Miami was a city that completely surprised me, in a good way! I absolutely LOVED Miami and already want to go back to spend some more time exploring it. In this One day in Miami travel guide, it will obviously be jam-packed! If you only have one day to explore, you better get moving!
I outlined what I think would be a perfect day in Miami and things that I experienced / loved! I do have a bonus section listed at the bottom of the guide incase you want to extend your time in this amazing city (which are things I would plan on doing if I go back!!).
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One Day in Miami Itinerary Overview
Morning: Cuban Coffee and Explore Lincoln Road
Afternoon: Eat the best Pizza of your life & Bike Ride Along Miami Beach
Evening: Eat the best Sushi of your life & Roof Top Bar Hop
**Check out the bonus ideas section if you want to extend your trip!
Where to Stay in Miami
There are two main areas to stay in Miami, which both have their pros & cons! Most people think to only stay in Miami South Beach area, but the downtown area should not be completely looked over. Here are my thoughts..
Miami South Beach
Miami South Beach is where, obviously, the beach is! There is a lot of Cuban food, scenic bike trails, palm trees lining the horizon, and colorful buildings. I think regardless if you choose to stay in Miami South Beach area, you should visit it regardless!
The downsides to Miami South Beach are that the prices are usually a bit higher, the traffic is HORRIBLE, and there is literally no where to park. Like, I have never seen such a horrible parking situation in my life!
Brickell Area / Downtown Miami
The downtown area, specifically the Brickell district, is such a fun area to explore! The food scene is incredible, there are rooftop bars on every block with incredible views, there are parking garages everywhere, and the hotel prices are a little bit more affordable since there are more options!
Personally, I stayed in the downtown Brickell area because I was doing a Miami to Key West Road Trip. I knew I was going to be on the beach for an entire week eating beach bar food, so I wanted to have a little bit more of a variety!
Regardless of where you stay, these two areas are so close together and you should see them both! 🙂
A Few Must-Pack Items
I never like to bore you with a long packing list when you came here to read a one day itinerary for Miami, but I do like to include a few “must-pack” items for this specific trip. Here we go…
You will be doing a TON of walking in Miami, especially if you are following this itinerary! If you trust me on anything, you need to trust me on these shoes. These are the ONLY shoes I bring on my travels because they are cute and SO comfortable. You don’t need to break them in (literally feels like you are just wearing socks) and they are not bulky! These can be worn with leggings, a sun dress, jeans.. whatever you want! Click here to check them out!
This is my favorite sun hat that I recommend for all beachy destinations! It is super durable (perfect for travel) and not too big! And the perfect cherry on top… it’s super affordable!! Click here to check it out!
These little babies are a godsend! The Sun Block Packets are the size of a little ketchup packet and can easily be put in your pocket or purse. I usually use these to re-apply sunblock throughout the day on my neck and shoulders, but not my face because I don’t want to break out. For my face, I ALWAYS use SuperGloop Tinted CC Sun Screen. It has never made me breakout and gives you a little glowy look! 🙂
DUH, of course you need a good set of presets so you can quickly edit on the go! Lucky for you, I have a wide selection of presets that you can choose from starting at only $3.49 per pack!! Click here to check them out 🙂
One Day in Miami Itinerary
The one day itinerary is going to be Jam Packed with tons of things to do and see! There is obviously a ton more to do in Miami that can not possibly be squeezed into one day. I created a bonus section at the bottom of this guide incase you want to swap something out or extend your time in Miami!
Let’s dive in! 🙂
– Morning –
Start your day off with authentic Cuban Coffee, you can’t go to Miami without dipping into the Cuban culture! You will see Cuban coffee stands all over the city, so I would just pick one closest to your hotel.
If you are staying in the Brickell area of Miami like I recommended, catch an Uber / Lyft to Miami Beach for some site seeing! I would NOT recommend driving (even if you have a car) because the parking situation in Miami Beach is some of the worst I have ever seen. Save yourself the stress!!
Have your Uber drop you off at Lincoln Road, which is a long street that has tons of things to see! You could easily spend a few hours in this area grabbing fresh fruit from fruit stands, looking at vintage cameras at flee markets, and bar hopping.
– Afternoon –
After you’ve done some souvenir shopping (and maybe had a mimosa or two), head to MisterO1’s Pizza! Joseph (my Fiancé) is the biggest pizza snob you have EVER seen and he said this was the best pizza he’s ever had in his life.
I’m not kidding when he still talks about it till this day (like, every day lol). They have many locations, but their original location (and the one closest to Lincoln Road) is 1680 Michigan Avenue #101!
Next up, head to the beach! You can continue down Lincoln Road until you reach the boardwalk and then go south! If you love to cruise down the boardwalk on a beach cruiser, there is a large biking trail that goes along the beach. You can either rent the Citi Bike’s that have stations every few blocks or you can rent from a company like South Florida Trikke!
I would not recommend renting beach chairs or cabanas on Miami Beach unless you plan to spend your entire day there. Most of the chair and cabana rentals are on a day basis, not hourly basis! If you have extra days to spare in Miami, I think it would be fun to relax by the beach since it’s an incredible beach!
Since you only have one day in Miami, I would recommend biking or walking that winding trail that hugs the beach. You can spot all the uniquely shaped and colored lifeguard stands along your walk!
– Evening –
After you’ve spent your day exploring Miami South Beach, it’s time to head back to the downtown area to see a different side of Miami!
Before you go out to the best dinner place in Miami (more on that later), you will be boarding the Island Queen Cruise to see Millionaire’s Row! The cruises are super affordable, run for 90 minutes, cash bar, and give you incredible views of Miami. The cruises run hourly from 11am – 6pm and are on a first come first serve basis!
For dinner, it’s time to hit the best spot in Miami, Komodo! If you like Asian food and Sushi.. this place is an absolute MUST! Their cocktails were excellent, the atmosphere was unique (sort of like a tree house), and the food, WOW THE FOOD!
The restaurant is a shareable style, so Joseph and I got a ton of different things to try out. All of the sushi was amazing, especially the honey truffle salmon! Click here to check out their menu.
After you’ve had the best meal of your LIFE, it’s time to head to the best rooftop bar in the city, Sugar! This boho-chic rooftop bar is right in the heart of the Brickell District. It has an Asian-inspired jungle with delicious drinks.
If you want to go out for longer, here are some more rooftop bars to check out nearby:
Bonus Ideas for Things to do in Miami
- Day trip to Everglades National Park (Only 30 minutes away!). Here is a tour that takes you from Miami!
- Snap your photo at the Art Murals in Wynwood District
- Little Havana Food Tour
- Rent a private boat for the day to explore sand bars (great option for groups!)
- Get Cabana Rentals and relax on Miami Beach
- Speed Boat Tour
- Dine under the twinkly lights on Espanola Way
- Extend your time in Miami and do a full Miami to Key West Road Trip! You can read my full itinerary here!
Okay, that’s a wrap!
I hope you found this One Day in Miami Itinerary helpful and you have the most amazing trip! 🙂 Miami was a place that truly surprised me since I have heard so many mixed reviews.. but I can confidently say I will be back because I couldn’t get enough!!
If you can extend your time in Miami to longer than a day I would recommend doing so! Relaxing at the beach or hanging out at the pool sounds like a perfect way to extend your time in this amazing city.
Traveling to Florida? Here are some guides I think you’ll love:
- Miami to Key West Road Trip Itinerary
- Key West Itinerary
- 7 Days in Clearwater Beach
- Best Day Trips from Clearwater Beach
Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
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