0 Love It
Save it

The best cheap things to do in Miami

Have a blast exploring the Magic City on a budget with our day-by-day guide to the best cheap things to do in Miami

Photograph: Courtesy Bahia/Four Seasons Hotel

Champagne wishing and caviar dreaming in Miami? We suggest living out those fantasies in a South Beach nightclub. For a city experience closer to real life (and real wallets), one that includes amazing culture at one of the best museums in Miami, good eats, great cocktails (and not just during your typical happy hour deal in Miami) and exciting things to do on the cheap, consider our guide to the best cheap things to do in Miami. We’ll have you exploring unknown parts and indulging in great deals on experiences you’d written off as too expensive (Oysters at lunch? Don’t mind if we do!), for a week that promises more than just modest fun.

Cheap things to do in Miami

Monday

Monday

Cheap fun:
Need Monday motivation? Head outdoors. Explore Key Biscayne’s Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (1200 S Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne; floridastateparks.org), home to the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse—Miami-Dade County’s oldest standing structure. Free lighthouse tours are offered Thursday through Monday at 10am and 1pm. Park admission for pedestrians and bicyclists is $2, or $4 to $8 for vehicles. Then rent a Yolo Yak for two for $25 per hour at SoSUP Key Biscayne (4400 Rickenbacker Cswy; sosupkeybiscayne.com), and explore the shoreline. 

Cheap eats:
Greet the day with a shot of caffeine, Cuban style, at Oasis Cafe (19 Harbor Dr, Key Biscayne; ogroupfl.com), an old-school shack that’s been serving tasty Latin fare for nearly 50 years. Pair it with a fresh-squeezed orange juice ($4.80 to $6) or a Cubano ($7.50). In the mood for Asian? Between 11:30am and 3pm on weekdays, Blackbrick Chinese (3451 NE First Ave) offers dim sum specials for $3 to $12 (we dig the bao) and $10 lunch-size portions of its popular dinner dishes. 

Cheap drinks:
27 Restaurant & Bar at the Freehand
(2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach) serves award-winning cocktails in a shabby-chic setting for next to nothing every Sunday through Friday. Head to the second-floor bar to enjoy a happy hour (6:30 to 8:30pm) featuring $7 signature cocktails: including the Yellow Submarine, made with a kiwi-cucumber reduction.

The check:
The Kayaking + Blackbrick Chinese + Yellow Submarine = $29.50

Tuesday

Tuesday

Cheap fun:
The Miami Design District is where art, architecture and luxe shopping collide. Galleries such as de la Cruz Collection (23 NE 41st St; delacruzcollection.org), Locust Projects and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami offer free admission. Also make time to browse installations in the neighborhood, like Konstantin Grcic’s Netscape (140 NE 39th St). These arty mesh swings make for awesome photo ops.

Cheap eats:
At Buena Vista Deli, the eats and drinks are cheap and copious. Dig into a chocolate croissant ($2.20) and a café au lait bowl ($4.95)—yes, a bowl. If you don’t mind lines, head to Taco Tuesdays at Wood Tavern for dinner. It churns out free tacos from 6 to 9pm.

Cheap drinks:
Killer classic cocktails, wines and bites are up for grabs at Beaker & Gray’s happy hour, weekdays from 4 to 7pm. Everything is $5. We suggest ordering the balanced and not-too-sweet daiquiri. For snacks, it’s all about the $5 cheeseburger croquette, which is basically Miami’s Cuban-American heritage rolled into one crispy bite. The same deal is available from 11pm to 2am.

The check:
Gallery + Coffee and pastry + Daiquiri and croquettes = $17.15

Wednesday

Wednesday

Cheap fun:
Pick up a Citi Bike ($6 for two hours) in Downtown Miami, and ride through Museum Park (1075 Biscayne Blvd) overlooking Biscayne Bay. At noon, MDC Museum of Art + Design (600 Biscayne Blvd; mdcmoad.org) at the landmark Freedom Tower opens its doors for free. Fall through spring, the New World Symphony WALLCAST puts on free outdoor movies every Wednesday evening at SoundScape Park. Shows start at 8pm sharp. 

Cheap eats:
Take your appetite to Brickell, where a Mediterranean lunch buffet at Marion only sets you back $24. Don’t fill up on oysters (tempting, as you’d normally pay the price of this lunch for a half-dozen) before trying meats from the carving stations or pastas. If lunch isn’t in the cards, head to Salumeria 104 (3451 NE First Ave; salumeria104.com) for dinner. The Beat the Clock menu, available from 5 to 7pm, is priced depending on your arrival—meaning gnocchi is just $5 at 5pm. 

Cheap drinks:
The Café at Books & Books, located within Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd; thecafeatbooksandbooks.com), hosts Wine Down Wednesday, when every glass and bottle is half off. Books & Books’ Lincoln Road location (927 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach; booksandbooks.com) has the same deal. Still have energy? Head to Basement Miami, because tonight is ladies’ night: Gals drink boozy slushies, ice-skate and bowl for free from 10pm to midnight. 

The check:
Biking + Lunch + Slushies = $30

Advertising
Thursday

Thursday

Cheap fun:
Visit Miami Design Preservation League’s Art Deco Museum for a free lesson about the city’s three distinctive architecture styles, or splurge on a self-guided audio tour ($25) through the Art Deco district. Give yourself two hours, then make your way to South Pointe Park (1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach), where a pier and waterway open up to views of Fisher Island. Over on Calle Ocho, jazz club Ball & Chain holds gratis salsa classes at 9pm.         

Cheap eats:
Treat every day like it’s “cheat” day at Sweet Dogs (4749 SW 8 St; sweetdogs.net). Just $15 gets you all you can eat of the gourmet wieners, like the Marlin, topped with an only-in-Miami combo of guava and sweet plantains. Thursday nights belong to Macchialina, where James Beard Award–nominated chef Michael Pirolo pushes out his specialty pastas for just $10. You might get lucky and find his signature beet mezzaluna on the rotating menu.

Cheap drinks:
In Brickell, happy-hour libations flow at the Four Seasons’ Edge Steak & Bar from 4 to 7pm on Saturdays. Sip cocktails, wine and craft beers on draft for just $8, $7 and $4, respectively. Oysters are a buck each. Have an immersive drinking experience at Wynwood’s Concrete Beach Brewery during a free tour at 6pm (scheduled Wednesday through Sunday). Then try a signature beer, sold $1 off until 7pm.

The check:
Architecture tour + Pasta + Craft beer = $34

Friday

Friday

Cheap fun:
Browse the more than 18,000 pieces on display at the museum Wolfsonian-FIU, where admission is waived from 6 to 9pm on Fridays. Tours start promptly at 6pm. For more zero-cost culture, head to Little Haiti Cultural Center (212 NE 59th Terr, littlehaiticulturalcenter.com) for the Rhythm Foundation’s concert Big Night in Little Haiti, which happens every third Friday of the month.

Cheap eats:
Feast on a fried snapper sandwich the size of your face at La Camaronera (1952 W Flagler St; lacamaronera.com). Its famous Minuta sandwich and all sorts of other fresh seafood register at under $10. Not into seafood but still want something handheld and decidedly Latin? Satisfy your craving at El Rey de las Fritas (1821 SW 8th St; elreydelasfritas.com), where the $3.25 “original Cuban burger” still reigns supreme.

Cheap drinks:
A flashy Miami night can be had on a budget at STK Miami in Downtown (1100 Biscayne Blvd; togrp.com), where Lip Service, an all-night Friday happy hour, begins at 5pm. Slurp oysters (each $1.50), munch on mouthwatering mini Wagyu burgers, and wash it all down with a cocktail or glass of bubbles ($8). 

The check:
Art tour + Frita + Cocktail = $11.25

Saturday

Saturday

Cheap fun:
Staycation in style at the Confidante on Saturdays when the Mid-Beach hotel opens its pool to locals—for free! Just outside Midtown, Lagniappe is a New Orleans–inspired spot with grilled grub, live music nightly and a variety of wines and beers. Pick a bottle from the coolers out front (a bottle of rosé is about $26), and enjoy it on one of the mismatched lawn chairs.

Cheap eats:
Start the day at Las Olas Cafe (644 6th St, Miami Beach), a South Beach staple serving Cuban eats at unbeatable prices. It’s cash-only for the $5.50 breakfast combo: two eggs, meat or veggies, fries, toast and coffee or juice. In Brickell, the Four Seasons’ Mexican-inspired poolside joint, Bahia, hosts a weekend happy hour (4 to 6pm) featuring two-for-one snacks and libations, including margaritas and local craft beers. 

Cheap drinks:
A huge international selection of wines awaits oenophiles at Happy Wine in West Miami (5792 SW 8th St; happywinemiami.com). While the 1,000-plus labels are reason enough to visit, Saturday afternoons kick things up a notch: That’s when wine lovers get to sample certain selections for free. Boozing starts at 1pm! 

The check:
Swim + Cuban breakfast + Wine samples = $5.50

Advertising
Sunday

Sunday

Cheap fun:
BYO bike to Wynwood for a free street-art tour of the neighborhood, led by Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide. The group meets at Panther Coffee and rides at 4pm—rain or shine. A stop at the seasonal, biweekly Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market is mandatory if you’re into all things vintage. 

Cheap eats:
No matter your position on the toast trend, Zak the Baker warrants a visit. Try Zak’s beet toast ($7) with tahini, dill and mint, or the latke ($9) with smoked tuna, tarragon and a fried egg. Nighttime carousing calls for “Sunday Bites” at the Regent Cocktail Club; from 7 to 10pm, any cocktail order comes with complimentary snacks from the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, Dolce Italian—think mini crab cakes and shrimp skewers. 

Cheap drinks:
Keep your brunch buzz going a while longer at NaiYaRa, which has a $7 happy hour from 5 to 7pm. Choose from 11 small plates, like whitefish tacos or crispy pad thai, and various cocktails. You can’t go wrong with the Royal Blush: Kai lychee vodka, crème de cassis and prosecco.

The check: 
Graffiti tour + Toast + Royal Blush = $14

Cheap transportation in Miami

Flag a Freebee

Flag a Freebee

For short trips in South Beach or Wynwood, flag down a Freebee (or request one via the free app). This free, eco-friendly shuttle takes you anywhere you want to go, within reason. Remember to tip.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kris K.

Ride the trolley

Ride the trolley

Heading downtown? Jump on a free trolley. These air-conditioned vehicles provide a comfortable ride down Brickell Avenue and onto Biscayne Boulevard.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Brian Q.

Take the Metromover

Take the Metromover

This above-ground train system extends more than four miles through downtown Miami and Brickell. It’s free to ride and runs frequently from 5am to midnight. 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Hugh Millward

Advertising

Find more cheap fun in Miami

Comments

0 comments