Real Estate

Discovering Miami, FL: 17 Premier Bucket List Activities

Miami is a vibrant city on the coast of Florida, where a fusion of history, culture, and innovation converge against the backdrop of stunning coastal scenery. Nestled on the southeastern tip of the Sunshine State, Miami boasts a geographical location that not only provides year-round warmth and sunshine but also serves as a gateway to the Americas via its Atlantic Ocean port.

Culture thrives in Miami, with the city’s cultural landscape being as dynamic as it is captivating. But Miami’s allure extends far beyond its cultural offerings. With its breathtaking beaches, lush parks, and picturesque waterfront vistas, the city boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. So whether you are considering renting an apartment, buying a home or just visiting the city for a quick weekend trip, check out these amazing must-experience bucket list activities recommended by seasoned Miami locals. 

Miami bucket list: Top attractions

One great way to make the most of your Miami experience is to explore some of the city’s most prominent neighborhoods:

1. Tour the Wynwood neighborhood: One cannot miss the eclectic neighborhood of Wynwood which is home to a true gem: Wynwood Walls. This outdoor museum showcases larger-than-life murals and street art created by renowned artists from around the world. Lavina from Continent Hop is a proponent of the Wynwood Walls experience, saying: “As a new resident, if you’ve never visited Miami before you need to visit Wynwood Walls to check for the newest colorful murals which are always done beautifully!” Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply looking to experience something truly unique, Wynwood Walls offers a one-of-a-kind journey into the soul of Miami’s thriving art scene.

2. Cool off with AC’s Icees: It’s no secret that temperatures can soar in Miami, but you can always beat the heat with a refreshing icee from AC’s Icees in Coconut Grove. Daniel from Blue Collar Miami clued us into how he entertains visitors to the area: “The first thing I do when I have visitors to Miami is a drive to AC’s Icees in the grove. Their frozen lemonade is an institution and always hits the spot on a hot day. Then it’s nice to take a stroll, icee in hand around the grove.” With a wide range of flavors to choose from, this local gem is a favorite among residents and visitors alike.

3. Explore Coconut Grove: After hitting up AC’s Icees for a sweet treat, if you’re still in the area Stella from Stellar Miami Tours has a few more recommendations for how to spend some time in Coconut Grove: “My favorite part of Miami is Coconut Grove. I suggest spending the day biking the Commodore Trail, having lunch in the village and visiting The Barnacle State Park.”

Brickell and Downtown Miami Aerial

4. Stroll around Brickell: Explore Miami’s bustling financial district with a leisurely stroll through Brickell. Andres from Brickell.com shared some of the area’s highlights with us: “Brickell is super walkable! You can stroll from your condo to a cozy café for brunch, then wander down to the waterfront for some fresh air. There are sidewalks everywhere, and with all the shops, restaurants, and parks close by, you won’t even need a car most days. Plus, the views along the way are always a bonus – skyscrapers on one side, palm trees swaying on the other.” If you’re in the Miami area, don’t miss out on the vibrant energy of this dynamic neighborhood.

5. Commemorate your experiences with a photoshoot: To wrap up your neighborhood adventures, capture your Miami memories in style against the backdrop of Miami’s iconic landmarks. Misha of Quality Media Photo and Video, an expert in capturing the magic of Miami experiences, recommends that newcomers “Schedule a photoshoot to capture the beginning of their new adventures” and has memorialized experiences “at the most iconic Miami locations, from South Beach to Wynwood.” 

Water-based Miami bucket list items

Miami is well known for its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which offers many exciting water-based activities. Our local experts have sent through their best suggestions for how to spend your time in the water:

6. Oleta River State Park Full Moon Kayak Tour: If hopping in a kayak sounds like your cup of tea, Rosalie from Coastlines to Skylines has got you covered with this recommendation: “Experience the magic of Oleta River State Park on a full-moon kayak tour. Under the glow of the moon, you’ll explore the park’s waterways while soaking in the wonders of the mangroves. The tour brings you to a hidden beach on Sandspur Island where you can roast marshmallows and share stories with fellow adventurers under a breathtaking canopy of stars. This unforgettable experience is a perfect way for new Miamians to discover the city’s natural beauty and hidden gems. Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other nature enthusiasts and create lasting memories.”

7. Go on a slough slog in Everglades National Park: Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of the Everglades with a guided slough slog. Tova from Tova Photography shared this fun blurb about the experience: “New residents to Miami should go on a slough slog in Everglades National Park with a park ranger. It’s a unique, immersive nature experience outside of the city that will leave a lasting impression.” So if you’re up for it, trek through waist-deep water, encounter native wildlife, and gain a deeper appreciation for this unique ecosystem at Everglades National Park.

Everglades Wildlife

8. Dive into the South Florida Reef: The South Florida Reef offers various dive, snorkeling and glass boat experiences for anyone interested in getting their feet wet in the Reef. “Join us out on the beautiful waters of South Florida and enjoy the reef firsthand. We have dive trips and two glass bottom boat/snorkel trips going out every day. Perfect for novice swimmers and divers alike.” Says Katrina from Sea Experience.

All-day entertainment

Looking for a one-stop-shop location to kill a few hours? The following areas and experiences offer various sorts of entertainment all in one place!

9. Experience Gulfstream Park: Nestled in the heart of Hallandale Beach, Gulfstream Park offers a unique blend of horse racing, gaming, dining, and entertainment. Local photographer Olga, of SFLPhoto.com, describes the area as offering “a unique blend of entertainment, shopping, and dining that you can’t find anywhere else.” While commending the park for its family-friendly atmosphere and variety of shopping and dining options, Olga also praised the racetrack, expressing that the races are “Absolutely thrilling, providing an unexpected but delightful experience for those who have never watched horse racing live.” 

10. Visit Coral Gables: Step into the timeless elegance of Coral Gables, known for its Mediterranean Revival architecture, lush greenery, and charming streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Caroline from Café Grumpy gave us some pro tips on how to spend an afternoon at the Gables: “I love walking around the Gables with a cold brew coffee in hand! We are lucky to be based next to the historic H. George Fink studio building which is a must-see. From there head to Books and Books to browse new releases and grab lunch on their outdoor patio. Then cross the street and check out a film at Coral Gables Art Cinema.” If you have a few free hours in the Miami Area, consider spending them at Coral Gables!

11. Dine at Mandolin: If you’re seeking a fine dining experience, look no further than Mandolin. “When it comes to dining experiences in Miami, Mandolin reigns supreme. This enchanting Mediterranean gem exudes romance and allure, particularly with its picturesque patio setting. From tantalizing dishes to a carefully curated wine list, Mandolin leaves no palate unsatisfied.” Says Madison from Flow & Wander.

Social destinations to check off your Miami bucket list

If you’re looking for local events to interact with other fun-loving Miami residents, Cristy and Camila of Kush Hospitality came through with these great recommendations for how to spend your evening:  

12. Check out local cultural events: Drag Trivia Happy Hour at Kush Brickell: “Join us every Saturday for Drag Trivia Happy Hour at Kush Brickell! Test your trivia smarts and enjoy fabulous Aperol drink specials in a vibrant, inclusive atmosphere. Our lively drag hosts will keep the laughs coming and the competition fierce. Don’t miss out on the fun and a chance to win some great prizes—perfect for kicking off your weekend in style!”

Bar/Restaurant

Salsa Night at La Cocina in Hialeah: “Step into the rhythm of Salsa Night at La Cocina in Hialeah! Join us for a free salsa class led by the energetic instructors from Salsa Fit Studio. After you’ve mastered your moves, enjoy our all-night happy hour specials that keep the spirits high and the drinks flowing. Whether you’re a salsa pro or just finding your feet, this is the perfect way to spice up your night with vibrant music, delicious cocktails, and great company.”

If the experiences listed above don’t tickle your fancy, here are a few other amazing activities recommended by stellar Miami locals:

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Waterfall

13. Visit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: Step back in time at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a stunning estate built in the early 20th century. Miami Fine Art Gallery had this to say about the experience: “As a new resident, you’ve gotta put a visit to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens at the top of your list! It’s like stepping into a fairytale right here in Miami. Wander through the lavish villa, soak up the stunning views of Biscayne Bay from the gardens, and immerse yourself in the rich history and breathtaking art that Vizcaya has to offer, giving you a glimpse into the grandeur of Miami’s past.”

14. Visit South Pointe Park: Want to immerse yourself in beautiful scenery? Look no further than South Pointe Park! “If you’re new to Miami, you should definitely put a picnic and beach day at South Pointe Park on your bucket list. Government Cut and South Pointe Beach are the highlights of the park, which is family-friendly and even has a designated area for dogs. Watching cruise ships sail in and out of the Port of Miami is a popular activity, especially in the morning or afternoon. For a more upscale experience, dine at Smith & Wollensky Restaurant with spectacular views of Government Cut.” Says Andres from Miami Daily Life.

15. Take a guided tour: If you want to get a taste for a host of Miami experiences all in one excursion, look no further than a guided tour. Tour experts at Miami Best Tours recommend that tourists go on the “Hop On Hop Off tour, where the tourist has the opportunity to board an open double-decker bus, have a guide on board, and take a tour of the main historical and notable sites of the city.”

South Pointe Park Shore and Buildings

16. Schedule a destination portrait session: For the ultimate commemoration of your Miami experiences, document your adventure with a destination portrait session. Vanessa from Vanessa and Johnny Photography and Films has the hook up for “local photographers who know all the cool spots. From hidden beaches to urban street art, we’ll capture you against the backdrop of the region’s most iconic and off-the-beaten-path locations.” Whether you’re posing against iconic landmarks or exploring hidden gems off the beaten path, an expert photographer can help capture the magic of your Miami experience.

Miami Design District

Last but most certainly not least, we were lucky enough to gain some amazing insight on Miami’s famous Design District from local superstar Eleanor Hoh of Wok Star Eleanor Hoh

17. “The Miami Design District is a captivating introduction to Miami, offering luxury brand shopping, art and design immersion, trailblazing fashion brands, and cultural experiences with diverse dining options. Developer and art collector, Craig Robins of Dacra envisioned the Miami Design District two decades ago, dreaming of a vibrant neighborhood spanning four city blocks. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by ever-changing whimsical art murals and sculptures dotted all over.”

Eleanor also came through with an absolute gem of a recommendation for how to Enjoy a Perfect Day in Miami Design District:

  • “Antonio Bachour’s Tablé is a stylish spot to enjoy croissants and colorful pastries.”
  • “Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, serves up delicious, seasonal dishes in a newly renovated restaurant with a lovely outdoor terrace (my favorite is the crispy pork belly with kimchi).”
  • “For a more casual dining experience with over 10 vendors offering everything from sushi to Israeli cuisine, there’s Mia Market on the upper level in Palm Court.”Mia Market

Eleanor even threw in one last tip to help make the most of all that the Design District has to offer: “Sign up for the Miami Design District events calendar—many events are complementary.”

Miami bucket list takeaways

As you plan your Miami adventure, take into consideration the myriad experiences listed here that may paint your journey. From the thrill of Gulfstream Park to the tranquil beauty of the South Florida Reef, each activity has the potential to weave a unique tapestry of memories. Whether you fantasize about immersing yourself in the timeless charm of Coral Gables or dancing the night away at Salsa Night in Hialeah, Miami’s offerings are diverse and captivating. And remember, whether you’re back at AC’s for an icee or embarking on a new adventure, Miami will always welcome you with open arms.


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