WHAT TO DO IN MIAMI IN 3 DAYS
Are you planning a trip to Miami but aren’t sure where to start? I have good news – this 3-day Miami itinerary will show you all the best places to go while visiting this exciting and fun city in South Florida.
Miami is one of the best cities to visit in the US and it is the most well-known city in the state thanks to the many TV shows set here and the number of celebrities that like to visit South Beach. But you’ll also find parks, pools, and wetlands here, as well as many cultural and historic sites.
This Miami itinerary will allow you to discover the city with a mix of different activities. You’ll also find useful travel tips.
So, whether you want to discover more of your own “backyard” or if you come from abroad – here is what to know before your 3 days in Miami.
This post was written by Rebecca (find out more about her below).
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR MIAMI ITINERARY
Let’s start with some quick travel tips.
Is Miami in 3 Days Worth it?
Miami in 3 days is definitely worth it. Miami is a vibrant city with many attractions to see and things to do, from relaxing on the beautiful beaches and experiencing the local culture, and exploring the city’s many neighborhoods.
While three days may not be enough time to see everything that Miami has to offer, it is still enough time to get a taste of what the city has to offer and create unforgettable memories. By planning your Miami itinerary carefully, you can make the most of your time in Miami and experience some of the city’s highlights.
How to Get to Miami
There are two major airports to fly into in Miami: Miami International Airport (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
If you prefer a more economical mode of transportation, you can also take the Amtrak train or a Greyhound bus.
If you’re driving (and doing a Florida road trip), then you can either take the I-95, which has tolls but also runs along the coast, or the Florida Turnpike, which skips the tolls but is more inland.
Weather in Miami
Most people winter in Florida because the temperature stays between 63ºF (17ºC) and 74ºF (23ºC) and thus, it has become of the most popular places in winter in the US.
But if you want to enjoy the beaches, then the better time is summer. It ranges from 79ºF (26ºC) to 88ºF (31ºC) and is very humid and muggy. However, you can expect rain at this time as well.
What to Pack for Your 3-Day Miami Itinerary
The two things you definitely want on a trip to Miami are sunscreen and bug repellant, especially in the summer. The sun is very strong here, and you can burn easily.
And because of the tropical climate, bugs are common, especially if you want to visit places like the Everglades.
Also, if you plan to club with celebrities in South Beach, pack the appropriate nightclub attire.
Here is my packing list for a day at the beach.
Where to Stay in Miami for 3 Days
🛏️ For a luxury hotel, try the Four Seasons Miami, which has beautiful bay views and is located close to South Beach. It is great for couples but of course also for solo travelers or families as well.
🛏️ For budget travelers, try TownePlace Suites by Marriott, which is close to the airport, great for families, and includes breakfast.
How to Get Around Miami in 3 Days
BY CAR: If you’re thinking about convenience, then I would suggest getting around Miami by car. Many of the attractions are spread out, and public transportation requires that you make multiple transfers.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: That being said, you can definitely get around doing this 3-day itinerary in Miami by using the Metrobus, Metrorail, Metromover, and trolleys. This is cheaper and more reliable. However, factor in the extra travel time between stops.
More Travel Tips For 3 Days in Miami
ℹ️ If you are coming to enjoy some of the famous Miami nightlife, know that the clubs don’t really get going until after midnight. Some places that are open all night don’t even have the DJ on until 3 am!
ℹ️ Many restaurants will include an automatic gratuity on your bill of 15-18%. Some restaurants may not mention it. So check your bill carefully before leaving your tip so that you aren’t double-tipping (unless you want to).
ℹ️ Miami has a very large Spanish-speaking population. So there may be times when you find a cab driver or vendor who speaks no English. Using “Spanglish” and hand gestures is totally acceptable and very common.
ℹ️ Parking is expensive in Miami. Look for lots in high-traffic areas that only charge a dollar an hour or a $20 flat fee for the day. But always check, because some areas have decent metered parking and that would be the cheaper option.
ℹ️ Miami parks and beaches have banned Styrofoam. So if you are grabbing snacks to go for a picnic lunch, make sure it isn’t packed in a Styrofoam box. You could get a fine.
ℹ️ Avoid visiting in the first week of December because the city hosts an international art show that increases the price of plane tickets and sells out the hotels.
ℹ️ Miami is a pretty safe city. You will find that most of the landmarks on this list keep you away from the more seedy or dangerous areas of the city. Just use common sense and caution when traveling alone or at night. Always lock your doors and keep possession close.
A PERFECT MIAMI 3-DAY ITINERARY
Here is how to spend 3 days in Miami (at the bottom, you’ll find plenty of helpful travel tips).
DAY 1 IN MIAMI
For day 1, let’s start with this place.
The first stop on this 3-day Miami itinerary is Little Havana.
Just west of Miami’s downtown, this hub of Cuban culture, art, music, and food is a great way to start the day. Grab a cafecito (Cuban espresso) and wander the streets. Check out the historic Tower Theater, listen to some Latin music, and try some authentic Cuban cuisine. Visit Cubaocho for the art.
- This should take an hour or two.
- Then head to a special museum about 3 miles (5km) from Little Havanna.
If you’d like to know more about Miami’s history, you should visit this museum. The HistoryMiami, formerly known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, has lots of exhibits and collections. You can also participate in public tours that include walking tours and boat tours – it’s a great way to explore Miami’s history and culture.
- This stop could take a few hours but you can also go through it more quickly and learn the basics in an hour or so.
- Head to the Gesu Church now, which is a 10-minute walk from the museum.
Built in 1896, this Roman Catholic church, Gesu Church, is the oldest in Miami.
It’s also a registered Historic Place in the US. This is still an active church, so you can either attend a service or explore when there isn’t one going on. But do try to stop at this lovely church with its gorgeous architecture and artwork.
- This will only take about an hour.
- Then head to the Bayside Marketplace which is just a 10-minute walk
After visiting the church, head to the Bayside Marketplace. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, you should still come for the views.
This is an open-air market that is two stories tall and is surrounded by Biscayne Bay and the city marina. It’s also a huge shopping mecca and a favorite among visitors, so stop here to do some souvenir shopping, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the local artists and musicians. You can also book tours if you prefer.
- This can take one hour or much longer.
- The next stop, the Wynwood Walls, is about 2 miles away (3,2km). Either catch a taxi, or a bus or walk there.
- If you visit Miami with kids you might want to head to a museum Children´s Museum first which is about 2 miles away.
Miami Children’s Museum
If you’re traveling with children, the Miami Children’s Museum is a great place to stop and let them unwind and have fun.
It’s a non-profit dedicated to learning through play, and I’ve never met a kid who didn’t love to do hands-on experiments and activities like the ones found here.
- Tip: If you purchased a Go Miami Pass, then the entrance is free.
- Then it is time to head a bit north and see some art (fun for people of all ages). From this museum, the Wynwood Walls are about 3 miles.
After lunch and some shopping, you can head to Wynwood Walls.
This outdoor exhibit is a collection of street art done by graffiti artists from all over the world on walls of galleries and restaurants. It’s a pretty interesting collection of urban art, and you can stroll the area, stop for some jazz and a drink, and explore the various pieces in the Wynwood area.
You might want to check out the timing of the tours – if they start in the morning, I suggest doing the tour first and then visiting the other places mentioned on day 1.
- This stop should last about 1 hour or so.
- Then you could head back to Miami Downtown.
To finish off your night, spend the evening exploring downtown Miami.
This vibrant city has lots to do at night. If you prefer a guided tour, you can take a Big Bus Miami Night Tour. There are also City Skyline Tours.
Or you can enjoy a nice dinner or head out for drinks. There are many fun bars.
Make sure to spend a little time wandering the downtown area and seeing the city lit up in the dark as well!
DAY 2 IN MIAMI
For day 2, I have the following ideas for your itinerary. This day is all about beaches and outdoor activities, so dress accordingly and prepare for a day to relax while also seeing quite a lot.
For day 2 of this Miami itinerary, let’s take a boat tour of a strange and unique collection of houses, also known as Stiltsville.
This group of houses was built on stilts and sits about a mile out from the Florida coast. It’s actually pretty beautiful if you head out here in the morning, with the sun shining and the Atlantic Ocean in the background.
Stiltsville is a fun and curious sight and it will make your Miami itinerary more enjoyable.
Cape Florida Lighthouse
This lighthouse was built in 1825 to guide ships as they approached the Florida Keys.
Located at the southern tip of Key Biscayne, you can explore the lighthouse and the beautiful surroundings. Enjoy the great views from this old building. It also has a lot of history attached to it, so be sure to check that out.
And if you like, there are also bicycles, boats, and even aerial tours available.
- This should take an hour or two.
Quite close to the lighthouse, you will find this two-mile stretch which was once a coconut plantation and is worth a visit.
It’s beautiful with its mangroves, dunes, and reef. If you are interested in water sports, you can kayak or stand-up paddleboard. This is also the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch, this is the perfect place. There are great views, tables, and even barbeques.
This is a good spot for families, but also for solo travelers and couples.
Visit Hobie Beach, which you will also find near Crandon Park.
Hobie Beach has two things going for it:
- It is a great spot for windsurfing on Biscayne Bay, as well as paddleboarding and kayaking. This is also great because there are equipment rentals nearby.
- It is one of the few dog-friendly beaches in the Miami area. So, if you are traveling with your fur baby and want to let them run leash-free in the sand, then Hobie Beach is the place.
- Spend a few hours relaxing here before heading to the next stop.
Famous as a celebrity destination, you’ll see lots of glitz and lights at South Beach.
There are galleries, restaurants, and bars and clubs galore in this area of Miami.
For singles and couples, you can spend the evening dancing, enjoying local music and drinks, or just strolling and people-watching. If you plan on clubbing, dress to impress because standards are high at some of the more popular places.
Seeing South Beach is definitely a must when planning what to do in Miami in 3 days.
- Espanola Way: This area of South Beach has beautiful architecture, restaurants and coffee shops, and many spots to stop and people-watch. Enjoy a stroll through Espanola before grabbing dinner at one of the unique eateries. This is known as a romantic spot, so perfect for traveling couples.
- Tip: If you have a late night, don’t worry. Some food places are open until as late as 5 am!
DAY 3 IN MIAMI
For day 3 in Miami, here are some other activities away from the beaches.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
For the last of our 3 days in Miami, we’ll start at the pretty Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Built in 1914 by a local businessman, this estate is surrounded by formal gardens, sculptures, and grottos. It’s fun to explore the mansion and its lovely grounds, and it also teaches a little about the history and culture of the area. You can book a tour if you prefer to see it with a guide.
- After an hour or two, you can head to the next destination.
The Venetian Pool is located a few miles from downtown, in Coral Gables. This public pool is one of the most popular places in Miami.
Dating back to 1924, it is a well-known swimming area with caves, coral rock formations, and waterfalls. Even though it’s public, there is a fee involved and an age limit.
- Kids under 3 years of age are not admitted, so be aware of this if you travel with young children.
- This relaxing visit may take 1-3 hours.
- Then, make your way to another outdoor destination.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Full of flowering trees, palms, and butterflies, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a serene and beautiful place to visit.
It’s also quite large, so you may not be able to see all of the tropical plants and other collections here, but it is a nice stop when you are spending 3 days in Miami. This is a great stop for families, couples, and solo travelers.
- This should take a couple of hours.
This limestone sculpture garden – Coral Castle – is a really cool place to visit. Built by an eccentric businessman who carved each structure himself, you can explore the garden and see the special pieces of art at your own pace.
- It’s a bit of a trek from the downtown area, but it’s worth an hour’s stop on your way to our next destination.
For your last stop on this 3-day Miami itinerary, head to the Everglades. This is one of the most famous parts of Florida, and there are lots of options for how you’d like to see this wetland preserve.
Whether it’s hiking, diving, bird-watching, or taking pictures from the Shark Valley overlook, the Everglades is a vast and varied natural attraction. Taking a boat ride is probably one of the most popular things to do, and I definitely suggest it.
This is a great way to end your trip to Miami, where you can enjoy the natural beauty and great scenery of this famous locale.
DAY TRIP: KEY WEST
If you find some spare time and compress your itinerary into two days, I highly suggest spending one day on a day trip to Key West.
The Florida Keys are a beautiful group of islands also well-known for their pastel-hued, conch-style houses.
Heading to Key West along Route 1 offers some of the best views of the trip. You’ll be crossing the ocean in between islands and at the end of the road is Key West.
It is known for its laid-back style, friendly locals, and drinking establishments.
Enjoy a relaxing day in the Keys if you can make time for a day trip.
CONCLUSION: HOW TO CREATE A PERFECT MIAMI ITINERARY FOR 3 DAYS
A three-day visit to Miami can be a fantastic experience, filled with stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. Miami offers a range of activities, from visiting famous attractions like the Miami Beach Boardwalk and the Art Deco Historic District to exploring neighborhoods like Little Havana and Wynwood.
You can also indulge in Miami’s renowned food scene, trying everything from Cuban sandwiches to fresh seafood. With its beautiful weather, lively nightlife, and diverse culture, Miami is the perfect destination for an amazing 3-day vacation. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the city, Miami has something for everyone to enjoy.
I hope this 3-day Miami itinerary has helped you figure out where to go in 3 days in Miami. This fun, exciting, and beautiful city offers tons of choices to make your visit memorable, whether you are traveling as a couple, solo, or with family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it. She lived in New York for a long time before she moved to Las Vegas. She also works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.