The chic capital of South Florida draws visitors from far and wide — whether you’re interested in a nonstop dance party, vegging out on the beach, or getting a lesson in art history, you can do it all and more in Miami! But what if you only have one day in this sun-soaked town? Should you skip it?
Grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, and floppy hat; this one-day itinerary will help you plan how to spend one epic day in Miami!
Insider’s tip: Check these genius tips and tricks to save money on your flights.
How to Spend A Full Day in Miami
Where to Stay for One Night in Miami
Since you only have one night in Miami, it’s important that you make the most of it and choose somewhere fantastic — South Beach.
When most people think of Miami, South Beach is usually what first pops into their minds. The trendy area is well known for celeb sightings, an all-night party scene, and beautiful beaches.
Even if you’re not a partier, it is still a perfect neighborhood in Miami to base yourself on to explore the city, and it’s where you will end the day — that way, you don’t have to walk too far!
A few terrific hotel options include:
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140
The Goodtime Hotel
601 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, 33139
When is the Best Time to Visit Miami?
For great weather and non-peak hotel prices, it’s best to visit Miami in March-May. The weather is also terrific in November-February, but this time frame is considered high season, so expect to pay more for everything and share Miami with more visitors. If you do decide to visit in January, don’t miss the weeklong SEED Food and Wine Festival — it’s one of the best vegan events in the US!
If you were considering visiting in the summer, get ready for the heat.! The temperatures average in the high 80s-90s (26-32 Celsius) with humidity (the humidity is worse than the actual temperature). Keep in mind that hurricane season in Miami is from mid-August – October. The area can receive torrential rain and damaging winds, which would ruin your vacation.
Miami One-Day Itinerary
Good Mornin’, Miami!
There is no sleeping in today; this itinerary is jam-packed with some of the best sights and eats in Miami. So, if you were considering hitting the snooze button, think again!
We’re kicking off this one-day Miami itinerary in the hip and vibrant neighborhood of Wynwood with breakfast at the laid-back Love Life Café. Get in the spirit with their Miami Breakfast special (veggie scrambled eggs with jackfruit carne, black beans, and a plant power arepa), but if that’s not your jam, keep it simple with a fruit-powered açaí bowl. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed!
Afterward, wander through Wynwood and appreciate the diverse street art that brings the neighborhood to life — it’s one of the most unique things to do in Miami! To learn a little more about the area, visit Wynwood Walls, the renowned street art museum that features artists from around the world and helped revitalize this neighborhood.
The indoor/outdoor museum features wall murals, paintings, and sculptures made with a variety of interesting materials — it took 75,000 gallons of paint, and 100,000 spray cans, used by over 100 artists from 21 different countries to bring this museum to life! An official tour provides unique insight into the murals, and there are also other tours that explore the art throughout the neighborhood and its evolution.
After exploring this creative neighborhood, we’re headed south to enjoy the lush green space at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
There is no better place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Miami than the stunning Fairchild Botanic Gardens. You can easily spend hours here wandering through the special collections and expertly tended gardens that include rare palms and one of the only fragrant cannonball trees in the United States.
But what you really can’t miss is the Wings of Tropics butterfly garden. This temperature-controlled indoor garden is home to over 40 types of colorful exotic butterflies from Latin America. In addition to watching the butterflies flitter through the gardens, you might also get lucky and catch their transformation as they emerge from chrysalises in real-time at the Vollmer Metamorphosis Lab.
After all of that walking, you’re probably more than ready for lunch and a snack.
Dumplings, Noodles, and Pastries, Oh My!
Since we’re headed back towards downtown Miami, there is no better place to stop for lunch than one of Miami’s best Asian-inspired spots, Minty Z in Coconut Grove. Your taste buds are in for a flavor party — an addictive mix of chili, ginger, and sesame will have you dreaming of their cuisine for days. Unless you’re not feeling very hungry, forget about trying to decide what to order and dive into one of their chef’s tasting menus — just make sure you save room for dessert at our next stop!
For dessert, you’ve got to head just around the corner to a jaw-dropping French patisserie — L’Artisane Bakery & Bistro. Seriously, you won’t forget this spot!
With one step inside L’Artisane, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to pastry heaven. Inside the glistening counters are rows of light and flaky croissants and stylish pastries — they are almost too gorgeous to eat — almost is the keyword!
It’s pretty much guaranteed that your eyes will be bigger than your stomach, so grab an extra croissant for later or on the plane ride home.
No trip to Miami is complete without exploring chic South Beach, affectionately known as SoBe. The area is famed for its nonstop nightlife, art galleries, shopping, spas, architecture, and of course, the beach! Make sure you wander along Ocean Drive and appreciate the architecture; you’ll notice a lot of Art Deco — Miami is home to the largest collection of Art Deco in the US!
There is a lot to take in throughout South Beach. If you love shopping, don’t miss the mile-long Lincoln Road outdoor shopping mall. After you’ve had enough sightseeing in the area, give your feet a break and snooze under a beach umbrella. There’s no better spot for an afternoon nap.
But don’t rest too long, because dinner is coming up!
The Perfect Nightcap
We’re sticking to chic South Beach for dinner, but you’ve got a choose-your-own-adventure dinner challenge!
Either glam up for a sophisticated plant-based fine-dining experience at the famed PLANTA South Beach (don’t miss the sweet and tangy coconut ceviche!) or relax on Full Bloom’s cozy patio with a globally inspired mix of flavorful cuisine.
After dinner, if you’re feeling up for it, grab a drink and enjoy some of the lively entertainment on Espanola Way. This street was originally home to an artists’ colony in the 1920s, but today the pedestrian-only street is filled with restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment.
If you’ve brought your dancing shoes, then make sure you don’t skip the clubs on Ocean Drive — by this point, the party will be well underway.
Find More Time in Miami
If you end up having more time and want to explore more of Miami or South Florida, there are still a ton of things to do and see! Consider taking a day trip to one of the best National Parks, The Florida Everglades. You can explore the park on your own or join an eco-kayak tour.
While in Miami, be sure not to miss the eclectic shops at Upper Buena Vista, explore Little Havana, or learn more about Miami’s love affair with Art Deco.
Rebecca is the creator of the vegan travel blog Veggies Abroad, which showcases mouthwatering lineups of vegan food, action-packed travel guides, and everything else a vegan or veg-curious traveler needs!