Miami city is famous for its sandy shorelines and pristine waters. Downtown Miami is where you find the glittery high-rises, malls, and all the trappings of a modern city. Located over the dynamic Biscayne Bay, the city center, and the neighboring Brickell area are Miami’s past and present convergence points.
Downtown Miami promises pleasures that will delight any visitor. Arts and culture, dining and shopping, nightlife and entertainment, this district has more than most people can explore in one visit. Miami’s financial hub offers remarkable sights at every turn with the beautiful and iconic architecture that litters the landscape.
If you’re planning a trip to Downtown Miami, you’ll need information on where to stay, places to visit, and things to do while in the district.
Read this guide to find out more about exploring Downtown Miami, things to do, and popular places to visit.
This post is part of our series Discover the USA
Popular Attractions for Downtown Miami Tourists
Downtown Miami offers a plethora of remarkable sights – museums, historic landmarks, and cultural centers. The following are the top attractions you may want to see when you visit Downtown Miami.
Frost Museum of Science
The Frost Museum of Science brings the power of science and discovery to Miami. This $305 million attraction is one of the most audacious science projects in the world. It features a spherical planetarium, a 500,000-gallon aquarium, and a netted aviary designed to open visitors up to the wonders of the natural world.
Perez Art Museum
The Perez Art Museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting modern and contemporary art that showcases Miami’s diversity. It features works from the 20th century to date, including waterfront views and massive hanging gardens.
This museum educates visitors about Miami’s remarkable transformation from swampland to the sprawling metropolis it has become. It features exhibitions on a variety of subjects like politics, transportation, and sports.
The Cuban heart of the city, Little Havana, is the embodiment of Miami’s diversity. Little Havana is home to history, art, and colorful murals. Visitors who want to feel the Hispanic culture, watch Cuban cigar rolling, or enjoy authentic salsa moves will love Little Havana.
American Airlines Arena
Premium sports and music in one place. The American Airlines Arena is home to NBA giants Miami Heat and plays host to various iconic events featuring some of the world’s famous music and wrestling superstars. Book your Miami Heat tickets in advance if you’re visiting from October to April.
The Olympia Theater is a Mediterranean-style theater initially built as a silent movie palace that has entertained residents and visitors for the better part of a century. Today, the venue hosts everything from dance shows and major concerts to music and film festivals.
Another of Miami’s iconic landmarks. Freedom Tower is regarded as the “Ellis Island of the South” for its history as a processing and relief center for Cubans who were exiled from their country from 1962 through 1974.
Exciting Things to Do in Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami offers an almost endless supply of thrilling experiences and adventures. Below is our list of the most exciting things to do while you’re in the area.
Tour the Metropolis on a Seaplane
Get an unbeatable aerial view of the city’s skyline when taking a seaplane tour from Downtown Miami to Coconut Grove through Dodge Island and back. The view from above is simply thrilling.
Go on a Boat Cruise
A boat cruise from Downtown Miami is something you’ll love to do more than once. Get amazing panoramic views when sailing across Biscayne Bay or the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy boat parties, drinks, and DJs, or even better, with a small group, you can organize a private boat tour in Miami! You can also enjoy boat cruises together with kayaks and paddleboarding if you love your time out on the water.
Go Jet Skiing
Explore the Biscayne Bay waters on a Deluxe jet ski. Hire one from the Bayside Marina, put on your safety gear, and get ready for a thrilling ride across the designated ride zone. You can spend up to an hour skiing across the bay, leaving a trail of sea spray in your wake.
Have Fun at the Virginia Key Outdoor Center
Kayak, fish, canoe, paddle, hike, or cycle at the Virginia Key Outdoor Center. You can also take classes on paddle yoga if you’re so inclined. Visitors to this center can paddle through glowing bioluminescent plankton if they’re visiting sometime between June and October.
Visit Bloom Sky Bar
A visit to a sky bar may not be as thrilling or as adrenaline-pumping as jet skiing across the Biscayne. However, grab the babysitter as Downtown Miami’s only sky bar offers unique nighttime views with classic cocktails and mixes. Bloom Sky Bar also treats its guests to daily happy hour, Sunday brunch, and lively nights every weekend.
Ride the Big Bus Miami
Downtown Miami’s open-topped, double-decker buses are a fun way to take in the attractions with kids. The Big Bus tour runs every 40 minutes, so you have enough time to explore a site before the next stop. The bus on city route number three will take you past landmarks such as Freedom Tower, Museum Park, and HistoryMiami Museum.
Where to Stay in Downtown Miami
Miami is generally not a cheap city. Finding the best area to stay on your Downtown Miami visit depends on your preferred location, the amenities you want, and how much you’re willing to pay. Consider the following accommodation options for your Downtown Miami stay.
There are several hotels in the Downtown Miami area that suit every budget. For example, the Selina Hotel Downtown Miami offers a good balance of affordability and comfort, with hotel prices ranging from $86 to $109 per night.
Or how about looking for something unique and staying at one of Miami’s coolest hotels with a rooftop pool?
Airbnb and VRBO offer different types of vacation rentals in Downtown Miami and Brickell areas. From studio apartments to cozy private rooms, vacation rentals can be your home away from home in Downtown Miami. Accommodation prices start at $55 per night.
You can also take advantage of the many hostels in the Downtown Miami area, especially if you are traveling with family or in a group and don’t mind sharing amenities or losing some of your privacy. Hostels are generally cheaper forms of accommodation and may provide an atmosphere that makes your vacation memorable.
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