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24 Hours in Miami: Making the Best of Your Layover

by Aswini Vadapalli

Miami is home to white-sand beaches, Cuban coffee, and a warm climate. The heavy Latin-American and Caribbean influences are visible throughout the culture and populace. There’s so much to explore and experience in this city, and it can be difficult to determine where to start to experience Miami at its finest, especially when faced with a locale that’s so rich and diverse in culture.

You’d be surprised at how much you can experience in a 24-hour window. Even if you’re strapped for time, a well-planned day could help you make the most out of your experiences in the city. It also follows that since you have only a limited time to spend in the city, it would be best to use a luggage storage service.

Once you’re free to roam around, you might want to check this 24-hour itinerary of the quintessential spots to visit in Miami.

South Beach

The perfect way to start your day in Miami is with a stroll along South Beach. The urban park has a breath-taking view of Biscayne Bay and Fisher Island. Downtown Miami is well-known for the walking paths, the art, and the locals who frequent the park on rollerblades. This iconic location is often featured in movies and videos.

If you prefer a much quieter morning, a stroll through the South Pointe Pier is highly recommended, which now serves as one of the best fishing spots in Miami.

From First Street to Fifteenth Street, palm trees line the strip known as Ocean Drive, which is where you’ll find the Art Deco District. After a morning of exploring the art district, some of the best places to eat in the area are Pura Vida and Under the Mango Tree.

After lunch, take a 20 to 30 minute drive to Little Havana, which is the best place to spend your afternoon. 

Calle Ocho, Little Havana

As the name suggests, Calle Ocho proudly showcases Cuban culture. Here you’ll find cigar shops, shops with trinkets and baubles, and spiritual stores. The Maximo Gomez Park is the music and arts hub of Calle Ocho, where you’ll find a collection of murals as you’re serenaded with live music.

Paseo de las Estrellas is a walkway similar to that of the Walk of Fame found in Hollywood. The Paseo de las Estrellas in Miami pays homage to Latin American actors, writers, and musicians.

The best place to cool off during a hot afternoon is at the Azucar Ice Cream Company, where every visitor should try the shop’s Abuela Maria ice cream, which is made of guava, cookies, and cream cheese.

The Ball & Chain is the perfect place to wind your afternoon down. This bar-lounge is popular for its live music, great food, and this is also where you’ll find the best Mojitos in Miami. The mix of food, music, and dancing makes this the best way to end your afternoon.

The Wynwood Art District

The Wynwood Art District is best known for its street art exhibit, where you’ll find the Wynwood Walls, which is a rotating outdoor exhibit laden with wall art from over 50 artists from all over the world.

After visiting the art district, the best place to have dinner is at the Mandolin Aegean Bistro, which serves some of the best Turkish and Greek cuisine in the area.

The Miami Nightlife

There are plenty of points of interest in Miami depending on what suits your fancy. Below is a list of points of interest that you might want to consider as your nighttime destinations:

El Patio and Proyecto Tulum are perfect for people who want to experience Latin music outdoors, while Gramps is a pub that serves craft beers. Both of these places showcase live entertainment.

If you’re in Downtown Miami, you might want to visit Floyd, which is a fancy speakeasy that showcases some of the best artists in the electronic music scene.

The next place to visit is Club Space, which is likely going to be one of the best rooftop parties you’re going to be at because of the performances from some of the most well-regarded DJs in the world.

The best way to spend a day in a destination is not to visit as many points of interest as possible, but rather, it is by
visiting the places that best capture the spirit and culture of the locale. We hope this guide helps make it easier to decide which places to visit if you’re spending only a day in Miami.

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