Things To Do

The ultimate Miami beginner’s guide: How to become a local and survive the 305

Welcome to Miami! Here’s your instruction manual.
Welcome to Miami! Here’s your instruction manual. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Welcome to Miami! We’re glad you are here. Like, super glad.

But we also recognize that Miami is not like any other place in the universe and that getting used to our quirks can take some time. Years, or possibly decades.

It’s complicated.

So to help you understand how we roll, here is a list of things you absolutely have to understand to make the most of your time in this Miami. We promise you’ll get the hang of it. And if not, well, at least you can enjoy the cafecito.

Learn to say hello properly

Don’t panic if a person you don’t know tries to kiss you. Or maybe panic - that’s up to you. Just know there are some weird quirks to how we say hello here.

Get to know the lingo

These are the 15 words and phrases every Miamian must know.

Don’t be offended by Miami time

People are going to come to your party late. Don’t stress. Also don’t show up to any parties before the perfect time. Here are your guidelines. Do not stray from them or everyone will think you’re from some punctual planet.

Get some cafecito

Cuban coffee is the jet fuel that powers Miami. Take our Cuban Coffee 101 primer to learn everything you need to know about ordering coffee in Miami

Understand our obsession with croquetas

You can literally go on a croqueta tour, tasting the different version of these deep-fried nuggets of ham and bechamel that are the stars at Miami get togethers. Maybe follow ours.

Want to level up? Find the monstrosity that is the Croqueta Cake — vanilla, Nutella filling, covered in 100 croquetas.

But we like other food, too...

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There are plenty of “best of lists.” This is not one of those. Our food editor shares his list of places where he actually eats.

Some restaurants are iconically Miami. Eat at them before you die — or they close.

It’s no wonder Miami was named one of America’s best cities to dine out.

We also love food halls

Don’t call them food courts (although a couple of them really are food courts). We tried every food hall from Aventura to South Beach and ranked them.

We have lots of food events

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A look at the top upcoming dining events in and around Miami

You do not have to cook in this town. There is always a unique, exclusive dining event to pique your interest.

We also like drinks

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Sweet Liberty in Miami Beach was named one of the best 100 bars in the world, the only one in Florida.

Miami is ground zero for Latin nightclubs. How do you know which one is right for you? Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. Here are the best Latin clubs for every mood.

Just want to go somewhere for a quiet drink? Here are a few of the new hot spots in and around the city. You could even hit one of the best 100 bars in the world if you were so inclined.

Traffic is terrible, and we suck at driving

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Driving in Miami, especially in the rain, is what we like to refer to as not fun at all. Miami Herald File

Brace yourself. Everyone drives like an idiot in Miami, which is why studies are constantly finding out that traffic here is a horrible hellscape of misery. Miami drivers are so challenged they never use turn signals, illegally use their hazard lights in the rain and have no idea where to put registration stickers on their license plates.

Our cities change fast. Explore them while you can

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You’re definitely going to want to visit the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Figuring out what to do when you’re in different Miami neighborhoods can be overwhelming. But we broke it down for you. Here are some bucket lists to check off for almost every neighborhood in Miami-Dade County.

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