Ultimate 3 Day Weekend in Miami Itinerary (For First Time Visitors!)

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Located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, Miami is lucky enough to have some of the best year-round weather in the country, and it’s the perfect destination for a long weekend of sun, sea, and sand.

3 days in Miami is the perfect amount of time to enjoy the best that this city has to offer. You can spend time on Miami Beach, enjoy the great restaurants and nightlife, and of course the epic city skyline.

You can explore museums and galleries, enjoy the excellent Floridian climate and make the most of your Miami itinerary.

Here’s our ultimate guide to spending the weekend in Miami!

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Miami & the Keys

Ultimate Weekend in Miami Itinerary

Day 1 of 3 Days in Miami

South Beach - weekend in Miami

The first day of your Miami itinerary begins at the iconic South Beach. Get acquainted with this famed part of the city, marvel at the incredible Miami skyline, bask in the sunshine and swim in the ocean.

This is a day for sun, sea, and sand, and a day to take in the great Miami atmosphere on the coast before you start to explore further afield. 

Ride the Miami Trolleys

Miami Free Trolleys - South Beach to North Beach

Before starting your weekend in Miami, one of the best tips you can make use of in the city is knowing that the Trolley Buses here are absolutely free of charge. 

The Miami Free Trolleys are a great way to get around the city, and they can take you all the way along South Beach and up to North Beach, and even into Downtown.

Check the city website for the exact timetables, but they run through most of the day, making them a convenient way to travel and to sightsee.

Relax on South Beach

Lina Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel blog on South Beach Miami Florida

South Beach is where you’ll find the famed Miami Beach. This is the part of the city that you’ll be imagining when you’re planning your weekend in Miami. 

South Beach is always busy, and that’s part of the fun. Head here in the morning and you’ll escape the intense heat and be able to take in the atmosphere as the rest of the city emerges to exercise.

Take a walk along the boulevard, find a spot to watch the rollerbladers or get ready for the entertainers.

You can enjoy the soft sand, take a dip in the ocean and perhaps find a spot for breakfast or coffee looking over the ocean.

If you’re here for a break, then you could even spend the rest of the day just relaxing on South Beach. Rent a sunbed or book into a resort overlooking the beach, and forget about the rest of the world.

Eat your way through the Latin flavors of South Beach on this food‐filled walking tour. Accompany your guide on a sensory journey to 5‐star restaurants and foodie hideaways.

The tour serves the following cuisines: Peruvian, Italian, Colombian, Mediterranean, Cuban, and Spanish.

Cruise on Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive - weekend in Miami

But you might not want to spend the whole day relaxing, and if that’s the case, then don’t worry, because there’s a lot more to pack into your 3 days in Miami.

You can start by walking the length of Ocean Drive, or by taking the Trolley Bus if you’re feeling lazy. 

You can jump into the shops and restaurants, grab a drink, and admire the famed Art Deco buildings that line this seafront boulevard.

See the Art Deco Historic District

Art Deco Architecture - Miami itinerary

South Beach is well known for its Art Deco architecture, and there’s more to see than the buildings that line Ocean Boulevard. 

The Art Deco Historic District is found in South Beach and is home to the highest concentration of colorful Art Deco buildings in the city. You might want to join a walking tour to find out more about the quirky local history. 

See the gorgeous Art Deco architecture in South Beach on a guided walking tour that explores landmark buildings and out-of-the-way gems.

You’ll learn the history of South Beach as you walk through the ocean-side neighborhood, with fascinating stories about mob life, Hollywood glamour, and modern design, and you’ll hear about the area’s outrageous characters and scandals.

Get Away from the Crowds at North Beach

Lina Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog on North Beach Miami Florida

In the afternoon, head up to North Beach, which is found on the barrier islands along the coast.

This is just as spectacular a place to visit as South Beach, and with the many public parks and stretches of sand that are found here, it’s the perfect place to relax and to escape the crowds.

Enjoy Sunset Cocktails

Ocean Drive Miami Florida

In the evening, take a stroll back along Ocean Drive. Find a spot for sunset cocktails overlooking the city skyline.

Then enjoy a great dinner in one of the many restaurants that are found here, to round off a great start to your weekend in Miami. 

Day 2 – Miami Itinerary

Coastline in Miami Florida

The second day of your Miami itinerary will focus on Downtown, as you head away from the beaches and start to delve deeper into the city’s history and culture.

Enjoy a few museums or galleries and have a great day out in this bustling city.  

Visit Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is the heart of the city and it’s a great place to spend the day. Grab breakfast in a downtown restaurant or enjoy a coffee in a cafe, then take a walk through the busy streets as you admire the famed skyline.

Explore the most popular sites in Miami on this scenic hop-on hop-off bus tour. Visit many of the top attractions in South Beach, Wynwood, Coconut Grove, Little Havana and more. 

Board at any of the more than 40 stops on three separate routes and get to know the city in custom fashion, with live commentary.

Explore the History of Miami Museum

History Miami Museum

After a morning stroll through Downtown, make your way over to the excellent History Miami Museum. Here you’ll be able to learn more about the city’s fascinating history.

The museum takes you on a journey through Miami and southern Florida’s history,

From the first indigenous people that called the land home to the waves of settlers from Europe, and then the rest of the Caribbean and the Americas, that have all contributed to the unique flair of the city. 

This is probably one of the most overlooked and interesting things to have on your Miami itinerary. If you have the time, don’t miss it.

Stroll the Museum Park

Museum Park - Miami itinerary

Downtown is the place to learn about history and to get cultured, and there’s no better destination for this than Museum Park.

This public space overlooks the seafront and offers views out over the Atlantic towards the barrier islands.

Inside the park, you can find two of Miami’s best museums. This is where you can visit the in-depth Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, as well as the Perez Art Museum.

Learn about the world of science, as you explore the exhibits of the science museum, then take a journey through Miami’s contemporary art scene.

Take a Boat Cruise

Miami boat cruise

One of the best things to do during your long weekend in Miami is a boat cruise.

After spending your morning and early afternoon exploring the museums and galleries of Downtown, then take a cruise from the Port of Miami.

You can join organized boat tours or hire your own boat for a few hours, depending on your budget.

The boat cruises will take you along the coast, past the barrier islands and with a view of the iconic city skyline from Biscayne Bay.

Cruise the Miami coastline on this speedboat cruise. Settle into your plush seat as your expert captain pilots the speedboat down the sandy shoreline, where you can view Fisher Island and Star Island’s collection of multi-millionaire and celebrity homes.

Buzz by Miami Beach, where the locals strut their stuff in sun and you can snap photos of the Art Deco mansions lining South Beach.

Shop at the Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace in Miami Florida

On your second evening in Miami, take a trip to Bayside Marketplace. This is one of the most popular places to visit in the city, and you’ll soon realize why as you enjoy the festival atmosphere and views over Biscayne Bay.

Bayside Marketplace is packed full of shops, bars, and restaurants, and you can enjoy dinner and drinks with a view as you relax through the evening and into the night. 

Day 3 – Long Weekend in Miami

Wynwood Miami Florida

The final day of your 3 days in Miami is all about exploring the alternative side of the city.

Spend the morning in the artsy district of Wynwood, then spend the afternoon delving into the unique culture of Little Havana. 

Wander Around Wynwood

Wynwood Miami Florida

Located just north of Downtown, the art-centric district of Wynwood is a must-see on your Miami itinerary. This is the famed art district, and it’s best known for its colorful and at times political murals that adorn the streets. 

While you can wander the streets on your own, it helps to join a tour or to have a local guide, so you won’t miss the best of the street art and murals, and so you learn more about Wynwood’s intriguing history. 

The best murals are found at Wynwood Walls, an outdoor gallery dedicated purely to street art. 

Explore a former warehouse district that’s been transformed by street art and galleries on a guided walking tour of Wynwood, one of greater Miami’s most creative destinations.

Learn the techniques and stories behind Wynwood’s vivid murals and experience Miami at its most vibrant and artistic.

Have a Drink at the Wynwood Brewery

Wynwood Miami Florida

If you love craft beer, then call in at Wynwood Brewery once you’ve explored the street art and murals.

This great local brewery has made quite a name for itself and offers a fine selection of brews and bites to eat, making a great pit stop before you head off into Miami for a busy afternoon.

Venture to Little Havana 

Little Havana Miami Florida

Head across town to another of Miami’s most famous districts, Little Havana. Due to its location on the edge of the Caribbean, Miami became a haven for many of those who were exiled from Cuba, through the 20th century. 

Many Cubans would settle in what is now known as Little Havana, and it’s a busy, colorful and vibrant addition to any weekend in Miami.

Take a tour with a local to learn more about the history and culture, and the relations between Cubans and Americans. 

Little Havana has a great selection of restaurants and bars too, and this is the best place in Miami to try some Hispanic style cooking, and to grab a famed Cuban Sandwich. 

Experience the sights and sounds of Miami’s vibrant Little Havana neighborhood on this guided walking food tour.

Explore this lively Cuban district and sample the local cuisine, like guava pastries, chicken plantain cups, and flan ice cream, to name just a few of the delicacies.

Also, meet some of the local artists, watch skilled Cuban cigar rollers and listen to traditional Cuban music.

Visit the Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower Miami Florida

After learning about the Cuban community in Little Havana, and gorging on food and drink, then if you’ve still got time head back into Downtown, for a quick trip to Freedom Tower. 

The iconic tower dates back to 1925 and has been an immovable part of the skyline ever since.

Of interest after your tour through Little Havana though, is the fact that today the tower is primarily an art and history museum, and there’s an excellent exhibition focused on Cuban immigration to Florida to wrap up your Miami itinerary. 

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Ultimate 3 Day Weekend in Miami Itinerary (For First Time Visitors!)


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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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