3 Days in Miami: How to Make the Most of Your Time

February 19, 2020

Known for its picturesque beaches and significant Hispanic influences, Miami promises a colorful vacation.

Shaped by its vibrant heritage, visitors can find beauty and culture everywhere. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing tropical vacation or seeking a rich nightlife, you'll definitely enjoy spending 3 days in Miami. 

Day 1: South Beach, Española Way, & Little Havana

South Beach

Renowned for its preserved Art Deco architecture, picturesque beaches, nightlife, and culinary scene, South Beach has been dubbed the "American Riviera." Start your day off lounging on the white sand beaches, soaking up the Florida sun. When you're ready to grab lunch and walk around, Ocean Drive offers plenty of outdoor cafes and local Lincoln Road Mall boasts a variety of shopping. Further, guests can enjoy local acclaimed museums like the Bass Museum of Art or the Wolfsonian FIU.

For those in search of panoramic views, head to South Pointe Park at the southern tip of South Beach. Make sure to bring your camera or smart phone to snap pics of South Beach's shoreline, Fisher Island, PortMiami's cruise ships, and the downtown area. Also, the park features walking trails, a kid's playground and splash park, and numerous eateries.

Art Deco Historic District

The Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach features over 900 Art Deco historic buildings, the nation's most expansive concentration of Art Deco architecture. You can take self-guided tours, of course, or you can take a guided walking tour led by the Miami Design Preservation League. Designated as a National Register District since 1979, the buildings reflect Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and MiMo (Miami Modern) architectural styles. Throughout the tour (or if you want to tour on your own), visitors will be lead between 5th Street and 23rd Street as well as along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue. Furthermore, the Art Deco Museum providers greater insight into Miami Beach's cultural and architectural roots.

Walking tours are offered daily at 10:30 am and Thursday at 6 pm. To tour the Art Deco Museum, guests can visit from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday, and Thursday until 7 pm, inside of the Art Deco Welcome Center.

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Española Way

Additionally, Española Way's Spanish-style architecture, restaurants, and entertainment present a cozy, Bohemian vibe visitors will enjoy exploring. Located between 14th and 15th Street in Miami Beach, this pedestrian-friendly area is a prime spot when you have 3 days in Miami.

Little Havana

Little Havana serves as the vibrant center of Hispanic culture, particularly Cuban, in Miami. Visitors can find countless Latin-inspired restaurants, cafes, venues, and markets throughout the neighborhood, especially on iconic Calle Ocho (Eighth Street). You'll see locals playing dominoes in the park, sipping on an afternoon cortado or batido, and sampling ham croquetas. Also, on the last Friday of each month, the neighborhood hosts Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays, to showcase local cultural arts.

colorful street murals by artists from around the globe at Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida, USA

Wynwood Walls/Facebook

Day 2: Wynwood Neighborhood & Zoo Miami

Wynwood Neighborhood

Wynwood has grown over the years into the center of the arts in South Florida. Once the former warehouse district, you can now find countless murals, street art, and encouraged graffiti, perfect for pictures. Moreover, more than 70 galleries and museums reside within this eccentric neighborhood, as well as dozens of restaurants, bars, companies, and innovators.

While exploring, guests can see attractions like the Museum of Graffiti and the Rubell Museum, film and arts festivals, and a host of diverse eateries.

Zoo Miami

While spending 3 days in Miami, you'll want to carve out time to visit Zoo Miami. This zoo encompasses 340 developed acres with more than 3,000 animals and over 1,200 plants and trees throughout the park. Featuring animals from Africa, Asia, the Amazon, and Australia, you'll be able to travel the world all in one day.

Guests can not only see exhibits, but also participate in feeding animals such as parrots, giraffes, and rhinos. Additionally, guests can have animal encounters and meet with zookeepers during scheduled talks throughout the day. Moreover, visitors can see the largest Asian-themed aviary in the Western Hemisphere with hundreds of free-flying birds, as well as an abundance of species of animals like gorillas, snakes, koala, meerkats, African painted dogs, big cats, and much more.

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Even better, Zoo Miami's Playworld Playground enables kids to burn some extra energy with both aquatic and dry features.

Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, you don't want to miss out on checking out this top-rated zoo.

typhoonski / Getty Images

Day 3: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens & Everglades National Park

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

A National Historic Landmark, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens connects visitors to Miami's past on Biscayne Bay with its awe-inspiring Gilded Age estate and grounds. Surrounded by ten acres of formal gardens, a mangrove shoreline, and dockland hammock, its architecture and natural beauty presents enough of a reason to visit. However, the Museum also hosts an extensive art collection dating from ancient times through the 20th century. For instance, visitors can see lost Nazi-era works stolen and/or forcibly removed during WWII.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is open Wednesday through Monday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Everglades National Park

While other areas in the U.S. showcase extensive everglades and wetlands, visiting the Everglades National Park outside of Miami is a uniquely Florida experience. The National Parks Service states the park is "The largest subtropical wilderness in the nation [,] a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty." Housing a variety of rare and endangered species like the American crocodile, the manatee, and the Florida panther, the park plays an important role in the state's ecosystem.

While visiting the park, guests can enjoy boating, fishing, paddling, birding, and hiking. Visitors can take their own boats out, or register for boat tours with expert guides. Furthermore, park rangers lead tours throughout the park year-round as well.

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Save with Go Miami and the Explorer Pass

Go Miami Multi-Attraction Card

If you're looking for the best option to save on numerous attractions, consider purchasing the Go Miami Multi-Attraction Card before your trip. You can save up to 55% off of retail prices on admission to over 25 top attractions and activities throughout Miami. Not only will you save money, but you can also skip the line at select attractions, and do as much as you want each day. What's more, visitors can choose between 1, 2, 3, or 5 day passes, perfect for spending 3 days in Miami.

Some of the included attractions:

• Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Miami 1-Day All-Loops Tour
Miami Seaquarium
• Island Queen Millionaire's Row Sightseeing Cruise
• Duck Tours South Beach
• Jungle Island
• Zoo Miami
• Gray Line Miami: Key West Day Trip (From Miami)
• Jet Boat Miami

Miami & The Keys Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass

Another way to save while spending time in Miami and the Keys is with the Explorer Pass. Guests can enjoy 3, 4, or 5 attractions at their leisure while saving up to 40% off of retail price. Even better, the Explorer pass allows visitors to skip the line at all attractions. Valid for 30 days after your first attraction visit, this exclusive pass grants access to top-rated Miami and Keys destinations.

Some Included Attractions:

• The Official Art Deco Walking Tour
• Sea Experience Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkeling
• Zoo Miami Best Value Package
• Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat Cruise
• Sawgrass Recreation Park Everglades Airboat Adventures
• Lion Country Safari
• Sunset Watersports Key West 2 Hour Paddle Board Rental

Visit Vibrant Miami FL

Now that you know how to spend 3 days in Miami, make sure to book your trip through Tripster Miami to acquire the best deals on hotels and attractions.

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