In Miami

50 Best Things to Do in Miami and South Florida

Sunrise over the 1 Hotel rooftop pool in South Beach.
Sunrise over the 1 Hotel rooftop pool in South Beach.

From candy-making to cocktail-sipping and everything in between, pick your pleasure from our ultimate list of the 50 best things to do in Miami. Summer starts now: 

1. Upgrade Your Watch!

Miami horology expert Gerhard Zimmermann traveled to Switzerland this spring for the annual Baselworld show to preview the latest timepieces. “The major brands unveiled watches inspired by vintages pieces by made of high-tech materials,” he noted. “I’d say the overarching trend was ‘look back to move forward.’” Among Zimmermann’s top picks from the current crop: Rolex GMT Master II, Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight and Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Chronograph.,

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2. Get a New Swimsuit!

Three current faves from fashion correspondent Caterina Balzano: 1. “The seashell-shaped top is unconventional, but the comfort and cute factors are high.” $115 top, $75 bottom; 2. (pictured) “Delicate and flirty, this one-piece has all the right curves.” $198; 3. “A classic triangle-top bikini with a pop of print is essential in Miami.” $206;

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For Love and Lemons.

3. Read a Book!

For pages guaranteed to make you laugh — and make you want to shop — pick up 96-year-old fashion legend Iris Apfel’s new memoir: Accidental Icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet. INDULGE contributing stylist Elysze Held, a close friend of Apfel’s, was with the author when the book’s early reviews came in. “She pointed out a fan’s five-star write-up that said, ‘I want to be Iris when I grow up!’” Held recounted. “Iris’ reaction? ‘Be my guest.’” $35;

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Iris Apfel.

4. Swim with Dolphins!

Dive into a deepwater tank at Miami Seaquarium for the 30-minute Dolphin Odyssey experience that culminates in a dorsal fin pull (that’s the fun part). Hang on tight and experience the power of these intelligent and playful marine mammals. $210-$225;

5. Explore Virtual Reality!

North Miami’s Ninja Lounge transports you to another dimension inside their Virtual Reality Park. From intergalactic warfare to an immersive VR film in 5D (we didn’t even realize there was anything more than 4D!), there are more than 50 mind-bending attractions to alter your reality. From $24;

6. Play a Round of Golf!

Grab six of your closest friends, reserve a climate-controlled bay at Topgolf’s driving range in Miami Gardens and score points based on how close your microchipped ball comes to the target. There’s even a seasonal menu of tasty bites and specialty cocktails — better than most golf-course vending options. From $25;

Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC
Topgolf. Photograph by Michael Baxter. Michael Baxter

7. Go Paddleboarding!

Situated on an inlet at Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach, Whiskey Creek Hideout is your place to commune with nature on a standup paddleboard excursion. Noodle through mangrove trails and keep your eyes peeled for manatees, wading birds, crabs and starfish. Rentals from $35;

8. Ride a Bike!

Throw your mountain bike on your car rack or rent one from Virginia Key Outdoor Center and take to the North Point Trails of this scenic island oasis. Ten trails offer three skill levels for miles of scenic vistas and adventure. Rentals from $25;

9. Have a Negroni!

Stroll into La Centrale’s Caffe on the first floor of Brickell City Centre during happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.), grab an etched rocks glass with a giant ice cube and enjoy free-flowing Campari negronis from a gilded fountain. We think this indulgence is best enjoyed with a plate of San Daniele prosciutto, buffalo ricotta and frisee. $15;

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La Centrale.

10. Send the Kids to Sea Camp!

If your teenager has a yearning for the life aquatic, enroll her or him in the legendary Sea Camp on Big Pine Key. With seven- or 18-day sessions, choose from marine science, SCUBA, general aquatics and creative expression tracks.

11. Make Your Own Candy!

Spin on over to Spun Candy in Midtown with the family and take a confectionary masterclass. You’ll learn how to make swirly, multicolored lollipops and conquer the science behind candy-making. Best of all, you’ll come home with your own sweet creations. $60-$150;

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Spun Candy.

12. Buy Some Bling!

Coral Gables jewelry designer Jaimie Nicole works with fine gemstones and crystals like carnelian, pink opal and peridot to create delicate, modern earrings, necklaces and bracelets. We especially love the quartz lariat and teardrop earrings from her latest Spring/Summer collection. $55-$285;

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Jewelry by Jaimie Nicole.

13. Take a Dip!

When there’s a naturally occurring 800,000-gallon spring at an ancient coral rock quarry in one of Miami’s prettiest neighborhoods, you simply must take a dip in the summertime. The Venetian Pool is one of the true wonders of Miami and a refreshing diversion with its waterfalls and cave-like grottos. $15-$20;

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The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables.

14. Hear an Author!

Attend a book reading and signing at Books & Books, which hosts author events nearly every day. Pencil at least one into your calendar this summer to inspire your next beach read. Free;

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Chelsea Clinton at Books & Books.

15. Go Ice Skating!

Strap on a pair of skates and channel your favorite winter Olympian as you glide across the ice at Kendall Ice Arena. Whether it’s a birthday party or a learn-to-skate class, this might just be the smartest place to stay cool. $12;

16. Feed the Tarpon!

Feeding fish at Robbie’s Marina is a rite of passage in the Florida Keys. If you haven’t experienced the thrill, make a pit stop in Islamorada and brace yourself as these muscular silver fish roll to the surface, mouths open wide. $5;

17. Catch an Indie Flick!

There’s nothing like the relief of a cool, dark theater on a blazing hot day. Step into O Cinema in Wynwood or Miami Beach for some intellectual stimulation and a physical cool-down. $11-$21;

18. Get Your Downward Dog On!

There’s a new yoga community to find your bliss: State of Yoga in South Beach’s SoFi neighborhood boasts some of the best teachers in town, with a wide range of styles offered. $24;

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State of Yoga. Photograph by Chris Borchetta.

19. Take an Art Class!

Summer is the perfect time to reignite an old passion or try something new. If you want to get behind an easel, sign up for a six-week painting workshop at ArtCenter/South Florida or drop in during their evening open figure-drawing studio. $12-$235;

20. Toss a Pizza Pie!

Learn to make pizza at Miami Pizza School, where master pizzaiolo Renato Viola will give you restaurant-quality tips to try at home. From $165;

21. Shop Sustainably!

At Coconut Grove’s Polished Coconut, the mission is to promote artisans in developing countries with fair and sustainable trade practices. The boutique is a bohemian dream stocked with colorful woven mochilla bags made by indigenous women from Colombia and Venezuela. $130-$590;

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Polished Coconut. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

22. Root for the Home Team!

How are the rebuilding Marlins faring in their debut season under new owner Derek Jeter? A two-day home stand against the Yankees (August 21-22) should be a good test for any potential postseason run. $20-$200; 

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Marlins Park.

23. Bike Under Water!

This ain’t your grandma’s water aerobics. Coral Gables’ WaterBiking Studio provides a serious cardio burn by having you push through water on a submerged stationary bike or treadmill. $35;

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Water Biking.

24. Sneak Into a Hotel Pool!

There’s nothing that says staycation like sprawling out on a cushy chaise lounge at a lavish Miami Beach hotel. While those chairs are technically reserved for hotel guests, is there really any harm in taking a quick dip? Our current faves: 1 Hotel South Beach (pictured) and The Plymouth Hotel.,

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Sunrise over the 1 Hotel rooftop pool in South Beach.

25. Take Your Dog to the Beach!

Bring Spike to Hobie Island Beach Park and let him romp to his heart’s content. The dog-friendly beach on Key Biscayne will be full of happy pups all summer long. Free;

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Hobie Beach. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

26. Paint Your Own Pottery!

Pop into Artsy Hive in Miami Shores, snag the pottery that speaks to you, and unleash your artistic side. You’ll hand-paint your one-of-a-kind creation. They’ll glaze it for you, and you can pick it up a week later. From $25;

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The Artsy Hive. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

27. Jump Out of a Plane!

If a serious adrenaline thrill is your idea of a good time, head south to Skydive Miami in Homestead. You can jump out of a plane with an instructor and a parachute strapped to your back at 8,000 feet for the 20-second rush of a lifetime. From $200;

28. Go Snorkeling!

Cool off in the crystalline waters of the Florida Keys and embark on a snorkel excursion from Key Largo’s John Pennekamp State Park. You’ll spy coral beds, rainbow parrotfish and maybe even a sea turtle. $30;

29. Take a Cooking Class!

Global-inspired cuisine with hands-on instruction at Aragon 101 in Coral Gables. Summer programs including weeklong Italian, French and baking workshops for teens, and mango- and pork-focused classes for adults. $85-$400;   

30. Dig Into Miami Spice!

The annual dining promotion, which runs from August through September, is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of $23 lunches and $39 dinners at some of the hottest tables in town.

31. Go Vegan! (Delivery Edition)

Started by a registered dietitian nutritionist, Raw Fit Beauty delivers all-vegan meals and smoothie blends (super-fresh fruits and vegetables, pre-cut and ready to whirl) to your home once or twice a week. From $52; 

32. Go Vegan! (Restaurant Edition)

It’s a family affair at Plant Miami, located within The Sacred Space complex. Executive Chef Horacio Rivadero and Pastry Chef Veronica Manolizi create seasonal, organic, plant-based dishes. And they get a hand from their kids — Camila, Julieta, Alex and Nicholas — who help out in the kitchen and dining room.

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The Plant Miami family - literally.

33. Sing Karaoke!

PlugIN founders Anat and Oded Golan spent four years in Japan researching East Asian karaoke culture before opening six clubs in Israel and, their latest, one in the United States: at Gulfstream Park. Private rooms accommodate three to 150 people. From $20;

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34. Go Bowling!

Beyond its 17 professional lanes, Kings Dining & Entertainment at CityPlace Doral also has 20,000 square feet of billiards, foosball tables, air hockey tables, shuffleboard games, high-definition TVs and more. Not to mention chef-inspired dishes that will make you rethink everything you think you know about bowling alley food. From $7;

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35. Watch the World Cup!

Head out to Etaru in Hallandale Beach, the Japanese-inspired grill where the London-based ownership is quite keen on footy. They’ll be opening the Beach Bar early to show big matches, with special promos throughout the Cup. A second Etaru is opening in on Las Olas Boulevard this summer.

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36. Stock Up for July 4th Grilling!

Miami is the first U.S. city where Nature’s Cut — a USDA organic, grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free, sustainable line of Uruguayan angus beef — is available for retail sale. It. Is. Delicious. Stock up at Meat Town Distributors in Doral or online (free delivery with orders of $120 or more).

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Nature's Cut.

37. Have a Milkshake!

South Miami-Dade’s growing season may take the summer off, but not the milkshake makers at Robert is Here, the legendary Homestead fruit stand extraordinaire. Choose your flavor wisely; we’ve been on a Cherry Key Lime kick lately. From $5.50;

38. Charter a Fishing Boat!

Captain Nel Martinez and his crew on the Top Gun lead full- and half-day charters out of Crandon Marina. Not saying they’re luckier than any other boat, but we’ve never stepped off the Top Gun or Top Gun II without coolers full of fresh-caught mahi, tuna, kingfish and cobia. $800-$1,500;

Top Gun.

39. Drink French Juice!

Newly available in South Florida, Maison Meneau’s line of organic French juices and iced teas are the ideal blend of sweet and tart. Peach Green Tea and Mango Passionfruit Smoothie are favorites.

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Maison Meneau.

40. Upgrade Your Shades!

Tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion (and a Miami resident), collaborated with OVVO Optics on an exclusive collection of 11 sunglass styles: seven for women and four for men. From $335;

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Caroline Wozniacki for OVVO.

41. Go to a Museum That Rocks!

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the first Miami Pop Festival, a two-day jam fest in 1968 that featured Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry and other stars. Relive the musical magic through rare phoJtographs and archives on display through September at HistoryMiami. $10;

42. See a Concert!

AmericanAirlines Arena hosts a bunch of chart-topping artists this summer. We put in our pre-sale requests for Sam Smith (July 14) and Shakira (August 17-18). From $31;

43. Relax in a Float Tank!

You can’t see anything. You can’t hear anything. And you’re floating in a self-contained pod filled with salt water. For 90 minutes. If you can get over the initial strangeness of the situation and give yourself over to the experts at Float8, we promise this is the most relaxed you’ll have felt in forever. $60-$80;

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Float8. Photograph by Jason Koerner.

44. Learn to Make Macarons!

The St. Regis Bal Harbour’s Pastry Class teaches you the artistry and craft of making macarons in an intimate, 90-minute class of two to six people. Sip on fine wine while you learn, and follow it up with High Tea — and macarons, of course. $130;

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St. Regis Bal Harbour.

45. Eat Sushi and Stroll!

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens rolls out the taiko drums and food trucks for its summer stroll series, 5:30-8:30 p.m. July 13, August 10 and September 14. Sip on sake or beer while enjoying the sunset and garden grounds. From $5;

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Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

46. Study the Art of Bonsai!

Miami Tropical Bonsai has Saturday morning classes for beginners and advanced students, led by Bonsai Master Randy Brooks. $35;

47. Watch a Laser Show!

The rockin’ Laser Fridays, under Frost Science’s 67-foot Planetarium dome, are always a cool choice. They’re even cooler this summer, when members receive 20 percent off ticket prices for the June 15, July 20 and August 17 shows. $8-$10;   

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Frost Science.

48. Jump Around!

Fun Dimension in Wynwood is a smart way for parents to let their little ones release some energy. Especially good for that: the covered bungee dome, where kids can (safely) get major air while bouncing off trampolines. From $8;

49. Get New Patio Furniture!

Early summer is prime time to spruce up your patio game. Head to Addison House for top-of-the-line options, like Tuuci’s irresistible comfy, ultra durable Air Lounge hammock (pictured). Price upon request;

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Air Lounge.

50. Sip a Scotch Flight!

Decisions, decisions. Let Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Doral make life’s choices easier with its tasting of Monkey Shoulder, Balvenie 12 and Glenfiddich whiskies. $25;