The Hottest Tourist Attractions In Miami To Add To Your Trip, According To Research

There's nothing dull about Miami. Lovingly referred to as Magic City, this South Florida hot spot is best known for its soft, sandy beaches, Art Deco buildings, and pulsating nightlife. A unique destination perfect for travelers of all types — couples, families, and solo tourists — Miami offers an ideal mix of heady metropolis vibes and laid-back island living. The city's hottest tourist attractions are as diverse as its landscape, which means you won't get bored. Spend a day digging your feet into the white sand of South Beach, admiring the giant murals in Wynwood, getting chic in the Design District, or zipping through Everglades National Park on an airboat. There are enough fun things to do in Miami that you may want to add another day (or three) to your stay. 

Boasting mostly sunny skies and temperatures averaging 77 degrees Fahrenheit between December and March, Miami is an excellent place to escape winter's cold. If you're planning to visit during a holiday, though, you should expect a lot of company. We suggest planning your trip early to ensure you have your pick of hotels. Once you've settled in, head out to see the area's best sites. With so many attractions on offer, it can be tough to choose which to visit on your vacation. Let us help! We used a combination of first-hand knowledge, tourist reviews, and in-depth research to create this list of the hottest tourist attractions in Miami to add to your trip.

Miami Beach

Although Miami Beach isn't technically in the city (it lies on a barrier island just offshore), this famous, 9-mile-long beach is the hottest tourist attraction to add to your trip. It's also the most visited neighborhood in the region and one of the top honeymoon destinations in North America. Divided into three neighborhoods (North Beach, Mid Beach, and South Beach), this is where you'll find the sugar white sand and colorful lifeguard stands made famous on postcards and Instagram posts. Pack sunscreen because you'll likely spend hours sunning yourself or frolicking in the waves on this beautiful, and definitely not underrated, Florida beach.

The South Beach (a.k.a. SoBe) neighborhood extends from South Pointe Park north to 23rd Street and is home to one of the city's most popular streets, Ocean Drive. Here, you can witness people biking with dogs in backpacks, rollerblading in jean short thongs, and pouring out of tasty restaurants. Miami Beach and the greater Miami area receive millions of visitors annually, so prepare to elbow your way through crowds when walking SoBe, especially at night. South Beach is wide enough that it will take a couple of minutes to reach the surf from the boardwalk, and it spans more than 2 miles along the city's southeastern edge. If you've forgotten a chair or umbrella, you can rent one from a local vendor or stay at a hotel near the sand — they often provide these, and sometimes beachside food service, for guests.

Bayside Marketplace

Miami's Bayside Marketplace is a hub of activity year-round. A bay-front shopping center conveniently located downtown, this is where tourists come to eat, drink, and shop til their feet ache. In addition to its 30 restaurants and almost 70 stores, you'll find Miamarina at Bayside. A perfect place to ogle mega yachts and their well-dressed owners, the marina is the launching point for sailing, fishing, and cruise charters. Island Queen Cruises & Tours operates a Millionaire's Row™ sightseeing cruise from here. During this 90-minute tour, you'll travel along the sparkling azure water of Biscayne Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for pristinely manicured gardens and waterfront mansions owned by some of the area's most wealthy residents. If that experience has fueled you to upgrade your vacation, rent a yacht at the Miamarina upon your return.

Back at the marketplace, tourists can enjoy a bird's-eye view of the city aboard the giant Sky Views Miami Observation Wheel. When you return to earth, head to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co for a tasty bite or grab a drink at Mojito Bar. Then, flex your shopping muscles at the variety of shops. Psst — travelers say this is a great place to buy souvenirs and touristy kitsch for your friends back home.

Wynwood Walls

You can't miss Wynwood Walls. An outdoor art museum set in Miami's Wynwood Arts District, it's hard to envision this area as the derelict warehouse neighborhood it once was. Thanks to the brilliant idea of Tony Goldman in 2009, Wynwood's blank walls were turned into a canvas for captivating and colorful murals and graffiti that have turned the area into one of the hottest tourist attractions in Miami. In fact, this fun spot is home to the world's largest collection of world-class street art in an urban setting.

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for kids 13 and over (younger children are free) for a self-guided tour. Entry includes access to the area's grounds, galleries, exhibitions, and solo shows. There's also a Street Art Experience on offer to teach tourists to spray paint. If you're hoping to gain more in-depth information about what you're seeing, sign up for an official "Inside the Walls" guided tour. Don't want to pay for a tour? No problem. You can wander around the outer area for free. With all that money you saved, visit Salt & Straw on 25th Street for some of the most delicious ice cream to ever melt in your mouth. Classics like sea salt with caramel ribbons and cinnamon snickerdoodle are tough to beat.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

You'll find the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in South Miami's Coconut Grove district, across from the barrier Island of Key Biscayne. An Italian-style villa built as a winter home by industrialist James Deering in the 1910s, this plush estate is an iconic point of interest in Miami. The gardens are lovely and immaculate, with fountains dotted throughout. The mansion itself harkens to its Gilded Age past, with multiple antiques, including art and furniture, spread throughout its 54 rooms. Plant lovers will be thrilled to travelerblog the European-inspired gardens that evoke Italy and France in the 17th and 18th centuries. Don't miss the beautiful orchids housed in the greenhouses — there are over 2,000 to enjoy.

Vizcaya is open to visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Wednesday through Monday. Tickets cost $25 per adult and $10 for children aged 6 to 12 (prices increase during peak season months, February and March). Kids under 6 enter for free. Due to the property's age, expect uneven floors and many steps, and travelers recommend bringing an umbrella for shade and suggest staying for two to three hours.

Zoo Miami

Traveling with kids? Take them to Zoo Miami, one of the city's hottest tourist attractions. A haven for animal lovers of all ages, this zoo houses over 2,500 creatures and enough activities to keep everyone happily entertained. The only subtropical zoo in the U.S., there are plenty of fun things to do, like feeding giraffes and parrots, having an encounter with a Pygmy hippo, or taking a River Ride. Visitors can also board a carousel, hop on a pedal boat, or take a safari tram tour. Tickets cost about $23 for adults and $19 for children. Kids 2 and under are free. The best part? You don't have to feel guilty about visiting this menagerie. Zoo Miami is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which means they have an excellent level of animal welfare and are committed to conservation efforts. In fact, this zoo works to protect and grow the population of 72 endangered and critically endangered species and supports 78 conservation programs worldwide.

Many travelers rave about the zoo being "underrated," and it is highly recommended as a place to visit for families seeking a fun adventure. Other travelers complain about the incessant heat, which can be hard to avoid when vacationing in Miami. Plan your tour early in the day to beat the highest temperatures, and make use of the splash pad and waterplay areas to help your kids cool off. 

Little Havana

Miami is a genuine cultural melting pot with a heavy lean towards Cuban culture. There are few places in the city where this will be felt more than in Little Havana. One of the hottest tourist attractions in Miami, this neighborhood is the place to be if you like salsa dancing, colorful street art, Cuban music, and flavorful Cuban food. Famed celebrity Chef Thomas Keller is no stranger to Little Havana, and he's been known to grab a coffee from Versailles Bakery, Miami's most famous Cuban eatery and one of Keller's favorite restaurants in Florida

Calle Ocho is Little Havana's must-visit main thoroughfare (a.k.a. Southwest 8th Street). Lined by the city's most authentic Cuban eateries, it's best to arrive here with plenty of room to consume. Other things to do in this vibrant neighborhood include watching a game of dominoes at Domino Park, learning to roll cigars at the Little Havana Cigar Factory, and attending the monthly Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) for a festive street party involving food, dancing, art, and music. When you aren't visiting tourist sites, hit up the award-winning restaurant bar, Cafe La Trova, best known for its handcrafted cocktails designed by famed Julio Cabrera and his staff.

Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures

Unleash your inner speed demon with a ride on a Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventure. Self-described as "Miami Vice Style," this tour is guaranteed to be one of the fastest (if not the actual fastest) cruises you've ever experienced. Taking only 45 minutes to pass celebrity mansions and other scenic locales on Star Island, Fisher Island, and Miami Beach, you'll get to see it all in one short trip, with enough time left over to enjoy other activities in Miami. Tours include friendly and knowledgeable guides to tell you who owns which property as you slow down near Millionaires Row. 

Tours run from 10 a.m. to sunset and depart every 90 minutes during the week and every 30 minutes on weekends, holidays, and summer weekdays. Still not convinced this fast ride's for you? Multiple reviewers say that this thrill ride was the highlight of their trip to Miami. Boats depart from Bayside Marketplace, so why not time your trip for a pre-or post-meal excursion? You can sate your palate with food from one of the many stellar restaurants while you're in the neighborhood.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

If you have a green thumb or just a deep-rooted love for flora and fauna, you should definitely add a visit to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to your trip. An 83-acre tropical wonderland set in South Miami, this beautiful garden is home to more than 3,400 species of plants. Divided into well-thought-out collections, tourists can find rare pentagonias and anthuriums in the Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House. The Montgomery Palmetum & Palm Collection houses 1,000 palms in a 13-acre spot, and the Richard H. Simons Rainforest is a serene spot to spend some quality time. With cascading waterfalls, trickling streams, and colorful orchids presenting a tranquil background, it's almost impossible to feel stressed. When you've finished your Zen moment, cool off with a refreshing drink and a tasty bite at the pretty Glasshouse Café.

The garden is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tickets cost about $25 for adults and $12 for children aged 6 to 17. Visitors under 6 are free. Travelers recommend visiting in cooler months (December through March) or early in the morning before the heat of the day becomes unbearable. They also recommend setting aside at least three hours for your visit to this top attraction.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

It's easy to see why the Pérez Art Museum (a.k.a. PAMM) is one of the hottest tourist attractions in Miami. First, it looks cool. Designed by award-winning Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the two floors of exhibition spaces are raised to prevent flooding. The effect is a floating sensation highlighted by the open-façade building. Loosely based on offshore stilt houses, the building is topped by a perforated roof to allow light to permeate the space. A lush hanging garden adds greenery to both the museum and the veranda.

Next, this museum highlights an impressive collection of modern and contemporary artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries. According to the museum, both the permanent and temporary exhibits are designed to "highlight Miami's diverse community and pivotal geographic position at the crossroads of the Americas." Tourists can expect to find a healthy dose of impressive Latin-American-focused creations as well as works from Miami-based artists and a focus on art from the Caribbean and Africa. You won't need to spend too much time here — remember, there are only two floors of exhibits — but you can prolong your stay with a meal of healthy seasonal fare at Verde. The bay-front views from this first-floor terrace restaurant are lovely. 

Miami Design District

Feeling chic? Add the Miami Design District to your trip. A funky and sleek neighborhood filled with some of the city's most innovative fashion and design finds, be prepared to give your wallet a workout in this upscale locale. Located around NE 39th St and NE 1st Avenue, this is where you'll find luxe stores like Balenciaga, Celine, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. If you're not in the market for designer wear, examine the art on display in both the streets and galleries dotted throughout the district. Christie's and the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami are located here, and you'll love taking a swing on GT2P: Conscious Actions, a Chilean-designed, playground-inspired creation located outside Cartier.

When hunger strikes, as it tends to do when you're in a city known for its food, you'll have plenty of fabulous restaurants to choose from. The Design District boasts some innovative and drool-worthy restaurants like the two Michelin-starred L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and the one Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse, Cote Miami. Pura Vida is a veggie-friendly eatery that is almost as pretty as it is good for you. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a tempting treat from Ladyfingrs Popsicles or Rosetta Bakery. We suggest arriving hungry! 

Everglades National Park

Vacationing in Florida without seeing a gator is like traveling to the Outback without seeing a kangaroo. Luckily, Everglades National Park is close enough to Miami (43 miles) to warrant a day trip, and a visit here will dramatically up your chances of seeing an alligator. While not technically in Miami, this is the closest, biggest, and, we'd argue, the best city to use as a base for exploring the Everglades (as the park is called by locals). This is widely considered the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Blanketing 1.5 million acres of three counties, massive doesn't seem to be a big enough word to describe this park's size. You certainly won't be able to travelerblog it all. 

Shark Valley is one of the Everglades' most popular tourist attractions. Located in the center of the freshwater marsh, tourists can bike or walk along the trails, climb a 70-foot tall observation tower, or hop on a Shark Valley Tram Tour to spy on some of the resident wildlife. Want to add some excitement to your trip? Take an airboat ride through the Everglades. Offered by multiple companies, these boats feature massive propellers at the back that are powered by jet engines or car motors, making them super-fast (they actually skim on top of the water) and super loud. Be sure to wear the ear protectors provided.

Oleta River State Park

Hoping to spot a manatee, stingray, or bottlenose dolphin during your trip to Maimi? Head to Oleta River State Park. A quick 30-minute drive from downtown, this natural wonderland is located on Biscayne Bay in North Miami Beach and is divided by the Oleta River. With so much water to travelerblog, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing the best place to kayak or canoe. The river winds its way through a mangrove forest, which is both scenic and more likely to play host to some of those marine creatures you are looking for. Those who really love to paddle can keep going for hours (or days) as the park is often used as a stop on the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. 

Don't have your own vessel? No worries, you can rent one onsite from the Oleta River Outdoor Center. They also offer bike and paddle board rentals as well as guided Eco Tours. If you'd rather stay dry, Florida's largest urban park is also home to a 1,200-foot beach, 15 miles of off-road bike trails, a 3-mile paved walking trail, and plenty of picnic tables and grills, which make it easy to enjoy a great lunch. Other fun things to do at this hot Miami tourist attraction are snorkeling, swimming, fishing, lounging on the beach, camping, and rollerblading. Arrive early, especially if you're visiting on a weekend, as the park often reaches capacity and closes for the day.

The Venetian Pool at Coral Gables

Sometimes, the idea of picking sand from every crevice after a beach day is less than appealing. That's when visiting a pool becomes one of the best things to do on a hot day in Miami. When that pool is the uniquely stunning Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, you're in for a treat. Actually, calling this landmark attraction a pool doesn't really do it justice. Once a limestone quarry, this historic pool (it dates to 1923) is filled with spring water from an underground aquifer, meaning your eyes and skin won't sting from chemicals.

Surrounding the crystalline water are historic, Mediteranean-inspired buildings, waterfalls, and cave-like grottos. Blink, and you'll think you're in Europe. There's also a children's pool. Bring your own towels and sunscreen and book tickets in advance –- they sell out on busy days (the tickets, not the sunscreen). Be warned, this pool is seasonal, only opening from spring to fall, so plan your trip accordingly if this tourist attraction tops your list of must-see landmarks in Miami.