Miami. Also known as the Magic City or the Capital of Latin America, it’s an iconic city known worldwide. The thriving cultural scene, colorful Art Deco, lively nightlife, delectable cuisines, and famous beaches make it a popular destination, drawing thousands of visitors annually for a long holiday or weekend getaway.
While you can easily spend several days exploring this coastal metropolis, 2 days in Miami will give you a small taste of this subtropical paradise. To help you plan for your vacation, I’ve put together this Miami 2-day itinerary and helpful visiting tips.
Also, don’t forget to check out my article LomoChrome Turquoise: Miami in Blue and Orange for more experimental photos from beautiful Miami.
2 Days in Miami: Is it Enough?
Miami is a large, bustling city; ideally, you would want to spend more than 2 days here since there is so much to do. But with careful planning, you can see some of the main points of interest in 2 days.
Of course, you’ll want to factor in transportation since everything is spread out, and it may take extra time to reach your destination, especially if there is heavy traffic.
When is the Best Time to Visit Miami?
Winter and spring, or November through May, are the best times to visit Miami. You’ll experience less rainfall and more pleasant temperatures, with highs around 80 degrees Fahrenheit to lows around the 60s. But while the weather is more agreeable, you’ll also see more people and higher-priced accommodations, especially around holidays and spring break.
You might find more affordable places to stay during summer, but just be prepared for the heat, humidity, and possible hurricanes. Rain is also more frequent, but usually, the showers come and go. It will be rainy and stormy one moment and the next, sunny with big white puffy clouds in the sky.
We went during June, and while it was muggy with brief rain showers, we saved more money than going in late fall or winter. It’s always a gamble to go during this time with hurricanes, but if you are concerned about losing money, consider trip insurance or booking a place that allows you to cancel without fees.
Visitor Tip: November through May are the best months to visit Miami. You’ll experience less heat, humidity, and rain during this time. But accomations may be higher-priced, especially around spring break and holidays.
How to Get to Miami
You can reach Miami by car, plane, boat, train, or bus. Most people arrive in Miami by driving or flying.
Flying or Driving
I’m less keen on flying these days, so I’m ready to go if a road trip is an option! Most drivers reach Miami by Interstate 75, Interstate 95, or the Florida Turnpike. I suggest plugging Miami into a GPS or Google Maps to see which way is the fastest. Keep in mind, however, that you will pay tolls on some routes; for example, the Florida Turnpike.
But if a road trip isn’t feasible or you prefer flying, you can fly into the Miami International Airport (MIA). There are other airports, but more people fly into MIA. You can also fly into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, but you’ll have to arrange transportation to Miami.
It’s an approximately 35 to 40-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, but longer with traffic. However, the drive is worth it if you get a cheaper flight to Fort Lauderdale versus flying directly into Miami.
Are you staying in Orlando, visiting Disneyworld, and considering a side adventure to Miami? If so, you can take a bus from Orlando to Miami. However, it takes a few hours and may be more expensive than just driving yourself. View additional information, prices, and tickets regarding the bus here.
Do you know that Amtrak also runs to Miami from multiple cities in the USA? I’ve never taken Amtrak, so I can’t comment on the experience. Still, it is an option worth considering if you want to avoid driving or flying. Read more information here about the Amtrak routes.
Miami is also a cruising destination, with many cruise boats stopping for a day in Miami or leaving from Miami. We saw Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruiselines, and a Disney cruise at the terminals. If your cruise starts in Miami, consider spending at least one day in Miami before you start your cruising adventure.
Transportation and Parking in Miami
Miami is not really a walkable city. For example, we thought it would be a short walk from 14th Street in Miami Beach to South Pointe Park Pier. We were wrong. It took us about thirty minutes on a sultry, sunny afternoon. And while thirty minutes might not seem long, it is when you are carrying heavy camera bags!
Also, the city of Miami Beach is a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. The island is reachable by causeways and not something you want to walk to because it’s not really safe and a long distance.
So, how do you get around during your 2 days in Miami vacation? Listed below are several ways to get around the city, including more information about each:
- Rent a car
- RideShare (e.g., Uber) or Taxi
- Public Transportation
- Rent a scooter, bike, or segway
Driving and Parking
It’s the easiest and most convenient to use a car since it allows you to reach your destination quickly. However, a disadvantage to driving is parking costs. We had no issues finding parking, but it can be pricey.
There are parking garages and street parking or metered parking, which averages around $1 to $4 an hour. There are some free parking areas, but they are few and far between. Parking is more expensive as you get closer to downtown. Rates may also increase during peak times and holidays.
Expect to pay around $25 to $50 for the maximum daily rate in the garages. We parked in a garage close to our hotel on Ocean Drive and paid about $20 for the 24-hour rate with no in-and-out privileges. And by the end of our short stay, we spent nearly $100 parking around Miami. Not a surprise, but still expensive!
You can use some parking apps like ParkMobile and PayByPhone to check availability and rates or make reservations.
If parking and driving sounds like a hassle, consider a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft. It can be costly depending on where you want to go and when, but it might be less expensive than parking or renting a car.
Public Transportation (rail systems, Metrobus, and trolleys)
The cheapest way to get around Miami is by public transportation, which includes the following:
- The two rail systems called the Metrorail and Metromover
Metromover is free and is the best way to get around downtown Miami and Brickell. The other transit systems, the Metrorail and Metrobus, start at $2.25 or $5.65 for a one-day pass. The Metrorail can get you from the airport to downtown Miami and other neighborhoods such as Coconut Grove, South Miami, and Brickell.
Likewise, the Metrobus will get you around downtown Miami and take you further to Miami Beach, Homestead (near Everglades National Park), and Key Biscayne.
View transit schedules and track the rail systems by downloading the GO-Miami-Dade Transit app on your phone. With this app, you can also reload the EASY card. What is the EASY card? It’s a reloadable card for contactless payment for Metrorail and Metrobus.
Not to be confused with the EASY card, there’s also the EASY ticket, which can be used for the transit systems for a 1-day or 7-day pass. Find more information about the EASY ticket, EASY card, and public transit systems here.
On top of the rail systems and Metrobus, there is also an air-conditioned trolley, which is free! There are different routes and trolleys that take you to neighborhoods such as Coral Gables, Miami Gardens, and Miami Beach. View additional trolley information and routes here.
Visitor Tip: Public transportation is the cheapest way to get around Miami. For example, the Metromover and trolleys are free to use!
Rent a Bike, Scooter, or Segway
If you want to enjoy Miami’s sunny weather or are up for some exercise, consider renting a bike, scooter, or segway. Several CitiBike stations throughout the city allow you to rent a solar-powered bicycle by the hour. Find rental price information here.
Also, your hotel rate might include access to a bike. Our hotel, Winter Haven, provided free bicycle access on a first-come, first-serve basis. We didn’t use them, but knowing it was an option was nice.
In addition to renting a bike, you can do a bike or segway tour. Bike and Roll Miami, Bikes and Segway, and South Florida Trikke offer various bike and segway tour options around Miami.
Visitor Tip: Ask your hotel if bicycles are included in the hotel rate before you rent a bike or schedule a cycling tour.
Where to Eat During Your 2 Days in Miami
It’s hard to decide where to eat when you are in a destination known worldwide for its diverse food scene and delicious flavors. Miami is best known for its excellent Cuban food, and I went all out eating as much Cuban food as possible. But they also have other international cuisines: Peruvian, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Argentian, Jamaican, and more.
Here are the restaurants we enjoyed during our stay, plus two recommendations from locals.
Call Me Cuban:
This contemporary Cuban restaurant is pretty in pink and sits on Ocean Drive at the Cardozo Hotel in Miami Beach. We had the best service here and a mouthwatering El Cubano sandwich. Plus, the largest medium cocktail drink I’ve ever had. I’m glad I didn’t order the large because the medium was plenty!
Call Me Cuban is open for breakfast and dinner.
Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine
Not only do they have savory authentic Cuban food, but they also have live singing and dancing. Friday night was hopping when we went, and we enjoyed our meal while listening to a talented artist with a melodious singing voice.
They have 5 locations with various hours of operation, so you’ll want to check out their website here for more information. They also have the option to make a reservation in advance on their site, which you’ll probably want to do in this busy city.
The Rusty Pelican is an expensive, upscale restaurant with one of the best views of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay. Enjoy a nice glass of wine while watching the sun dip behind the city, creating a watercolor sky. I took many pictures during the sunset, and the restaurant didn’t mind at all.
If you go during summer or warmer months, you might want to sit inside for dinner and take pictures afterward outside. We requested outdoor seating for the best views. After being seated, however, I found out there were no fans, and we melted for a good portion of our dinner! The umbrellas helped but didn’t shield us from the sun’s blast. I was happy to finally see the sun dip behind one of the buildings so we could get a nice reprieve.
They offer dinner, lunch, and brunch (Saturdays and Sundays). Expect to use and pay for valet parking unless you have someone drop you off.
If you want the best orange juice you’ve ever tried, go to News Cafe for breakfast during your 2 days in Miami. The orange juice is so fresh – not too sweet and not too tart. And their piña colada pancakes? Oh my. That’s dessert and breakfast yummy goodness, all on one plate.
News Cafe was also the frequent breakfast spot for the famous fashion designer Gianni Versace. Sadly, it’s also the last spot he was seen before he was murdered on the steps of his nearby mansion on Ocean Drive. Knowing that this restaurant was one of his favorite cafes drew me here, and I can understand why he loved it! Seriously, it’s amazing and one of my favorites, and you can’t miss News Cafe during your 2 days in Miami vacation!
This casual Mexican and tequileria restaurant has three locations serving a variety of menu items: tacos, burgers, enchiladas, nachos, fajitas, fish, and more. It’s not the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to, but it’s still pretty good!
We fancied their 4 homemade salsas: green tomatillo, red chile de arbol, 12 chiles, and orejona. They came in cute tiny bowls and didn’t seem much, but I didn’t leave hungry.
From the Locals
Gianni’s The Villa Casa Casuarina
This upscale fine-dining restaurant is in the former mansion of Gianni Versace. At the recommendation of our hotel receptionist, I wanted to try this restaurant badly. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the appropriate formal apparel to visit this time, nor did I feel like shopping for new clothes. It will definitely be on my must-do list for next time.
But if you want a fine-dining experience, consider going to Gianni’s. They serve Italian Mediterranean cuisine with a fine selection of wines. You can eat near their elegant pool (one of the fanciest pools I’ve seen) or in the historic dining room. Plus, it’s conveniently on Ocean Drive, where you can enjoy Miami’s vibrant nightlife after dinner.
Gianni’s serves lunch and dinner.
Versailles is the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant. Sadly, I didn’t make it here to see if the restaurant lived up to its claim. They’ve been in business for over five decades and serve an enormous menu. Many people mentioned this restaurant to us while we were in Miami. It’s popular among tourists, locals, celebrities, and politicians.
Best Thing to Do for 2 Days in Miami
In no particular order, I’ve listed below the best things to do for your 2 days in Miami getaway. If I had to choose my top three, it would definitely include exploring Little Havana, seeing the Art Deco in the Art Deco Historic District, and relaxing on the gorgeous, white sandy beaches.
Take a Food Tour in Little Havana and Explore Calle Ocho
Tour Name: Miami Culinary Tours, which won the traveler’s choice award on TripAdvisor for several years and was featured on the Travel Channel.
Tour Cost: $65 per adult and $55 per child (ages 3-13). The tour includes food, drinks, and an alcoholic beverage. See their website here for additional information and to book a tour.
If you are trying to narrow down what you want to do during your 2 days in Miami, then you must do the food tour in Little Havana. Even if you don’t like Cuban cuisine, this tour is fantastic.
I learned so much about Cuban history, the culture, and the beautiful Latino community living in this vibrant neighborhood in Miami. We met many friendly locals who own the various small businesses and restaurants on Calle Ocho (8th Street), the main thoroughfare in Little Havana.
And the food? Oh, my goodness. It’s amazing. There is really no word to describe its delectability.
Food and drinks may vary depending on your tour, but we tried so much: Cuban coffee, empanadas, a Cuban ham and cheese sandwich, a mojito with sugarcane, guava pastries, and sugarcane juice at the local market. Does this make you hungry?
We even stopped at a woman-owned cigar shop to see how cigars are made. I don’t smoke cigars, but there is something about the scent of a cigar shop that evokes so many senses. I can smell it now just thinking about it.
Chances are high that you’ll see a rooster or two running around Calle Ocho. Roosters symbolize pride and courage in Cuban culture. They are cherished, and you know you are in Little Havana when you see the giant fiberglass rooster sculptures. The famous being the rooster next to El Pub, which was stolen, but later returned after making many local and national headlines.
Your tour will also include a stop at Domino Park in the town square. Every day locals come here to socialize and play a game of dominoes. At first, I was timid to ask for a picture, but they didn’t mind at all. They seem to love when people come to watch them play, and it was exciting to see their passion for the game. I’ve never played dominoes before, but it looks fun!
Dominos is serious business, however. Look up at the signs above your head and near the entrance while you are there. You’ll see the list of the rules members must follow.
There are also many bright and captivating murals throughout Little Havana, and the tour guide will show you a few around Calle Ocho. They each have a story to tell.
Admire the Stunning Architecture in the Art Deco Historic District
Location: The Art Deco Historic District is between 5th and 23rd streets on Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue
Ocean Drive is a vibe with its colorful and unique Art Deco buildings and architecture. Every time I stepped out of my hotel, I was immediately transported back to the 1920s. The buildings’ shapes, lines, and colors differ from what I’ve experienced anywhere else. And over 800 buildings in this district have this style, preserving historic buildings from the 1920s and 1930s.
Listed on the National Record of Historic Places, the Art Deco Historic District spans between 5th and 23rd streets, including the popular Ocean Drive, which has plenty of things to do. It’s lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, and nightclubs. The beaches are also easily accessible from Ocean Drive, with multiple pathways leading through the beautiful parks down to the ocean, making it easy to spend the whole day between the beaches and Ocean Drive.
But if you have time during your 2 days in Miami, I suggest walking down Ocean Drive twice: once in the early morning and again at night. The atmosphere changes dramatically. Mornings are peaceful, with the early light hitting the buildings creating a lovely, warm glow, whereas, the nighttime is full of energy and glamour. The night scene may not be your thing, but it’s fun to experience at least once.
Also, don’t forget to explore beyond Ocean Drive. Art Deco architecture is on Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue, with delicious places to eat and shop!
Unwind on Miami’s World Renowned Beaches
You can’t visit Miami without seeing or swimming in one of its famous beaches. Probably the most notable is South Beach, nicknamed “SoBe,” and known for its beach parties, clubs, and bars. Often very crowded, it’s not the prettiest beach I’ve been to, but it’s a beach. I love it.
But do you know there are more beaches in Miami besides South Beach? For some reason, I previously thought it was just one big beach, “South Beach.” However, more than a dozen exist, including the popular South Pointe, Mid Beach, and North Beach. Each has its own unique characteristics, which I’ve listed below.
North Beach: This beach is further away from the action but offers a more relaxing atmosphere with fewer people. Like the other beaches, there are places to eat nearby, and food might be less expensive than South Beach.
Mid Beach: A blend between South Beach and North Beach, Mid-Beach is chill but still throws a good party. You can relax here in the afternoon and party at night.
South Pointe Beach (Park): South Pointe Beach is the southernmost beach in Miami Beach. It provides a nice panoramic of the shoreline with residential and commercial buildings in the background. There is also a lovely greenspace, South Pointe Park, where you can have a picnic, walk trails, barbeque, rollerblade, and skateboard. Kids will enjoy the splash pad and playground.
There is also the 450-foot-long South Pointe Pier. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited Miami, but it’s a fantastic spot to get a panoramic photo of Miami Beach.
Drag and click on each blue marker in the map below to view the beaches’ locations.
Relax, Play Games, or Go to the Outdoor Gyms at Lummus Park
Location: Between 5th Street and 14th Place
The beachfront Lummus Park is close to all the restaurants and bars on Ocean Drive and steps away from the ocean. In this greenscape, you’ll see joggers, skaters, cyclists, people playing volleyball, or working out at the 2 outdoor fitness gyms, including the famous Muscle Beach South Beach.
There are volleyball courts, walking trails, playgrounds, fountains, and public restrooms. Have a picnic, cool off in the shade under the tall palm trees, or people-watch. Don’t forget to take a picture next to the colorful Miami Beach sign near 5th and 6th streets!
Explore the Best Places to Shop in Miami
I admit that I don’t shop much on vacation, but Miami has some fantastic places if you love to shop. Below I’ve listed some of the most trendy shopping areas you might want to check out during your 2 days in Miami:
Bayside has many stores in the open-air mall, including major retailers and brands you’ll probably recognize. Boat tours depart from the marina, allowing you to see Miami’s gorgeous skyline and Millionaire’s Row, luxurious homes owned by some very wealthy individuals.
This pedestrian walkway has over 200 shops, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and more. From buying luxury brands to finding good deals, Lincoln Road has everything a shopper will love. Plus, it has impressive architecture by famous architect Morris Lapidus and others. Even the parking deck on 1111 Lincoln Road is unique and picturesque.
Tip: You’ll want to come early in the morning to avoid the crowds since the road gets livelier as the day progresses.
You will find many designer and luxury brands, high-end fashion, modern architecture, vibrant art, and award-winning restaurants here. Like Lincoln Road, there is also a stunning parking garage, the Miami Museum Garage, designed by five talented artists, each bringing their highly creative skills.
Treat Yourself to a Deep Tissue Massage at a Spa
Location: Ritz-Carlton Spa, South Beach at 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Cost: See their website for spa packages.
After a full day of walking outside, I decided self-care was in order. I rarely treat myself to a spa day on vacation, but this time, I decided, why not?
If you want a break from the beach during your 2 days in Miami, treat yourself to a massage at one of the spas. It’s the most relaxing way to end the day before heading to dinner.
Choosing which spa to use was difficult, but we went with the full-service spa at the Ritz-Carlton Spa in Miami Beach. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to make a spa reservation, which works for me because the Ritz-Carlton is a tad too expensive.
I’ve never been to a full-service spa before, and I wish I had made more time for it in the afternoon to take advantage of the services entirely. They have secure lockers, a steam room, a sauna, showers, and a vanity. The 50-minute deep-tissue massage was blissful. It was hard to go back out in the hot sun afterward!
Take a Pleasant Stroll Through the Lovely Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Location: 3251 S Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33129
Cost: Buying online tickets is strongly recommended. An adult (13 and over) ticket is $25. A child’s ticket (ages 6-12) is $10. Children 5 and under get in free. Discounted tickets are available at their website here.
Hours of Operation: Open Wednesday through Monday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, including December 31 and January 1. Closed on Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Hours are subject to change.
Located in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a gorgeous estate with stunning views of the Deering Channel. It reminds me of the extravagant Gilded Age homes described in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
The Mediterranaen-style home was built between 1914-1922 and once belonged to James Deering, a wealthy executive who made his fortune from agricultural machinery. Sadly, James only spent a few winters at Vizcaya before passing away in 1925. He suffered from pernicious amenia and believed warmer weather could alleviate his ailment.
Today, Vizcaya is a National Historic Landmark, and you can wander through the charming gardens and the interiors of James’ former home, seeing his library, reception rooms, dining room, kitchen, music room, and more.
Take an Exhilarating Airboat Ride Through the Florida Everglades
Location: Everglades National Park has several entrances. View the entrance information here.
Everglades Holiday Park (different from the National Park) is at 21940 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33332.
Cost: Standard Entrance Pass to Everglades National Park is $15 to $30. View more admission and annual pass information here.
Airboat tour information and cost at the Everglades Holiday Park are found here.
Hours of Operation: The Everglades National Park is open daily (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). Visitor center hours vary.
Everglades Holiday Park is open daily from 9am to 5pm (the last airboat ride at 5pm). No reservations are necessary. Hours are subject to change.
Do you know that the Everglades National Park only holds 20 percent of the original Everglades in Southern Florida?
It used to span over approximately 1/3 of Florida; now, it’s reduced to less than half of the original Everglades due to drainage for commercial and agricultural development.
Despite the loss, the Everglades is still one of the most extensive wetlands in the world and home to thousands of wildlife and plant species. Many people go to see the alligators, but there’s so much more to these diverse ecosystems.
The Everglades is the slowest moving river in the world, with the water being so slow and calm in some areas that you can see the clouds’ reflection. It’s also not very deep – only 3 to 5 feet deep in most parts.
I wish I had known all these facts before booking our Everglades tour from Miami. Thinking we were heading to the Everglades National Park, I was slightly disappointed we went to the Everglades Holiday Park. It’s still part of the Florida Everglades but not in the national park.
Nevertheless, riding an airboat over the grassy river teeming with tropical plants, soaring birds, and massive gators was exhilarating. If this sounds thrilling, consider a side adventure to the Everglades during your 2 day Miami itinerary.
The duration of the airboat tour we took was about an hour. Everglades Holiday Park includes a picture of you holding a baby gator and a small show featuring a few alligators. While some might not like the show, the alligators there are rescued “nuisance” gators.
Florida has over one million alligators. And approximately 8000 “nuisance” gators are killed yearly when they appear on residential or commercial properties. Volunteers at the Everglades Holiday Park rescue these gators from being killed, and some of these gators are the ones you see in the live performance show.
How did we get to the Everglades Holiday Park? You can drive to the Holiday Park, but some tours will take you from Miami. We took the Big Bus Tours. They will pick you up at two different locations:
- Soundscape Park in Miami Beach, located at 1680 Washington Avenue
- Downtown Miami at Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Blvd.
Disappointingly, our bus tour guide didn’t provide any narration about the Everglades on the journey, but at least it got us to our destination without having to drive there. If you want to take the Big Bus Tour to the Everglades Holiday Park, visit their website here for more information and ticket info.
If you want to visit the Everglades during your 2 day Miami trip, should you visit the Everglades Holiday Park or the national park? Both entrances are about 40 to 55 minutes from Miami, which time can vary due to traffic. Each gives you a good sample of the vast Florida Everglades.
However, I found the Everglades Holiday Park a bit touristy, so I suggest visiting the Everglades National Park. Nothing against the Holiday Park, but I love our National Park Service and try to support them in any way possible. But if you enjoy a short alligator show and want to hold a baby gator, then the Everglades Holiday Park might be the best option for you.
Regardless of which portion of the Everglades we went to, I’m still happy that we took the side trip from Miami to see Florida’s precious ecosystems that are slowly disappearing.
Explore the Frost Museum of Science
Location: 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132
Cost: Ticket prices vary depending on what day you visit. An adult ticket ranges from $29.95 to $32.95. Youth (ages 4-11) ticket ranges from $22.95 to $24.95. Children 3 and under get in free. View ticket information here.
Hours of Operation: Open every day of the year from 10am to 7pm.
Located in downtown Miami’s urban Maurice A. Ferré Park is the Frost Museum of Science. If you love science or need a rainy-day activity, you’ll want to add the Frost Museum to your list of things to do for your 2 day Miami itinerary.
The Frost Museum holds many permanent and temporary exhibits, including an aquarium and a planetarium. Here you learn about the power of science, the universe, the ocean, the human body, mammoths, the Ice Age, dinosaurs, the power of flight, space exploration, and more. Plus, the museum is on the waterfront and provides incredible views of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay.
To read more about the Frost Museum and visiting tips, visit their website here.
See Beautiful Murals at Wynwood Walls
Location: The Wynwood Walls Street Art Museum is located at 2516 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127
Cost: It is free to see the murals and art around the Wynwood Walls neighborhood, but entering the outdoor street art museum costs $12 per adult. Military and ages 65+ ticket is $10. Children get in free (under 12), and a student ticket is $5. Taxes are not included. Find more information here.
Hours of Operation: Open daily at 11am (early access with a tour at 10am). They close at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7pm on all other days. Hours are subject to change.
Since 2009, hundreds of artists from around the world have created vivid and expressive murals on what used to be warehouse buildings in Miami’s warehouse district, bringing revitalization back into an area of Miami that previously saw few visitors.
Today, you can walk around the Wynwood Walls outdoor street art museum to see these beautiful works of art. It isn’t free to visit the museum, but if you walk around the Wynwood Walls neighborhood, you will still see plenty of art on the sidewalks, buildings, and streets. Plus, you can see some of the murals near the Wynwood Walls museum entrance.
There are also several restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, retail stores, galleries, and bars. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop at one of these establishments. Still, we enjoyed walking around in this hip and diverse Miami neighborhood.
See the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach
Location: 1933 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Cost: Free to visit the Memorial.
Opening Hours: Open 365 days a year, from 10am until sunset.
Over 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust in World War II. For those that survived, many came to South Florida, including Miami. In fact, several thriving Jewish communities lived within the city’s limits. For example, Little Havana was a sizeable Jewish community before immigrants left Cuba in the 1960s.
The Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach memorializes those who lost their lives and gives a place for families to grieve for their loved ones. A black granite Memorial Wall lists their names, and an arm sculpture reaches to the sky with Holocaust victims clinging to one another, hoping to survive.
It is sobering, but we should never forget those who suffered and lost their lives during this horrific time in history.
Take in Breathtaking Views Atop the Cape Florida Lighthouse
Location: The lighthouse is in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park at 1200 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, FL, 33149.
Cost: Free with park entry. Entry to the state park is $8 per vehicle (2 to 8 people); $4 for single-occupant or motorcycle; $2 for pedestrians, cyclists, or extra person in a car (if the vehicle holds more than eight people, it’s an additional $2 per person). View more admission information here.
Hours of Operation: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is open daily from 8am until sundown. Lighthouse tours (to climb the tower) are 10am and 1pm, five days a week (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
About 25 minutes away from downtown Miami is the gorgeous Cape Florida Lighthouse. This towering lighthouse sits in the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, giving breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the oldest structure in Miami-Dade County, standing tall for almost 200 years!
How many steps to reach the top? 109! And you can only climb the lighthouse during a guided tour, which is offered at 10am and 1pm, five days a week. These are specific tour times, and I wish the lighthouse were open all day to climb it.
However, if you can’t make it at 10am or 1pm, you can still walk up to the lighthouse, see the exterior, and take photos. Don’t forget to visit the reconstructed keeper house and take in the lovely views of the lighthouse from the nearby beach.
And if you have extra time during your 2 days in Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park has many amenities and things to do, including biking, skating, hiking nature trails, swimming at the beach, kayaking, picnicking, and more. They also have two locations to grab a bite to eat: Boater’s Grill and Lighthouse Cafe.
Where to Stay During Your 2 Days in Miami
We stayed at the Art Deco Winter Haven Hotel, a Mariott Autograph property. I was skeptical at first about this location. First, my husband picked out our hotel, which he rarely does for our vacations, and he doesn’t have the best track record for selections.
Second, the hotel is older. Nothing against older hotels (in fact, I love historic hotels), but it had a bunch of mixed reviews on travel sites. So, I was worried we were about to walk into a horror show.
But I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the hotel does show some wear and tear since it was built in the 1930s. However, the staff truly cares about giving the best experience. They give you a welcoming glass of champagne or water when you arrive.
The hotel is conveniently on Ocean Drive, near all the restaurants, bars, nightlife, and the beach. They even give you access to beach chairs, so you don’t have to worry about renting or bringing your own.
However, if you want to avoid staying in Miami Beach for your 2 days in Miami, I’ve listed below information on a few neighborhoods popular in Miami for accommodations.
But many unique neighborhoods in Miami offer excellent and affordable accommodations. To see more information about each neighborhood, visit this website here.
Coconut Grove: Coconut Grove is the oldest neighborhood in Miami and pedestrian-friendly. Walk to many restaurants, cafes, retail stores, and the lovely waterfront park with superb views of the marina and Biscayne Bay. For accommodations in this area, think laid-back, Bohemian, relaxing, tropical, and luxurious.
Coral Gables: Located near Miami Beach and the Miami International Airport, Coral Gables is known for its tree-lined boulevards, elegant mansions, Meditteranean Revival architecture, and plazas. Find acclaimed restaurants, retail stores, and museums on the well-traversed Miracle Mile. If your hotel has no pool, cool off in the famous public Venetian Pool, supplied daily by an underground aquifer.
Downtown Miami and Brickell: The financial hub of Miami, Brickell, is near the heart of downtown Miami. Heavily populated, downtown Miami and Brickell are known for their tall skyscrapers, diverse entertainment, walkability, and first-rate hotels. Enjoy casual and fine-dining restaurants, the state-of-the-art Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and a ride on the Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel.
Key Biscayne: About a 15-minute drive from downtown Miami, Key Biscayne is an island and a peaceful reprieve from the city. You’ll be close to beautiful white sand beaches and nature preserves while remaining close to city action. Also, the island has the coastal Crandon Park, Cape Florida Lighthouse, and the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
This area is good for families and has many rental options for accommodations. Or, for a romantic getaway during your 2 days in Miami vacation, you can stay at the extravagant Ritz-Carlton on the beach.
2 Days in Miami: Is It Worth It?
Absolutely! Did I yearn to stay longer in Miami? You bet! There is so much to see and do. Next time, I’m hoping to stay at least 4-5 days to experience more.
But I am happy we visited even though we didn’t see everything. We met many incredible people, saw some of the most stunning architecture I’ve ever seen, and had the most flavorful food. I can’t wait to return!
Did you find this 2 days in Miami guide helpful? Please comment and share below!
A Note on My Photos
Except for one photo (noted under the image), all pictures in this article were taken by me on 35mm film, with a few digital photos sprinkled into the mix. Can you guess which ones are digital?
For film, I used Portra 400, Flic Film Elektra 100, and LomoChrome Turquoise ISO 100-400. I love the warm tones that Elektra 100 gives, so I woke up early to get the soft morning light on Ocean Drive’s Art Deco buildings. The LomoChrome Turquoise was specifically saved for our Miami vacation since I’ve never shot it before and figured Miami’s beaches and architecture would be perfect for this fun, experimental film!