Things to Do in Miami for Free – 17 Can’t Miss Activities

Minty fresh mojitos, soaking in the sun from a South Beach chaise lounge, and nightlife that teeters into the wee hours are all hallmarks of a Miami getaway. While the 305 may best be known for tropical-tinged luxury, a vacation to this South Florida mecca doesn’t need to mean bankruptcy.

Follow along to discover the 17 best free things to do in Miami.

Take a quick respite from bottle service and boat tours when you double down on the natural beauty and complimentary attractions of the Magic City. Whether you are on the hunt for free things to do in Miami Beach, Biscayne Bay, or the Miami Design District, this city of salsa, sun, and fun delivers.

Appreciate bold, graphic street art in Wynwood, or put the pedal to the medal when you hit some bike trails.

Revel in the beautiful bodies and lively atmosphere of South Beach, or enjoy some Art Deco history on a self-guided walking tour.

Ready to savor the flavor of Miami for free? Read on…

Miami Hotels

Sunscreen, swimsuit, sunglasses – check, check, check! Once you’re all packed and ready to tackle all of the free things to do in Miami today, all that’s left to do is secure some world-class lodgings. Sadly, we’ve yet to uncover a way to score a luxury South Beach suite for free.

However, we can offer you the most diverse array of Miami Hotels. Kick back and relax in elegant accommodations downtown, or splash about in a private Beach pool away from the hustle and bustle of Ocean Avenue.

Whether you are on the lookout for wallet-friendly options that include complimentary breakfast or want to save your pennies for stylish furnishings and ocean views, we have options for every budget.

View of the pool and lounge chairs around it with palm trees and the ocean in the background at sunset at 1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop in Miami, Florida, USA
photo credit: 1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop via Facebook

Things to Do in Miami for Free

Aquatic adventure, beach boardwalk fun, and a hearty helping of modern art make Miami a sizzling locale for any type of traveler. Make those pennies last even longer when you take advantage of the following free attractions and activities.

Bike Trails

Take your sightseeing to two wheels when you check out Miami’s hotspots via bike. Secure a Citi Bike for cheap, or bring your own along for a low-cost way to see the city. For a leisurely 8.5-mile ride through local neighborhoods, nurseries, and palm farms take on Black Creek Trail.

Or, for a more city-bound escape, pedal through the Venetian Causeway which connects the mainland to South Beach. This particular path delivers scenic bay views, so pack up a picnic and prepare for a swoon-worthy sunset.

Soak in South Beach

No neighborhood is more synonymous with Miami than South Beach. While staying on this palm tree-studded strip of famous hotels and art deco buildings may cost a small fortune, it’s completely free to stroll along South Beach.

People watch, hit the surf for a salty swim, or bring along rollerblades for some active entertainment. Appreciate the iconic architecture, or snap a selfie in front of a charming lifeguard stand.

colorful buildings with lights at sunset at South Beach in Miami, Florida, USAInstitute of Contemporary Art Miami

Creativity abounds in the Magic City, so it’s no surprise that artistic inspiration can be found around every corner. Let yourself be amazed by the breadth of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami.

The ICA has long championed new and emerging artists, which makes it the ideal place in which to discover your next great art obsession. Wander through the sculpture garden, or observe the vibrant paintings featuring bold colors and depictions of British reggae clubs by artist Denzil Forrester. The ICA is always free to visit, but advanced tickets are highly recommended for guaranteed entry.

Psst, located in the Miami Design District, we recommend sticking around post-museum visit to check out public art pieces such as the Vortex or the Fly’s Eye Dome.

Art Deco Walking Tour

Architecture fiends unite! Art Deco architecture is one of the highlights of a Miami getaway. Brightly colored buildings in happy hues of orange, pink, and yellow dot the streets of the Art Deco District. With more than 800 Art Deco-style buildings in South Beach, it’s well worth exploring this modern take on neoclassical buildings with a self-guided tour.

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Free Tours by Foot is happy to offer free* downloadable tours. Discover how the style of these ornate buildings featuring stunning details such as porthole windows, chrome accents, and terrazzo floors made their way from Paris to the sunny shores of Florida.

*Please note there is a one-time download fee of $1.99 for the self-guided tour.

Ground view of Ocean Drive and all of the colorful vintage hotels on it on a sunny day in Miami, Florida, USAGables Art Walk

Free gallery tours? Yes, please! Enjoy a super thrifty date night when you and your partner take part in the Gables Gallery Night. This ever-popular event allows the public to appreciate the artistic talents of a variety of creatives. The first Friday of every month participating Coral Gables galleries and art venues will open their doors from 6 to 10 p.m.

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In addition to browsing works by local artists attendees can get down with the dulcet sounds of live music, or spring for an ice-cold cocktail from the bar. Don’t forget, on these Fridays, it’s also possible to score free admission to the Coral Gables Museum.

Wynwood Walls

Surround yourself with some of the world’s greatest street art when you take in block after block of colorful murals in Wynwood. Wynwood Walls is a unique outdoor art museum that exclusively focuses on street art. Admire more than 35 hand-sprayed murals, two street-art galleries, retail, and more.

Snap photo after photo of everything from contemporary works to old-school graffiti and iconic gangsters. Explosions of color, paint, and pop art will provide a striking backdrop for all of your vacation selfies.

While you can mosey through the Wynwood neighborhood for free, admission to Wynwood Walls will cost you $12. However, all children under 12 can always enter free of charge.

Large wall of yellow and purple graffiti depicting a panther spray painting on the side of the Museum of Graffiti in Miami, Florida
photo credit: Museum of Graffiti via Facebook

Free Concerts and Entertainment

Sure you could blow a bundle living it up in SoBe or partying till dawn at LIV, but if all you’re angling for is some low-cost entertainment, there are heaps of places in Magic City that comply. Venture into Miami Dade for an evening of cheap thrills.

Equal parts beach and sports bar, the Sandbar Sports Grill offers live music Fridays, a hefty happy hour, and Thursday lady’s nights where women drink free. Enjoy your half-off draft beer coupled with a chance to win cash trivia on Thursday, or chow down on delicious half-off tacos every Tuesday.

Feeling something a splash more tropical? While we can’t whisk you away to the Keys for free, you can partake in one of Miami’s best happy hours at Monty’s Coconut Grove.

Swing on by Monday through Friday from 4 to 7:00 p.m. to suck back icy cold Pain Removers, Mojitos, and other frozen drinks for just $6. Close your eyes and sway in time to their live Caribbean music and you’ll swear you feel that island breeze.

room full of people dancing with bright blue and orange lights and confetti falling down at LIV Nightclub in Miami, Florida, USA
photo credit: LIV Miami via Facebook

South Pointe Park

Towering palm trees, spellbinding sunsets, and a plethora of recreational facilities are just a few of the things that entice tourists to visit  South Pointe Park. This sun-kissed green space can be found at the southern tip of Miami Beach and showcases panoramic views of the shoreline, downtown Miami, and Fisher Island.

Skaters, bladers, and bikers can take advantage of the many winding paths for wheeled visitors. For a midday pick me up pack a picnic and enjoy your tasty snacks while watching the kayakers and jet skiers speed by.

Ready for some fun in the sun? Head to the beach and work on that tan before tapping into a pickup volleyball or paddleboard game.

Bayfront Park

Besides making a dent in our piggy bank, travel can sometimes leave us with a crick in our neck. Take advantage of some free outdoor activity when you make a beeline for Bayfront Park. Sitting in the heart of downtown Miami right on Biscayne Bay, this verdant oasis was actually the community’s first public gathering space.

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Today both locals and visitors come here to appreciate the sprawling lawn spaces, stunning fountains, and tropical rock garden. You can even work out all those random aches and pains with a free yoga class via Yoga by Donation.

An aerial view of nighttime fireworks displays in the city
photo credit: SFL Date Ideas via Facebook

Miami Beach Boardwalk

Cloudless blue skies and picture-perfect views make a journey along the Miami Beach Boardwalk a no-brainer. Pull on those running shoes or keep your pace leisurely as you traverse this scenic pathway that runs from the southern point of South Beach (South Pointe Park) northward for 7 miles to the Surfside border. Bring along that phone or camera as you’ll want to document the serene Atlantic Ocean scenery.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Trade in your margarita for mangroves, when you scurry away to Key Biscayne. An ideal adventure for the outdoor inclined, the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park delivers unparalleled views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.

Plan ahead and make the most out of your time here, as you’ll want to uncover every inch of the park’s mangrove wetlands, bike paths, and beaches. Be sure to extend your visit to sunset so you can appreciate the majesty of colors from atop the historic 1825 Cape Florida Lighthouse.

For even more backstory on this infamous lighthouse which served as a secret meeting place for slaves, you can take part in a guided tour.

White light house on Biscayne bay with sun setting in the backgroundCalle Ocho

¡Ay, mami! Yearning for a dash of Cuban culture? Pay homage to Miami’s ever-present Cuban roots with a visit to the infamous Calle Ocho in Little Havana. While we can’t promise you a delicious pressed Cuban sandwich or coffee for free, you can stroll through Domino Park where locals have been playing this cutthroat game for over 40 years.

Admire their competitive spirit, spot colorful painted murals, and be sure to pass through the Little Havana Paseo de las Estrellas or ‘walk of stars.’ Similar to the Hollywood version in Los Angeles, here stars are given to honor respected Latin American actors, writers, artists, and musicians.

Bear Cut Nature Preserve

Natural Florida habitats seamlessly meld with paved paths at the Bear Cut Nature Preserve. A pleasant not too strenuous hike, this trail provides a waterfront landscape next to the shade of tropical trees. Overlook a fossil reef with a backdrop of downtown Miami as you explore your surroundings and complete the 1.3-mile linear paved trail.

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Don’t forget to stop by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nature Center, prior to your stroll to gain some integral background knowledge on the local ecosystem. Please note that there is a small $5-7 fee to enter the park.

south beach during sunset with view of buildings, shore, water in Miami, Florida, USADays filled with sweat, sand, and Vitamin Sea melt into dazzling sunsets of orange, red, and purple. There’s a reason that no one can resist the allure of Magic City.

While there’s nothing wrong with splurging on a Miami vacation, sometimes it can pay to save those pennies.

Luckily, the 305 is home to many activities and sights that won’t leave you broke.

Work on your fitness as you jog your way past the Art Deco hotels and the Atlantic Ocean on the Miami Beach Boardwalk. Or, savor some Cuban flavor when you watch a spirited Domino game in Little Havana.

Indulge in a creamy, frozen Pain Remover at Monty’s or ogle the modern art installations throughout the Design District.

From museums to wetland explorations, there’s no telling what you’ll get up to on your Miami getaway!

Tell us, Do You Have a Favorite ‘Thing to Do in Miami Free’ From Our Roundup?

Leave a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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