Miami’s neighborhoods are so diverse, it’s amazing they're all under the umbrella of one city. But the truth is, the diversity and culture that makes up South Florida’s largest city is also what makes it one of the most exciting places to visit. From the food choices, to the music, and the languages you’ll hear on the street, Miami is truly one of a kind.
This once run-down neighborhood is now one of the hottest areas in the city. Over the past 10 years, Wynwood has transformed into an artist and hipster paradise. The neighborhood boasts some of the best restaurants in Miami and has art galleries and artisanal coffee shops galore. It’s a friendly neighborhood full of eclectic people, and there is always something going on from yoga to farmers markets. Don’t leave without checking out the Wynwood Walls, and definitely get a cup of coffee at Miam.
Miami’s financial district is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. Brickell used to be known as the place of law firms, banks, and other nine-to-five offices along Brickell Avenue, and once the work day ended, the neighborhood became a ghost town. But with the onslaught of millennials looking for cheaper housing around 2005, Brickell experienced a resurgence and now resembles downtown Manhattan more than anything else. Tourists and Miamians alike love this upscale neighborhood that would fill any city-lover's heart with joy. Today, Brickell is bustling at any time of day or night. With luxury hotels and condos, world-class restaurants, and its proximity to South Beach, Brickell is a great destination spot for a tropical city escape.
Known as the home of the Haitian Diaspora, Little Haiti is vibrant Miami neighborhood full of color, music, and amazing food. Over the years, Little Haiti has come to be known for its authentic Caribbean Market and island art scene. Every third Friday of the month, the community hosts "Sounds of Little Haiti," an outdoor bazar full of unique art, live Haitian music, and plenty of Haitian food. Be sure to visit Libreri Mapou Bookstore while you’re in the area as it’s the largest collection of French and Creole literature in the country, and the owner, Jan Mapou, is full of incredible stories of old Haiti. Grab lunch or a happy hour at Churchill’s Pub down the street—not a Haitian joint, but nevertheless, a staple of this bustling neighborhood.
Possibly one of the most famous neighborhoods in Miami, South Beach is known for its over-the-top party scene, art deco architecture, and of course, beautiful beaches. It is the most popular Miami destination and rightfully so. By day, South Beach is a great place to brunch, shop along Lincoln Road, tour the art deco architecture, or just relax by the beach. By night, the neighborhood becomes a massive party zone. From clubs to bars to dance halls, it won’t be fun if you’re under 21. If you’re looking for a more relaxing South Beach trip, steer clear during spring break as South Beach tends to get inundated with college students who like to party.
Walk down Calle Ocho, the main drag in Little Havana, and you’ll be immersed in Cuban culture. The street is lined with sidewalk cafes serving up the freshest Cuban coffee and fruit batidos, and there's no shortage of authentic Cuban restaurants and grocery stores. Little Havana is a proud neighborhood, and if you visit during the last Friday of the month you’ll see that firsthand. Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays, is an outdoor cultural festival of art, music, and food.
The most famous attraction in Coral Gables is the Venetian Pool, but the Coral Gables neighborhood is so much more than that. It’s an affluent area with lots of modern boutiques and foodie-friendly restaurants. Although the area is home to a few breathtaking hotels, The Biltmore being one of them, it’s one downfall is its distance from the beach. To spend the day by the water, head to the Venetian Pool— architecture fans will especially love the area as many of the original 1920s buildings still stand today.
If you love walking or biking by the water, head to Coconut Grove. This pedestrian-friendly neighborhood boasts a boho vibe and Bahamian influence. It’s a colorful area filled with friendly people who love being outdoors. Coconut Grove is also an old neighborhood rich in history, so if that is your interest, be sure to take a walking tour by the water or head over to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. You can also check out the beautiful Biscayne Bay, which is a great place to relax if you’re looking for something a bit tamer than the ocean.
This upscale residential area is known for its world-class shopping and is home to the Aventura Mall, the largest mall in Miami with over 280 shops and six department stores. Although not much of a tourist attraction on its own, this Miami suburb is great for families. All the condos and majority of the homes in the area have beautiful landscaped pools, and you’re close to the ocean, too. During the winter months, when visitor levels are at their peak, you’ll find the Aventura Farmers Market set up in the center court of the Aventura Mall. It’s a great place for unique finds, fresh flowers, and delicious exotic fruit.
Just north of Brickell, you’ll find the Downtown Miami neighborhood. This is a great area to explore, shop, and learn about Miami’s rich history. The Downtown Miami area was home to one of Miami’s original hotels, Henry Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel. It is also home to some more modern attractions like American Airlines Arena, where the Miami Heat plays. Downtown Miami is a great place to explore with unique shops, bustling bars and restaurants, parks, and museums.
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal is the barrier island of Sunny Isles. It’s a laid-back, mostly residential area filled with friendly people with a sunny disposition, just like their neighborhood. One unique trait of the area is its double-sided beach access. Because Sunny Isles is technically an island, you can take your choice of ocean or the waterway. If you’re staying at a Sunny Isles resort, beach access will be easy. But for those driving in for the day, look for the municipal lot near the Walgreens at 174th street or the lot at Heritage Park. Both are near public beach access, and you won’t get a ticket for parking there.
Miami Design District
Located north of midtown Miami, the Design District is where creativity, fashion, and art collide. Home to over 130 art galleries, designer showrooms, creative agencies, and high-end fashion stores, the Design District is a source of everything beautiful. Prada, Gucci, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton are just a few of the big-name showrooms in the neighborhood. Some of Miami’s best restaurants are also in the Design District. Culinary genius Michael Schwartz’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is one of the best spots in the area. The Design District is also one of the Art Basal sites. Be sure to check the show’s schedule for exact events in the area.