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Free Walking Tour Miami

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miami beach free walking tour

Free Tour - Miami

Miami Beach Walking Tour

Since the 1920s, Miami Beach has been synonymous with glamor, glitz and non-stop sun. The epicenter of the beach is really on the barrier island's south end, which is why South Beach is really what people mean when they refer to Miami Beach. At 17 blocks long and 12 blocks wide, South Beach is a perfect place for a walk.

This article provides a written walking tour of South Beach. If you'd prefer an audio tour that you can download to your iPod, MP3 player or burn to a CD, you can download Audible.com's Miami Beach Audissey: An Audio Walking Tour through the Capital of Sexy.

With boutiques, restaurants, bars, clubs, museums and, of course, sandy beaches, you'll never be bored. The following is a perfect walking tour for an afternoon or can be split up over a day or two.

Watch Now: 7 Must-Visit Best Beaches in Miami

Introduction.

We will begin our tour at Lummus Park , at Ocean Drive and Seventh Street. (This is also a great place to start because there is a parking garage on Seventh, between Washington and Collins). This park stretches from Fifth to Fifteenth Streets and hugs a beautiful, sugar-sand beach. The park features a winding path perfect for strolling.

While in the park, walk east a few steps east, over a dune, and you're on the beach. Look to your west and you will see the stunning Art Deco architecture Miami Beach is famous for. If you need a cold drink -- or a scrumptious seafood dinner -- cross Ocean Drive and pick a sidewalk restaurant.

The view of Ocean Drive from Lummus Park is an especially beautiful view at night when the Art Deco hotels turn on their antique neon signs. Don't worry about strolling in the park in the early evening hours -- the park is heavily patrolled by police. Another nighttime bonus: there are usually groups of musically inclined folks playing bongos and singing.

This park is also home to the SoBe Wine and Food Festival each February.

Art Deco History

Walk along the park on Ocean Drive three blocks north, toward Tenth Street. On your left will be the Art Deco Welcome Center. This is the home of the Miami Design Preservation League, the group that formed in 1976 to preserve and restore the beach's historical, Art Deco buildings.

In those days, the beach experienced a rough patch. It had been a popular playground for the rich in the 1920s (hence the Art Deco architecture) and was a Mafia hangout in the 50s. By 1979, however, it was a Mecca for the elderly and the poor, and many of the once-swanky hotels had become retirement homes. Old-time beach residents remember when octogenarians in rocking chairs were a common sight on Ocean Drive.

The Beach Preservation League was concerned that many of the historical hotels were being razed by developers. So they brought together architects, businessmen, politicians and residents to help revitalize the area and garnered headlines in 1980 when artist Andy Warhol asked the group for a guided tour of the area. In 1984, the entire world was introduced to Miami Beach when the hit TV show "Miami Vice" used many of the neighborhood's buildings as a backdrop.

The Art Deco Welcome Center has books, brochures and even tours of South Beach if you want more information on the history of the area. In January, it is the epicenter for the Art Deco Weekend, a festival devoted to the unique architecture. There is also an extensive gift shop at the center, which is located at 1001 Ocean Drive. 

Versace Mansion

From the Art Deco Welcome Center, cross Ocean Drive and walk north one block, to 1116 Ocean. Stop at a large, white mansion, where lots of tourists will be snapping photos of the ornate iron gate and the tall hedges.

This is Ocean Drive's most infamous residence. In 1992, as the Art Deco preservationists worked to clean up a hardscrabble beach area, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace visited South Beach, saw the home, and fell in love with it. He lovingly restored the home to its original glory and brought international celebrities to party there. (Think Madonna and Elton John). But Versace's party ended in July of 1997 when he was shot on the steps of the mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who later committed suicide on a houseboat in Miami Beach.

The home was bought in 2000 by a telecommunications mogul and has since been turned into a private, members-only party mansion. This may be why some tourists linger near the front gate, hoping to catch a glimpse of a star or two, but others like to capture a photo of the macabre location where Versace was shot.

The mansion's legacy was part of South beach legend long before Versace, however. It was built in 1930 by architect and philanthropist Alden Freeman, who designed it as an homage to the oldest house in the Western Hemisphere, which is in Santo Domingo. The Spanish-style structure, known as Casa Casuarina, has an inner courtyard.

Of course, only a lucky few are able to view the inside (word has it that Versace's pool of 10,000 mosaics is untouched), but one can still admire the mansion from the sidewalk.

Wolfsonian Museum

From the Versace mansion, walk west on 11th Street two blocks, then take a left on Washington Avenue. Walk one block, and at the corner of Washington and 10th Street, you will see the Wolfsonian Museum.

The Wolfsonian was founded in 1986 to document, preserve and show the collection of Mitchell Wolfson Jr., who owned an impressive array of furniture, paintings, books, industrial art and ephemera. Wolfson donated his collection and the museum to Florida International University in 1997.

The museum's collection is mostly comprised of objects from North America and Europe dating from 1885 to 1945, with an emphasis on design history. Included in the collection are items from the British Arts and Crafts movement, Political Propaganda and Italian Art Nouveau. Recent exhibitions include "The Art of the Political Poster," and "Art and Design in the Modern Age."

For hours and admission information, read the Wolfsonian Art Museum Visitors Guide .

Espanola Way

TripSavvy / Katelyn Chef

Stroll north along Washington Avenue and people-watch. This is one of South Beach's most colorful thoroughfares, with sunburned tourists mixing with the diverse locals. If your energy is flagging stop at any of the small Cuban markets and grab a café con leche or cortadito - a tiny shot of powerful espresso and keep walking. When you hit Espanola Way (just after 14th Street), cross Washington and enter into a four-block, pedestrian-only street.

After being surrounded by Art Deco buildings, you will feel as though you have been transported to a small village in Spain; the architecture here is decidedly Mediterranean, down to the barrel-backed tile and pink stucco. Make sure to gaze at the large peach-colored building on the corner of Washington and Espanola. It is called the Clay Hotel , and it is part youth hostel, part hotel, with a Mexican restaurant on the ground floor. It was originally built in 1925 as a haven for artists and bohemians. You may recognize this building from TV; it was the site of the first and last episodes of Miami Vice.

Strolling down Espanola Way, you will come across art galleries, clothing boutiques, and other unique stores. At least two yoga studios are tucked in between restaurants. On the weekends, a farmer's market and outdoor shopping bazaar add to the foreign feel.

The perfect place to end your walking tour is at the very end of the street, at the Spanish restaurant Tapas y Tintos , at 448 Espanola Way. This tiny tapas bar offers real Spanish fare (the owner is from Spain), including tiny plates of delicious fish, olives, and Spanish tortillas. Make your way to one of the bar's outdoor sidewalk tables nestled under a stucco archway and order a glass (or a pitcher) of Sangria. Chances are, there will be some sort of Latin jazz coming from inside. Soak in the South Beach vibe, and enjoy.

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Free Walking Tour Miami

free walking tour miami

Free walking tour Miami shows you the most beautiful city of Miami, located in the south of Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and Latin-American culture. The city is a popular tourist destination, known for its hot weather, clear blue waters and sandy beaches. Miami is also home to Little Havana, a neighborhood known for its Cuban culture, and Calle Ocho , a street famous for its salsa music and dancers.

General information

miami beach free walking tour

Meet your guide at Jose Marti Statue

Please remember to check your ticket after booking to ensure you don’t miss any updates from your guide.

Free Walking Tour Miami – Itinerary

Free walking tour Miami starts at the Jose Marti Statue. From South Beach, head to the Little Havana neighborhood, one of the most famous Cuban-American neighborhoods in the United States. Take a stroll down Calle Ocho, the main street in the neighborhood, and check out the many shops and restaurants that specialize in Cuban food. Be sure to also check out the famous Cuban Memorial Boulevard and the Tower Theater.  

Next, walk to the Wynwood neighborhood, an area known for its street art and graffiti. Take a stroll through the streets and admire the colorful murals and graffiti that decorate the walls of the buildings. Be sure to also check out the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor street art gallery that features works by some of the world’s most famous street artists.

Read more...

After visiting the Wynwood neighborhood, make your way to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a beautiful Mediterranean-style villa that was once the home of James Deering. Take a tour of the villa and the gardens and learn about the history of the building and its inhabitants.  

From the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, head to the Bayside Marketplace, an open-air shopping and dining area that is located on the waterfront. Take a stroll through the market and check out the shops, restaurants, and street performers. Be sure to also check out the many boats that are docked in the area and take a boat tour of the bay.  

Finally, end your tour at the Freedom Tower, a historic building that was once the headquarters of the Miami News. Take a tour of the building and learn about the history of the tower and its significance to the city of Miami.

SoBeach Walking Tours

Free Walking Tours Miami

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Walking Tours in Miami

Greater Miami Convention Visitors Bureau

65+ Things to Do in Miami for Free in 2024 That Won’t Cost You a Thing!

60+ FREE Things to Do in Miami - Miami Beach Art Deco District

Forget rooftop cocktails and designer boutiques! Give your credit card a much-needed vacation and discover a treasure trove of things to do in Miami for free. It might sound too good to be true, but the Magic City is brimming with things to do that won’t cost you a dime.

Whether you’re a sun-seeking beach bum, a culture vulture craving art and history, or simply a curious explorer on a budget , Miami has something for you. Why break the bank on expensive attractions? This city is full of hidden gems and incredible deals waiting to be discovered.

From basking on iconic beaches and strolling through the pastel-hued Art Deco District to immersing yourself in world-class museums and vibrant cultural festivals, you can create unforgettable memories without spending a cent. So, leave your wallet at home, grab your walking shoes, and get ready to discover a budget traveler’s paradise.

Here is your complete guide to free Miami attractions and events.

Table of Contents

Exploring the Free Museums in Miami

 Forget the velvet ropes and hefty entrance fees! Miami’s best museums open their doors for free on specific days, offering a free ride through the world of art, history, and culture.

You’ll find Miami museum free entry days throughout the month, and almost every place in the city has at least one free day per month.

Outreach hand statue surrounding wall on pond

Best Free Museums in Miami

There are a few museums that are free every day of the year. If you’re on the hunt for free                                 things to do in Miami for history buffs and culture vultures, add these to your list:

  • Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach – This outdoor facility is free to the public and is dedicated to the six million lives lost during this horrific period in history. It is open 365 days per year, from 9:30 am to sunset.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art – When it comes to free things to do in Miami for art lovers, this place is numero uno. This free art museum offers guided tours every day at 1 pm and is a must for budget travelers who want to dive into the local culture.
  • Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museu m – Not only will you not spend a dime on entry, but this museum also offer free guest lectures by leading artists, historians, and scholars throughout the year.
  • Art Deco Welcome Center – Tucked within the historic 10th Street Auditorium, you’ll find a friendly concierge ready to help you plan your Miami Beach vacation. They will inform you about the local area and help you make bookings. If you’re a Miami-Dade resident, student, or military, you can also enter the Art Deco Museum for free (just bring your ID). For everyone else, the admission is $7 – which is still budget-friendly for a top Miami attraction.

Miami Museum Free Days

Some of the best museums in the country are right here in the Magic City, and you can stroll right in without spending a cent. Here’s how:

Outside Bass Museum Building

  • Bass Museum of Art – The king of free cultural experiences in Miami, this world-class museum is free for everyone on the third Thursday of each month (6 pm to 9 pm), and there’s a Family Day on the last Sunday of each month when you can enter for free with the kids.
  • Gold Coast Railroad Museum – One of our favorite free things to do in Miami with kids, this fun interactive museum is a perfect spot for photo shoots, birthday parties, or just exploring our history. If you’re lucky enough to be here on the first Saturday of the month, you can get free museum admission from 11 am to 4 pm. Note: If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Miami during the rest of the month, AAA members can nab BOGO tickets here.
  • HistoryMiami Museum – One of the hidden gems in Miami you can see for free, this is the place to be on the second Saturday of each month when you can explore without spending a cent.
  • Jewish Museum of Florida – If you’re looking for free things to do in the Design District, stop by any Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm to enter gratis.
  • Miami Children’s Museum – If you’re looking for free things to do in Miami in the rain that’ll keep the kiddos entertained, this is the place for you. As a bonus, it’s free on the second Friday of the month from 10 am to 5 pm. On the second Saturday of each month, the museum is also free for children with disabilities ( RSVP here ).
  • Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA)– This cultural hub will accept whatever entry fee you want to contribute on the last Friday of the month from 7 to 10 pm during the Jazz at MOCA sessions .
  • Perez Art Museum Miami – Think there aren’t any free things to do in Downtown Miami? Get over here every Second Saturday of the month from 11 am to 3 pm for free entry.
  • Wolfsonian-FIU – One of the essential free things to do in South Beach, this spot is free and open to the public every Friday from 6 to 9 pm.

Planning Tip: Keep in mind that Miami museum free days are subject to change and can be affected by federal and local holidays. Be sure to double-check the website before your trip.

Free Walking Tours in Miami

If you’re hunting for off-the-beaten-path things to do in Miami for free, look no further. Walking tours are the perfect way to see the city from a different perspective. Whether you’re a history buff, obsessed with art, or want to explore some of the most iconic attractions in Miami, you will find a free tour that is perfect for you.

Art Deco buildings and palm trees along street in tropical setting

  • Biltmore Hotel Tour – Our top pick for free things to do in Coral Gables, you can join a Dade Heritage Trust docent on a free guided walking tour of the iconic Biltmore Hotel every Sunday at 2 pm. Tours start in the hotel’s upper lobby next to the birdcage ( spaces are limited, so RSVP here ). While you’re there, be sure to check out the stunning Biltmore pool, famous as one of the largest hotel swimming pools in the continental U.S. Note: Free parking is also available in the adjacent west lot.
  • Viernes Culturales/ Cultural Fridays Walking Tour with Dr. Paul George –  Immerse yourself in Little Havana’s vibrant culture during Viernes Culturales, a monthly festival held every third Friday featuring local music, art, and more. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Little Havana free walking!
  • Arsht Center Tour – Free one-hour guided tours are available on Mondays and Saturdays at noon. Not only do you get to view the center’s stunning architecture, but you’ll get one of the best views in Miami. Bring your camera to snap pics of the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay from the upper tiers and walkway.
  • DIY Art Deco Tour – The Art Deco District is a must-see, and the Official Art Deco Walking Tour by The Miami Design Preservation League is well worth it. If a paid tour is not in the cards, you can meander down Ocean Drive and wind your own way through the pastel-colored structures. It’s one of our top picks for free things to do in Miami for couples (that’ll give you the perfect backdrop for those lovely dovey selfies!). Grab our Miami Beach Art Deco District Guide to plan your DIY tour.
  • Miami Design District Public Art Tours – Embark on a journey through the heart of Miami Design District with this insightful walking tour. Explore the neighborhood’s architectural heritage and take a behind-the-scenes look at Miami’s vibrant art scene.
  • Visit Everglades via the Homestead Trolley – Explore the wonders of Everglades National Park without the hassle of driving. All you have to do is hop on the free Homestead Trolley from downtown Homestead to either of the park’s entrances: Royal Palm and Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. On arrival, you’ll have guided commentary and scenic views. Plan plenty of time to explore the diverse ecosystems, have wildlife encounters, and explore immersive nature trails. This seasonal service runs from December to April, offering an easy and budget-friendly day trip from Miami.

DIY Free Tours of Miami

Some of the best places to explore in Miami don’t require a guide. Here are a few places where you can just show up and see where the day takes you.

Calle Ocho Little Havana Miam Florida Rooster Statues

  • Little Havana – Stroll along Little Havana’s Calle Ocho and soak up Miami’s Latin culture by exploring the art galleries, Walk of Stars, Domino Park, fruit stands, cigar shops, and other free historical sites in one of Miami’s coolest neighborhood. Take your experience to the next level on the Calle Ocho Experience walking tour.
  • Coconut Grove Historic Walking Tour – Discover the charming beauty of one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods and explore the countless free things to do in Coconut Grove on this fascinating free Miami walking tour.
  • Rickenbacker Causeway – Bike or walk along the Rickenbacker Causeway pedestrian path and enjoy the incredible Miami skyline views. If you’re looking for a romantic place to go during sunset or sunrise, this is it.
  • Bayside Marketplace – This two-story waterfront open-air market is an ideal spot to take a stroll, enjoy daily free live performances, or sit by the bay and admire the Miami skyline views. Be sure to plan time for visiting Bayfront Park .
  • Hop on the Trolley   – Did you know that there is a free Miami trolley and a free Miami Beach trolley ? If you’re new to the city, there is no better free Miami hop-on, hop-off tour! You can simply ride around and see the sites, then jump off and explore anything that catches your eye.
  • Cauley Square Historic Village – Immerse yourself in Miami’s past at Cauley Square Historic Village. Stroll through the charming Victorian-era homes transformed into lovely shops and restaurants. Discover the captivating history as you meet local artists and unwind in the tranquil courtyard.
  • DIY Miami Filming Locations Tour – Step into the world of your favorite films and TV shows with a self-guided tour of the hidden corners of Miami where iconic scenes were shot.
  • Art Walking Tour in Miami – Since 1973, Miami-Dade Art in Public Places has been commissioning works of public art. Today, there are more than 1,000 pieces across the city. Explore the catalog of work and see how many pieces you can discover.
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglass Biscayne Nature Center – Explore Miami’s best trails in this lush escape. And be sure to check the events calendar before you go for everything from full moon cruises to seagrass adventures.
  • Calle Ocho Walk of Fame – Stroll alongside stars on the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame! Immortalized in terrazzo, Latin giants like Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan grace the vibrant street, where history mingles with local charm. Celebrate Latin legends and Miami’s cultural heart with every step.
  • A1A Road Trip – Winding its way from Miami’s bustling streets to peaceful coastal havens, Florida’s A1A road trip is a beautiful journey. The route hugs the Atlantic coastline and will take you through an endless line of pristine beaches and charming towns.

Free Things to Do in Miami Beach

Ocean Drive Miami Beach South Beach Florida with vintage car

  • Ocean Drive – Wander the iconic Ocean Drive in the heart of Miami Beach, where Art Deco gems line the pastel path. It’s packed with trendy bars, sidewalk cafes, and vibrant energy — and you don’t need to spend a cent to enjoy it! From celebrity sightings to beachside breezes, this place is Miami at its peak.
  • Miami Beach Boardwalk – If you’re not one for sand in your shoes, try this nine-mile boardwalk that parallels the dazzling shoreline. You can walk, jog, or bike along the path.
  • Española Way – This historic pedestrian-only street in Miami Beach was built in 1925 ,and is lined with endless shops, restaurants, and cafes. Just beside the beach, this main drag is famous for its Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and its energetic vibe.
  • Lincoln Road – Lincoln Road is a pedestrian haven in Miami Beach pulsating with energy. Window shop the designer shops and stroll by the chic cafes lining the open-air promenade as you soak it all in.
  • Muscle Beach South Beach – For a free outdoor gym in Miami Beach, get to Lummus Park. It’s a picturesque place to get a workout, and you’ll find a regular schedule of yoga classes.
  • Betsy Orb – A must-see piece of public art, the Betsy Orb connects the iconic Betsy Ross building and the Carlton. It’s lit up at night with various themes throughout the year, so it’s worth checking out more than once.
  • Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain – While it’ll be a quick tour, you can’t visit Miami without seeing this iconic spot. Located on the grounds of The Bass Museum, this art installation from Ugo Rondinone is well worth the trip.

Free Things to Do in Miami at Night

Looking for free cultural events in Miami and other places to have a great time after the sun sets? Forget about the overpriced clubs! Here are a few affordable Miami nightlife picks you’ll love:

Downtown Miami skyline city view at night

  • Wynwood Art Walk – Stroll through the crowded streets,   tour a newly installed graffiti   mural, and experience the food and culture of Miami from the area’s most popular monthly block party. This event is one of the much-loved free things to do in Wynwood. The event is held on the second Saturday of each month, starting at 6 pm and extending through the night. Can’t make it on Saturday? If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Wynwood, the Walls are well worth it. Grab your ticket online to see the world’s largest collection of street art .
  • Gables Gallery Night   – Art meets after-hours! Dive into Coral Gables’ buzzing art scene every first Friday with Gallery Night. Discover the diverse pieces, enjoy live music, and explore the city with convenient trolley or Freebee on-demand vehicles.
  • Miami Beach Culture Crawl – Looking for something fun and free to do at night in Miami Beach? Check out the Miami Beach Culture Crawl from 6 pm to 9 pm on the third Thursday of the month (October to May). With backstage tours, unique exhibitions, and free film screenings, this is always a highlight of the Miami Beach event calendar.
  • Sounds of Little Haiti – For free things to do in Little Haiti, head down to this vibrant outdoor event to immerse in a cultural experience with traditional food, music, arts, and goods of the Caribbean island nation. It takes place at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex every third Friday from 6 to 10 pm.

Concerts and Free Live Music Miami

Love music? Here are the spots that you won’t want to miss:

People outside watching the New World Symphony WALLCAST concerts at SoundScape Park

  • Outdoor Jazz at MOCA – This is the place to be for free live music in Miami. The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) presents outdoor concerts on the last Friday of the month at 8 pm at no charge (though offerings are accepted to support the events).
  • New World Symphony WALLCAST Concert Series – Another impressive spot for free live music in Miami, this unique multi-media event is held at an open-air park with live classical music performances projected onto a 7,000-square-foot exterior wall. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, food, and friends.
  • Free Gospels Sundays at Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center – Sundays Sundays shine at the Arsht Center! Experience the uplifting sounds of local choirs led by renowned headliners echoing through the halls. Come prepare to immerse yourself in soulful harmonies at this unforgettable cultural celebration.

Other Unique and Free Things to Do in Miami

Here are some other quirky, fun, and budget-friendly things to do in Miami that don’t neatly fit into any sort of category.

Large yellow mural with woman wearing glasses

  • Wynwood Art District – Looking for a great selfie spot? You’ve found it with this unique outdoor art installation featuring rotating street art from artists around the world. It is similar to Lake Placid’s Town of Murals .
  • Critical Mass – This monthly, community-wide mass cycling initiative runs through several neighborhoods, including Downtown Miami, Little Haiti, Wynwood, and the Upper East Side. It’s held on the last Friday of every month.
  • SoundScape Cinema – Looking for free date ideas in Miami? There is nothing better than free outdoor movies in Miami. From October through May, The New World Center also offers free outdoor movies that span contemporary and classics with flicks projected onto the 7,000-square-foot screen — that is what you call a big-screen experience!
  • Libreri Mapou Bookstore – A resource for Haitian Creole literature and culture, this is the perfect place to browse books and art or participate in workshops dedicated to showcasing the rich history of this vibrant community. Afterward, why not explore Black history in Miami at the historic landmarks dotting the city ( here’s a free DIY tour to get you inspired )?
  • Books & Books – Escape the Miami bustle and enter a literary haven at Books & Books. Get lost in the shelves, sip a coffee, and lose yourself in a story. This locally owned independent bookstore has locations in Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Bal Harbour Shops, Key West, and the MIA Airport.

Free Miami Events and Festivals

Everyone loves a festival! Here is a rundown of the free festivals in Miami that you can’t miss:

Calle Ocho Festival, Little Havana Miami, Florida

  • Art Deco Weekend – This three-day festival held in January in Lummus Park is free to the public. It offers various events, including live entertainment, classic car shows, lecture series, fitness programs, and more.
  • Calle Ocho Festival – A lively event in March, stretching along the main drag in Little Havana from SW 12th to 27th Avenues, features food, dancing, and music.
  • Kitetober Kite Festival – The Kitetober Kite Festival is an annual event in Miami featuring hundreds of kites of all shapes and sizes, including giant show kites. You can bring your kite or purchase one at the festival. There is also food, music, and other all-ages fun, so bring the whole family.

Free Yoga in Miami

There are an impressive number of free yoga classes in Miami. The days and times vary, but you’ll find one every day of the week. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Legion Park (Miami’s Upper East Side) –Saturdays at 10 am
  • Bayfront Park (Tina Hills Pavilion) – Mondays & Thursdays at 6 pm
  • Jose Marti Park – Tuesdays at 6 pm
  • Little Haiti Cultural Center – Thursdays at 6 pm
  • Yoga on the Beach – You’ll find free yoga in Miami Beach every day from April to October at 7 am and 6 pm; and from November to March at 7 am and 5 pm
  • Collins Pa rk – Mondays & Wednesdays at 6 pm
  • North Shore Bandshell – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 pm
  • Lummus Park – Sundays at 10 am

Miami Parks and Trails

If you’re looking for free places to work out in Miami, head outside! Who needs a gym when you can enjoy the great outdoors?

yellow painted walkway overlooking water

  • Lummus Park – You’ve probably seen this public park on the big and small screens – it’s right on Miami Beach and a great place to stroll the sandy shores, sightsee, people watch, or enjoy the warm Miami sun.
  • Bayfront Park – Looking for an outstanding urban park? Bayfront Park is the answer. This picturesque green space spanning 32 acres is ideal for a stroll, picnic, or a laid-back atmosphere with open bay views.
  • Miami Riverwalk Trail – Miami Riverwalk Trail is an urban oasis on the water’s edge. Stroll past impressive murals and lush greenery, where cityscapes melt into tranquil escapes. Discover hidden gems like historic landmarks, charming cafes, and intriguing museums while you stroll or cycle the afternoon away.
  • The Underline – This 10-mile-long hidden oasis is an endless line of gardens, public art, and trails. Stroll from Brickell’s rolling River Room with its native grasses to The Grove Gallery’s bocce ball court and picnic areas. Whether you are in the mood to walk, bike, relax, or savor local bites from food vendors, the Underline is the place to be.
  • Old Cutler Trail – Take cover under the banyan trees and enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride on the 13.5-mile Old Cutler Trail. The beautiful trail passes through several South Miami neighborhoods, including Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and Cutler Bay. It’s the great Miami outdoors at its best!
  • Bear Cut Nature Preserve – Just beside Key Biscayne, you’ll find endless footpaths and bike paths that will get you up close and personal with the beautiful local flora and fauna.
  • Tropical Park – The perfect place to work out for free in Miami, Tropical Park boasts miles of paved pathways, a fitness court, and a boxing center.

Free Beaches in Miami

With miles of coastline and endless opportunities for strolling, swimming, or just lounging in the sand, enjoying the stunning beaches is the ultimate free thing to do in Miami. Here are just a few beach bumming options:

Crandon Park Beach path in Key Biscayne, Miami Florida

  • South Pointe Park – This 17–acre park features a quaint limestone boardwalk along the beach. It’s a great place to catch the sweeping seascapes or relax with the family.
  • Mid Beach: 21st–45th Street – features multiple beach access, the Miami Beach Boardwalk, beachside cafes, and trendy hotels like the historic Fontainebleau.
  • Sunny Isles Beach – This is a two-mile stretch with magnificent views, hotels, and water sports options.

Bonus Tip: While you’re beach hopping, go on a colorful quest along Miami Beach to explore the  iconic lifeguard towers . These vibrant guardians stand watch over vibrant shores and showcase playful architecture, each with its unique style.

Let Your Camera Be Your Guide

City skyline along a bay

While it’s great to have a list of things to do in Miami for free, sometimes you find the best spots by wandering around town without a plan—just you and your camera. Walk the picturesque coastline, sit at an outdoor café or a park and photograph the beautiful people, Art Deco buildings, and make some remarkable discoveries along the way.

Whether you’re a local or a first-time Miami visitor, the city has free activities to entertain you. Trust us, you don’t have to spend much money to have a good time! Just be open to new experiences and see what happens.

Looking for more inspiration? Grab 101 Things to Do in Miami: Your Ultimate 2024 Miami Bucket List to get inspired! It’s packed with free and cheap things to do in Miami that you won’t soon forget!

18 comments

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I’m glad you left the beaches until last. That’s our first – outsiders to your beautiful city – always think. Clearly, Miami is so much more.

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The city has deservingly earned a reputation for it lovey beaches, but it’s also a culturally rich town boasting amazing architecture, stunning outdoor space, and a thriving food, arts and entertainment scene. The beaches are sometimes (almost ?) an after thought to locals.

This is a great collection of FREE things to do. Its hard sometimes finding a good guide with a little of everything.

Thanks! It’s usually a dilemma of mine as well to find a list that provides a great overview. I hope you find this one useful!

Wow, I’ve visited Miami a few times but can’t believe how many free things I missed. Definitely pinned this for later, thanks!

It’s one of the things I love about living in this city, even if budget is tight, you’re almost guaranteed to find something to do. Thanks for pinning and checking it out!

Wow! What an incredible list. There is so much to do in Miami! Considering this is also a list of free things to do is even better! Really, the most I know about Miami is that it has the cool retro Art Deco district and that I will be able to use the little amount of Spanish I know. Can’t wait to visit someday!

Thanks! This city isn’t exactly known for being budget friendly, but I also wanted to provide a comprehensive list proving you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time here. I enjoyed exploring the town and working on it equally. And yes, this is the place to practice your Spanish.

Wow, what an amazing list!

Thank you! It was fun putting it together! ?

This is such a good list. I think that the city look and feel of Miami can make things seem expensive, but you’ve brought attention to the really accessible side of things. Thank you so much for sharing!

There is no denying Miami isn’t a cheap destinations, but with a little planning it’s certainly manageable on the budget. Thanks for checking it out!

What a great list! I’ve had such little time to explore Miami but this post makes me excited to go back :)

Thank you! I hope it’s helpful when planning your next trip to Miami.

I could just walk around and look at cool street art all day for FREE :D

You sure can! In addition to the rotating street art, the area is has plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants to keep visitors entertained.

Thank you so much for sharing such a comprehensive list! I had no idea there were so many interesting things to do in Miami, but this has me wanting to plan a holiday there for sure :) Wonderful post!

Thanks for reading! If your plans ever lead you into town, let know me if you were able to do anything on this list. I’d love to hear about your experience. Thanks again!

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miami beach free walking tour

Miami Beach is an American city in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Miami Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. It offers a vibrant culture that is rich in art, museums and restaurants. To not miss any detail of your visit to this area of Miami nothing better than to have the professional guidance of a Free Tour like the ones we offer here at GuruWalk. Some of the most popular attractions that tourists must see include:

  • The Miami Beach Botanical Garden
  • The Miami Science Museum
  • The Art Deco Historic District
  • Miami Seaquarium
  • South Pointe Park.

Let's take a closer look at each of these tourist attractions and what they have to offer. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. This garden is a perfect example of how nature and humans can come together in harmony. The lush green gardens and sitting areas make it the perfect place to relax with your friends and family. The Miami Science Museum has many exhibits to offer visitors throughout the year. Some of the most popular are the planetarium, the live animal exhibit and the interactive exhibits. Most people who have visited this museum say it is a must-see tourist attraction in Miami Beach. The planetarium is a magical experience for most visitors. It provides a 360° immersion into space with immersive images and surround sound that makes you feel as if you are traveling through our solar system. In addition to that, they also have an exhibit called "How Things Work" that allows people to explore how various objects work, from a toothbrush to a motorcycle engine. Visitors can also interact with some of their live animals, such as snakes or turtles. Evocative of the opulent 1920s era, the Art Deco Historic District is a modern tourist hotspot. The Art Deco Historic District is a world-famous Miami Beach attraction full of nostalgia and uniqueness. Visitors can shop, dine and enjoy entertainment in this district. It is also home to the famous Blue Angel Cafe Museum, which features an art gallery exhibiting prints by artists who have captured the area's unique style over time. The district draws large crowds year-round thanks to its enduring beauty and rich history. Since opening in 1955, the Seaquarium has been home to more than 100,000 aquatic animals. The park is open 365 days a year and welcomes more than two million visitors annually. Visitors are greeted by a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, manatees, sharks, manta rays and many other exotic sea creatures. Finally, South Pointe Park is an urban park with a walking and biking trail along Biscayne Bay. It is one of the largest parks in Miami Beach and has a variety of facilities for rollerblading, rollerblading, playing basketball or enjoying a nice picnic in the shade.

Want to share your culture with travelers from all the world?

Free walking tour near miami, others cities to visit after miami, find other guruwalks in miami, where are you traveling to.

Free DIY Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Share The Love!

We took our first trip Miami, before boarding our first cruise . I really wanted to check out the Art Deco architecture around Miami. Located around South Beach, there are lots of buildings built in the 1930/40s that still stand today. There are many tours that you can pay for, but we decided to go with a DIY option. I’ll share a map, some history about the buildings we saw, and step by step directions so you can do your own free Miami Art Deco Walking Tour!

Miami Art Deco Walking Tour for Free | #miami #artdeco #walkingtour

This tour will take 2-2.5 hours, but feel free to stop and shop or eat along the way, that’s the best part of a DIY tour! Bring some water since it’s usually hot and sunny in South Beach!

For a bigger version of the map, see here.

Map of the Art Deco walking tour

What Is Art Deco?

Art Deco style started in Paris in the 1920s. It is not a single style, but a collection of styles associated with luxury and modernity. Art Deco style took risks, and used colors like pastel blues pinks and yellows, and also some brighter oranges, yellows and greens. You’ll notice a lot of buildings have neon signs, and also dramatic lighting at night.

Art Deco Welcome Center – 1001 Ocean Drive

The welcome center seems like a great spot to start Art Deco walking tour. You can even go in the store and check out lots of cool items from the 1920s and 30s. This is also the spot where you can pay for a tour, but we aren’t doing that 😉

The Miami Design Preservation League is responsible for preserving many of the buildings that you’ll see on the tour today. In the 1970s they fought against demolition of these historic buildings, and they were designated a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places.

Our first stop is basically across the street and a little North of the Welcome Center. For all the hotels on Ocean Drive, I recommend viewing them from the beach side of the street, as you’ll be able to see the big picture better!

The Clevelander 1020 Ocean Drive

The Clevelander Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

This building was built in 1938 by famed architect Albert Anis and was renovated and restored in 2009. It features a lively patio bar that seems quite popular!

Turn around and head south 3 blocks to our next destination, you won’t miss it, it’s bright blue!

Park Central Hotel (The Celino) 640 Ocean Drive

The Park Central Celino Hotel on Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

The hotel certainly stands out. Built in 1937 this hotel was designed by Floridian architect Henry Hohauser.  In its heyday the Park Central Hotel at 640 Ocean Drive was a favorite Miami Beach destination for Hollywood royalty including Clark Gable, Carol Lombard and Rita Hayworth. It was bought and restored in the 1980s and is now under refurbishment and set to re-open in Spring 2019 as The Celino.

Keep heading south until you reach 6th street, walk up 6th Street and then turn north onto Collins Ave. Head north two blocks until you hit 8th Street.

The Hotel Of South Beach 801 Collins Ave

The Hotel of South Beach on Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Just because it’s white, doesn’t mean it’s plain. It’s hard to miss the neon spire that says Tiffany, which is still used! It was built in 1939, designed by L. Murray Dixon. It was reimagined in the late 1990s by fashion designer Todd Oldham.

Keep heading North on Collins Ave, the next stop is on the opposite side of the street but very close.  

The Shelly 844 Collins Ave

Hotel Shelley on Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

This beautiful purple hotel sticks out right away. It was built in 1931, and is a great example of the colors and lines used in Art Deco style.

Continue North on Collins Ave, the next stop on our Art Deco walking tour is at the intersection of 10th and Collins.

Essex House 1001 Collins Ave

Essex Hotel on Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Built in 1938 by Henry Hohauser (he designed many of these buildings!), Essex house has one of the most unique shapes of all of them. It is designed to look like a cruise ship heading into the ocean. You’ll get the best view of the cruise ship shape, as you walk down 10th Street back to Ocean Drive.

Once you get to Ocean Drive, head North, passing the Clevelander once again.

Congress Hotel 1052 Ocean Drive

Congress Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

I love the look of this hotel. The font on the signs is so typical for the Art Deco area, as are the colors used in the motifs beside the door. Built in 1934, this hotel consists of suites so you can enjoy South Beach like you live here.

Continue north and pass 11th street to get to your next destination, you can’t miss it with all those palm trees out front!

Villa Casa Casuarina 1116 Ocean Drive

Villa Casa Casuarina, Versace House, on Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

You’ve probably gotten pretty good at recognizing Art Deco style by now, but you’ll notice this one is a little different. The original owner of this property, Alden Freeman, was inspired by Alcazar De Colon in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Alcazar De Colon was built in the 16th century by Christopher Columbus’s son, Diego. Alden Freeman loved the architecture so much, he even bought bricks from the Alcazar De Colon and used them in the construction of Casa Casuarina when it was built in 1930. One of the bricks sits to the right hand side of the main entrance

In 1992 Gianni Versace, the Italian fashion designer bought the property and expanded it by destroying a hotel located next door. 5 years after purchasing the home, Gianni Versace was shot and killed on the front steps on the morning of July 15th 1997 by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. Casa Casuarina sat empty for 3 years before reopening as a hotel in 2001.

Continue North on Ocean Drive until you reach 12th street.

The Tides Hotel 1220 Ocean Drive

The Tides hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

The Tides was designed by L. Murray Dixon in 1936 and was the first Art Deco Hotel he built on South Beach. At the time it was built it was the tallest building in the area. Right now the building is closed and under renovation because of damage that occurred during Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Continue North on Ocean Drive, you won’t miss this bright yellow building!

The Leslie 1244 Ocean Drive

The Leslie Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

I think this one was my personal favorite on the tour! The yellow color really catches your eye. Built in 1937, designed by Albert Anis, this building was meant to be a combination of art deco and modern styles. It was renovated in 2014, but thankfully still has all the 1930s charm!

Continue walking North, but not too far! Our next stop is right next door.

Carlyle Hotel 1250 Ocean Drive

The Carlyle Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Built in 1939, this building is not actually a hotel anymore, but luxury condos. But if it looks familiar to you, it’s because The Carlyle has been featured in many films, such as Scarface, Bad Boys 2, The Birdcage, Pronto and Random Hearts.

Continue walking North until you pass 13th street.

Cardozo Hotel 1300 Ocean Drive

Cardozo Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

The Cardozo Hotel was named after, Benjamin Cardozo, one of the first Jewish jurors appointed to the US Supreme Court. It was built in 1939 and designed by Henry Hohauser. It has also been featured in films, such as There’s Something About Mary, A Hole In The Head, and Any Given Sunday. The hotel is now owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

Our next stop is right next door!

The Cavalier 1320 Ocean Drive

The Cavalier Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

The colors on The Cavalier really stand out. Designed by architect Roy F. France in 1936, this building focuses more on vertical lines rather than horizontal ones that were typical in the Art Deco movement. What’s lovely is that they kept the interior decorated in Art Deco style.

Walk North until you reach 14th street, the next stop is on the corner.

The Winter Haven 1400 Ocean Drive

Winter Haven Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Built in 1939 and designed by Albert Avis. The “snowbirds” from the North were looking for places to spend the winter, and The Winter Haven was clearly marketed toward them. You can see the similarities between Winter Haven and The Leslie, as it was designed by the same person.

At this point in the tour, you may want to use the public restrooms across from 14th street in Lummus park. Once you finish up there, walk up 14th Street until you reach the corner of Collins Ave and 14th.

FL Cafe & Former Commodore Hotel 1360 Collins Ave

Also designed by Henry Hohauser and in 1939, the Commodore Hotel was a 50-key hotel when it opened. Recently it has been longer-term rentals, however in 2022 redevelopment plans were approved and it will once again become a hotel. A reader let me know that they had a lovely meal in the FL cafe, if you’re ready for a bite to eat!

Walk North on Collins until you reach Espanola Way. You won’t miss the seafoam color of the next building!

Hoffman’s Cafeteria (Formerly Senor Frogs) 1450 Collins Ave

Senor Frogs Hoffman's Cafeteria Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

This building has been many things over the years. Built in 1939 and designed by Henry Hohauser. It was originally Hoffman’s Cafeteria, and it was used during World War II by the military as a mess hall for cadets. In the 1980s it was the famed gay nightclub the Warsaw Ballroom, and then it became a deli, and now Senor Frogs is there. Let me know if it’s different when you arrive 😉

2023 edit: A reader let me know this building is boarded up and in disrepair! Hopefully someday it will be returned to its former glory.

Continue North on Collins until you are between 15th and 16th streets.

Shore Crest / Royal Palm 1545 Collins Ave

Shore Crest Royal Palm Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

Built in 1939 by Russian Immigrants Joe Rose and Nat Hankoff. In 1941 the U.S. Army Air Force used the Royal Palm and Shorecrest hotel and 300 other properties around South Beach as military barracks, mess halls, and classrooms. It fell into disrepair, but has since been remodeled and is now a Marriott owned property.

The next property on this Art Deco tour is just passed 16th Street.

Loews Hotel 1601 Collins Ave

Loews Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

This building stands out as one of the tallest buildings in the area. This hotel is actually made out of 2 buildings. The old St. Mortiz hotel (the smaller of the two, in the right of the photograph above) was built in 1939, and designed by Roy France. It was restored by the owners of the Loews Hotel, which was built in the 1960s.

The last 3 buildings on our Miami Art Deco walking tour are just past Lincoln road and are right next to each other.

Sagamore Hotel 1671 Collins Ave

Sagamore Hotel Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

This beautiful hotel was built in 1948 by Albert Anis. It still serves as a hotel, it also houses an art gallery that is open to the public.

Walk a few paces North, and you’ll find the next destination.

National Hotel 1677 Collins Ave

National Hotel Art Deco Walking Tour Miami

This property was built in 1939 designed by Roy France, at the same time he was working on the St. Mortiz down the street. It was fully restored in 2014 and is now recognized as by the “Historic Hotels of America”. The tasteful paint job outside keeps the integrity of the Art Deco era.

The last stop on our Art Deco walking tour is right next door!

Delano 1685 Collins Ave

Delano Miami Art Deco Walking Tour

The Delano was built in 1947, and then restored and redesigned by Philippe Starck in 1994. When it was built the Delano was the tallest building in Miami Beach. It was one of the first hotels built after World War II. This hotel has hosted many celebrity guests like KIm Kardashian, Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio.

End Of The Tour

If you can believe it, we’ve just covered a lot of Miami’s Art Deco area! Of course these are not all of the Art Deco buildings in Miami, you’ve probably noticed a lot more along the way as you’ve learned more about Art Deco style.

This tour was one of my favorite things that we did in Miami. I love walking around and exploring a new neighborhood. Hopefully you’ve stopped along the way for a drink, brunch, or a snack. I recommend spending the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach, you’ve earned it after all that walking!

Do you have a favorite Art Deco building in Miami?

Pin it for later!

Miami Art Deco Walking Tour for Free | #miami #artdeco #walkingtour

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Things to Do in the Miami Art Deco District

miami beach free walking tour

This post covers things to do in the Miami Art Deco District, including where to eat, shop, and a self-guided tour of the best of the Art Deco buildings.

  • Plan Your Visit
  • Things to See and Do
  • Restaurants
  • Self-Guided Walking Tour
  • Top Things to Do in Miami

PLAN YOUR VISIT

The Art Deco District is bursting with colorful buildings, history, and a vibrant atmosphere. 

There are many famous sights to visit and the people-watching is quite entertaining, especially on Ocean Drive. 

You can find many affordable restaurants and enjoy the nightlife including bars, clubs, and live music venues.

What is Art Deco Architecture?

Beginning first in Paris in 1925, Art Deco architecture is a modern take on neoclassical.

It exploded on the streets of South Beach, Miami in the early 1920s and 1930s with its bright oranges, pinks, yellows, greens and so much more!  

With more than 800+ Art Deco-style buildings in South Beach, a typical Art Deco-style building features structural pieces like fountains and ornate statues.

They also include porthole windows, chrome accents, terrazzo floors, and many more glamorous features.

How To Get Here

The Art Deco District is located on Miami Beach along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue. It's located between 5th Street and 23rd Street. 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco District

You can use this Google Maps  link for directions.

Explore the Art Deco District with a Guided Tour

miami beach free walking tour

The best way to see what the Magic City has to offer is with a sightseeing tour. There are several great walking tours in Miami . 

If you’d like to explore the area at your own leisure, you might enjoy our free self-guided Art Deco tour below .

We also have a GPS audio tour of South Beach and the Art Deco District ( Listen to a sample ). It follows the route of the free version below.

Here is how it works:

Be sure to read our comparison posts on bus tours , boat and cruise tours , and  Everglades / swamp tours .

  • Purchase an audio tour ($1.99/download)
  • Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf, and embeddable Google Map
  • Enjoy the tour(s).

You can read about other free activities in Miami here.

Explore South Beach with the Free Miami Trolly 

Unfortunately, there isn't a subway system that exists in Miami and the Metro Mover only services the Downtown/Brickell areas.

You can use Uber/Lyft to/from the District or, hop on Miami's Free Trolly !

miami beach free walking tour

Miami Beach's trolly provides transportation not just around South Beach, but all around the entire city, and the best part is it's completely free! 

For a small fee, you can also hop on the  Citibike  shared-bike service and explore the area on two wheels. 

miami travel tips

Consider Staying in South Beach

South Beach is full of much more than Art Deco Buildings. It's bursting with great restaurants, nightlife, beautiful parks, and endless beach and water activities.

So why not stay here?

Check out the top-rated South Beach hotels on TripAdvisor. We include some hotels at the bottom of this post .

Sample South Beach Art Deco Itinerary 

This sample itinerary covers a full day of activity with an optional evening out. 

Start your day with a great American Breakfast at Front Porch Cafe , located right on Ocean Drive. 

Use our self-guided tour below  to see all the best and most iconic Art Deco buildings. The tour takes about 90 minutes, not including any time you stop to do some shopping or eating. 

When you are ready for a bite to eat, try La Sandwicherie . You can grab one of their iconic delicious sandwiches on fresh French Bread, a smoothie, or lots of other quick eats.

You can also check out Lincoln Road Mall , which has an endless choice of restaurants. 

Head to South Point Park to walk the pier and relax. Spend some time people-watching while you enjoy the white sandy beach and sunshine. 

You can even rent bikes and cruise along with the ocean breeze. 

For dinner, check out Joe's Stone Crab , an iconic restaurant in South Beach. While you should obviously eat their Stone Crab, you'll also enjoy their fried chicken or grilled tomatoes.

Do note that they do not take reservations, so it's best to go before or after peak times. 

Start off the night with a drink at the Clevelander , then head just a few blocks up to see the iconic dancers at Mangos Tropical Cafe . 

Dance the night away at Story or LIV Nightclub then grab some late-night tacos at Bodega . 

THINGS TO SEE AND DO 

South Beach and the Miami Art Deco District have so many sights to see and things to do, you could spend days here. 

Below we list the top things to do and places to stop by to get a true sense of this wonderful section of Miami.

For a more in-depth exploration of the area, we recommend taking a guided tour or following along our self-guided tour below.  

1) People Watch on Ocean Drive 

The BEST place to start any and all adventure in South Beach is certainly Ocean Drive . This is Miami's most iconic street.

Countless movies have been filmed along the pastel-hued, art-deco lined streets that burst with colorful night lights, fancy cars, sunshine, and palm trees.

What was once a swampland filled with mangroves in 1913, this area has been completely transformed. 

Beginning at 1st street and extending up to 15th, you'll find an endless array of restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping, and, of course, some of the best people-watching in the world.

2) Get Your Shopping Fix In on Lincoln Road

Fulfill your inner shop-a-holic at the Lincoln Road Mall, which is a pedestrian lined street just a few blocks from the Art Deco District. 

You'll find 23 different stores such as ZARA, Gap, Anthropologie, Forever 21, NIKE, Athleta and many more.

50+ restaurants are scattered all throughout and around, offering just about any cuisine that you could imagine.  

Most stores are open daily from 10 am – 11 pm. 

Check out our section below for other areas in South Beach to shop!

3)  Walk the Pier at South Pointe Park

The southernmost point of South Beach offers up a more relaxed and quiet waterfront area compared to the hustle and bustle near Lummus Park on Ocean Drive.

What was once home to police horse stables, South Pointe Park was donated by the Federal Government to Miami Beach in 1979.

Have a picnic at the park, watch the water traffic enter and leave the Port of Miami and marinas, or simply enjoy the spectacular beach.

There’s even a playground which includes a water fountain and a dog park.

Take a walk on the 450-foot-long pier, which underwent a $4.8 million renovation in 2014.

The pier offers up views of the city and marina, along with South Beach and the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean.

The best news is, visiting the park is completely free! Check our list of free things to do in Miami for even more fun that won’t cost you a dime.

4)  Take a  Sightseeing Tour

South Beach is an Art Deco Playground. In fact, it’s the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world.

Even if you’re not into architecture, anyone will enjoy perusing these streets lined with pastel buildings.

Interestingly, all of these structures were constructed between 1923 and 1943 and literally resurrected South Beach from a major decline.

Surprisingly, South Beach wasn’t always this glamorous and posh. It once was polluted with high crime and vacant buildings.

It wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s when movies like Scarface (1983) and the Birdcage (1996) transformed it into the world-class travel destination that it is today.

Join a guided tour or venture out on your own with our  self-guided tour through the Art Deco Distric t listed below!

5)  Soak in the Sun on South Beach 

With 825 miles (1,328km) of sandy coastline in the sunshine state of Florida, it’s almost a crime if you come to Miami and don’t go to the beach!

South Beach, AKA SoBe, is a picture-perfect 4-mile (6.4km) strip of coastline and is one of the most famous beaches in the world.

It surely cannot be missed, especially because it’s free! So, pack up a cooler and hit the sand!

If you want to see all the action on the beach, it’s best to start your journey on Ocean Drive near Lummus Park.

6) Stay or Eat at the Former Versace Mansion 

What is the second most photographed residence in the USA (the White House is #1), the  Villa Casa Casuarina , formerly known as the Versace Mansion is located right on Ocean Drive just steps away from the beach. 

The Villa was constructed in 1930 by the architect Alden Freeman, who was the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. The mansion was purchased in 1992 by Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace.

Today, the Villa operates as a luxury boutique hotel and event venue. 

This hotel also houses a well-known restaurant,  Gianni's At The Former,  which offers a blend of Italian and Mediterranean cuisines.

While dining, enjoy being surrounded by the the beautiful ornate dining room or outside near the famous pool. 

7) Explore Miami on Two Wheels

The most unique, up-close-and-personal way to see the city of Miami is via bicycle and the Citi Bike Program makes it easy for everyone to enjoy it!

Citi Bike is Miami’s bike-sharing rental system. 

The bikes are super durable, kept in great condition and even come with a basket on the front to put your personal items in.

There are over 1,000 bikes at 100 different stations spread across the greater Miami area, so you’ll always have a place to dock your bike, no matter what destination you have in mind.

They also have a very friendly mobile app for Apple and Android users, which makes finding a station near your location virtually seamless.

Bike rentals cost $6.50 for one hour or $10 for 2 hours; a much cheaper alternative than a taxi, Uber or paid tour!

8) Dine at the Iconic Joe's Stone Crab 

If there ever were a restaurant iconic of South Beach, Joe's Stone Crab would be it.

Opened in 1913 by Joe Weis, who had moved to Florida because his Doctors told him he had to move to warmer weather to help his asthma, this famous restaurant is bursting with delicious food, in a comfortable atmosphere. 

While you should obviously eat their Stone Crab, you'll also enjoy their fried chicken or grilled tomatoes.

9) Explore the Latest Contemporary Art at the Bass Museum 

The Bass Museum , although small, has established itself as one of the leading Museums for contemporary art in the city. 

Opened in 1964 by  John and Johanna Bass and housed inside an Art Deco building, The Bass offers exhibitions by Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg, Isaac Julien, and many more talented artists. 

While The Bass is an especially popular museum during Miami's Art Basel week, it draws a large crowd of tourists and locals alike year-round, with their ever-changing exhibitions. 

10) Dance the Night Away at Story Nightclub 

What is owned by the same owners as LIV nightclub, Story is a 27,000-square-foot club with 60+ VIP tables. 

The most iconic DJs and artists have performed here over the years, from Drake to Justin Bieber to the Miami Heat celebrating the team's NBA championship inside its walls.

RESTAURANTS

Below is a long list of excellent dining options for any budget. 

Cheap (under $20)

La Sandwicherie  - 229 14th St

Grab one of their iconic delicious sandwiches on fresh French Bread, a smoothie, burgers, burritos and so much more!

Be sure to get your food to go, as there isn't exactly a lot of sitting space, especially during peak hours. 

Puerto Sagua - 700 Collins Ave

This classic South Beach restaurant offers traditional Cuban food at an incredibly affordable price.

Grab a Cuban sandwich, chow down on some oxtail soup, or enjoy some fried plantains. No frills, just amazing food. 

Las Olas Cafe - 644 6th St

A traditional Cuban restaurant that serves empanadas, guava cheese pastries, fresh-squeeze juices, Cuban sandwiches and so much more!

They also serve breakfast all day. 

Fratelli La Bufala - 437 Washington Ave

What is known as Miami's first Neapolitan Pizzeria, Fratelli La Buffalo uses fresh, local ingredients to create pizza pies straight out of Italy!

Their menu offers 18 different types of pizzas as well as pasta. 

Safron Grill - 1049 Washington Ave

Turkish and Mediterranean food in a comfortable setting. Try their Turkish tea and Baklava as well! 

Time Out Miami Market - 601 Drexel Ave

Time Out Market includes 17 restaurants, three bars, a demo cooking area, and more, all under one roof.

Try their burgers, tacos, sushi, wine, and more all at the same time! 

Moderate ($25-$40)

Joe's Stone Crab  

Ceviche 105  - 1245 Lincoln Rd

Arguably one of the best Ceviche restaurants in all of Miami, Ceviche 105 is well known for its incredibly large selection of unique ceviche, as well as many other traditional Peruvian dishes.

Planta South Beach - 850 Commerce St

This stylish, entirely plant-based, vegan restaurant will certainly make you fall in love with all it has to offer, even if vegan food isn't normally your style.

Try their watermelon sushi, croquettes, dumplings, or their Sunday Brunch! 

Stilsville Fish Bar - 1787 Purdy Avenue

If you're looking for fresh, local seafood, look no further!

Owned and operated by  Top Chef alumni, this laid back restaurant receives 115 pounds of seafood delivered daily by fishermen from Key West, Key Largo, and Miami.

If you're looking for something other than seafood, try the famous fried chicken. 

Macchialina - 820 Alton Road

What is argued to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the entire city of Miami, Macchialina is a casual eatery by chef/owner Michael Pirolo.

You cannot go wrong with any of the house-made pasta that includes creamy polenta and sausage ragu.  

Expensive ($40+)

Smith and Wollensky - 1 Washington Ave

Located in the beautiful setting of South Point Park, this steakhouse chain serves dry-aged steaks, wine, and seafood.

Even if you're not planning to eat a large meal, simply having a cocktail in the beautiful atmosphere while watching the boats cruise by will be quite enjoyable.

The Bazaar by José Andrés - 1701 Collins Ave #100

A unique, “traditional meets modern” Spanish tapas restaurants by the famous chef José Andrés. Signature dishes reflect Latin American and Caribbean influences. 

OLA Restaurant - 2360 Collins Ave

From chefs Christopher Camacho & Carlos Castro, OLA Restaurant offers modern Latin cuisine with a combination of Pan Latin, Spanish and Caribbean flavors.

Be sure to have one of their specialty mojitos. 

Gianni's At The Former Versace Mansion - 1116 Ocean Dr

Gianni's offers a blend of Italian and Mediterranean cuisines served in a unique setting, the mansion formerly owned by Versace!

While dining, enjoy being surrounded by the beautiful ornate dining room or outside near the famous pool. 

THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

It's no surprise that South Beach has an endless amount of fun available when the sun goes down.

There are more than enough entertainment venues to choose from, well suited for any type of traveler! 

For free nighttime entertainment, simply walk up and down the streets of Ocean Drive. 

You can find drinking spots in every kind of atmosphere and price range. Clubs stay open into the wee hours of the morning (some never closing at all). 

Be sure to also read our guide on Things To Do In Miami At Night for more information! 

Mangos Tropical Cafe - 900 Ocean Dr

No trip to South Beach is complete without stopping by Mangos Tropical Cafe.

As soon as you walk in, you'll be transported to another place filled with Latin music and colorfully dressed, talented performers paired with award-winning food and cocktails.

Ricky's - 1222 16th St

A 1980s-inspired bar & eatery full of craft cocktails, live music, arcade games, and the best Happy Hour on Miami Beach. 

The Betsy - 1440 Ocean Dr.

From 7 pm - 9 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, you'll find the longest-running live music series of Latin Jazz on Miami Beach at the Betsy. 

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila - 1220 16th St

A super funky and fun, quick service taco joint in the front, with a bar/lounge in the back. 

Bars and Pubs

Lincoln Road

You'll have an endless list of bars to choose from on Lincoln Road. Check out the Yard House , which is a high-end sports bar chain with a never-ending list of draft beers.  

Ocean Drive  

Simply wander up and down the streets of Ocean Drive and you'll surely find a bar that best fits what you're looking for.

Check out Wet Willies , known for it's alcohol-filled frozen beverages. 

Clevelander  - 1020 Ocean Drive

Located in the heart of the Art Deco District, the Clevelander is an icon on the Miami Beach scene and cannot be missed for a drink or two. 

Lost Weekend - 218 Española Way

If you're looking for a simple pub with billiards, games, and sporting events on TV, look no further. 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco District

LIV Nightclub  - 4441 Collins Ave

Located within the famous Fountainbleau Hotel, LIV is the number one nightclub in all of Miami and draws an elite crowd.

Be prepared to see many celebrities in the VIP areas. 

Hyde Beach - 1701 Collins Ave

With an oceanfront location, Hyde Beach offers a more than 8,000 square-foot pool, which will keep you partying all day and night long. 

Nikki Beach - 1 Ocean Dr.

By day or night, Nikki Beach offers up chic decor, great food, and a beachfront location.

Soak up the sun in a luxurious day bed or dance the night away when the DJ starts spinning. It's a Miami hotspot you surely won't want to leave! 

Story - 136 Collins Ave

With 27,000-square feet and 5 different bars, a dance floor, live headlining DJ's, and an infinite hybrid sound system, Story nightclub is one of the most popular in Miami Beach. 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco District

Villain Theater - 5865 NE 2nd Ave

Located just over the bridge from South Beach (about a 15-minute drive), Villain Theater features stand up and improv comedy shows, as well as open mike nights.

Theater and Cinema 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco District

O Cinema South Beach - 1130 Washington Ave

O Cinema offers the best in Independent, Foreign, and Art Films in a historical city hall building, which was renovated and repurposed in 2011 by the Miami Beach Film Society.

Colony Theatre  - 1040 Lincoln Rd

What was originally a Paramount Pictures movie house in 1935, this restored art deco theater recently underwent a 3-year $6.5 million renovation to now a feature film, music, dance, opera, and more. 

Regal South Beach ScreenX , IMAX & VIP - 1120 Lincoln Rd Mall

If you're looking to see the most recently released films while relaxing in plush seating, then look no further than Regal South Beach. 

SHOPPING 

Things To Do in the Miami Art Deco District

Lincoln Road Mall Located between 16th and 17th Street. 

The Lincoln Road Mall is arguably one of the most iconic shopping streets in Miami.

This eight-block shopping mall is pedestrian-friendly and includes shopping, dining, and entertainment. 

Ocean Drive

You'll find all the touristy goodies you can imagine along Ocean Drive. 

Collins Avenue

Located just a few blocks south of the Lincoln Road Mall, you'll find more well-known shopping brands like Sephora, Monaco, and many more. 

Sunset Harbour

For a more local and trendy shopping experience, head over to the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, which is bursting with hip boutiques like Beach Boutique , and Shan .

SELF-GUIDED TOUR

This self-guided walking tour of South Beach's Art Deco District reveals much of the city’s history through the eyes of several creative architectural designers.

Be sure to read our comparison posts on bus tours , boat and cruise tours , and  Everglades/ swamp tours .

If you're looking for a guided tour of the Art Deco District, check out the list of guided Miami tours here . 

Click here  for a larger version of the map.

This tour begins at the Art Deco Welcome Center and continues throughout South Beach, ending at the Delano . 

Art Deco Welcome Center

1. Art Deco Welcome Center      

  1001 Ocean Drive at 10th Street 

Any good tour of Miami’s Art Deco District should start at the Art Deco Welcome Center located near Lummus Park.

This is the home of the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), which was instrumental in saving a lot of the buildings that you will be seeing on this excursion.

At the Welcome Center, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about many of the sites on this walking tour before you head out.

MDPL also provides its own guided and self-guided tours of the area, but you are not required to take them.

Lummus Park

2. Lummus Park  

Ocean Drive from 5th St. to 15th St.

This park runs alongside Ocean Drive for most of the length of our entire tour, so why not take a stroll beneath the palm trees?

As you head south through Lummus Park to your next destination, look to your left for a glorious view of Miami Beach.

To your right, you’ll see the beautiful Art Deco skyline of South Beach represented in a variety of businesses and uniquely designed buildings.

Once you reach 7th Street, keep an eye out for the next stop on our self-guided walking tour.

3. Celino Hotel (formally Park Central)

Park Central Hotel

640 Ocean Drive 

As of when this was written in 2019, the Celino Hotel had just opened on this site after a $110 million renovation.

The Celino takes several buildings that were previously separate businesses – the main building used to be the Park Central Hotel – and combines them all into a luxury hotel complex.

The renovation takes the interior pretty far off from Art Deco in terms of the exact look, but it sticks to the spirit: Art Deco comes from a time of enthusiastic excess, and what better way to say that in 2019 than a glass-bottomed rooftop pool.

If you’re curious to see the inside, their bar is a particular point of pride – check out the chandelier if you go in.

This building was constructed in 1937, and in fact, most of the existing Art Deco structures in Miami Beach were built in the 1930s.

The 30s brought the Great Depression to the United States and put the optimism and the consumption of the 20s firmly behind us.

4. The Hotel of South Beach

Hotel of South Beach

801 Collins Avenue 

Despite the fairly unassuming name, you probably won’t have too much trouble finding this historic hotel.

All you have to do is look up at the neon spire which reads “Tiffany” in order to locate The Hotel of South Beach.

This beautifully restored hotel was originally designed by L. Murray Dixon and built in 1939.

The hotel was previously named The Tiffany, and it wasn’t until the late 1990s when fashion designer Todd Oldham stepped in that the name was changed to reflect a more modern appeal.

Although this building has been modernized in many ways, architects and designers elected to keep the Tiffany sign and it is still used to this day.

When you’re done checking out The Hotel of South Beach, keep heading north on Collins Avenue for two blocks.

As you walk down the avenue, you’ll notice quite a bit of unique architecture from various eras on either side of the street.

At the corner of 10th and Collins, you will find our next stop on this self-guided walking tour of the Miami Art Deco District.

5. Essex House

Essex House

1001 Collins Avenue 

Henry Hohauser was in high demand during the late 1930s, having designed a number of hotels in Miami Beach.

Essex House, built in 1938,  is a unique design that resembles a cruise ship heading into the ocean.

In Miami, the Art Deco movement wasn’t just about bold and rich colors, it was also about taking chances on various architectural designs.

What better way to stand out than by building a hotel that looks like an ocean liner?

As you walk east down 10th street, continue to enjoy the design of Essex House while you move in the direction of the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive.

When you arrive once again at the Welcome Center, walk north on Ocean Drive to continue this self-guided walking tour of Miami’s Art Deco district.

6. The Clevelander

Clevelander Hotel

1020 Ocean Drive 

Located right across the street from the Art Deco Welcome Center, this beauty was built in 1938 by Albert Anis and features a stylish patio bar.

Feel free to stop by and get a drink, or just take in the view of this creative hotel.

Renovated and restored in 2009, the Clevelander serves as an excellent counterpoint to Essex House.

There’s always something happening at this beautiful and historic hotel in the heart of Miami’s Art Deco district.

Continue walking north on Ocean Drive and take in the sights of the Congress Hotel as you make your way to our next destination.

As you pass 11th street, look to your left and take note of a building hidden away by several palm trees to locate the next stop on this walking tour.

7. The Villa Casa Casuarina

Villa Casa Casuarina

1116 Ocean Drive

We’ve seen quite a few hotels on this tour so far, but none of them look anything like the Casa Casuarina.

The original owner and designer, Alden Freeman, was inspired to build the mansion in 1930 after visiting Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

While he was there, Freeman saw the Alcazar De Colon which was built during the early 16th century by Diego Columbus (Christopher Columbus’s Son).

It is known for being the oldest residence in the western hemisphere.

Freeman was so moved by this structure that he obtained one of the bricks from the Alcazar De Colon and used it in the construction of the Casa Casuarina.

When clothes designer Gianni Versace bought the mansion in 1992, he decided to expand it by demolishing another historic hotel located next door.

Although this wasn’t looked upon favorably by the MDPL, there was little they could do to stop it from happening.

When it was purchased by Barton G. Weiss in 2009, he decided to rename the property The Villa.

Legend has it that the mansion was originally named after the last tree that remained on the lot where it was built after a hurricane that hit Miami in 1926.

Freeman was forced to cut that tree down, and it is said that he named the mansion in its honor.

The name of the tree was the Casuarina equisetifolia , which is more commonly described as the Australian Pine Tree.

Let’s continue our self-guided walking tour by moving north on Ocean Drive toward 12th street.

As you move past the Sugar Factory and the Palace Bar, you’ll discover our next stop.

8.   The Tides Hotel  

The Tides Hotel

1220 Ocean Drive

By now, you’ve probably noticed that the Art Deco district is peppered with dozens of uniquely designed buildings that tend to stand out from one another.

The Tides is no exception, as the pinkish hue and porthole windows make it easy to spot.

The Tides was designed and built by L. Murray Dixon in 1936, just a few years before he worked on The Tiffany. 

This was the first Art Deco hotel he built in South Beach, and at the time it was the tallest building in the area.

The Tides was renovated in 1997 and continues operating to this day.

Described as “The Diva of Ocean Drive,” it’s fair to say that this location exudes an attitude that you won’t find at many of the sights on this tour.

Our next stop on this self-guided walking tour is located right next door.

North of The Tides, you will find yet another hotel with a distinctive appearance that can’t be mistaken.

9. The Leslie   

Leslie Hotel

1244 Ocean Drive  

If the yellow paint job isn’t enough to catch your attention, the surrounding palm trees and wonderful Art Deco architecture should do the trick.

Built and designed by Albert Anis in 1937, this building combines the best of both the modern world and the Art Deco world.

While the modern architecture was typically very linear, Art Deco was much more bold and brave.  

You can definitely see the combination of these two art styles when you take a look at The Leslie.

Although there are straight lines everywhere, they are painted in yellow and much more ornamental in design.

Renovated in 2014, this is one of the newer restorations on Ocean Drive. 

As we continue walking north, you’ll discover our next stop located right next door to The Leslie.

Carlyle Hotel

10. Carlyle Hotel  

1250 Ocean Drive 

If you feel as though you have seen this building before, you might not be wrong.

The Carlyle has been featured in several notable Hollywood films including  Scarface,  Bad Boys 2,  and The Birdcage .

This is one of the most easily recognizable hotels in all of South Beach and it’s not hard to see why.

Like The Leslie, the design of The Carlyle combines modern architecture with rounded edges and a stand-out paint scheme that is hard to miss.

Built in 1939, The Carlyle maintains the same architectural style that defined its earlier days in Miami Beach.

When you’ve finished taking in the sights and sounds of this memorable locale, continue walking north on Ocean Drive.

Once you pass 13th street, look left and take note of our next stop.

11. Cardozo Hotel    

Cardozo Hotel

1300 Ocean Drive 

Like The Carlyle, The Cardozo may also look familiar, having appeared in Hollywood blockbusters Any Given Sunday and There’s Something About Mary . 

Built in 1939 by Henry Hohauser and now owned by Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio, this hotel is another fine example of a combination of modern architecture and more artistic fare.

Rounded edges combine with the straight lines of the windows creating a design that is unmistakably Art Deco in nature.

Continue your trip down Ocean Drive by stopping at the hotel right next door and discovering yet another unique architectural design in the heart of South Beach.

12. The Cavalier    

Cavalier Hotel

1320 Ocean Drive 

Just a few steps from The Cardozo Hotel, you will find a building that looks strikingly different from most of the locations you have visited on this walking tour.

While many of the Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach focus on horizontal lines, The Cavalier bucks this trend by going for a more vertical style.

With stucco friezes directing your eyes upward, this Caribbean inspired architectural design is sure to leave an impression.

The hotel was built in 1936 and was recently renovated in 2015.

Much like The Carlyle and The Cardozo, The Cavalier has also been a popular destination for filmmakers.

From this point, you will want to continue walking north on Ocean Drive until you reach 14th street. At the corner, you’ll discover the next stop on the tour.

13. The Winter Haven     

Winter Haven Hotel

1400 Ocean Drive 

With a name like this, the intended audience is pretty clear.

By the time this location was built in 1939, 'snowbirds' were making their way down to South Beach every winter, and Art Deco hotels were popping up all over Ocean Drive to accommodate their needs.

Like The Leslie, The Winter Haven was originally designed by Albert Anis. 

Take note of the awning style, which is very similar to the design we saw back at The Leslie.

Inside, the details of this beautiful hotel have been restored using period-accurate materials, ensuring that the original flavor of The Winter Haven remains intact for an entirely new generation of visitors.

Continue walking west on 14th street until you reach Collins Avenue. Once on Collins, walk north until you reach Española Way.

The next destination on this self-guided walking tour will be right on the corner  -- you cannot miss it!

14. Site of the former Hoffman’s Cafeteria   

former Hoffmann's Cafeteria

1450 Collins Avenue 

Depending on when you visit, this location might have an entirely new tenant.

As of writing this tour, the current restaurant located in the building is Señor Frogs, but they are only one of many restaurants that have made this historical Art Deco structure their home.

Back in 1940, this was known as Hoffman’s Cafeteria, and it was designed by none other than Henry Hohauser.  

Despite the change in the paint job, the architecture of this beautiful location still manages to stand out from the crowd.

Eventually, other businesses moved in and set up shop, including the Warsaw Ballroom and Jerry’s Famous Deli.

When Jerry’s moved in, they refurbished the building a bit, using pictures from decades past to recreate original Art Deco concepts that had fallen into disrepair.  

Why not stop in and grab a bite to eat if you’re hungry.

Once you’re ready, head north on Collins Avenue until you reach 16th street, at which point you will see one of the largest buildings in the area.

15. Loews Hotel

Loews Hotel Miami

1601 Collins Avenue

Although it may not seem like this monolith has anything to do with the Art Deco era of the ’30s and ’40s, it actually houses one of the more notable hotels in the history of South Beach.

Located on the right side of the Loew’s Hotel, you will also see the St. Moritz Hotel , which was restored by Loews and is still in use today. 

The St. Moritz has been in Miami Beach since 1939 when it was designed and built by Roy France.

The St. Moritz continues to serve as an excellent example of Art Deco architecture and its ties to Miami, as even developers are keen to keep history alive by restoring and renovating classic hotels.

Our next few sites are just past Lincoln road as you continue north on Collins Avenue. All three are right next to each other, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find them.

16. Sagamore Hotel

Sagamore Hotel

1671 Collins Avenue

As you come across this collection of Art Deco hotels on your right, the first you will notice is The Sagamore.

The history of The Sagamore Hotel in South Beach is emblematic of the cultural importance represented in Miami’s Art Deco district.

Having been built in 1948 by Albert Anis, the style of this particular hotel is definitely different from others that you will see on Collins Avenue.

You will see many more straight lines on display, as well as the characteristic Art Deco awnings that have no doubt become quite familiar at this point.

Despite the hint of modern design, the architecture is definitely postmodern in concept, subverting expectations by extending its lines beyond the standard cubic structure of most modern hotels.

In 1999, The Sagamore was purchased by Martin Taplin and partially converted into a museum of sorts.

Although it still serves as a hotel, you will now also find an art gallery inside the halls of this beautiful and historic landmark.  

The next stop on our walking tour is right next door.

17. National Hotel

National Hotel

1677 Collins Avenue

With its bold color choices that draw your eyes upwards, it’s hard to deny the beauty of The National Hotel.

At around the same time that he was working on The St. Moritz, Roy France also began working on The National.  

While there are some similarities between these two landmarks, there are also a lot of notable differences.

The hotel originally opened in 1940 and was later restored to its former glory in 1997.

You’ll even find a lot of the original furnishings scattered around the inside of this building, as many of them have been updated and restored along with the hotel itself. 

You won’t have to walk far to reach our next location on this walking tour of Miami’s Art Deco district – it’s right next door!

Delano Hotel

1685 Collins Avenue

When it was built in 1947, the Delano was actually the tallest building in Miami Beach.

When you look at it right next to The National, it doesn’t appear to be much taller, but these things used to be fairly important to developers back in the day.

Designed by Robert Swartberg in the mid-’40s, the hotel was one of the first in the area to be built after World War II and was used as military housing for a short time before its doors were opened to guests.

The hotel was named in honor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who died in 1945. 

With such a unique design, it’s no wonder that The Delano was listed among 2007's "America’s Favorite Architecture" list published by the American Institute of Architects.

The design of this building takes the modern approaches of old and twists them out of place.

The building was renovated and restored in 1994 under the direction of world-renown architect Philippe Starck hoping to attract a new generation of chic hotel guests.

The Delano succeeded and is now one of the hottest hotels in Miami, with celebrity guests like Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z, and Leo DiCaprio.

19. The End

Having just toured almost 10 blocks along both Ocean Avenue and Collins Avenue, it’s about time to wrap up this tour. 

If you’re not tired, we recommend heading over to Lincoln Road for some shopping at their historic open-air mall.

Of course, you can take a bus tour or boat tour , so be sure to check out our posts about which tours are the best.

HOTELS 

Please note that the prices of hotels vary by season and events taking place in the city.  

Inexpensive (under $200 a night)

Unfortunately, it’s slim pickings when it comes to inexpensive hotels in South Beach.  You might find better rates at an Airbnb. Here are a few hotels under $200 a night still around.

The Clevelander 1020 Ocean Drive. If you're looking to stay in the middle of all the action on South Beach, you'll want to stay here. Located just across from the beach, the hotel also has its own pool and patio and even an SPF4 Sun Deck. 

Kimptom Angler's 660 Washington Ave. If you're looking for something a bit quieter, but just steps away from all the fun, then the Kimpton is a wise choice.

Located one block from Ocean Drive, this hotel offers up rooms with their own balconies, a rooftop pool, and a popular restaurant, Seawell Fish N' Oyster. 

Moderate ($200+ a night)

Loews Hotel 1601 Collins Avenue. Located front and center on South Beach's oceanfront, this hotel just had a $50 million facelift, and it shows. With a stunning pool deck, spa, fitness center, cabanas and daybeds, you'll experience all-things luxury staying here. 

Bentley Hotel 510 Ocean Drive. With its prime location on the corner of Ocean Drive and 5th Street, you'll experience pure luxury at this hotel, while being just steps away from the action.

Its rooftop pool was voted the Best Rooftop Pool by Frommers Travel. 

Mariott Stanton  161 Ocean Drive. With luxurious accommodations, resort amenities, a prime location, and Art Deco-inspired decor, the Mariott Stanton is a great place to stay on South Beach.

It offers oceanfront accommodation with spectacular views, and a   Mexican and Japanese restaurant inside. 

Expensive ($300+ a night)

W South Beach 2201 Collins Avenue. You can never go wrong with the W Hotel.

It offers up an outdoor heated pool, its own private beach, rooftop basketball, and tennis courts, and multiple bars and restaurants. 

Fountai n bleau 4441 Collins Avenue. Arguably one of Miami's most popular luxury hotels, the Fountainbleau has 5 award-winning restaurants, LIV nightclub, and one of the most well-known spas in the city. 

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21 Free Things to do in Miami 2023

By: Author Kate O'Malley

Posted on Last updated: October 24, 2023

Home >> Destinations >> 21 Free Things to do in Miami 2023

Miami has a reputation for being notoriously expensive for both visitors and locals. But with a little know-how, Miami is still well within reach of the average traveller. There are plenty of things to do in Miami without breaking the budget. But as we all know, the best things in life are free, and you’d be surprised at the number of free things to do in Miami . 

We have put together 21 fabulous and free things to do in Miami, so you don’t have to scrimp on the good times in the Magic City.

Modern buildings with palm trees reflected in the windows in Miami Florida.

You Might Also Like: Discover some of the most popular warm-weather winter destinations in the USA for the winter sun.

Table of Contents

Best Places to Stay in Miami

While Miami has no shortage of high-end luxury accommodation on offer, don’t let that dissuade you. More and more, we are finding great hotel deals in Miami no matter what style of accommodation you are looking for, including a diverse range of gay-friendly hotels – a testament to the ongoing strength of Miami’s LGBT community.  These are some of the best places to stay in Miami for visitors. 

  • Miami Beach – Miami Beach and Mid Beach, for notable hotels, great dining, and glitzy festivals. Head north of the more famous South Beach and you’ll also find the beaches a little less crowded.
  • South Beach (& The Art Deco District) – Without a doubt, South Beach is Miami’s premier tourist and nightlife hub. As diverse as the people who frequent the area, South Beach is continually evolving and has hotels for every taste and budget . 
  • Downtown Miami – Reinventing itself from simply a business district, Downtown Miami is well connected (especially to the cruise port) and has loads of attractions, vibrant nightlife, and great dining. It’s also the place to stay if you are in town for Miami’s hottest events, exhibitions, or shows. 
  • Brickell – Miami’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, many consider Brickell Miami’s best secret. Great dining, modern cafes, unique boutiques and a relaxed inner-city neighborhood vibe. It’s not surprising Brickell is dubbed the “Manhattan of Miami.” 
  • Design District – In northeastern Downtown – Miami Mid-Town, the Design District embodies innovation, design, fashion, and gastronomy. Considered a luxury area of Downtown, the Design District is where you want to be for high end shopping and luxe culinary experiences set against chic, modern architecture. 
  • Coconut Grove – The most historic and one of the most luxurious and exclusive areas of Miami, Coconut Grove is also one of Miami’s greenest spaces. There are many stunning gardens and parks, such as Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, and an eclectic mix of restaurants, galleries, and cafes. 

Aerial view of Downtown Miami and Brickell. Both are great places to stay in Miami for visitors.

The Best Things to do for Free in Miami

Self guided and free miami walking tours.

Miami is brimming with interesting walking routes, and there are loads of self-guided walking tour options for visitors. Here are some of the more popular free self-guided tour options, but we have also included lots more throughout the article.  

Walking Tour of the Miami Art Deco District

South Beach, Miami, has the world’s most extensive collection of Art Deco architecture. The Miami Architectural District , declared a historic district in 1979, transports us back to a truly golden era.

Art deco building with classic car parked in front.

With over 960 stunning historic buildings to discover, it’s enough to keep even novice architecture buffs entertained. This self-guided walking tour of the Art Deco District will take you to Miami’s most beautiful historic buildings. 

Pop into the Art Deco Welcome Centre at 1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL before you head off for additional tips and maps of the area. 

The bonnet of a black classic car with palm trees and one of Miami's iconic art deco hotels in the background.

Wynwood Street Art Walking Tour

The former run-down garment manufacturing district of Wynwood has found a new lease of life as Miami’s premier arts district.

Attracting artisans from all walks of life, Wynwood brings together a colourful collective of street performers, hip cafe’s, breweries, galleries, and boutiques.

Skateboarding around the Wynwood mural district.

This  self-guided walking tour of the Wynwood mural district guides you through each mural with a background on each of the works.

Man standing out the front of a typical american diner brightly painted with murals. The street art of Wynwood Diner.

Get Around Downtown on the Metromover

Escape the heat and explore downtown Miami from a different vantage point. Since 1986, the iconic electric-powered Metromover has been offering free public transport to over 40,000 passengers each day ( unlike the Metrorail which costs – do not confuse the two ).

Running 7km (4.4miles) between north and south from the Financial District to Edgewater, there are 20 stops where you can jump off and explore downtown Miami.

Check out the American Airlines Arena, the open-air Bayside Marketplace or take a free Downtown Miami Waterfront Walking Tour .

You can find the Metromover  map of stations here . Note: the Metromover does not operate in the South Beach or Wynwood areas. It only covers downtown Miami. 

The metromover is a great way to see downtown Miami for free as it passes a giant american flag..

Best Free Miami Markets

Wynwood art walk.

Every second Saturday, Wynwood becomes one big block party. Thousands of people descend on the streets of the arts district for art, food, music, and culture for the Wynwood Art Walk. Starting from 6.00 pm; the party atmosphere kicks off with live music, food trucks galore, market stalls and pop-ups. You’ll also find over 400 businesses, including local galleries, studios and unique retail shops open their doors after hours to the public until late in the evening.

You can find out more about the  Wynwood Art Walk  here.

Where : 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

Artist painting among the crowd in the street in Wynwood Miami. The Wynwood Art Walk Block Party is free and happens every second Saturday

Redland Market Village

From Thursday to Sunday take a stroll around Redland Market Village , a family-owned and operated indoor and outdoor market since 1987.

Covering over 27 acres, Redland is a flea market with both new and used goods and an extensive Farmers Market. There are also over 22 international food trucks and live entertainment. 

Where : 24420 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL

Grab a mojito and a big plate of nachos at the Redland Market food trucks or listen to live music for free.

Best Free Cultural Street Parties and Festivals

Viernes culturales in little havana.

The third Friday of every month is the time to be in Little Havana for Miami’s favourite festival – the monthly block party Viernes Cultural (Cultural Friday).

From 7:00 PM locals hit the streets on Calle 8 between 13th and 17th Avenues in a celebration of Cuban culture. Calle Ocho comes alive with live music, dancing, local vendors, loads of delicious Cuban food and of course – dominoes.

See the Viernes Culturales website for more information. You’ll also find information about a free walking tour of Little Havana. 

Where : Domino Plaza (Calle 8, between 13th and 17th avenue)

Street party in Little Havana is one of the best free events in Miami each month.

Sounds of Little Haiti

If you have any energy left, t he Little Haiti Cultural Center also hosts a vibrant festival-style street party on the third Friday of every month in Downtown Little Haiti. The free outdoor concert is a celebration of Haitian culture in Miami. 

The night kicks off with the sounding of the conch shell which quickly elevates into festival mode with DJ’s, live music, dancing, Haitian food and Haitian spices, and arts and crafts vendors. 

See the Little Haiti Cultural Centre Website for details. 

Where : 212 NE 59th Terrace

People partying in the streets at the Sounds of little Haiti Festival in Miami

Best Free Music and Dance

Take a free salsa class , bachata tuesdays at the ball & chain.

Opening in 1935; the famous Ball & Chain Bar and Lounge in Little Havana has been restored to become one of the best bars in Miami. With a jazz and salsa ladened calendar of events each week, any time is a great time to pop into this iconic club.

Pop in on a Tuesday evening though for some pointers on how to Bachata , a slower, more sensual version of salsa. Bachata Tuesdays at the Ball & Chain are a great introduction into the iconic Cuban dance.

The free one-hour classes are taught by the Ball & Chain’s in-house salsa dancers and kick off at 9:00 PM every Tuesday. 

The historic jazz club also hosts free concerts throughout the week in its back patio bandshell which is a massive open pineapple.

See the Ball & Chain calendar for details and more events. 

Where : 1513 SW 8th St, Miami

the famous Ball and Chain bar in Miami at night. You can take a free Salsa Class every Tuesday.

InterContinental Salsa Friday

Head to the Bluewater rooftop cafe at the InterContinental Miami on a Friday for live salsa. Starting from 6 PM until 10 PM, professional salsa dancers and instructors are on hand to teach you a step or two accompanied by a live band.

There is even an on-site cigar roller should you feel the need for a freshly rolled stogie. Entry is free.

Where : 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami

People enjoying a free salsa class a really fun thing to do for free in Miami

Open Air Concerts and Cinema at Soundscape Park

Head to Soundscape Park for free open-air concerts and cinema on a massive 7,000-square-foot projection wall on the New World Center. 

New World Symphony WALLCAST® concerts and the free SoundScape Cinema Series offer live classical music performances and movies throughout the season. Pack a picnic, a blanket and a chair for a visual and audio feast with family and friends under the stars. See NWS WALLCAST events for program details.

Where? 400 17th St, Miami Beach

people on beanbags ate the Soundscape Series outdoor cinema in Miami. Movies and concerts are just some of the free things to do in Miami.

Miami Design District Performance Series

On Friday nights, the Design District’s Palm Court hosts free musical performances produced by Grammy-Award winner Emilio Estefan (of Miami Sound Machine fame) in collaboration with maestro Eduardo Marturet of the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

Performances start at around 6:00 PM and are free to the public. If you want to splash some cash, the neighboring Estefan Kitchen has a complimentary happy hour from 5 pm.

See the Miami Design District for more information on upcoming events. 

Where : Ground Floor, 140 NE 39th St, Miami

The design district in Miami at night. See free concerts on Friday evenings in the Palm Court.

Jazz and Art at MOCA

A favourite with locals, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) hosts a popular Jazz series on the last Friday of every month.

The free concert features local and national jazz acts performing on the outdoor stage. As a bonus, there is free admission to the museum between 7–10 PM.

Donations are appreciated instead of an entry charge to the museum.

Where : 770 NE 125th St, North Miami

Close up of instruments and Jazz musicians in a concert. if you are looking for free things to do in Miami, MOCA offers free jazz concerts on the last Friday of the month

Best Free Art Culture and History

Take a free tour of the famous biltmore hotel.

There is possibly no more famous historic building in Miami than the Biltmore Hotel. The luxury hotel built in 1926 has garnered many prestigious claims to fame over the years.

The main tower, inspired by the medieval Giralda tower of Spain’s Seville Cathedral   made the hotel the tallest building in Florida for a few years.

For a time, it boasted the largest swimming pool in the world where Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan fame was the swimming instructor. It is still one of the largest hotel pools in the US. 

The pool of the famous Biltmore hotel in Miami. Take a free guided tour of the hotel to learn its history.

The hotel has served as a VA Hospital, a campus of the University of Miami medical school, celebrity hideaway and hideout for gangster Al Capone. 

Every Sunday the Dade Heritage Trust runs a free one-hour walking tour sharing insight into the national landmark’s architecture, design, and fascinating history. Expect a few colourful stories to be thrown in for good measure. 

Tours depart at 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. 

Where : 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables

Learn the Art of Dominoes in Little Havana 

Dominoes may well be Miami’s favorite pastime. Maximo Gomez Park or “ Domino Park”  in Little Havana is where you will learn the finer nuances of the game. 

In a spectacle of dominoes, learn the game from some of the best while you watch the action with a daily solid lineup of veteran players. Play your tiles right, or “bones” as they are rightly called, and you may land yourself a seat with the big shots in a game. 

Where : 801 SW 15th Ave, Miami

Men playing dominoes in Little Havana Miami

Best Free Tacos at Wood Tavern

What’s better than free stuff? Free tacos!

We include this free thing to do in Miami in the art, history & culture section because tacos have a culinary culture & history in Miami, and everyone knows – a good taco is a work of art. 

Head to Wood Tavern in Wynwood on a Tuesday for Taco Tuesday. Between 6:00 PM & 9:00 PM Wood Tavern is dishin’ out tacos on the house from their spaciously cool outdoor patio – gratis, free, for nothing.  After 10 PM, expect to pay a whopping $1 for a tasty taco. 

A plate of tacos and lime. One of the best free things to do in Miami is free taco Tuesday at Wood tavern

Expect a bit of a lineup, but the tacos are worth the wait. Wood Tavern has an expansive selection of craft beer and cocktails including some very reasonably priced margarita’s. 

Where : 2531 NW 2nd Ave Miami

Best Free Museums and Galleries

Miami has a surprising number of museums and galleries, and you can visit many of them for free. 

Perez Art Museum Miami  (PAAM)

On the second Saturday of the month, the contemporary art museum (PAAM) offers free hands-on activities for adults and children, guided tours, guest performances, and artist meet-and-greets. 

After browsing PAAM’s 2,000+ world-class works of art, head to the back steps to enjoy a breathtaking 180 ° view of Biscayne Bay. 

Perez Art Museum, on the second Saturday of the month free entry and more.

Free Friday at  Miami Children’s Museum

Every third Friday of the month between 4–8 PM, Miami Children’s Museum has free entry courtesy of Target. On Target Friday’s children can also visit the museum’s art studio.

Miami Museum of Art and Design  (MOAD)

MOAD showcases artwork from both emerging and recognized designers and artists from the college’s eight campuses. There is also a permanent exhibit showcasing Cuban artifacts from refugees who arrived in the 60s’. Admission is free every day. 

Friday Nights at the  Wolfsonian

Located in the Art-Deco District, Friday nights at the Wolfsonian is free from 6–9 PM and include films, music, free themed guided tours, talks, and a happy hour with half-price beer and wine. 

The Wolfsonian Museum from the outside on a sunny day. Friday nights there is free entry and entertainment.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum

With free entry on the first Saturday of the month, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum is a must-see museum for train enthusiasts.

There are train cars to explore, model exhibits and rare collections including the private railroad car built for President Franklin Roosevelt – “ Ferdinand Magellan ” named after the Portuguese explorer.

Active Things to Do for Free in Miami

Free yoga & fitness classes .

Grab a yoga mat and take advantage of free yoga classes around the city of Miami. Classes are first come first served, and you must have your own yoga gear.

From Monday to Thursday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 9:00 AM you can attend a class overlooking the beautiful Biscayne Bay at Bayfront Park.

See the Bayfront Park website for yoga schedules and other events.

Where? 301 North Biscayne Blvd., Miami

people doing Yoga in the park. There are loads of free you classes you can join throughout the week in Miami

There are also free yoga classes on Saturday mornings at Kennedy Park , in Coconut Grove, and on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings at Margaret Pace Park , in Downtown Miami.

You can find more free fitness classes around Miami here . 

Explore Everglades National Park 

A kind of mini day trip from Miami, the 1.5 million-acre-wetland Everglades National Park is a must-see, and best of all, it is free.

Less than an hour from downtown Miami, you can see hundreds of species of animals in the wild including manatees, leatherback turtles and of course alligators.

Hop on the free guided trolley ride when you arrive at the park.  If you want to self-drive, it will cost $25 per vehicle unless you happen to visit on one of the free entrance days in the National Parks . 

Sky mirrored in the water in the Everglades wetlands in Florida.

Hike Bear Cut Nature Preserve

A little over 11 km (7 miles) from downtown is the waterfront Bear Cut Nature Preserve , one of Miami’s best natural secrets. The wetland preserve is made up of 3.5 miles of trails that follow the coast and the natural marshland finishing with a stunning view of downtown Miami. 

Perfect for biking or hiking, Bear Cut Nature Preserve is a great little escape from downtown. 

Where : Key Biscayne at the north end of Crandon Park

Turtle with moss on its shell in the wild

Bike or Walk the Old Cutler Trail

Take a stroll on the Old Cutler Trail through some of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Miami. 17.5 km (11 miles) of paved track along Matheson Hammock Park, Biscayne Bay, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Pinecrest Gardens, and Deering Estate.

If you want to extend your trip; the trail connects with Biscayne and Commodore trails on either end. See here for a map of the trail . 

Take a stroll or walk along the Cutler Trail.

Miami is one of the most popular day trips from Fort Lauderdale and vice versa. At only 45 minutes each way and easy to get to, Fort Lauderdale is a great addition to your Miami itinerary.

South Pointe Park for the Best Views of Miami

At the southernmost tip of South Beach, South Pointe Park, once home to police horse stables offers some of the best views of Miami.

Chill in the park, have a picnic, enjoy the beach and watch the spectre of cruise ships leaving the port and setting sail on the Atlantic Ocean. Take a stroll across the 450-foot long pier for views across the city, marina and Miami’s famous South Beach. 

poeple in the sun on South Pointe pier Miami

Relax on the beach without worrying about your valuables. We have found the Best Beach Safe Solutions for a stress-free day by the pool or at the beach.

Hit the Beach

Last but not least, one of the best things to do for free in Miami is hit the beach. Miami has built its reputation on unending stretches of white sand beaches hugging the clear blue waters of the Atlantic.

White sand and blue water on Miami Beach.

Mingle with the crowds on South Beach with a good dose of interesting people (and celebrity) watching. Or, you may prefer the small beach town vibe of Surfside. There’s a beach scene for everyone in Miami, and it’s free for everyone to enjoy. Get a full rundown on the best beaches in Miami here . 

NBC 6 South Florida

Mother of 5th grader shot in Pompano Beach speaks after son is caught in crossfire

Noah west was walking with his friend when the shooting happened., by nbc6 and lena salzbank • published march 22, 2024 • updated on march 22, 2024 at 7:17 pm.

The mother of a fifth-grade boy who was shot in Pompano Beach Thursday night recounted the terrifying experience as her son recovers in the hospital.

With tears in her eyes, April Lofton told NBC6 it has been an emotional 24 hours after learning that her youngest son was shot.

"Frantic, scared, just like an out-of-body experience," Lofton said. "I immediately rushed to the crime scene."

Lofton said her son, Noah West, was walking with his friend when he saw a man pull out a gun and start shooting.

Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.

miami beach free walking tour

While the circumstances of the shooting are still unclear, Lofton said West was not the intended target.

"He said the one that was shooting was on a scooter and he had on a ski mask and jacket and black pants," Lofton said. "The one in the scooter started shooting at the guys in the car."

miami beach free walking tour

Ultra reopens gates after weather forced temporary shutdown Friday

miami beach free walking tour

Sweetwater police respond to Dolphin Mall over alleged theft incident

Video provided by a neighbor shows a boy running away around the time the shooting was reported.

Lofton told NBC6 that West was shot in the leg and the butt and while he is expected to make a full recovery, she said he is traumatized the person responsible could strike again.

"He doesn't want the person to come back after him," Lofton said. 

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the 911 call for the shooting came in around 6:35 p.m. near the 1700 block of Northwest 4th Street.

There, they found a child with a gunshot wound. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

BSO has not said whether they were looking for a suspect or have one in custody.

Deputies spent hours talking to residents and canvassing the area. Lofton told NBC6 this is typically a quiet neighborhood, with not much gun violence.

"He is a phenomenal kid and student and he is smart so he was able to give a detailed description of who the person was and who he was shooting at," Lofton said.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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