2 or 3 days in Miami itinerary – five daily plans & maps

2 or 3 days in Miami will be enough time to get a good feel for the city.

Here are 5 Miami itineraries with daily detailed plans for couples, families, beach lovers, art & design addicted, and a bit of everything.

It would be pointless to suggest a romantic sunset boat trip to a family with three active children. I think you get the picture.

Let’s begin, without further ado

You can read also

2 or 3 days in Miami
2 or 3 days in Miami

2 or 3 days in Miami – in a nutshell

Would 2 or 3 days in Miami be sufficient to see the city and its many attractions?

In a nutshell, yes, especially if you have 3 days. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it so much.

With this guide, you will see a detailed day-by-day schedule for each type of itinerary, with the third day marked as optional (skip it if you will only be in Miami for 2 days).

Below is a map of the 7 most popular neighborhoods in Miami, where you will probably spend the majority of your time.

Best neighborhood to stay in Miami
Best neighborhood to stay in Miami
  • 2 or 3 days in Miami for couples: couples will love this city, both in the day and the night. One of the best experiences to do with your partner is a morning jet ski tour through Downtown, Biscayne Bay and the islands around Miami. Something to remember forever. Surely you should add a walk or a bike ride through the beautiful Art Deco buildings of South Beach. But there is so much more than that. Read below a daily plan for 2 or 3 days in Miami for couples
  • 2 or 3 days in Miami for families: this is a fantastic city for families with kids of any age. It’s not just the beach, perfect for some relaxing time, but also other attractions like the Children Museum, the Science Museum, the Zoo, the Everglades National Park, with crocodiles and dolphins, and I could keep going. Read more below for the best family itinerary
  • For beaches: Surely enough, South Beach is unmissable. In saying that there are other iconic beaches and hidden gems famous mostly among the locals as Hobie Beach or Bal Harbour Beach. You can easily spend your stay in Miami checking out all these possible options. Read more below on a 2 or 3 days beach itinerary in Miami
  • For art & culture: Miami is one of the most eclectic cities in the USA. In the last 20 years, the city has been transformed into a cultural, art and design hub with entire districts remodeled into open air exhibitions (I am thinking here of Wynwood). Museums, galleries and design center have opened in both the city and the beach area, famous for its art deco architecture. Having only 2 or 3 days in Miami can be limiting, however, plan well in advance and you will be surprised by how much you can experience. Read more below for the 2/3 days plan
  • For a bit of everything: Still not happy with all the options above. In this itinerary I mix a bit of everything, art, culture, beach time and sports activities. Read below for more details
Things to do in Miami
Things to do in Miami – Check and save my shared Google Map with places to visit, activities and restaurants/cafes/bars

How do you get around Miami?

Here are the options that you have:

  • public transportation: Visit the Miami Dade Transit website for timetables and maps
  • Taxi, Uber, and Lyft are all good options. Usually the quickest way to go from A to B, but also the most expensive one. Lyft is generally the cheapest of the three providers.
  • If you are in Miami Beach, you should consider using a bike. A great place to cycle and stop for a few photos by the art deco buildings and the beach. It is possible to rent the bike here or even take a guided art deco bike tour to discover the iconic sites as well as the little gems.

For great peace of mind, most, if not all, of the organised activities suggested in this post offer 100% money back guarantee in case of cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

If visiting during a busy time like the school holidays, I usually book everything weeks before the trip. If my plans change, I cancel what is no longer necessary. So simple and effective.

2 or 3 days in Miami for couples

Day 1 – Jet Ski and Little Havana

In the morning, take one of the most unique experiences in Miami, absolutely outstanding.

Get a different perspective of Miami by getting on a jet ski and exploring it from the water

This organised 2.5 hours jet ski tour will take you through Miami Downtown, Biscayne Bay (between Miami Beach and Miami City), Brickell Key, Fisher Island, and many other stunning locations.

It is an experience you will remember for a lifetime. There is also a hotel pickup included, which makes life a lot easier.

Jet Ski in Miami

Miami downtown city skyline.
Miami downtown city skyline.

In the afternoon, head out to Little Havana to get your Latin on with your partner.

It’s a cultural treat that will give you plenty to talk about and experience, from the traditions, sights and sounds, even get into some merengue or salsa, and dance away to Caribbean music.

Make it a late night out by visiting the Ball & Chain for a Cuban dinner and live music.

Day 2 – Art, design and Skyviews

Slow things down with a trip to the spacious Museum of Art and Design, which focuses on modern and contemporary art from both established and emerging artists from around the world. 

You can also visit the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science that’s packed with weather and tech exhibits.

From the aquarium that takes you on a journey deep into the sea, to the Frost Planetarium with its 16-million-color 8K projection that launches you to the far reaches of outer space, it will be an enthralling trip.

For the afternoon, head out to the Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel and take in the views of the Miami Beach and Downtown Miami skyline with your significant other. 

Buy the priority tickets online to skip the queue during the busy weekends and school holidays

Later, take this 90-minute sunset sightseeing cruise with happy hour drinks.

Day 3 (optional) – South Beach

On the last day of your vacation, take some time to chill out in one of the most iconic places in the world.

Swim or surf at the turquoise waters of the iconic South Beach or relax on the white sand for some sunbathing.

There is plenty of space and good restaurants around for you to grab a bite.

Rent a bike to explore Mid Beach or even the quiet North Beach.

Dance the night away at the snug Do Not Sit On The Furniture nightclub that features guest DJs drawn from around the world, a favourite for house or techno music lovers.

Accommodations and experiences for couples:

2 or 3 days in Miami for families

Day 1 – Seaquarium & Children’s Museum

Start your family holiday with swimming with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium.

Here, you will get up close and personal with marine life, including interacting with seals, touching sharks, and learning about endangered turtles. 

In the afternoon, the little ones will love a visit to the Miami Children’s Museum.

This complex has hands-on interactive exhibits for children of all ages as they hop around from station to station. 

Are you more into a relaxing afternoon?

Hit the beach for some sun and sand. For the grown up, rent a board for some surfing.

Day 2 – Everglades

Your Miami trip won’t be complete without a DIY day trip to the Everglades National Park with its diverse wildlife, including gators, roseate spoonbills, turtles, herons and manatees.

Take your lunch with you and go on a drive through the park, and take the kids out on quick hikes by the roadside. 

Book an airboat tour and wildlife show, a must once you are on site.

Alternatively, if you are travelling with grown-up kids, check out this unique Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Eco-Tour, 3 hours of pure fun.

You don’t have a car? 

Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park

Day 3 (optional) – Botanical Garden & Zoo Miami

Spend this morning at the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden.

You will find some amazing attractions like:

  • the Wings of the Tropics, a spectacular exhibit with over 40 butterfly species flying around
  • displays of orchids and tropical plants
  • the Expedition Discovery, where you can let your kids’ inner-explorer, discover hidden corners and plants from around the world

You can stroll through it or take a tram tour. Bring your own or buy some food to have a family picnic.

In the afternoon, keep driving south or take a taxi/Uber (10 miles) to the Zoo Miami and meet the wildlife drawn from the different regions of the world.

Take your family on an educational tour with exotic animals from Asian tigers, African elephants to jaguars with roots in the Amazon.

Buy the priority tickets online to skip the queue during the busy weekends and school holidays

Accommodations and experiences for families:

2 or 3  days in Miami for beaches

Day 1 – Zoo Miami

Locals call it SoBe, and it’s the beach all others in the region are compared to – making South Beach a must-visit.

Soft sand for miles, you can go swimming, sunbathing, engage in activities like beach volleyball, trailers parked around with ice cream treats and refreshing drinks – it’s got it all. 

Take some time to drive around the Art Déco Buildings, seeing how they blend with modern architecture, or bike around with a guide on a 2-hour tour where you learn about Miami and South Beach, visiting the famous spots of the region. 

Day 2 – Hobie beach

Have a dog?

Then check out Hobie beach, one of Miami’s top dog-friendly beaches.

It’s also great for watersports, be it windsurfing, hopping on a jet-ski and also boating.

The shallow waters close to the beach also make it safe for those with kids, and for those out in the water kayaking or surfing, you’ll get superb views of Miami’s skyscrapers and natural mangrove estuaries.

The Miami Seaquarium is a 5-minute drive from the Hobie Island Beach Park, so you can take an afternoon trip there and swim with seals and dolphins.

It’s a family-favourite spot, where you interact with marine life, including penguins, turtles, and even bamboo sharks. 

Soho Beach House in Mid-Beach
Soho Beach House in Mid-Beach

Day 3 (optional) – Bal Harbour Beach

Head out to the quiet, open spaces of the Bal Harbour Beach in the North Beach area.

This small stretch is actually one of the most luxurious spots in the region, even featuring the high-end Ritz-Carlton and the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort – so you’ll likely be rubbing shoulders with the wealthy people on this spot of soft, white sand. 

With time in your day, you can also drive up to Oleta River State Park, an urban park with everything from biking and picnicking, kayaking and paddle board rentals, to fishing and horseback riding. You can even camp here.

Accommodations and experiences:

Three days for art & culture

Miami has been always a city of mixed cultures, with a significant influence from the Spanish-speaking community, especially the Cuban one.

The city has a great international feeling and it is not uncommon to walk in the street and hearing people talking different languages, besides English.

In the last 20 years, Miami has also become one of the most arty city in the States with regular exhibitions, new museums and galleries.

In fact, the city is today world famous for one of the biggest street art installations, in a district rehabilitated from dilapidated warehouses and factories.

Day 1 – Little Havana & Design District

Start your vacation with a morning visit to the Little Havana District, a corner of Cuba in the States where you will get to experience cigars shop, rum bars and live salsa music in the streets of this beautiful area.

Start your exploration at the Visitor’s Center in Calle Ocho, the heart of the district, where you can check out what’s happening in the area and you can buy a memory to take back home.

Other spots that you should not miss include:

You could literally spend the entire day, just wondering between the streets and alleys.

For lunch, have a look at the characteristic Ball & Chain for its typical Cuban food and live music.

Alternatively, join this Cuban food and art tour that will guide you through the district, visiting the local galleries and restaurants, tasting the Cuban cuisine. Lunch is also included in the tour, making it a real bargain.

In the afternoon, head down to the Design District and start your walk from the historic 1921 Moore Building.

Then, make your way to the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Every second Saturday of the month, there is also an open-air Design District Art Walk.

Street art in Little Havana - next to the Little Havana Cigar Factory
Street art in Little Havana – next to the Little Havana Cigar Factory

Day 2 – Wynwood & Rubell Museum

This is a full day dedicated to the Wynwood Art District, north of Miami Downtown.

Wynwood is one of the world’s biggest street art installations, a unique experience.

Walk through the streets and alleys and visit one or more galleries, like the Wynwood Walls.

You can also think of joining this guided walking tour for more of an inside of the area.

If you have some spare time left, you can walk down to the Rubell Museum, just 1 mile west of the Wynwood District.

This is one of the best private contemporary art museums in the world.

Day 3 (optional) – Art déco

This is more of a relaxing day that you can eventually swap with day 2.

Head down to South Beach to discover the art déco buildings on Ocean Drive and around.

Add to your list

  • the Celino Hotel, that dates back to 1937
  • 1936’s Beacon South Beach Hotel
  • the 1935 Colony Hotel
  • the Carlyle that was completed in 1942 and has featured in movies like Scarface and Bad Boys II
  • and, of course, the classic Miami Beach U.S. Post Office

A great way to explore the area is by joining this 2-hour Art Deco Bike Tour with a guide that will take you to the iconic places as well as the little gems.

For a glamour lunch and afternoon, go to the restaurant and pool at Strawberry Moon.

Alternatively, have a swim in South Beach after a meal at the classic Havana 1957

Accommodations and experiences:

For a bit of everything

From beaches to sports activities, museums and iconic attractions, this itinerary has a bit of everything.

Day 1 – Everglades & Miami Zoo

Make this day all about wildlife.

Start things on a high with a morning visit to the Everglades National Park.

This tropical wetland comes with loads of wildlife, from alligators and crocodiles,to manatees, fish and numerous bird species.

Book directly on-line an airboat ride and wildlife show to Everglades and you will be picked up from Miami. That easy.

You will be back by lunchtime in Miami.

In the afternoon, head to the Miami Zoo, the only subtropical zoo in continental US spread over the 750 acres of land, with animals from the entire planet.

Alternatively, if you prefer to stay downtown, spend the second part of the day at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, packed with weather and tech exhibits.

It will be an enthralling trip, whether you visit the aquarium, that will take you deep into the sea, or the Frost Planetarium with its 16-million-color 8K projections.

Day 2 – Flight Tour

Start your day on a high note with a 30 minutes or a 60 minutes flight over Miami City, Miami Beach, the spectacular mansions and islands with magnificent views all over.

The 60-minute flight is highly recommended if you can afford the price difference.

Once you’re up in the air and you see those stunning views, you’ll regret taking the 30 minutes flight.

price 30 minutes flight   price 60 minutes flight

View from the flight over South Beach
View from the flight over South Beach

Spend the remaining part of the day chilling out at one of the below beaches:

  • Lummus Park where you might also bump into movie sets, as this is a popular film shoot spot
  • The iconic South Beach, the most popular choice, be it for sunbathing or watersports
  • Crandon Park that’s less crowded than SoBe and has a picturesque boardwalk
  • Bal Harbour Beach for a feel of the luxurious life
  • The dog-friendly Haulover Beach complete with a Bark Park – a playground for your furry friend
  • The lush South Pointe Park Pier with well-maintained walking trails and jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic

Go Latin for the night, sipping Mojtos and getting your salsa on with a live band at South Beach.

Day 3 (optional) – Vizcaya & Museum of Art and Design

Close off your trip in 2 different ways:

  • art and design: start in the morning with the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens for the artistry and opulence of the architecture, gardens and sculptures of the 1914 mansion. In the afternoon, head to Museum of Art and Design for exhibits of the new age – including both legendary artists and upcoming names.
  • culture and architecture: have a stroll in the morning through Little Havana for the Cuban experience, where you can even have a guided art&food tour that takes you through the neighborhood’s highlights. In the afternoon, head to South Beach for a tour of the Art Deco area, with so many interesting buildings that will leave you open mouth. DIY by either walking through the streets or renting a bike to make things a bit easier (and less tiring). For a better understanding of the area as well as the Deco Architecture, take this organised bike trip that will guide through the iconic site and the little gems.

Accommodations and experiences:

Boardwalks in the swamp in Everglades National Park
Boardwalks in the swamp in Everglades National Park
Walking in Ocean Drive is like walking in an open air art-deco museum
Walking in Ocean Drive is like walking in an open air art-deco museum
Colours of Miami Beach
Colours of Miami Beach
Kitesurfing in the quieter North Beach
Kitesurfing in the quieter North Beach
Ocean Drive at night
Ocean Drive at night
The Versace Mansion in Miami Beach
The Versace Mansion in Miami Beach
Museum of Ice Cream - Miami Beach
Museum of Ice Cream – Miami Beach
Beautiful architecture of Miami Beach
Beautiful architecture of Miami Beach
Miami - View to downtown from the Cruise Terminal
Miami – View to downtown from the Cruise Terminal
View to Downtown and the Brickell district
View to Downtown and the Brickell district
Inside Brickell skyline, south of Downtown
Inside Brickell skyline, south of Downtown
Clubbing and nightlife are great in both Miami Beach and Miami Downtown
Clubbing and nightlife are great in both Miami Beach and Miami Downtown

Leave a Comment