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Ultimate 3-Day Miami Itinerary: Your Guide to the Perfect Long Weekend in Miami

by Roslie L.
Published: Updated:
View from Area 31 Rooftop Bar in Downtown Miami

You can do a lot on a 3-day Miami itinerary! Perfect weather, beautiful beaches, unique attractions, luxe nightlife, and vibrant neighborhoods – from sunrise to well after sunset, you won’t run out of things to do, see, and eat in Miami.

Here we’ll break down how to get around, our top recommendations on where to stay in Miami, and tips for making the most of your long weekend in Miami.

Whether you’re a passionate foodie looking to experience the world’s cuisine in one place, a high-energy beachgoer looking to stay active under the Miami sun, or a discerning art-lover looking to soak up the city’s diverse art scene – there’s something in this 3-day Miami itinerary for you!

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Getting Around Miami

Two people riding Citibike Miami in South Beach

Miami is a big city, and its neighborhoods are spread apart, so renting a car would provide the most freedom to get around on a 3-day Miami itinerary. But if you’d rather skip the parking fees, taking ride-hailing services like Lyft or Uber is ideal.

Now, what better way to feel like a local if public transport is more your speed? The city of Miami offers several public transportation options: the Metrorail, Metromover, and an extensive bus system.

For free transportation options in Miami, you can ride the Miami Trolley system to get around. If you’re traveling within downtown Miami and Brickell areas and wish to visit the local sites, the free Metromover runs several loops to get you where you’re going.

Elevated MetroMover in Downtown Miami with building in the backgroud

You can also take the Metrorail for a fee. The elevated rail line (think monorail only with two tracks) is a convenient way to get from the International Airport to the downtown area, points south and northwest Miami-Dade.

The bus system serves the rest of the city and is another excellent choice if you go into other inland areas.

Lastly, if you want to experience the city at the pedestrian level – without walking for miles in the sweltering heat – you can rent a Citibike! You can rent their bikes by the hour, or if you plan to be on a bike the whole day, consider getting a bike-sharing membership.

What to Pack for a 3-Day Trip to Miami

Hat, Sunglasses and Beach Bag

There are a few necessities to consider when packing for three days in Miami, especially if the tropical weather isn’t something you’re used to. The first two things you want to have with you are sunscreen and insect repellent.

You’ll want to pack mostly light, breathable clothing – a sundress with sandals is an attractive and comfortable option. Save the long sleeves and jeans for the evenings when it can sometimes get chilly. The sun’s rays are most potent around midday, so bring a wide-brim hat and sunglasses.

And, of course, what’s a trip to Miami without going to the beach? Be sure to bring a swimsuit, beach cover-up, beach towel, and a beach bag.

Here is a list of the essentials to pack for your 3-day Miami getaway.

If you want a more comprehensive list with everything you’ll need for your trip, you can also check out our Miami packing list and Miami beach essentials!

Where to Stay for a Long Weekend in Miami

Whether you’re looking for something affordable, or accessible for your 3 days in Miami, here are some popular places to stay in Miami in the most sought-after areas.

South Beach/Miami Beach

Hotels in the South Beach and Miami Beach area are amidst some of the city’s most popular attractions – not to mention some of the best beaches. From the famous Ocean Drive with art deco architecture and shopping to museums packed with modern art, this is the area to be.

This area is your best bet if access is your top priority, but accommodation prices are also notably higher.

White color building and black sign Ritz Carlton South Beach hotel with blue sky in background

Where to Stay in Miami Beach/ South Beach

Downtown Miami and Brickell

If you’re looking to explore more of the city, in that case, hotels in downtown Miami and Brickell offer a lot of accessibility (hello, Metromover!) and a luxe experience. This area also has some of the best rooftop bars in Miami.

Rooftop bars and luxe views are a staple here at any price point.

View from Area 31 Rooftop Bar in Downtown Miami

Where to Stay in Downtown Miami and Brickell

Coconut Grove, Miami

While further inland, Coconut Grove offers some of the best hotels in Miami. Hotels in the Coconut Grove Miami neighborhood offer better-value lodging options that don’t skimp on luxury and design.

If you’re looking for a family-friend neighborhood in Miami with lots of charm and dazzling accommodations, check out Coconut Grove.

yellow painted walkway overlooking body of water

Where to Stay in Coconut Grove

Other popular Miami neighborhoods for your 3-Day Miami Itinerary

There are several other laid-back and more residential and family-friendly neighborhoods in Miami, including Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, and Sunny Isles.

Millionaires Row celebrity mansions along Biscayne Bay Miami, Florida and view of Miami skyline in the distance

If you’re looking to stay in a convenient location, not in the heart of South Beach, each of these neighborhoods has its unique ambiance; and any would be a nice choice.

For more on the neighborhoods and where to stay, check our complete guide on the best places to stay in Miami!

3-Day Itinerary for Miami

Day 1 in Miami: Biscayne Bay, Brickell, Wynwood, and Little Havana

Brunch and shopping at Bayside Marketplace

View of waterfront attraction with tour boat and ferris wheel

Start your first day in Miami with food and shopping at Bayside Marketplace. Here you’ll find both popular brands and small, independent boutiques here. You’ll come across over 150 specialty and tourist shops, as well as chain stores, antique shops, and souvenirs.

And apart from shops, you will also find cafes and restaurants like La Cañita, and live entertainment that will get you groovin’ while you explore!

While at the Bayside Marketplace, be sure to check out the Miami Observation Wheel, one of the top downtown Miami attractions for families.

Or you can book a boat tour along Biscayne Bay – Miami’s Millionaire’s Row Cruise is a favorite – to take in the sights of the Miami skyline from the water.

Unwind at Bayfront Park, museum hop, and more shopping at Brickell City Center

Bayfront Park bay walk view with palms trees, boat and building in background in Downtown Miami Florida

Just a 5-minute walk from Bayside Marketplace is Bayfront Park, a gorgeous green space on the waterfront. Before your trip, visit Bayfront Park Amphitheatre’s website for upcoming events or shows.

From here, take a 10-minute walk (or a 5-minute bike ride) to Maurice A. Ferré Park, locally known as Museum Park, where you can find the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Both are definite must-sees, especially if you’re traveling with children.

Yellow and brown exterior of Freedom Tower (Museum of Art and Design) in Downtown Miami Florida

Then, for a dose of Miami history, it’s just a 10-minute walk to the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College. Designed like the Giralda Cathedral Bell Tower in Seville, Spain, it’s historically known as the debarkation point where newly migrated Cubans seeking exile from their native land were processed for immigration.

Now a Historic National Landmark, the stunning architecture and interesting artifacts on display are well worth the trip.

Brickell City Centre, our next stop, is just a 10-minute bike ride away. You can also take the Metromover.

Brickell City Centre is beautifully designed and has some of the best restaurants and high-end shopping in the area. The movie theatre keeps us coming back, easily one of the best in the city!

Good food and Art in Wynwood and Little Havana

Take a car or hop on the free trolley for lunch at Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop in Wynwood (Enriqueta’s con Sabor) to experience some of Miami’s best home-style Cuban food. The servings are hefty, prices are fair, and the food is delicious.

Wynwood Walls black aluminium gate with graffiti in the background

Just a couple of blocks away is the famous Wynwood Art District, home of those brightly colored murals and graffiti walls you may have seen all over Instagram.

This eclectic entertainment district features over 70 galleries, a myriad of bars, nightclubs, boutique shops, and dining options.

If you’re big on the arts culture, Wynwood is worth exploring. Discover Wynwood and the elaborate street art that makes this area one of Miami’s hippest neighborhoods.

Eyes on wall mural

Book a Wynwood street art tour to maximize your time and get an up-close experience of Miami’s thriving art scene.

If walking around the Miami heat doesn’t appeal to you, you can also take the Wynwood street art by golf cart. Whether on foot or golf cart, the guides provide valuable insight and background that can deeply enrich your experience.

Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, and casual clothes for medium-to-hot temperatures, and have a camera and water bottle handy.

Lady serving Cuban food from buffet

Finally, cap off the night with great food and nightlife at Little Havana. You’ll have to drive from Wynwood, but it is well worth it.

Home to family-run eateries, traditional Hispanic bakeries, and ventanitas (Cuban coffee windows), there is a wealth of cultural and culinary delights on offer here. No trip to Little Havana would be complete without tasting some local treats.

Book one of the food and cultural tour of the neighborhood to immerse yourself in the best of this Miami national treasure and sample authentic Latin cuisines.

👉 Here are a few popular options:

Ball & Chain Bar Little Havana Miami Florida

Make sure to stop at Azucar Ice Cream for its one-of-a-kind flavors (we highly recommend the fruity and creamy Abuela Maria), Ball & Chain for a delicious Cuban dinner paired with live music, and Cubaocho for a healthy dose of Cuban culture through art, music, and drinks. 

These three places are next to each other, so expect a fabulous night ahead!

Day 2 in Miami: Ocean Drive Miami Beach (South Beach)

Breakfast and Beachin’ on South Beach

People outside Big Pink Restaurant South Beach Miami Beach FL

The adventures through Miami cannot begin until you’re adequately fueled for the day ahead. Take your pick between The Front Porch Café and Big Pink for breakfast. These two iconic American diners both offer fantastic breakfast choices and excellent service.

Of course, what’s a trip to Miami without a day at the beach? Start your morning of fun and sun at South Pointe Park (if you’re coming in from Big Pink), walk along the ocean towards Lummus Park, and end at the Miami Beach Boardwalk.

South Pointe Park Pier entrance sign anf gate

Take your time exploring the sights along Ocean Drive or partake in some much-needed beach time, whether that means getting into the water or catching a tan. 

These sprawling park beaches are next to each other, so you don’t have to choose! And if you want a more detailed breakdown of each, check out our guide on the best Miami beaches.

Exploring South Beach through food and art

For lunch, you can’t miss Joe’s Stone Crab. The restaurant has been serving diners for over a century, so you know it’s worth the hype. They are only open during peak stone crab season, from October to May.

Large stone crabs on white plates on table

You’ll also need a reservation for a table in the formal dining room, but you can always check out Joe’s Takeaway next door if you want to avoid the long wait times. 

Local tip: Though Joe’s is known for its stone crab, they also have some of the best fried chicken in town! And for a sweet and refreshing finish to your meal, we highly recommend the key lime pie.

Family riding bicycle on Ocean Drive Miami Beach Art Deco District in South Beach Florida

The nearby Art Deco District is our next stop. Like the Wynwood Art District, the best way to appreciate this iconic Miami area is to book the MDPL’s official Art Deco walking tour. The informative guides bring more depth to the historic district’s beautiful architecture and will also take you to places you may not have noticed on your own.

All the attractions in South Beach are within walking distance, so this is the ideal time to rent a bike or roller skate if you don’t feel like exploring on foot.

Outside Bass Museum Building

After the art deco walk, continue soaking up some culture and history through the museums in Miami Beach. A few of our suggestions include the following:

  • The Bass Museum – a great sculpture garden and regular art events
  • The Wolfsonian – eclectic contemporary art and a great place for thought-provoking talks and workshops
  • The World Erotic Art Museum – a cheeky collection of art dating back to 300BC

These are just a few of our favorites, but feel free to spend the afternoon exploring what else South Beach has to offer!

Reflecting and relaxing at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Take some time to pay respects at the historic Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach. Self-guided tours at the outdoor Holocaust Museum are also available.

Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach Florida

Right next to the Holocaust Memorial is the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, a lush park where you can reflect and relax away from the sights and sounds of the city. This sprawling garden also holds workshops & exhibitions, so be sure to check their website for upcoming events.

Shopping and dining at Lincoln Road & Española Way

Lincoln Road is a mile-long shopper’s paradise. Here you can find a mix of high-end and low-end boutiques and a few independent shops. This lively street is the definition of “shop ’til you drop!”

Street view of Espanola Way Miami Beach Florida South Beach

Just a few blocks over is Española Way, a quaint and picturesque street filled with excellent restaurants. Have a little wine and pasta at Hosteria Romana, a lovely café with delicious Roman-Jewish food.

If you’re still buzzing from your night in Little Havana, don’t worry because you don’t have to go far to experience it again. Havana 1957 along Española Way has the same vibrant atmosphere and flavorful cuisine you can find in Miami’s Little Havana.

Dance the night away in Miami’s most famous nightclubs

Miami is renowned around the world for its vibrant nightlife, and there are so many venues where you can dance the night away. With many famous clubs in Miami Beach within walking distance of one another, you may just spend the remainder of your 3 days in Miami hopping from club to club.

DJ on sound equipment overlooking crowd at dance nightclub surrounded by neon lights

Who knows, you may even get to dance in the presence of some of Miami’s celebrities who are known to frequent the South Beach nightlife scene. 

End your night here, or hit a few South Beach clubs and bars. 

  • Try STORY for celebrity sightings.
  • Do Not Sit On The Furniture for a fun night of drinks and dancing.
  • Basement Miami for – get this – dancing, ice skating, and bowling.
  • LIV is not to be missed, as it is considered one of the top nightclubs in the world.

Day 3 in Miami: Coconut Grove and Coral Gables

Appreciating nature and architecture in Coconut Grove

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens House and Courtyard Coconut Grove Florida

Get transported to historic Miami at the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. From the elaborate detailing to the marble statues and the sprawling gardens, this opulent estate is stunning to behold – not to mention Instagram-worthy!

You can book your admission to Vizcaya Museum & Gardens with transportation here.

Spend the rest of the morning at the Barnacle Historic State Park, another lush area with a mangrove forest and a fabulous historic estate house.

These two gardens are great places for a quiet last morning in Miami, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

An unforgettable Miami lunch

From the Barnacle Historic State Park, you can have lunch at the nearby Greenstreet Café or in Coral Gables at the Eating House or Graziano’s Market.

  • Choose Greenstreet Café for classic American fare you can enjoy on their outdoor lounge. 
  • Eating House for eclectic dishes made with the best locally sourced produce.
  • Graziano’s Market for delicious Argentinian cuisine and artisanal goods.

Experiencing the opulent side of Miami in Coral Gables

Catch up on some more shopping at Miracle Mile, a luxe modern shopping district filled with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and specialty shops that are hard to find anywhere else.

Then, visit the Biltmore Hotel for more impressive pool views and stunning architecture. Check out the iconic Venetian pool, a sparkling body of deep blue-green water that looks straight out of a movie!

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Coral Gables Miami Florida

Finally, finish your Miami trip with a stroll through Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. You can book a guided tram tour of the water features and butterfly exhibit or explore the area yourself. 

Appreciating the vibrant greenery, colorful landscaping, and relaxing lakes is the perfect way to say goodbye to Miami – for now, of course, not forever!

Miami 3-Day Itinerary: An Experience

And that concludes our ultimate 3-day Miami itinerary! Some of the absolute can’t-miss, must-see, and worth-it things to do, visit and eat in Miami.

But, of course, nothing is set in stone. Feel free to tweak the itinerary to your liking so you can get the most out of your 3-days in Miami! You can check our Miami bucket list for more of the best that Miami offers.


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10 Fascinating Miami Tours for Sightseeing: Exploring Miami’s Cultural Highlights

Essential Day Trips from Miami: 15 Best Places to Visit in South Florida

When is the Best Time to Visit Miami? How to Choose the Perfect Season

Guide to Eating in Miami: Must-Have Foods (and Where to Try Them!)

Romantic Outdoor Date Ideas in Miami

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