May 2019: We just refreshed our guide to spending 48 hours in Miami and you’ll notice some new additions to our list. We’re suggesting you start your trip out with dinner and drinks at Time Out Market Miami and we added a trip to the Wynwood Walls for your Saturday itinerary. We’ve also beefed up Sunday with breakfast at the famous Cuban restaurant Versailles. At the end of it all, you’ll find a new guide with some pro-tips from our Time Out editors. We hope they’ll help you avoid looking like (too much of) a tourist.
It’s impossible to see this great big city in just two days—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best. Our guide to spending 48 hours in Miami won’t show you everything, but it will give you a delicious sample of what makes this city so damn spectacular. We tried to include a little nibble of everything we love about Miami—from partying at the best clubs in Miami to eating at the best restaurants in Miami. And then there are the less obvious Miami attractions, which tend to blow the minds of most tourists expecting typical postcard scenes from Miami Beach. If all you have is 48 hours, you’ll obviously have to come back and see us again. But at least you’ll be off to a good start.
How to spend 48 hours in Miami
Our very own Time Out Market Miami has officially shaken up South Beach. This elevated food hall features our local editors’ favorites, and we’re pretty proud (and forever hungry) because the chefs cooking here are the city’s best: Top Chef’s Jeremy Ford exalts Korean fried chicken, James Beard winner Norman Van Aken honors ceviche, the cheeky Pho Mo mashes raises Vietnamese food, and 15 other leading culinarians bring the heat. All this plus a full bar and a foxy interior with Art Deco vibes. It truly is (as we like to say) the best of Miami under one roof.
The nightclub is very much still an essential part of Miami Beach culture, but Basement isn't your average discotheque. Here—all in the comfort of one club—you can bowl on technicolor lanes, ice skate with friends and dance to DJ sets from local favorites and celeb guests, who spin an open-format style to a very eager dance floor.
Did you really think we weren't going to send you to the beach? At South Pointe Park, the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, you can lay in the sand and watch hulking cruise ships roll in and out of Miami, walk the pier and have a breakfast picnic on the green space in the park.
Ready to pedal? Lummus Park is bike-friendly (there’s a Citi Bike Station at Ocean Drive and 7th Street) and takes you through some of South Beach's most recognizable territory like the Versace Mansion. When hunger strikes, check out La Sandwicherie, a super informal sidewalk cafe that serves some shockingly tasty sandwiches. Whatever you opt for, slather it generously in Sandwicherie’s house vinaigrette, an addictive sauce that makes everything it touches a thousand times better.
We know: Almost every city in the country seems to have some its own arts district with murals these days. But Wynwood is not your average grafittied area; after all, nearly every building in the walkable neighborhood is covered in some sort of stunning design by a world-class artist. The epicenter is the Wynwood Walls, a free rotating gallery of the best murals you’ll see anywhere, period. Shepard Fairey, OSGEMEOS, Eduardo Kobra and many other iconic artists have displayed their work here.
Come hungry to KYU because you will want to (and just might) eat everything on the menu. Most items are crisped to perfection on a wood-fired grill. You can’t go wrong with the fried chicken or the thai fried rice stone pot. And you can walk off the calories with a nocturnal stroll through the Wynwood Walls, just one block away.
Though Wynwood started as an arts district, it's indisputably a nightlife destination now. Gramps will give you a great feel for the still-artsy vibe of the neighborhood. On Saturday, you can usually find a live band of DJ spinning in the bar's tropical backyard. Plus, bar hopping is easy (and encouraged). On NW 24th Street alone, you can find Rácket and J. Wakefield Brewing.
Versailles is never a bad way to start the day—especially if you’re starving. It’s our most famous Cuban bakery and restaurant. The portions come in large, extra large and olympic size swimming pool. Thankfully the food isn’t just big, it’s really good—and makes for a great crash course in Cuban cuisine for curious visitors who’ve never had a proper pastelito.
A 43-acre Italian Renaissance–style villa with waterfront views and otherworldly gardens is perhaps not what one thinks about when Miami is mentioned. But that’s exactly what makes the 103-year-old Vizcaya Museum & Gardens such an unexpected delight—and totally worth a visit. Stop by on a clear day for amazing sights, 400-year-old trees, more than 2,000 types of orchids and some truly prehistoric iguanas.
This shiny outdoor mall known as the Brickell City Centre is great for some last-minute shopping. But even if you don’t feel like spending any money, this architectural stunner really is worth just a walk through. This place is an example of the new wave of Miami developments taking this city into the future. Oh, and there’s a ton of food options (especially if you like Italian).