I have been to Miami twice in the past year and can I just say – I really love it! Miami is perfect for a long weekend. There's enough to keep you busy, or relaxed for a long weekend, but you could spend even longer if you wanted to! I'm not your typical Miami visitor here. I didn't go out and party like crazy (although you totally could) just because when I travel, I like experiences and exploring a place. Of course I had drinks, visited bars, and had good fun...With that in mind, I have put my favorite things from Miami together into this three-day guide. Here is how I would spend 3 days in Miami.
Note: Both times I have gone to Miami, I have not had to pay for hotels. It's just worked out that way - not endorsed by a hotel. Once, I won a free stay and that was especially awesome (I won it at a travel and wine fest.)!
Pro-tip: Staying in South Beach can be very affordable in a boutique hotel. There are hotels for under $100 and just a few blocks from the beach. Be careful of hidden fees with these places though. Many charge a resort fee, parking fee, and for breakfast. This can quickly add up! Be careful and read up on your hotel before booking or arriving.
Flight: (into Fort Lauderdale) $231
Rental Car: $168 ($84 a person)
Total Cost: $598
Pro-tip: Flying into Miami can be expensive. Fly into Fort Lauderdale instead and save around $100. If you are renting a car anyway (which is a must if you are exploring outside the beach), this is no big deal! You can also get a transfer from the airport for a fair price.
Spa, Pool, Beach ($100)
There are tons of Groupons available for Miami. Many of them are for spa packages. This past year, I booked a spa package that included a facial, foot scrub, hour massage, parking, unlimited use of pool and beach, and champagne. This was at Shore Spa and Club in South Beach. It was the perfect way to spend the first day! It was relaxing, beautiful, and I felt like a princess. While a little expensive, considering all the things included, it was really a steal!
Pro-tip: When you start booking things for Miami, check Groupon. I found this awesome deal as well as stand up paddle boarding for $7 and a comedy show for $15 a ticket. Lots of great Groupons!
Wynwood District (free)
This was an absolute awesome day! Wynwood District is such a fun and unique area in Miami. It's known for its graffiti and local art. All of the artists, coffee shops, and delicious food make for an awesome walk around for your morning. There are some wonderful brunch spots there that are easy to pop into and have great food. Book ahead because brunch is very popular in Miami. Spend some time just walking through the different street art spots and give some love to local art.
This museum gives you a unique look back into the history of the first half of the 1900s. The mansion is gorgeous, but the gardens and surroundings were my favorite part. When I visited, they were doing renovations and I couldn't enter part of the museum so they had discounted admission. After visiting their website the other day, it looks like they are still doing renovations and admission is $18 (as of Feb. 15, 2017).
Cuban food and Comedy Show ($15)
I have been to Little Havana during the day. It was pretty empty and did not have the feel of Havana (or should I say I assume it didn’t, since I’ve never been). I do think it would be different at night or on a weekend. It just ended up not being very exciting. However, I visited Espanola Way and it was really nice. I ate at Havana 1957 and the little street is super cute. Cars are not allowed to drive on the street so it has a very relaxed and fun feel. It was delicious and the mojitos were on point.
The comedy show ended up being a miss because it was too far out-of-town and I didn't plan ahead to give time after dinner to get there. So while we had tickets and I had called to confirm pick up, I didn't make it. However, I would highly recommend trying to get to a show or some other fun event because there are so many great things going on at night in Miami. Instead, I stopped in at a bar and listened to live music. Still very fun, but not expected!
Pro-tip: Things in Miami are far apart. If you plan on exploring outside South Beach, you should rent a car so you can explore.
Everglades Tour ($40 – they’ve increased their price since October to $55)
This was something that I definitely didn't want to miss while in Miami. The Everglades are such a unique part of the United States. Did you know that the water is deadly to humans? There are so many dangerous creatures that live in it too. Oh and dangerous plants. I learned a lot on the tour if you couldn’t tell! I would definitely recommend taking an air boat ride and going into the Everglades. While I didn’t see any alligators while on the air boat, I did see them hanging out on the grass where we began our tour.
This tour was a good experience, but the pickup location wasn’t clear and I ended up almost missing the tour because I spent so long trying to find them. The air boat ride was also very short. Also, although they said they would pick up at hotels, they wouldn't pick up from the area of South Beach where we were staying so we had to go and meet the bus at a mall.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding ($10)
This was so much fun. I had never been before and honestly it was really scary at first! I didn’t get the courage to stand until I was around a cove away from the waves. This was another Groupon that I found and booked it same day. Got there and they were happy to accommodate right away. I did have to carry my board down to the water which was kind of a hassle, but other than that easy to use and felt safe!
Pro-tip: When buying a last minute Groupon, call and check with the company selling the Groupon to make sure you are allowed to use it same day – sometimes Groupons have rules that say things like “must have 7 days notice,” etc.
Relax for the rest of the day on the beach – need I say more? There are some great beaches in Miami and I couldn’t recommend more
Miami truly has a lot to offer every kind of traveler. Even though I've been a lot this year, I am already planning to go again - it really is fun! What would you want to do with 3 days in Miami?