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Nikki Beach
Photograph: Courtesy Nikki Beach

The best things to do in Miami Beach right now

Explore legendary dives, world-renowned clubs, charming promenades and more of the best things to do in Miami Beach

Falyn Wood
Written by
Falyn Wood
&
Krista Diamond
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Miami Beach could be described both as an unexplored region filled with undiscovered gems and as a well-trodden tourist trap to be navigated with care. Talk about a paradox. People from all over the world aspire to spread a towel over the pristine sands of Miami's best beaches (yes, there are many here), splash in its warm waters and party at South Beach’s notorious nightclubs. But even if you live here, it’s easy to get lost in the madness of it all and miss out on so many of the best things to do in Miami Beach. For starters, some of the best restaurants in Miami are in Miami Beach—and not just the fancy ones in the big hotels. From quaint cafes to contemporary art museums, and botanical gardens to lit drag brunches, there’s something for everyone in Miami Beach. You just have to know where to look, and we’ve already done that part for you! Read on for our fully vetted guide to the best things to do in Miami Beach.

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Time Out Market Miami
  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

We clicked our heels together three times and made a wish that all our favorite, highest-rated Miami restaurants would get together in one big room and serve the Miami dishes we find ourselves craving just about every damn day. And guess what? It came true! Stop in for killer burgers by James Beard Award winner Michell Bernstein, soul-soothing pho from Pho Mo, mind-blowingly good plant-based Chinese food, and a transportive tasting menu at Basque eatery Lur—among other delights.

Best things to do in Miami Beach

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

This indoor/outdoor watering hole sums up the city’s drinking culture down to its poolside seating and shareable punch bowls, which change seasonally. Not sure what to sip? Close your eyes and point to the menu. Everything is good. The pool is also open to customers, so feel free to grab a drink and take a dip.

  • Restaurants
  • South of Fifth
  • price 3 of 4

South Florida’s most famous restaurant turned 100 in 2013 and is as much a Miami must-see as Ocean Drive. The best time to visit is October through May, when the seasonal stone crabs are served with a “secret” sauce, garlic creamed spinach, fried sweet potatoes, coleslaw and hash browns. Joe’s takes limited reservations, so be prepared for a horrendously long wait. Or head straight to Joe’s Take Away next door, where you get the same fresh claws at the same price without the long lines.

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  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • North Beach
  • price 1 of 4

This open-air music venue with a proscenium stage and bench seating is where you’ll catch Miami’s most eclectic bookings—think rare world music acts and Latin jazz brought to you by venue managers Rhythm Foundation. With string lights and an ocean breeze above, this place is Miami’s most charming little music venue.

  • Things to do
  • Play spaces
  • Miami

This 99-acre waterfront green space features picnic pavilions, offers easy parking and beach access and hosts a fun food truck festival every Tuesday from 5 to 10pm. It’s also a tan-line-free zone: Haulover has one of the few nude beaches in the county. It’s also home to probably the best of Miami’s few dog-friendly beaches.

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Part of the Faena chain of luxury hotels, this architecturally stunning set of buildings sprinkled across mid-Beach plays hosts some of Miami’s best public gatherings, from cabaret shows to interactive art installations and more. The floor inside the Faena Forum looks like a massive kaleidoscope, while Faena Theater hosts a Jazz Series featuring a rotating cast of award-winning musicians from around the world.

  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Miami Beach
  • price 4 of 4

Simply put, LIV is the most famous club in South Beach. A 2017 million-dollar renovation added more LED screens that generate greater light spectacles to highlight its usual star-studded lineup—everyone from Travis Scott and Skrillex to Justin Bieber has held court at LIV. Come for LIV’s popular weekly Sunday night party (LIV on Sunday), where you’ll see no less than five famous rappers.

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  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

It ain’t a bad idea to spend a day at this historic Miami Beach hotel. Take advantage of the plush cabanas at Nobu Hotel Miami Beach (located within the Eden Roc), which are open to hotel guests and locals during select promotions. If you don’t want to drop hundreds on a cabana by the pool, grab a reservation at Eden Roc’s restaurant, Ocean Social, for elevated coastal fare and an unbeatable beach view.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • North Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Taquiza is a perfect post-beach lunch spot with a killer house-made michelada. Like its sibling further south, it boasts organic blue masa tortillas, which are ground daily and stuffed with fresh protein or (if you’re brave enough) grasshopper. Don’t skip a basket of crispy totopos with a side of guac. Like, seriously. Don’t. We prefer this location for its charming outdoor patio overlooking the beach, housed inside a restored Art Deco motel.

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  • Things to do
  • Cultural centers
  • South Beach

The centerpiece of Collins Park’s cultural campus (which includes the adjacent Miami City Ballet), this recently enhanced and enlarged contemporary art museum includes more exhibition space, four new galleries, a gift shop, café by Thierry Isambert and a new educational facility called the Creativity Center.
With the revamp also came a series of fresh acquisitions and gifts from New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • South Beach

This classic Spanish street functions as an elegant, picturesque cousin to nearby Lincoln Road, replete with Mediterranean flair and adorable sidewalk cafes. Following an ambitious restoration project, which completely replaced the street's existing pavement and sidewalk, Española Way has been restored to its original grandeur as a true pedestrian-only strip. You won't find big-box stores nor large hotels, just quaint small shops and cozy, bilevel hotels that whisk you away to far-flung places.

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  • Movie theaters
  • Film club
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

O Cinema is a super-cool art-house movie theater nestled inside the Carl Fisher-designed former City Hall. Art exhibits hang on the walls, and there may be music, a mini-festival or talks in addition to its bookstore and cafe. Miami Beach’s European-inspired cinematheque is also the home of the Miami Beach Film Society, which screens independent and experimental movies, along with film classics, to an audience of just 50.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • South of Fifth
  • price 4 of 4

The Top Chef-winning toque wows the city's foodies with his creativity and meticulousness. Stubborn Seed—which received a Michelin star in 2022—is Ford’s first solo restaurant, and he’s every bit the fixated parent fussing over his new baby—in a good way. The eight-course tasting menu ($150) is a sign of a chef who’s poured over every detail of the culinary experience.

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  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

While most activities in this city require driving, Basement solves your transportation woes by grouping your favorite nighttime activities (and even some daytime things) into one super fun location. The underground space offers bowling under neon lighting and indoor ice skating, plus features a full bar and a dance floor.

  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • South of Fifth

South Pointe Park occupies the southernmost tip of Miami Beach. There's beach access (with a great view of massive cruise ships rolling in and out of Miami), a walkable pier and also some green space to spread a blanket and chill out. If you can wake up early enough (or stay awake late enough), the sunrises from this vantage point are seriously out of this world.

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  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Miami Beach
  • price 4 of 4

As far as theaters go, or any architectural structure goes, this Faena property is drop-dead gorgeous. For all its luxury and richness—literally, drinks will run you upwards of $20—the Faena Miami Beach’s on-site theater has a steady roster of cool acts and shows, from cabaret to dance to concerts.

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