3 Days in Miami: A Perfect Long Weekend

Miami is known for its white-sand beaches, warm climate, delicious cuisine, Cuban coffee, and its Latin-American influences. 3 days in Miami can give you the chance to see some of the city’s different eclectic and fun areas! Miami is perfect for a long weekend. There’s enough to keep you busy or stay relaxed, but you could spend even longer if you wanted to!

I’m not your typical Miami visitor, here. I didn’t go out and party like wild (although you totally could) just because when I travel, I like experiences and exploring a place. Of course, I had drinks, visited bars, and had good fun! With that in mind, I have put my favorite things from Miami together into this three-day guide. Here is how I would spend 3 days in Miami.

Table of Contents

Note: Both times I have gone to Miami, I have not had to pay for hotels. It’s just worked out that way—not endorsed by a hotel. Once, I won a free stay and that was especially awesome (I won it at a travel and wine fest.).

Pro-tip: Staying in South Beach can be very affordable in a boutique hotel, but it is touristy. There are hotels for under $100 and just a few blocks from the beach. Be careful of hidden fees with these places though. Many of them include charges like a resort fee, parking fee, and breakfast. This can quickly add up! Be careful and read up on your hotel before booking or arriving.

paddle boarding in miami

Tips for Visiting Miami

  • The Best Time to Visit: Winter (December to April) is ideal for pleasant weather and outdoor activities. However, it’s the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and crowds.
  • Transportation: Car Rentals are ideal for exploring areas outside of the city.
  • Public Transport: Use the Metrorail and Metrobus for affordable travel. The Metromover is free and convenient for downtown Miami.
  • Cuisine: Miami is known for Cuban, seafood, and fusion. There’s plenty of amazing restaurants in Maimi – just be mindful because many are very pricy as well.
  • Nightlife: Miami has a vibrant nightlife scene. LIV and Story are popular spots for dancing and celebrity sightings. Here’s a list of some other popular ones too.
  • Go City Pass: Consider getting the Go City Pass if you want to do a lot of different activities in Miami! It can be a good value and includes a ton of activities.

Trip Costs: 

Flight — (into Fort Lauderdale) $231

Rental Car — $168 ($84 a person)

Food — ~$100

Total Cost — $598

Pro-tip: Flying into Miami can be expensive. Fly into Fort Lauderdale instead to save around $100. There is a train that goes straight from the Ft. Lauderdale airport to Miami. If you are renting a car anyway (which is a must if you are exploring outside the beach), this is also easy. You can also get a transfer from the airport for a fair price.

 

Day 1 of 3 Days in Miami

Photo by Johannes Belz

Spa, Pool, Beach Day — $100

There are tons of Groupons available for Miami. Many of them are for spa packages. This past year, I booked a spa package that included a facial, foot scrub, hour massage, parking, unlimited use of pool and beach, and champagne. This was at Shore Spa and Club in South Beach. It was the perfect way to spend the first day! It was relaxing, beautiful, and I felt like a princess. While a little expensive, considering all the things included, it was really a steal!

Resort Pass has several great options for beach clubs and resort day passes. 

Pro-tip: When you start booking things for Miami, check Groupon. I found this awesome deal as well as stand-up paddle boarding for $7 and a comedy show for $15 a ticket. Lots of great Groupons!

 

Day 2 of 3 Days in Miami

wynwood art district miami
 

Wynwood Arts District — free

This was an absolutely awesome day! Wynwood District is such a fun and unique area in Miami. It’s known for its graffiti and local art. All of the artists, coffee shops, and delicious food make for an awesome walk around for your morning.

There are some wonderful brunch spots there that are easy to pop into and have great food. Book ahead because brunch is very popular in Miami. Spend some time just walking through the different street art spots and give some love to local art.

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vizcaya

 

Vizcaya — $18

 

This museum gives you a unique look back into the history of the first half of the twentieth century. The mansion is gorgeous, but the gardens and surroundings were my favorite part. When I visited, they were doing renovations, and I couldn’t enter part of the museum, so they had discounted admission. After visiting their website the other day, it looks like they are still doing renovations, and admission is $18 (as of Feb. 15, 2017).

little havana miami calle ocho

 

Cuban food and Comedy Show — $15

I have been to Little Havana during the day. It was pretty empty and did not have the feel of Havana. I do think it would be different at night or on a weekend. It just ended up not being very exciting. However, I visited Espanola Way, and it was really nice. I ate at Havana 1957—the little street is super cute. Cars are not allowed to drive on the street so it has a very relaxed and fun feel. It was delicious, and the mojitos were on point!

I would highly recommend trying to see a show or some other fun event because there are so many great things going on at night in Miami. Instead, I stopped in at a bar and listened to live music. Still very fun, but not expected!

Food Tour Option: Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami

Pro-tip: Things in Miami are far apart. If you plan on exploring outside South Beach, you should consider renting a car so you can explore it.

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Day 3 of 3 Days in Miami

Everglades tour miami florida
 

Everglades Tour — $40 (they’ve increased their price since October to $55)

This was something that I definitely didn’t want to miss while in Miami. The Everglades are such a unique part of the United States. Did you know that the water is deadly to humans?

There are so many dangerous creatures that live in it, too. Oh and dangerous plants! I learned a lot on the tour if you couldn’t tell! I would definitely recommend taking an airboat ride and going into the Everglades. While I didn’t see any alligators on the airboat, I did see them hanging out on the grass where we began our tour.

 
alligator in the everglades outside miami
 

This tour was a good experience, but the pickup location wasn’t clear, and I ended up almost missing the tour because I spent so long trying to find them. The airboat ride was also very short. Also, although they said they would pick up at hotels, they wouldn’t pick up from the area of South Beach where we were staying, so we had to meet the bus at a mall.

paddle boarding in miami
 

This was so much fun. I had never been before, and honestly, it was really scary at first! I didn’t get the courage to stand until I was around a cove away from the waves. This was another Groupon that I found and booked it the same day. When I got there, they were happy to accommodate right away. I did have to carry my board down to the water which was kind of a hassle, but other than that easy to use and felt safe!

Pro-tip: When buying a last-minute Groupon, call and check with the company selling the Groupon to make sure you are allowed to use it the same day—sometimes Groupons have rules that say things like “must have 7 days notice,” etc.

 

Beach — Free

Relax for the rest of the day on the beach—need I say more? There are some great beaches in Miami, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

3 days in Miami can give you the chance to see some of the city’s different eclectic and fun areas! Miami is perfect for a long weekend.
3 days in Miami can give you the chance to see some of the city’s different eclectic and fun areas! Miami is perfect for a long weekend.
 

Miami truly has a lot to offer every kind of traveler. Even though I’ve visited a lot this year, I am already planning to go again—it really is worth the long weekend. Consider extending your trip with a road trip from Miami to Key West for even more fun and beautiful places to explore. After spending a weekend in Key West, I can tell you it’s worth it!

Meghan

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