Miami is definitely one of those fun see and must see kind of place, but it definitely takes a big dent out of the pocketbook if you want to hang out in all those trendy spots and see and be seen locations around the city. What if I told you that you can still have a great time visiting Miami on the cheap and with lots of free things to do and see? Well then check out these suggestions on free and cheap things to do in Miami below and hopefully you can plan your vacation now for some sun and fun.
Here’s what’s free to do in Miami
Check out the beaches
With so many amazing beaches to explore and hang out in Greater Miami, you can find just the perfect spot that suits your interest and effort to get to. Of course the popular Miami beach area is at South Beach with the popular promenade area with biking/pedestrian lanes and the pastel colored deco buildings. The expansive South Beach area is packed with cabana areas, sports/recreation rental venues and plenty of open spaces for you to pitch a towel. The areas north and south are also more popular with locals and less crowded than the touristy spots of South Beach.
Explore the cool neighborhoods of Miami
There’s a lot of really cool and fun neighborhoods in Miami to explore and absorb the local places to hang out and shop. Here are some of Miami’s favorite neighborhoods that you should check out.
One of the most popular must visit neighborhoods to visit in Miami is Little Havana with all the iconic Cuban venues, eateries, bars and clubs that make this a fun place to explore. Of course the cool part of visiting is to check out the local domino park to play a fun game, see cigars made and sold in Miami, try some of the local food and quick fast food venues or try some of the delicious Cuban coffee to go. Check out my post here on visiting Little Havana here and tasting some of the fantastic Cuban foodie spots to try out in the neighborhood.
If you’re a fan of hip art, trendy furniture and design studios, then head out to the design district to check out whats hot, cool and fun in the Design District. Filled with cool architecture, museums and fantastic food halls, restaurants and cafes, you’ll a lot of fun places to explore in this trendy area of Miami. Check out some cool spots and must visit places in the Design district here for more inspiration.
The Wynwood District
You can take a fantastic walk around the colorful Wynwood District of Miami with cool and avant art on the walls and various venues around this area. On the Second Saturdays of each month the area comes alive and stays up late with bands, DJs, drinks/bars open to the late hours along with the popular art/galleries open for the public to visit.
Explore Coral Gables
In the southern district of Miami is the chichi neighborhood called Coral Gables with a beautiful downtown area with lovely shopping, dining and window shopping venues. Even the trolley busses going around the neighborhood is free to hop on and off in Coral Gables. While you’re visiting, check out the stunning Vizcaya gardens and museum or the Fairchild Botanical gardens which are both worth visiting when you are in the district.
South Beach area
The popular South Beach area is the must visit Miami destination not only for the busy and fun beaches but also cool venues like Ocean Drive, the Art Deco buildings of South Beach, Botanical garden and even the Miami Holocaust Memorial. All these fantastic venues are easy to get to and you can spend an entire day just exploring all the different and colorful attractions in the area. Check out my post here on visiting South Beach and the foodie scene here to some amazing venues all over the neighborhood.
Greater downtown Miami
You can get around downtown Miami with the Metro Mover which goes through the major downtown area past the Bayside Marketplace to the main venues, hotels and downtown skyline. A fun thing to do is to find a cool rooftop bar for amazing views and even sunset above Miami. If you’re looking for affordable places to stay, you can stay in downtown Miami and find some fantastic hotel prices compared to other areas of greater Miami.
Fun and free attractions around Miami
There are so many free attractions, events and fun things to see and do around Miami. Check out these popular venues below and you can visit and enjoy some of the unique places worth visiting all around greater Miami.
Miami Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial located in South Beach is a beautiful attraction that is a must see not only for the stunning gardens, but also the memorial itself which is artistically inspired but also a deep tribute to those that have survived the Holocaust and visiting to experience this site personally to get a personal perspective on the sculptural display and how it can impact your visit and observation of this incredible site.
Miami Botanical Garden
Located next door to the Holocaust Memorial is the Miami Botanical Garden – a small but still impressive garden containing many local indigenous plants and some fantastic tropical plants that make a visual statement in this compact but colorful garden. The garden is also filled with art sculpture, a large pond and beautiful landscape vistas to explore and photograph. Check out my post on visiting the Miami Botanical garden here for more visuals and a detailed visit of the park.
DIY Art Deco district tour at South Beach
You can do your own DIY tour of the historic Art Deco district in South Beach with key attractions in the area. You can download this map here for a comprehensive tour of the area. The Art Deco period is well-preserved here with all the fantastic pastel colored buildings converted into bars and restaurants, hotels and other popular attractions that are open for the public and visitors to explore.
Reggae Sundays at Wynwood Yard
Filled with fun food trucks and live bands at the Wynwood Yard make this a fun and free public venue every Sunday from 2 to midnight. While you are enjoying Reggae Sundays, check out all the other cool venues to explore around the Wynwood district here for more inspiration and images.
First Fridays at Little Havana
The Little Havana district comes alive on the First Friday with the streets in the district coming alive with live music, domino games (a popular pastime), dancing, Cuban art shows and fantastic cafecitos
Pineapple bandstand events at the Ball and Chain Club
You can hang out in the back yard area with a giant pineapple bandstand at the Ball and Chain in Little Havana – the club sponsors events every night of the month for you to enjoy some of the local vibes and Latin beats in this fun and historic neighborhood dance/bar venue. You can check out all the fun events and music on their calendar here for more details.
Free Activities or Events in Miami
Free Morning Yoga on South Beach
For those early risers there are quite a few free yoga venues you can do all around the city. But the most popular and unique experience is to go to South Beach for the early morning Yoga at 3rd street and the closest lifeguard station there. Come early to get the best spots to be able to hear the instructor clearly.
Live Music at Bayside Marketplace
Gorgeous harbor vistas and live entertainment at the Bayside Marketplace can’t be beat. Check out the Marina stage fronting Biscayne Bay for daily live concerts from Latin beats, funk, pop, funk and other cool free shows and live performances.
Enjoying Sunrise or Sunset in Miami
Ending or starting the day on the beach in Miami is a wonderful experience to connect with nature and have less crowds also on the beach. The best time to witness a spectacular display is at sunrise when the sun comes up over the horizon on the beach. Sunset time allows for gorgeous golden light hour when sunset comes down on the opposite side of the beach area and a great spot to visit to witness sunset would be on a rooftop bar anywhere in the city or in the South Point area of South Beach. Check out this post for the best rooftop bars of Miami here for more details and cool places to hang out all day to night.
Free Museums days in Miami
You can visit these Miami museums for free on different days of the month. Check out this website here for an updated list of free times to visit these popular cultural venues and enjoy some culture and art for free!
Secret or hidden Miami
Check out an eco reserve at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne
One of the best preserved wetlands in Miami with fantastic nature trails and coastline and marshes, the Bear Cut Nature preserve is a different take on the nature and fantastic preserve in Miami. There are over 3.5 miles of trails and bike paths that takes you throughout this wonderful park where you can learn about the ecology of South Miami.
The Old Cutler Trail
You can explore over 11 miles of paved trails along Matheson Hammock park skirting Biscayne Bay, the Fairchild gardens, Pinecrest gardens Vizcaya. This trail also connects with the Commodore and Biscayne trail on both ends if you want to take a longer day to explore nature in South Miami.
South Point Park
South Point in South Beach is hardly a popular tourist area to visit and quiet compared to the rest of South Beach. But you’ll get fantastic water views of the harbor, downtown skyline and at sunset fantastic views to Greater Miami for those photography buffs that want to capture Miami sunsets from this area.
Where to stay in Miami
There are plenty of accommodations around Greater Miami and hitting all different types of price ranges. If you are looking for better deals and prices, you can find better rates outside of South Beach and closer to the airport and outlying areas of Miami. Check out the reviews and prices of affordable properties in the following areas below.
Affordable hotel accommodations closer to Miami airport
Affordable hotel accommodations in the Miami downtown area
Affordable properties located in the Little Havana neighborhood.
Check out these better priced deals below for affordable stays in Miami here for reviews, current prices and best deals.
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