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Miami 2-Day Itinerary: An Amazing 2 Days in Miami for First-Timers

by Roslie
Miami Beach South Beach pineapple statue with palm trees and hotels in background

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Do you only have 2 days in Miami and want to know the best activities and things to do in Miami? Our Miami 2-day itinerary is just what you need to maximize your time and experience this metropolitan city like a local.

We’ll break down essential factors to make the most of your visit to Miami, then provide an exciting itinerary so that you, too, may be mesmerized by Miami in just two days.

Get ready to drop the top of your convertible as we take the sun and plunge into the city! Take the city by speedboat, take a food tasting and walking tour, or hop on a scenic bike ride.

Discover Miami and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.


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Planning Your Trip to Miami

Street traffic on Ocean Drive South Beach along the Miami Beach Art Deco District

Miami’s tropical climate, delectable eats, and added mix of Latin and Caribbean influences make it a hip melting pot of culture and style.

If you’re visiting Miami in 2 days, you’ll be astonished at how much you can see and do in such a short time. From the sandy white beaches of Miami Beach and South Beach to the bustling city center, there’s something for everyone.

Planning your trip is the key to efficiency and getting more activities in. Use this itinerary as a guide to help plan your 2 days in Miami.

What’s the Best time to Visit Miami?

Virginia Key Beach picnic area

The best time to visit Miami is March through May, when it’s sunny, and the temperatures are in the 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit.

Summer in Miami is blazing hot. It rains most summer afternoons, and hurricane season is from June to the end of November, so it is not the best time to plan your Miami trip.

But, there are many Miami summer activities. As part of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Miami Temptations programs, you’ll find some awesome accommodations, restaurants, and spa deals throughout the summer months.

Where to Stay During Your 2 Days in Miami Itinerary?

You may be wondering, is Miami safe? It certainly is, though; you’ll find crime like most major cities. Some of the safest neighborhoods to stay in Miami include:

Coconut Grove Miami neighborhood aerial view

When figuring out where to stay in Miami, your accommodation and location will most certainly be tied to your budget and itinerary.

If you’re comparing Miami vs. Miami Beach, Miami Beach has more of a party atmosphere with a beachy vibe, while downtown Miami is vibrant and exciting with more cultural experiences.

Wondering about Miami Beach vs. South Beach? Miami Beach is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, and situated at the southern tip of Miami Beach is the famous South Beach.

Visitors love staying in Miami Beach because it is close to first-rate hotels, nightlife, cafes and restaurants, and the historic Art Deco District.

Ocean Drive Miami Beach South Beach Florida with vintage car

Many choose to stay at the numerous art deco hotels along Ocean Drive to be close to the action and within walking distance of South Beach activities. Even if you decide not to stay in one of the art deco buildings, you can still take in the architectural style that makes this area unique.

If you want to splurge, book a room at The Villa Casa Casuarina, the former home of Gianni Versace, or in Miami Beach’s SoFi, South of Fifth area, for oceanfront properties like The Savoy Hotel & Beach Club or Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach.

Downtown Miami and Brickell in the financial district is another hot place to stay, with many high-end eateries, shopping, and hotels. Plus, it’s central for sightseeing in Miami Beach and Key Biscayne.

Red and white exterior of Generator Hostel building in Miami Beach Florida

If you’re visiting Miami on a budget, you can find budget-friendly options throughout the city, including inland areas like North Beach.

Here are just a few inexpensive places to stay in Miami:

Check out our round-up of the places to stay in Miami to help you find accommodation that fits your needs.

How to Get Around Miami

Most people drive in Miami, so it’s not as pedestrian-friendly as other major cities. Still, there are several public transport services to help around Greater Miami and Miami Beach.

Miami International Airport boasts a full roster of local and international rental agencies. If flying into Miami International Airport, we recommend renting a car for more flexibility to explore the city at your own pace. Be warned: Miami drivers are known to be a bit aggressive, so adapt accordingly!

Rideshares like Uber or Lyft or taxis are also available options.

MetroMover in Downtown Miami Florida

The Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus are alternative ways to get around Miami. Metrobus is a bus system with over 90 routes throughout the county, and the Metromover and Metrorail are light-rail systems that navigate across Miami.

The Metromover is a free seven-day-a-week service with several loops operating through downtown Miami and Brickell.

The Metromover connects passengers to central attractions, including Brickell City Centre, Bayside Marketplace, the Freedom Tower, the FTX Arena, Museum Park, and the Adrienne Arsht Center.

So, there are plenty of ways to get around and explore on a 2-day Miami itinerary.

Where to Eat in Miami

Of course, you likely want to know some of the best places to eat when planning your 2 days in Miami itinerary.

Finding authentic (and delicious!) dishes can be as simple as driving up to the next corner; figuring out which places are worth your time can be a little tricky. Hence, we’ve picked a few of our favorites for you!

 

Best Places to Eat in Miami Beach and South Beach

Stone Crab and macaroni and cheese on white plates on table

Some of the best Miami Beach restaurants include:

  • Joe’s Stone Crab
  • Chalan on the Beach
  • Lucali
  • Casa Isola Osteria
  • Macchialina
  • Taquiza
  • Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
  • Front Porch Café
  • Bodega Taqueria y Tequila
  • La Sandwicherie
  • 11th Street Diner

Best Places to Eat in Little Havana

Sanguich de Miami Cuban Sandwich, Little Havana, Miami Florida

Some of the best places to eat in Little Havana include:

  • Sanguich de Miami
  • Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
  • La Trova
  • San Pocho Columbian Restaurant
  • Doce Provisions
  • Lung Yai Thai Tapas
  • Azucar Ice Cream Company
  • El Brazo Fuerte Bakery

Best Wynwood Restaurants

Yellow floral plate with Cuban Food - fish, black beans, white rice plantains and salad

The best places to eat in Wynwood include:

  • Enriqueta’s Sandwich shop
  • Dukunoo Jamaica
  • The Taco Stand
  • Coyo Taco
  • Salty Donut
  • Love Life Café
  • Palmar

Now on to the part you’ve been waiting for – your Miami 2-day itinerary.

Miami 2-Day Itinerary – The Essential Miami Travel Guide

The following guide is our recommended 2-day Miami itinerary, but as you’ll see, there are lots to see, many activities to do, and endless places to eat. So, feel free to change things up to align with your interests.

Day 1 of Your Miami Itinerary

South Beach has something for everyone! Day 1 is dedicated to going to the beach, taking some exciting sightseeing tours, and diving in to see what South Beach has in store for you.

Miami Beach 5th Street Blue and White Lifeguard Tower South Beach Florida

Morning – South Beach

Soak in the South Beach vibe with a stroll down Ocean Drive, parallel to Lummus Park, and the pastel-colored Art Deco buildings from 5th Street to 15th Street.

Lummus Park is a great place to do your morning exercise. If you’re not feeling up for it, take a walk along the scenic Miami Beach Boardwalk. Then wind down at one of the lifeguard towers and hit the beach at South Pointe Park at the southern tip of South Beach.

Afternoon – Miami Sightseeing Tours

Late morning or the afternoon is the perfect time to take in some sightseeing tours or rent a three-wheeler slingshot to cruise South Beach. Note: A valid driver’s license is required, with all renters and drivers being at least 21 years of age.

If you’re a passionate foodie, you’ll love the South Beach multicultural food tasting tour, where you’ll sample a variety of favorites from a few of Miami Beach’s best restaurants. Soak in the culture and expand your taste buds with classic local dishes while learning about the area’s history.

Speed Jetboat Ride on Biscayne Bay Miamii

Want to experience Miami in true Miami Vice-style? You’ll want to take this Miami sightseeing speedboat tour that cruises along Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean coast while taking along the city’s best sights.

You’ll see the Art Deco District from another vantage point as you pass celebrities’ multi-million-dollar mansions along millionaire’s row on Fisher Island, Star Island, and Miami Beach.

Whenever you plan your Miami 2-day itinerary, the speedboat tour departs from Bayside Marketplace several times a day, 365 days a year.

Get on some wheels and pedal your way throughout South Beach. This 2-hour Art Deco bike tour is another fun activity that allows you to explore the history, culture, and architecture that make Miami Beach stand out.

Late Afternoon into Evening

Fans of shopping and dining will want to transition from afternoon to evening along lively Lincoln Road. The upscale pedestrian-only strip hosts hundreds of shops, restaurants, and café options.

If those aren’t enough for you, just five minutes down the road is Espanola Way, another great area to browse boutiques and galleries, have a meal, or just sip a mojito while people-watching.

And when the sun goes down, South Beach and Miami Beach nightlife is the stuff of legends. Finish your day by dressing up in your finest and strutting your stuff in the many bars and clubs that come alive after dark.

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

Some of the best places to take in the excitement of Miami at night include:

  • LIV at Fontainebleau Miami Beach
  • Bâoli 
  • BASEMENT
  • Mango’s Tropical Cafe
  • Bleau Bar
  • Twist – LGBTQ
  • Nikki Beach

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Day 2 of Your Miami Itinerary

Day 2 of your Miami itinerary is about experiencing some of the most colorful neighborhoods in Miami.

And when you only have a few days in Miami, Little Havana’s Calle Ocho and Wynwood, Miami are two neighborhoods you don’t want to miss during your 2 days in Miami.

Wynwood Art District

Wynwood Walls Miami Florida Hello Miami Mural

With a variety of trendy restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, fun bars, and shopping options, Wynwood is undoubtedly a must-see destination when visiting Miami! Discover Wynwood and the elaborate graffiti art that makes this neighborhood Miami’s creative and cultural hub.

To make the most of your 2 days in Miami, start with this Wynwood street art tour. Meander through the heart of the lively art district on a golf cart showcasing the murals painted on the sides of the former warehouses.

See the work of popular street artists like DFace and Shephard Fairey with a knowledgeable guide sharing fun facts about Miami.

Pro tip: If you plan on exploring Wynwood on your own, note the mornings are less crowded, making it the best time to visit the Wynwood Art District.

Little Havana

People ordering at the La Esquina de La Fama restaurant coffee window and the mural wall in Little Havana, Miami Florida Calle Ocho

Little Havana is one of Miami’s most colorful neighborhoods to find authentic Cuban food and Latin food. But you may not know that it started as the Jewish quarter but became home to the many Cuban immigrants fleeing Fidel Castro’s regime in the 1960s.

Calle Ocho is the center of Little Havana, and you’ll find open-air fruit stands and ventanitas, Cuban coffee windows offering some of the best Cuban coffee in Miami.

Plan your 2 days in Miami around the third Friday, where you can visit Calle Ocho during Viernes Culturales, Cultural Fridays. Enjoy live music, eat delicious food, watch street performers, and more.

If you’re a fan of Latin cuisine, you’ll want to take the Little Havana walking food tour with lunch. On this tour, you’ll visit family-owned restaurants and sample Cuban food, meet local artists, and learn about the spiritual beliefs of many in this little community.

Besides eating Cuban food, you’ll also experience the lively Caribbean and Cuban music as you stroll through Calle Ocho (8th Street).

People watching live performance in Little Havana Miami Florida Calle Ocho's Ball and Chaind

You may also want to stop by the Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center or take a salsa lesson at the Ball & Chain bar and lounge.

Even if you’re short on time, we strongly recommend keeping Little Havana on your shortlist of things to do for your 2-day Miami itinerary.

Shopping at Downtown Miami and Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace Downtown Miami Florida Aerial View with boats on the water and buildings in the background

If time permits, stop at one of Miami’s most visited attractions, Bayside Marketplace. As the name suggests, it is a two-story waterfront open-air area with shops, entertainment venues, and restaurants along Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami.

Bayside Marketplace is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs from your visit to Miami. It is also an excellent place to arrange a sightseeing cruise with remarkable views that can only be seen from the water and is worth adding to your 2 days in Miami itinerary.

Other fun Miami activities and attractions to include if you have time

Everglades National Park Shark Valley Observation Tower aerial view

With so much to do, there’s no way to see it all when you only have 2 days in Miami. If you have time or decide to stay longer, here are some other places you may want to add to your Miami itinerary:

  • Everglades National Park
  • Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
  • Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
  • Miami Beach Botanical Garden
  • Bayfront Park
  • Visit the Cape Florida Lighthouse in Bill Baggs State Park
  • Venetian Pool
  • Biscayne National Park
  • A day trip from Miami

What to Pack for Your 2 Days in Miami Itinerary?

Hat, Beach Beach Bag, Sunglasses - Florida Road Trip Packing List Essentials

Miami is a huge city with beaches and rural areas plus, it’s very humid. You’ll want to make sure you pack for the weather depending on the time of year.

It gets extremely hot and humid in the summer and often rains in the afternoon, so be prepared for the steamy weather. Florida is relatively warm all year round, although it can get chilly in the winter.

Be sure to bring at least 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, perhaps one casual and one dressy, depending on the activities you plan. You’ll want something comfortable for walking and exploring since you’ll be doing a lot of both.

No matter what time of year, don’t forget to pack sunscreen and bring layers that you can add or take off as the weather warms and cools. A light waterproof jacket would be helpful too.

Be sure to check out our Miami packing essentials guide for more on what to pack for your Miami trip.

FAQs

Is it worth going to Miami for 2 days?

With 2 days in Miami, you should begin to have a taste of what the city is all about. However, this is merely the beginning of your Miami adventures.

Two bike riders at Lummus Park on the Miami Beach Boardwalk in South Beach Florida

While we recommend visiting Miami for more than two days, if you only have 2 days in Miami, these are the highlights to include on your itinerary:

How many days do you need for Miami?

We recommend staying at least three days in Miami, Florida, to fit in more activities and experience more of what the Magic City offers.

While you’ll experience some of the best activities in this Miami 2-day itinerary, I’m sure you’ll have such a great time in the Magic City that you’ll want to plan another trip and spend more time exploring the city.

And if you decide to stay longer than 2 days in Miami, you can easily add on day trips to level up your South Florida experience. Consider taking a day trip to Key West, where you can experience the history and culture of the Florida Keys.

What is Miami known for?

Crandon Park Beach path in Key Biscayne, Miami Florida

Miami is renowned for its warm weather, beautiful sandy beaches, architecture, diverse food culture, and sizzling nightlife.

Miami is also known for its art, culture, and annual events and festivals like Art Basel, which draw people from around the globe.

There is undoubtedly something everyone can enjoy with so much to see and do in this spectacular city. Some of its most popular activities and attractions include:

  • Miami Beach & South Beach
  • Ocean Drive
  • The Art Deco District
  • Wynwood Walls
  • Little Havana
  • Bayside Marketplace
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
  • Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
  • Zoo Miami
  • Everglades National Park
  • Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
  • Miami Design District
  • Bal Harbour

Final Thoughts on Your Miami 2-Day Itinerary

This Miami 2-day itinerary takes you to all the must-see attractions to experience in the Magic City.

Regardless of which activities you partake in on the itinerary above, 2 Days in Miami certainly won’t leave you empty-handed: from food unique to Florida to breathtaking ocean views. You’ll be enriched, enticed, and entertained. You may also find yourself mesmerized after just two short days in Miami.

Looking for more information on things to do in Miami and South Florida? You may also be interested in these posts:

35 Essentials to Pack for Your Florida Road Trip
24 Hours in South Beach: How to Spend a Day in Miami Beach
65+ Unique Date Ideas & Romantic Things to Do in Miami for Couples
Essential Day Trips from Miami: 15 Best Places to Visit in South Florida
Family Activities South Florida: Top 45 Things to Do in Miami with Kids
60+ FREE Things to do in Miami That Won’t Cost You a Thing!

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