Miami, Florida: The Best Things to Do in One Day

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Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida is a popular hub for many travelers due to the Port of Miami and International Airport. With millions of tourists passing through the cruise capital of the United States each year, many people find themselves on layovers between flights or passing through on their way to a cruise vacation. Because of this fact, you may be one of the many who find themselves in the Miami area with time to kill and not sure how to properly spend it.

I recently made my first visit to the Miami area and attempted to see as many attractions as possible. While I had two days to explore, I pared down my itinerary into how you can best spend one day visiting Miami, Florida.

Do you find yourself with only a short amount of time to explore Miami? Below are my top attractions you can easily fit into one day!

Stop #1: Wynwood Walls

The Wynwood Walls have become a bit of a hot spot when visiting Miami — and make for an excellent first stop during your Miami adventures. The unique outdoor destination features huge, colorful street murals by a constantly rotating roster of artists from around the globe.

The idea for the Wynwood Walls was conceived by community revitalizer Tony Goldman in 2009. He was searching for a way to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, leading him to a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Out of that dream rose a vibrant district adorned in everything from life-sized murals and graffiti quotes, to abstract paintings and out-of-this-world sculptures.

After admiring the colorful murals, visit The Wynwood Walls Shop for a curated collection of gifts, books, prints all inspired and created by the artists of Wynwood Walls. Guides and books about the area are also available, which visitors can purchase to gain more insight into the history and development of Wynwood Walls.

If you’re a fan of street art, unique attractions, and Instagram photoshoots, then a stop at the Wynwood Walls is a must.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 10:30am-11:30pm | Fri & Sat 10:30am-Midnight
Admission: Free
GPS Info: 2520 NW 2nd Avenue
Time Commitment: 1-2 Hours

Visiting the Miami area soon? Book a Miami hotel now!

Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida

Bonus: Cafe Versailles

Fuel up for the rest of your day with a cafe cubano from Cafe Versailles. Located in the heart of Little Havana, the take-out window at Cafe Versailles offers the famous (and delicious) coffee drink for a mere 90¢.

Stop #2: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Set on the beautiful Bay of Biscayne, Vizcaya was the summer home of businessman James Deering during the early 20th century. Today the estate is open to the public as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Whether coming to experience the grandeur of the building and its lush grounds or to enjoy what many regard as one of the best art and history museums in the United States, Vizcaya should absolutely be included in your one-day Miami itinerary!

Hours: Daily 9:30am-4:30pm | Closed Tuesday
Admission: Adults: $18 | Children 6-12: $6 | 5 & Under: Free
GPS Info: 3251 South Miami Ave.
Time Commitment: 1-2 Hours

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida

Bonus: Venetian Pool

The afternoon heat may be getting to you at this point, so a refreshing swim at the Venetian Pool may be the perfect solution. Located in nearby Coral Gables, the historic U.S. public swimming pool was created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry. The Venetian Pool also features two large historic lookout towers and several waterfalls. Keep in mind: the pool will cease the sale of admission tickets once the facility has reached its maximum capacity.


Stop #3: Everglades National Park

No trip to South Florida would be complete without a visit to the Everglades. The Everglades is a unique landscape of tropical wetlands that spans across 1.5 million acres of the southern part of Florida. Visiting the Everglades allows you to explore a vast diversity of flora and fauna in different ecosystems and is also the only place in the world where you can find both alligators and crocodiles. When it comes to experiencing the Everglades, you really have three options from the Miami area: Everglades National Park, Everglades Holiday Park, or Everglades Safari Park.

The main entrance of Everglades National Park is located in Homestead, which connects visitors to the Royal Palm area and the Flamingo area of the park, and is an hour drive from downtown Miami. Keep in mind that there is an entrance fee of $25 per vehicle, which is good for 7 days from the day of purchase.

Everglades Holiday Park is actually located in nearby Fort Lauderdale and happens to be the place I chose to visit. Just a 45 minute drive from Miami, the park offers a classic Everglades airboat tour, a gator show, and a photo with a baby alligator. During the hour-long airboat ride, I was able to see several alligators up close (sometimes a bit too close). Everglades Holiday Park is also the home of Animal Planet’s Gator Boys!

Everglades Safari Park is similar to the last destination in the tours and shows that they offer, but has only two differences: Safari Park is located a bit closer to downtown Miami (40 minutes) and the airboat tours actually take you into Everglades National Park. But no matter which Everglades experience you choose, any of these 3 options will satisfy your desire for gator hunting adventure!

Everglades Holiday Park
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Admission: Adults: $31.50 | Children 3-11: $20.50
GPS Info: 21940 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale
Time Commitment: 3 Hours

Everglades Safari Park
Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
Admission: Adults: $28 | Children 5-11: $15 | 4 & Under: Free
GPS Info: 26700 SW 8th Street, Miami
Time Commitment: 3 Hours

Everglades National Park