Eco-friendly travel guide to Miami advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Miami, Florida, United States of America.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.85 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.9 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$40 - $1,500
- Budget per day: US$120 - $2,000
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Miami is popular for a lot of things and most people appreciate it for being a place where you can go for fun as it's a wild and eclectic city that's notorious for its wild clubs and parties, beautiful people, tons of sexy ladies, Cuban food, South Beach, and cruises. Miami is where everyone goes to play and without disputes, it's a place where fortune can strike at any moment and anything seems possible with the feeling of optimism and sense of newness it evokes. Miami is a wonderful place and it's worth all the attention it gets from people from far and near. It's quite intriguing to know that Miami has the third tallest skyline in the United States of America and it as well serves as the financial and business capital of Latin America as it's an economic powerhouse. And to include, it's a major center and leader in international trade, arts, culture, commerce, and finance. Visiting Miami can be quite enjoyable and as an eco-friendly traveler in Miami, here are a few tips that can help you travel responsibly in Miami;
- The public transportation in Miami is somewhat tricky but it's readily available for use. Of all the cities in the state of Florida, Miami boasts of having the largest transit system but sadly, it comes at a disadvantage of not being convenient and easy to use. The Metromover and Metrorail routes only operate in some parts of the city and they're easy means to get around. The same goes for the "'Miami Trolley and it's a fun option likewise. The thing about buses in Miami is that they have the tendency of running behind schedule as they chug along very busy routes. But, the good thing about them is that they're air-conditioned and very clean.
- A better way to get around, which is mostly preferred by a large chunk of the locals here is Uber. Beside that, Freebee is a tangible option too; it runs through Wynwood, Brickell, Downtown, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Miami Beach, and owing to the fact that it makes its money from the advertisements on car doors, it operates without no cost as a free shuttle service, but it does accept tips.
- Parking in Miami is strictly enforced, it's exhausting to find, and it's pricey. One of the downsides of Miami is its notorious traffic, and if your choice of getting around is driving, it's pertinent that you're cognizant of the city's parking peculiarities. You can enjoy day rates as low as $20 for lengthier stays at parking garages but parking can be as high as around $2 - $7 per hour at popular places. Street parking is one of the costliest things in this city, especially in a place like Miami Beach, and take note that Miami authorities will not hesitate to tow your car away if you do not follow its set parking rules which are strictly enforced. For this, it's advised not to park during restricted hours without a valid permit in the city's residential zones.
- Crossing the road in Miami can be strenuous. One thing that will really help you in this city is to persistently assume that everyone in a car here is in a rush; be it you're driving yourself or walking around. Miami is notorious for its high-speed residents and its traffic is something else entirely. And, it's not nice enough that most of the natives here don't tend to stop for a pedestrian but then, you should be careful anyway because you've got just one life to live. Consequential to this, before you cross any road, make sure you confirm and double-check around you before you proceed with your movement.
- Buy a Go Miami Card. Miami is an expensive place but there are lots of ways you can save money, even while doing more, and one of them is by buying a Go Miami Card. If you want to save on sightseeing cruises, Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, bus tours, and many others, buying a Go Miami card will help you save on top attractions in the city. What the card does is to help guests save on several attractions and you can use it to your advantage to explore more places as you travel around.
- What to Pack. This aspect is very crucial to help you travel pleasingly responsibly in Miami. The locals here have some of the hottest looks around and their flair for the latest fashions and sporting activities ring their fame. All these are simply to tell you that you should pack for both style and comfort for Miami has warm temperatures and a coastal climate.
- Before you head out, have cocktail dresses, multiple stylish swimsuits, comfortable walking shoes, and flip flops in what you're packing.
- Sun protection is quite important if you'll be indulging in some beach vacation and make sure you have a beach bag, swimsuit coverups, lip balm with sunscreen, loose and airy clothing, fashionable sunglasses, lots of sunscreens, and a sun hat with you.
- Have important medications, toiletries, sweatshirts or light jackets for cooler nights, T-shirts/tank tops, shorts, and a pair of jeans with you for sightseeing and everyday activities.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Miami is fair and best described as average. The American Lung Association, in its recent pollution report, noted that "South Florida continues to enjoy clean air" and cited that the air quality is only fair in some parts of the city. With this, it becomes clear that the air quality in Miami varies according to the areas in the city. However, the climate condition overall in Miami is good and Miami features a warm climate.
Respect the Culture
Miami has a large population and a diverse culture.' Just like most other cities in the country have their respective culture, Miami also has its customs and culture. One of the things you should take note of in Miami is its beach etiquettes which it takes seriously. There are some non-negotiable rules the locals here expect everyone to follow and abiding by these rules is one of the ways to show respect for the city's culture. Foremost, if you're not at a nudist beach like Haulover Beach, it's expected of you not to strip off any part of your bathing suit. To include, Miamians are beach-loving and it's totally uncool for you to leave rubbish behind; don't do it, and if you do, you'll always be noticed. More so, don't drink on the beach, it's considered illegal, and lastly, take note that there's plenty of space for you to find your own spot at the long and wide beaches so, respect people’s sunbathing space.
Aside from the beach etiquette value which Miamians uphold, another notable culture in the city is the greetings. Miami has an intimate greeting and the locals here will gladly greet strangers with a soft kiss on the cheek. In fact, it's difficult and scarce to find a "handshake introduction" here and the basic thing is for you to know that lip-to-cheek contact is a common custom if you're meeting a new person in this city. Miami is a late-night city and it has the custom of partying very late at night and be prepared to dress to impress just like the locals here if you'll be partying at night. Miami nightlife enforces its semi-strict dress codes and you'll be denied entrance if you're on vests, shorts, trainers, or jeans.
Top 10 Places to Visit
With its entertainment, sports, culture, history, great weather, and stunning beaches, Miami ranks as the premier vacation destination in South Florida and you can always find plenty of things to do and tons of nice places to visit; here are some of them.
- Miami Beach: It's one of the iconic places in Miami. It's something of a legend in the city and it's your best bet if you seek to soak up some rays on a sandy beach. When Miami is mentioned, the first thing that probably comes to people's mind is the beach and this is one of the beaches in the city you definitely don't want to miss checking out. There are beautiful buildings within this area which is another plus for the beach.
- Jungle Island: Situated only a couple of minutes away from South Beach and Downtown Miami, Jungle Island was visited by Winston Churchill in 1946, and it used to be known as Parrot Jungle. It's located on Watson Island and it's one of the most popular attractions in Miami. Come here to get enthralled with a sense of adventure and discovery with the interactive experiences it offers.
- Art Deco District: This area comes in its after-dark with its canopy-covered dining areas and neon signs. It's in the Miami Beach area and it has a lot to offer on a relaxed day. It's home to a wide array of beautifully restored buildings with a hint of 1930’s nostalgia.
- Bayside Marketplace: This place doesn't fail to entertain with its fun vibe and daily live music. You can hit up the Bayside Market to admire the bay and soak up the lively atmosphere. Just as the name suggests, it's located along Miami’s waterfront. It has an array of charming boutiques and it's home to countless restaurants, cafes, and shops.
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: This 28-acre estate enjoyed a fine completion and a true authenticity from the thousands of craftsmen from Europe that were brought to perfect its design. Filled with the most exquisite European furniture and arts, this Renaissance-style villa features 34 rooms arranged around a breathtaking courtyard. Its artwork, grounds, and architecture will leave you awed, and it's regarded to be one of the greatest treasures in Miami.
- Zoo Miami: It features a range of different attractions including camel rides and it's a fantastic zoo that offers lots of interaction with the animals. Come here to grab the opportunity of having an experience of endangered wildlife up-close as it has a cage-free environment and open-air exhibits. It offers its visitors the sensation of exploring a real safari for it provides animals with habitats close to their natural setting.
- Little Havana: It's a very nice area and recommended for those who desire to get completely immersed in a distinctive cultural atmosphere – with its important Cuban figures depicted by the street art and non-stop lively Latin music drifting through the air. From specialty food shops and restaurants to open-air social areas, it offers a great deal of entertainment, and it's popular for its cultural flavor.
- The Everglades National Park: You'll have a fun-filled day coming here as there are lots of things to see and do. The best way to get entertained seeing alligators here is by taking an airboat tour and be taken deep into the marshes and streams. It gets more fun getting when one is aboard a high-speed airboat and for wildlife viewing, there are walking trails and boardwalks. Home to a whole host of birds, crocodiles, snakes, and alligators, it covers 1.5 million acres of swamplands, and it's just a short drive from Miami.
- The Miami Sea Aquarium: This aquarium will delight any visitor with its everyday shows that display killer whales, dolphins, and a host of other lovely ocean mammals. It attracts visitors from far and wide, and it's famous to be a family-friendly place. Florida’s endangered manatees have been rescued and actively rehabilitated here and this aquarium has alligators, sharks, and a collection of tropical fish contained in its large observation tanks. If you want to get more and stay educated on the behavior and natural history of dolphins, get involved in its “swim with dolphins” program.
- Ocean Drive: It's famous for being home to the Beacon which is reputed to be some of the area's most exciting and notable structures. Those who thirst to see the unique skyline and scenes Miami has to offer should find their way here and enjoy the great opportunity this Ocean Drive offers. It's a popular tourist destination in Miami, it passes by the iconic sands of south beach, and it runs along the Oceanfront of Miami Beach.
Miami will hold you in its spell and capture you completely with its dazzling glamor. Undeniably, Miami is an awesome, bustling, fun city known all over the world for its sunny weather, beaches, glamor, and glitz, and it does not really need more introduction because we all know how much fun it is and can be. And if you don't, a visit to the city will leave you in awe as you marvel at its beauty. With an array of exciting new experiences, Miami offers a fun time for families, couples, and singles as it makes for an easy South Florida weekend getaway boisterous with great restaurants, unique attractions, luxurious spas, and relaxing white-sand beaches. You can never get bored exploring Miami because there are lots of iconic places to visit and things to discover and experience from dining on amazing seafood or Italian foods to sunbathing on the beach, shopping, seeing exotic animals, exploring art-filled neighborhoods, taking a painting class with a twist, and lots more.
The parks in Miami have an ideal setting that is perfect for enjoying a day outside in the sun as most of them feature playgrounds, dog parks, athletic fields, picnic areas, waterfront areas, and gardens, and people of all ages can enjoy the wide variety of outdoor recreation activities and amazing views they offer.
- The Alice Wainwright Park: It contains a portion of the tropical hardwood Brickell Hammock and it has a playground, basketball courts, and a number of acres of green, grassy space. It offers an awesome setting for taking in the stunning vistas of Biscayne Bay and it's planted with gumbo limbo trees and palm trees. Named after Alice C. Wainwright, it encompasses 28 acres in the city's northern Coconut Grove area, and it's a nature preserve and waterfront park.
- Allison Park: It has thirteen different play structures within the enclosed playground area and it was constructed with a rubberized mat surface. Those with disabilities and challenges can play in the park's accessible playground and it features a tailored dune crossing. It is the first inclusive and adaptive playground in the city and it's situated in Miami Beach.
- The Amelia Earhart Park: With a petting zoo, exhibit hall, and a pony ring, there are horseshoeing, cow-milking, livestock juding, sheep shearing, and a number of other farm activities showcased for visitors at its Bill Graham Farm Village. There are benches, paved walkways, playgrounds, a five-acre fenced dog park, and an eighteen-hole disc golf course at this park. It has about eight miles of bike trails and it offers opportunities for an array of recreational activities like biking, skateboarding, and fishing.
There are three major national parks within driving distance of Miami and they are:
- Everglades National Park: Keep an eye open for manatees! Here, you can kayak through the mangroves at Flamingo or take the Tram Tour at Shark Valley. It's an incredible place to visit and it houses a minimum of 14 rare and endangered species. It offers a wide range of varied animal and plant habitats and species and it covers over 1.5 million acres of South Florida.
- Dry Tortugas National Park: You'll need to arrive by boat or seaplane for there are no roads leading to this park so, you need to plan ahead. This national park is historic and it has snacks on boat for its visitors.
- Biscayne National Park: If you'll be coming here, do well to have your sunscreen, floaties, and life jackets with you and put safety first. It's one of the top five family-friendly Parks in the United States of America, it features amazing opportunities for boating and diving, it's entirely underwater, and it's a great place to experience another type of unique wildlife.
Just across the Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, you'll find plenty of glamorous beaches, and it's pretty valid to affirm that Miami's beauty, charm, and diversity are reflected by its plentiful spectacular beaches.
- South Beach: There are lots of things to do here. You can enjoy art shows, music, Art Deco Weekend, volleyball tournaments, and an array of numerous festivals and events hosted here. You can as well have some educational fun at the Miami Children's Museum, see the animals at Jungle Island, or just stroll along Ocean Drive. South Beach has a buzzing nightlife, amazing food, it welcomes all who seek pristine sand, and it enjoys the reputation of being one of the best vacation areas in Florida.
- Bal Harbour Beach: You can take a stroll along the walking or jogging path when you're done swimming or working on your tan, and you can spot a patient fishermen hoping for a catch at the end of the Haulover channel. However, take note that there are no lifeguards or any other public facilities here but it's well-maintained with lush greenery, paths, sand dunes, and has a beautiful landscape. Although it is a public beach, it has an air of exclusivity and privacy, and it shares close proximity to the stunning South Beach.
- Crandon Beach: It has a Family Amusement Center, an Environment Study Area, and a Bear Cut Preserve. You can as well see some rare fishes, wildlife, and exotic plants at the Crandon Park Nature Center. You can spot coastal plants; seagrass beds, mangroves, and ancient dunes if you take a stroll along the beach. Here, you can rent a cabana for your party, there's often the smell of barbecue coming from one of many on-site grills, and you can be lucky to be one of the participants of the competitive game of beach volleyball.
From the Venetian Pool and Little Havana to the gorgeous neighborhoods of Coral Gables and Coconut Grove to the architectural gems in South Beach and Ocean drive, you can never run out of world-famous attractions and intriguing landmarks to explore in Miami!
- Freedom Tower: This building has evolved to become a museum for contemporary art and it stands on the busy Biscayne Bay Boulevard in Downtown Miami. The landmark building was functioning as a government facility when it used to be the headquarters of the newspaper The Miami News and it played a role in the Cuban refugee crisis. This landmark is popularly referred to as the “Ellis Island of the South.”
- Venetian Pool: It's largely visited by a young crowd with a thirst for Miami history, and, today, it has grown to be a famous site for celebrity soirees and fashion nights out. With details like an Italian-style bridge, porticos, and loggias, it was designed in a Venetian style as a swimming paradise, and it was built in 1924. It's made entirely of a coral rock quarry, it's a public pool, and it's the most famed watering hole in Coral Gables.
- The Kampong: Here, you can enjoy the exotic fruit and flower trees of the garden and catch sights of historical photographs and documents. The plans to establish the popular Everglades National Park were made by Ernest Coe and Marjory Stoneman Douglas right here and there's an education center on-site, herbarium, and a laboratory featured at this garden. This nine-acre historic garden is where it is today - all thanks to the famed horticulturist Dr. David Fairchild.
Offering a world-class selection of artifacts, history, and art, lovers of art, history, and science alike will be pleased with the wide array of museums in Miami if they're ready to take a break from the vibrant alfresco happenings in the city.
- Peréz Art Museum Miami (PAMM): Every first Thursday and second Saturday of every month, it opens its doors at no costs for its guests. One of the interesting things about this museum is that it has constant happenings, special offers, and events, so, you should keep an eye on its calendar. Everything about this building is a work of art and this includes its building which got its unique touch from Herzog and de Meuron.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): Every last Friday of each month, it holds a popular jazz concert series. With its packed schedule of community programming, it promotes accessibility of its contemporary art to its audiences. It boasts a whopping 500 works of art and José Bedia, Gabriel Orozco, and Keith Haring are some of the MOCA permanent collections it showcases. Alongside its stellar permanent collections, it hosts around eight to ten special exhibits annually, and it's one of the most beloved cultural institutions in Miami.
- HistoryMiami Museum: Connecting with the city's diverse inhabitants, the ever-evolving future of the region, and the rich past as well as been made convenient by this museum, and interested visitors, residents and the community at large are welcome to take advantage of this. In the state of Florida, it's renowned to be the largest history museum. It was founded in 1940 and it used to be referred to as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.
Miami is famed for its unique South Florida style of cooking known as Floribbean cuisine and it's spawned from the combination of American, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine. Miami's diverse population is reflected in its cuisine, and restaurant chains such as Pollo Tropical, which is one of the fine places where you can enjoy the city's local cuisine. However, this cuisine is also available in the whole of South Florida and Miami. Some of the specialties which have been related to Miami due to the strong influence of Cuban immigrants include croquetas, Cuban espresso, medianoche, and the Cuban sandwich. Miami as well boasts being the headquarters of restaurant chains such as Burger King and Benihana. In and around Biscayne Bay and along the Miami River, you'll find an ample seafood restaurants which signifies the prevalence of seafood in Miami.
Traditional Local Restaurants
There are lots of traditional local restaurants in Miami and here are some of them:
- Novecento: Offering handcrafted cocktails and a curated wine list, it showcases handmade empanadas, fresh pasta, and it's an Argentinian steakhouse with Italian influences. It's loved by many for its wide selection of wines, superb quality food, inviting ambiance, and good service. However, take note that its risotto entrees, pasta, potatoes, and meat can be somewhat high-priced but it's definitely worth every penny spent.
- Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine: Serving amazing foods in a fun and lively atmosphere, its patrons have testified to its good food and prompt service. It's an authentic and great restaurant that serves its guests traditional fare in a roomy, vintage dining room with chandeliers. It's one of the most famous Cuban restaurants in Miami and it is loved by many because of the way it attends to its guests swiftly.
- Mignonette Downtown: Teeming with wine, briny bivalves, and seafood towers, it's a mid-century oyster bar that evolved from a 1930s gas station. It's slightly on the upscale and it's a haven for luxurious and down-home options. You can enjoy sides like old bay fried potatoes, Brussels, beets, and cauliflower here, and if you won't be trying out its scallops and lobster tails, treat yourself to the crispy snapper, broccoli rabe/pasta/sausage, and veal Marsala.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Whether you seek plant-based dining options or you're a vegan, or a vegetarian in Miami, here are nice recommendations for you to check out:
- Love Life Cafe: It offers coffee drinks, smoothies, juices, acai bowls, burritos, tacos, burgers, salads, and pizza. It sells a few products to take home and it's a cafe serving vegan food.
- Planta: If you'll be coming here on evenings and weekends, it's advisable to book a table in advance. Dinner cocktails are a thing here because aside from its dishes, it has a selection of uniquely crafted beverages like aloe vera gin, activated charcoal bourbon, and kombucha mojito. There are innovative versions of contemporary cuisine on its plant-based menu and a nice one we'll recommend you try out is its Bianca. Its rooftop garden is where it handpicks its vegetables, microgreens, and herbs from, and it's one of Miami's most popular vegan restaurants plus it's situated in the heart of South Beach.
- Vegan and Juice: Come here for lunch and have a plate of salad, choice of sides, and brown rice. It features light Latin-style food, a juice bar, and a buffet. This spot is tucked away in a shopping plaza.
- Aguacate: Salads, burgers, acai bowl, bagel with cream cheese, and avocado toast are some of the vegan dishes you'll find at this juice and food bar and there are as well juice shots and smoothies for patrons.
It's quite funny that some of the food trucks in the city will shame your favorite fast-food joints with the sumptuous delicacies they offer. Well, if you're in a grab-and-go kind of mood and you're not in for dressing up to go have lunch, ditch the sit-down restaurants and get some nice food at any of these Chicago's food truck;
- Purple People Eatery
- Che Milanesa
- House of Mac
- Ms. Cheezious
Miami is a city that loves late-night enjoyment, cruises, and parties. And, its residents alike love drinking. Nightclubs, sports bars, independent bars, and upscale hotel clubs are some of the places where the locals love to drink. However, if you'll be going out to drink, there are a couple of things you'll have to be mindful of. Foremost, whatever the case may be, never insult the nightclub employees or the doormen if you want to gain entrance. More so, take note that no-one is saying you should dress like a stripper before you can get into a nightclub but you must dress to impress. Nevertheless, most of the hotel bars and independent bars do not seem to care too much about your physical appearance. In addition, if you didn't order a reservation for a table or a spot on the VIP list, it's advisable not to make any attempt to tip the doormen or the employees because it will be labeled to be an affront.
In accordance with EPA and international standards, Miami tap water is safe to drink. The Biscayne Aquifer, which is made of porous rock with tiny cracks, and located right below the land surface in South Florida, is where the city's local tap water comes from, and ninety percent of both Miami's and Florida's tap water comes from groundwater sources. Unlike bottled water which is regulated by the FDA as a packaged good, the contaminants in public water systems is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is to further assure that the city's tap water is safe for all to drink.
From new organic cafes to old-school spots, you can jump-start your day properly with the dozens of outstanding eateries that are peppered in the city as Miami has a whole lot to offer than just greasy delights. As an eco-friendly traveler in Miami seeking healthier options to eat, it's glad to know that Miami is remarkable for its gastronomic variety, and it has options of places like these for you;
- Laborejo Restaurant: Pickled radishes, wakame salad, truffle oil, shimeji mushroom tempura, and Japanese rice bathed in nori jam are some of the delicious ingredients it uses in making its two favorites - mushroom poke bowl which goes for $18 and the Margherita pizza with a cauliflower crust which goes for $10. Its vegetarian and pescatarian customers appreciate it for the variety of dishes it serves and its healthy options from different cultures.
- Bowlicious Restaurant: It offers a stunning mix of flavors such as the combo of sweet ginger Sauce, coleslaw, pineapple, ginger chicken, ahi poke tuna, Asian green beans, Moroccan cauliflower, kale spinach strawberry salad, and spicy sweet potato noodles on its Ninja which is regarded to be one of the favorite plates of customers. It has foods that are fresh, tasty, and nutritious, and it can't go wrong with its diverse, healthy menu.
- Raw Republic Restaurant: Make sure you try out the Coconut Grove Bowl whenever you drop by here because it has some chopped almonds that complement its sumptuousness. You'll love this place If you are an acai lover, and another interesting thing about this restaurant is that you can quickly grab your food and go if you're in a hurry. Those who seek fresh, delicious plates will be glad to discover this restaurant.
There are lots of incredible breweries in Miami and here are some of them:
- Wynwood Brewing Company: Father Francisco Belgian-Style Golden Ale, Lock On Dry-Hopped Lager, Pop’s Porter Robust Porter, Wynwood IPA India Pale Ale, La Rubia Blonde Ale, and a few other seasonal brews are some of what you'll find on its menu. Intending to connect local South Florida beers with Miami beer drinkers, it kick-started its operation, and it has its own 15-barrel brewhouse and taproom. It's the first craft beer brewery in Miami and it's a family-owned hangout.
- Tank Brewing Company: Brewed specially for fall, you should go for the Fresh Hopped Juicy IPA if you’re looking to venture out. The ubiquitous classic is The Freedom Tower American Amber and it's also worth trying out. The beers you’ve probably had at the bars taste fresher here at the brewhouse and with limited seating available, the taproom is open and going strong, and the brewery has grown to be a community venue, sort of.
- Abbey Brewing Co: This neighborhood gem is a place to break for a cigar and a dart game for whatever you call for order as you explore its wide range of micro-distilled fine spirits, port wines, British Barley wines, hard-to-find Trappist Ales, American microbrews and special Belgian on tap. It's the oldest and only brewpub in Miami beach and everything since 1995, it has been opening its doors daily from 1 pm to 5 am.
You’re sure to find an outdoor activity in Miami whether you desire to enjoy the fun experience the city's beach and water give, explore lush gardens, or learn about Miami history for the city is, no doubt, the perfect spot for enjoying the great outdoors with its moderate climate; sunny weather, and warm temperatures. There are several ways to relax or stay active in this beautiful city which is the heart of South Florida and you can expand your horizons by indulging in any of these activities:
- Kayak or Mountain Bike at Oleta River State Park
- Explore Everglades National Park
- Hike at Greynolds Park
- Enjoy the drag brunch at Palace Bar
- Swim at Venetian Pool
- Go for Walking and Biking Tours in Coconut Grove, Little Havana, and Wynwood
- Let your dog romp at Hobie Beach
- Hop a tram at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
- Traverse the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne
- Play Volleyball and Utilize the Outdoor Gym at David T. Kennedy Park
- Picnic With a Bayview at Alice Wainwright Park
- Rent a quad bike at Bill Baggs Cape Florida
- Lunch With a Cruise Ship View at Pamm
- Cruise South Pointe Park
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga and retreats are common in Miami and here are some of the best places in Miami you can trust;
- Santuario Miami Yoga: The vibe here is "familial"; you'll feel like a family coming here. The staff is experienced, courteous, and it doesn't matter if you're a beginner or more advanced in yoga because you'll find the atmosphere here quite receptive. It has multiple parking spots around, its location is convenient, and it boasts a cozy and clean studio.
- Synergy Yoga Center: It offers Free trial Yoga class, Acupuncture, Chakra Energy Balancing, Reiki, Healing Arts such as Massage, Yin Yoga and Universal yoga, Kids Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Meditation, Ashtanga, and Hatha. Every week, it offers more than 50 Yoga classes, and it has been operating in South Beach since 1997.
- State of Yoga: It takes pride in having some of the most inspiring and best teachers in the city on its weekly schedule. It offers yoga retreats, Yoga Alliance certified teacher training, mentorship programs, and workshops. With its Sound Healing, Restorative Yoga, Meditation, Yin Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, and Hatha, it helps to take the practice of its students to the next level, and it has classes for all levels and practitioners. It calls itself "a peaceful sanctuary."
Accommodation options are rife in Miami but if you want to increase availability and avoid high rates, it's advisable that you make plans ahead, especially if you'll be visiting during the festival period or high-tourist seasons. Just like most other popular tourist destinations, hefty nightly fees are a thing here in this city, particularly if you'll be lodging at some of Miami's stunning hotels where you can enjoy picturesque views, resorts, and an array of amenities. No doubts, Miami houses some of the top hotels in the United States but then, the fees... could be backbreaking.
Vacation rental is another quality option you can opt-in for' if you want to elude yourself from all "stress" related to getting a room in a nice hotel. Funny enough, these vacation rentals tend to boast more and better amenities and facilities than these hotels and what's more interesting about them is how cheap they can be, which is usually like one-third of the cost of you getting a room in a hotel. The location flexibility the rentals offer further amps up their value, and places like upscale Fisher Island, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Beach, and downtown Miami are where you can find vacation homes. However, it's important that you take note of the pricing, views, location access, security, privacy, pools, laundry facilities, kitchen and dining options, and a few other things you feel you'll need during your stay before you go ahead to book an accommodation.
There are lots of eco-friendly and green hotels in Miami and here are some of them;
- InterContinental at Doral Miami: It offers its guests a means of going to different places in the city such as City Place, International Mall, and Dolphin Mall with its free shuttle. It has an outdoor pool and a fitness center that are open all through the day and night. It boasts a marble bathroom equipped with a flat-screen TV and a wide showerhead and it encourages its guests to reuse their towel and linen. It has the reputation of being regarded to be one of the GreenLeader hotels in Miami-Dade County.
- Element by Westin Miami International Airport: Guests can relax over a glass of wine on the terrace, use the outdoor heated pool to their pleasure, and indulge in a delicious breakfast every morning. There's a flat-screen TV, a small fridge, and a microwave in its spacious room it prepares for its guests to sleep comfortably. From the water filter in the kitchenette to the wall-mounted soap dispenser and the dual-flush toilet, it aims at reaching sustainability, and everything about it is eco-friendly.
- Kimpton EPIC Hotel: Look around you and marvel at the city’s skyline while swimming at its rooftop pool which you'll find on the 16th floor. Inside each guest's elegant and spacious room, there's a private bathroom and a large-screen smart TV. There's as well a private balcony. Kimpton EPIC encourages the implementation of reuse policies for linens and towels. Aside from the wood-look tile flooring and driftwood-inspired slatted headboards which are the eco-friendly materials it features, it also has unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, and it's a contemporary hotel.
Hostels and Guest Houses
There are several hostels and guest houses in different parts of the city and here are some of the best ones you can check out;
- Villa 305 Hostel: The owner of this hostel is very nice, cooperative, and friendly. Black-owned and operated, the hostel has a decent mattress and a great price point. You'll feel almost like a family immediately you step in here and it's ideal for those who are on a budget.
- Miami cheapest hostel: Just as its name suggests, it's truly the most economical hostel you'll find around in the Miami area. For noise reduction, it has good size rooms with insulated windows, and it's also walkable to fun evening restaurants. It's a very cozy place to pass the night if you want to save up some cash.
- Easy Hostel: Truly, this hostel is as easy as the Sunday morning. It is very accessible to the airport, just about 10 minutes by car. It's comfortable in all aspects and it's one of the clean hostels in Miami that offer a good experience for guests with its friendly hosts and a family atmosphere.
- Guest House Paradiso and Coffee Shop: It's a good place for one to pass a weekend and it's a big hostel with a friendly and attentive staff who gives good attention to their guests. It has good food and the rooms are quite clean.
The cost of renting an apartment in Miami can be costly but the price value varies based on the neighborhoods. For example, you could be spending at least $2,000 monthly for a bedroom apartment in downtown Miami but $1,400 a month in Little Havana. However, the average price for one-bedroom apartment in Miami is usually around $1,800 per month. Although areas like Overtown and Liberty City are known for their affordable rental rates, a lot of people do avoid these neighborhoods because of safety concerns as they're famous for high crime rates. And on the other hand, the oppressive prices and sky-high rents of Manhattan and Santa Monica are mimicked by the swanky, cosmopolitan areas of Coconut Grove, Brickell, and South Beach.
For those who will be renting an apartment in Miami, one thing to be cognizant of is promptness and readiness to pay quickly once you find a place you like, especially when you're finding an apartment in some of the most sought-after locations in the city because the rental market moves quickly in Miami, just as it is in most large cities. Finding an affordable apartment in Miami is still feasible and a good way to go about that is by asking colleagues, friends, and acquaintances if they're aware of any available rentals. More reason why you should be good to people around you. And, when a good opportunity arises, don't forget to be ready to jump fast and seal the deal. It's also advisable that you start your search earlier enough as this will give you more chances of securing an affordable apartment.
Speaking of Airbnb, it's not really that common in Miami considering the fact that that the government is trying to regulate the city's rentals market, and it seems to frown on short-term letting.
Couchsurfing is gradually beginning to enjoy more support and recognition globally and in a city like Miami, your possibility of finding a host is positive, and you can always meet the locals around to ask about the feasibility, or use resources online to find a host.
Miami is capable of satisfying your taste for adventure with the crop of campsites it houses, and if you're in for a nature-filled camping trip, here are places you can check out;
- Boca Chita Key Campground: Enjoy killer views of Downtown Miami as you climb up to the top of the lighthouse after you’ve pitched your tent. It's marked by a historic lighthouse built in the 1930s and it's the perfect place for you if you seek to experience a tranquil, picturesque camping.
- Oleta River State Park: Come here to explore kayaking routes, picnic and fishing areas, and off-road cycling trails after you've secured a spot by making an online reservation. There are restrooms, fire circles, and picnic tables at its camping sites, and it's also a good place to spend a few days in the great outdoors. Situated between Downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale, it's the largest urban park in Florida.
- Elliott Key Campgrounds: How pleasurable it is to fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves. Here, you'll stay active with different activities like fishing, lounging, hiking, and swimming. It's a great place for boaters and it's an island turned campsite.
- Miami Everglades RV Resort: It's one of the more convenient sites available; it's about 30 miles from Downtown Miami, and 10 miles from Everglades National Park. It has a mini-golf course and a heated pool in walking distance. From tented sites and air-conditioned full-service cabins to RV areas, it offers all sorts of camping experiences, and it's complete with more than 34 acres of greenery. This campsite is set up in a tropical paradise and it's a cool place to get lost amid mango and avocado trees.
How to Get There
Miami is a part of the South Florida region and those coming from this area can always drive in. That is, if you'll be coming from Key Largo, Palm Beach, Orlando, and Fort Myers, you'll get to Miami in just a few hours; usually about two to a four-hour drive, depending on how the traffic on the road is. However, majority of people visiting Miami from other far and distant places will have to fly to Miami International Airport. As soon as you arrive in the city, you'll find Lyft, Uber, taxis, and other public transport choices like trolley, bus, and train to take you to your destination. You can as well rent a segway, scooter, bike, or a car.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is a large and congested place because of the international traffic it receives as it's an important hub for traffic between Latin America, North America, and Europe. It's situated in an unincorporated suburban area and it's just west of the city.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport is a quality alternative for visitors to fly in. It's smaller and less trafficked than MIA but it only offers a small variety and it doesn't have nearly as many international routes. It's just about 25-40 minutes north of Miami proper.
Greyhound, MegaBus, RedCoach, ATC Buses Miami, Gray Line Miami, and La Cubana are some of the bus service providers serving Miami and the nearby cities.
Hitchhikers are rare in Florida, but it's still possible to get rides. However, if you're planning to hitchhike your way to Miami, there are two things you should take note of: foremost be aware that the city's law doesn't support hitchhiking, and secondly, if you'll still be up for it, ditch the US highways and state roads, and stick to the interstates for that's where you can find possible rides.
There are three main highways coming into Miami and they're quite useful for those driving in from other nearby cities.
There's a rich landscape in Miami from swamps to beaches and it's impossible for pedestrians to see it all by foot. However, there are several nice options to get around Miami; by car, Metro rail, Metromover, bus, and Trolley. Still, the best way to move around in Miami is by car.
Walking is enjoyable in Miami, especially in places like Washington Avenue, Ocean Drive, and Collins Avenue. There's a particular street designed for people to walk, the Lincoln Road, although it has now been officially converted to a mall, and it houses several movie theaters, stores, night clubs, and restaurants.
You can rent a bicycle at any of the 100 claimed stations of Citibike. And, bicycling is quite enjoyable in this city, although things may get rough sometimes with the crowd. Miami is a hotspot for tourists so, get used to the crowd.
There's a possibility of renting an electronic vehicle at the Miami International Airport.
The Metrobus covers over more than 95 routes all over the county and it's operated by the Miami-Dade Transit. Taking the bus is a good idea if your plan is to stay and travel within Miami Beach. Cost per bus trip is $2.25.
Tram, Train and Subway
Metrorail and Metromover are Miami's answer to a subway. With a $5 round trip, Metrorail can get you from the center to the suburbs if you seek a ride to South Miami, Coconut Grove, or Coral Gables. And on the other hand, the Metromover can get crowded during peak riding times.
Miami is undoubtedly a shopper's paradise and with its sunny and sizzling temperatures, it boasts being a high fashion city. Most of the fine shopping malls you'll find in Miami offer live entertainment and as an eco-friendly traveler seeking to shop sustainably in Miami, here are some spots you can trust.
- Bal Harbour Shops: It's ideal for aspirational window shoppers, it's home to every designer flagship you can think of, and it features art installations, koi ponds, limestone walkways, and lush, tropical palms.
- Bayside Marketplace in Downtown: This area is famous to be an embarkation point for many water sports adventures in Miami and it offers spectacular waterfront views with concerts and street performers. It's an open-air plaza that blends shopping with pleasure and it has everything from gift items all over the world to leather goods, exotic jewelry, memorabilia, and local crafts.
- Mary Brickell Village in Brickell: You can grab a bite to eat at Baru Urbano or refill yourself with a drink from Blue Martini or Brother Jimmy's. This outdoor plaza is always buzzing and you can come here to treat yourself to a little pampering at Massage Envy or Spa & Nail Fever. It's home to Chicago boutiques like Essence Shoes, Indie Soul, Blush, Basik, and Atik. It's famous to be a hotspot for lunch, happy hour, and late nights, and it's a thriving shopping and entertainment district.
Here are some of the best food markets in Miami:
- Adrienne Arsht Center Farmers Market - Downtown Miami: It has cooking demonstrations, live music, and it organizes periodic workshops with chefs and food writers. From beverages and prepared food to meats, vegetables, and seasonal fruits, it overflows with the local harvest, and it's a great place to purchase fresh food.
- Civic Center Metrorail Station Farmers’ Market: It's open three days a week year-round and it has plenty to offer. It's conveniently situated close to the Metrorail Station and it offers locally-grown organic fruits and vegetables, aromatherapy products, kettle corn, local honey, smoothies, drinks, orchids, cupcakes, French pastries, and artisan baked goods.
- The Well ’Canes Farmer’s Market: It opens seasonally from October to April from 9 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays. It's popular with residents, students, staff, and faculty, and you can also find orchids, plants, and flowers here. It features pasta, ceviche, marinades, honey, artisan cheeses, baked goods, locally-grown and organic produce, and more.
There's no shortage of flea markets in Miami and here are some of the best ones:
- Miami Flea
- Swap Shop
- Redland Market Village
- Dania Beach Marine Flea Market
- Flea Market USA
- Tropicana Flea Market
Second Hand Stores
Bargain Barn, Dragonfly Thrift Boutique, Out of the Closet, and The Lotus House Thrift Chic Boutique are some of the quality second-hand stores you'll find in Miami.
Sustainable fashion is a clever way of helping the environment and you can go green shopping at these places;
- Olsuss Skin Boutique
- Nomad Tribe
- Barnacle Baby Boutique
- The Showroom
Residential recycling collection takes place in Miami once every two weeks and some of the things that are recycled in the city include;
There's residential garbage collection provided by the City of Miami Solid Waste Department twice per week.
Work and Study Abroad
Miami may be famous worldwide as one of the top tourist destinations in the United States but it's as well a popular location for work and study abroad.
The exchange student program is common amongst most of the universities in the USA generally.
There are quite some possible opportunities for you as an au pair in Miami and online is where you're likely to find more connections to explore and you can also talk to people around you.
There are lots of organizations you can volunteer for in Miami.
- For Animals;
- The Humane Society
- Children and Youth
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Florida Guardian ad Litem
- Urban Paradise Guild
- Homelessness and Housing
- Lotus House
- Habitat for Humanity