attended events like the New World Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra occasionally.
However, if those are out of your league or you’re just not a fan, you can at least watch one of the many standup comedies, Broadway shows, or musicals, that are regularly held here! Be sure to check the official website to know what’s showing before your visit.
And although events take center stage, the architectural beauty of the building is also worth admiring.
15. Visit Miami Circle National Historic Landmark
Unearth Miami’s hidden past at Miami Circle National Historic Landmark, a fascinating archaeological site nestled along the banks of the Miami River in downtown Miami.
This intriguing 2,000-year-old site discovered in 1998 is believed to be the remnants of a Tequesta Indian village, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of the area’s indigenous inhabitants.
As you explore the Miami Circle, let your imagination wander and envision the daily rituals and ceremonies that once took place here.
You can learn more about this landmark and the site’s significance and the rich cultural heritage of the Tequesta people from the informational plaques sprinkled around the place.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami offers an exhilarating blend of history, culture, and adventure, making it an unmissable destination for anyone visiting the Magic City.
From uncovering the city’s fascinating past at the Freedom Tower and Miami Circle National Historic Landmark, and immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of Bayside Marketplace and the Miami-Dade Arena, to taking a respite at Bayfront Park, there are countless things to do in downtown Miami.
But whatever your preferences might be, remember to make the most of it and treat every site and experience with respect as all of these places are significant to Miami’s history, present, and future.
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