Miami is famous for its Latin American influences and the beautiful white-sand beaches in the Miami Beach area. Even with limited time for a Miami itinerary, you’ll experience many of the city’s most fascinating charms.
In your first 24 hours in Miami you’ll stroll among Art Deco architecture on Ocean Drive in South Beach. You browse street art in Wynwood and shop in the Miami Design District. You’ll feel the pulse of Cuba & Latin America in Little Havana. And you’ll chill out with a cocktail in hand to Atlantic Ocean sea breezes as the sun sets behind you.
Ready to squeeze the most of your Miami trip? Plan the perfect day with this complete 1-day Miami travel itinerary.
Where to go in Miami in one day: A complete 24-hour itinerary
Watch the sunrise at South Beach
Only got one day in Miami? Start your day with a walk around South Beach.
If you’re an early-riser, you’re in luck: Miami Beach unleashes some incredible sunrises. The early morning hours, before the crowds ascend, are among the best times to roam about the South Beach area.
For beach-bums, South Beach is the ultimate hangout spot on a Miami itinerary. South Beach is often listed as one of the best beaches in the USA. It’s not often that you’ll find such an amazing seaside experience within a major urban centre!
Even if you don’t want to spend much time frolicking in the water, South Beach is a fantastic place for a stroll. Enjoy the seaviews and grab some shade in the palm-shaded Lummus Park to escape the Miami heat.
Wander around the Art Deco District
Besides its sunrises and white sands, Miami Beach is most renowned for its Art Deco District. Centred around Ocean Drive, the Art Deco Historic District contains over 800 historic buildings.
Miami’s Art Deco Historic District offers the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the USA. It’s even one of the largest collections of its kind in the entire world! The buildings also show off Mediterranean Revival and MiMo (Miami Modern) architectural styles.
To learn more about Miami Beach’s Art Deco style history, pop into the Art Deco Museum or Art Deco Welcome Center. Both are located in Lummus Park between Ocean Drive and the seafront.
Stroll along Española Way
From Ocean Drive, it’s a short walk over to Española Way. Dating back to the 1920s, the area was one of the first commerical developments in Miami Beach. The street was designed to look like a historic Mediterranean Spanish village. Even with 24 hours in Miami, visiting is a must.
With its recent revitalization project, Española Way is once again one of the coolest places to hang out in Miami Beach. Inside its pastel-coloured buildings, you’ll find art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and cafés.
If you’re feeling peckish, grab a bite at one of its shaded outdoor patio restaurants. For a taste of Miami’s famous Cuban cuisine, try out the popular Havana 1957. The restaurant’s 1950s old Havana throwback style is bound to turn your head.
Hunt down street art in Wynwood
Hop into a taxi or an Uber for a trip across Biscayne Bay to Wynwood. The Wynwood neighbourhood is one of the coolest places to visit in Miami for locals & travellers alike.
Wynwood is most famed for its collection of interesting street art. In the centre of the district, you’ll find its main attraction, the Wynwood Walls. This open-air outdoor art museum showcases wall murals and graffitti on over 80,000 square feet of walls. The artwork at Wynwood Walls was created by over 50 artists from 16 different countries.
Aside from street art, Wynwood is known for its culinary scene. Many of the area’s abandoned warehouses now house craft breweries, bistros, restaurants, and bars. If you’ve got extra time while visiting Miami in 24 hours, be sure to check some out.
Browse boutiques in the Miami Design District
From Wynwood, it’s a 20-minute walk northeast to the Miami Design District. The Design District is the most upscale neighbourhood in Midtown Miami. The area teems with art galleries, fashion boutiques, and restaurants run by celebrity chefs.
If you’re looking for an excuse to unload some cash, you’ll find it here. In Miami Design District, you can drop a small fortune on luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Christian Louboutin.
Not interested in fashion? Instead, spend your time admiring the district’s unique modern architecture. If you can spare some time, pop into the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA). Showcasing emerging local artists, it’s the premier art venue in the neighbourhood.
Feel the Latin America pulse of Little Havana
Hail a taxi and embark on the 20-minute ride to Little Havana. The neighbourhood, directly west of Downtown Miami, is one of the city’s most famous. It’s the focal point of the South Florida city’s thriving Cuban community.
Much of the action in Little Havana rings around Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street). Calle Ocho and its surrounding blocks are jam-packed with shops, restaurants, and cafés. They’re loaded with Cuban influences and Latin American flair.
Wander around Little Havana to soak up its history & culture. If you’ve built up an appetite, it’s as good of a place as any to grab a snack. Otherwise, rest your legs with a street-side coffee or a drink to experience the buzz of the area.
Enjoy down time in Miami Beach
From Little Havana, it’s about a 20 minutes by car back to Miami Beach. By now, you’ll have earned a meal fit for royalty. And there’s no better place to do it than back in South Beach. As dramatic as the sunrises are, there’s no telling what adventures await after sundown.
For a wide selection of everything Miami’s culinary scene is famous for, check out the Time Out Market. Located near Lincoln Road, the market offers over 20 stalls with everything from Asian cuisine to wine & cocktails. For a more upbeat choice, wash down Colombian fusion with happy hour cocktails at Bolivar Restaurant Bar.
Where to stay with 24 hours in Miami
As with any big American city, choosing where to stay in Miami isn’t always easy. Although there are great places to stay in & around downtown, narrow your accommodation search to South Beach. It’s the most convenient area for getting the most out of your 1-day Miami trip itinerary.
Amused by Miami Beach’s architecture? Extend your admiration with a stay at The Marlin Hotel. Set in historic Art Deco building, this boutique hotel charms like none other. And without breaking the bank!
One of the finest mid-range hotels in the area, the Lennox offers spacious rooms with cool modern style. The private beach access, outdoor pool, and sun terrace are wonderful perks for your Miami travel plan.
For the ultimate in Miami luxury, grab a room at the historic oceanfront 1 Hotel. You love the luxurious amenities, especially the rooftop pool with wild seaviews.
More Miami itinerary ideas
Everglades National Park
Got a spare day in Miami? Spend it on a day trip to the Everglades National Park. One of the most famous national parks in the USA, the Everglades is a must for any Florida road trip itinerary.
Everglades National Park streches out over 1.5 million acres of wetlands. It’s the largest subtropical wilderness area in the USA. Within its boundaries, roam several rare & endangered species, including the Florida panther.
The easiest way to discover Everglades National Park is via Shark Valley. The Shark Valley Visitor Center lies along the Tamiami Trail (SR 90), less than an hour from the city.
In the middle of its 15-mile loop road, be sure to climb the 65-foot-high observation tower. From the top, you’ll enjoy an excellent bird’s-eye panorama over the Everglades.
Want to move past Miami’s urban charms? Hit the sea at Biscayne Bay. The bay stretches all the way from the city to the northern tip of the Florida Keys near Biscayne National Park.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, book yourself onto a Biscayne Bay Parasailing Experience. From your parasail, you’ll marvel at fantastic views over the city as you float above the water. Otherwise, enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise or one of its boat tours to take it the sights from sea-level.
While too tight for an indie day trip, Key West is the perfect bookend for an epic Florida journey. The western-most island in the Florida Keys, Key West is a scenic 4-hour drive from Miami.
Key West is known for its colourful Caribbean-style buildings and white-sand beaches. Spend at least a day in Key West to soak up all its laid-back seaside charms.
When to visit Miami
The best time to visit Miami is between March and May. During these spring months, you’ll enjoy warm temperatures and mostly dry conditions. Visiting in spring avoids the high season crowds of January and February. The only exceptions are the spring break weeks. If you plan to visit that this time you’ll need to book ahead—and have plenty of patience for obnoxiousness.
Most often, you’ll want to avoid travelling to Miami in summer and fall. Summer is the wettest time of year in Miami. In summer, rain falls nearly every day and the weather conditions are often hot & humid.
Hurricane season on the Atlantic Coast also falls between June and November. If you must travel at this time, be sure to keep an eye on weather reports.
How to get to Miami
Miami is served by Miami International Airport (MIA). The airport lies 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Downtown Miami. Several major airlines fly into MIA from international & US cities, including:
- American Airlines
- American Eagle
- Frontier Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United airlines
Miami is well-connected by road to other cities in Florida. Popular routes and estimated driving times includes:
- Orlando (3h30m)
- Tampa (4h)
- Key West (3h30m)
- Jacksonville (5h)