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Downtown Miami view along Biscayne Bay from Brickell Key
Photograph: Shutterstock

The 16 best things to do in Brickell

Follow us to rooftop bars, public parks and more of the best things to do in Brickell, Miami's financial district.

Falyn Wood
Written by
Falyn Wood
Contributor
Ryan Pfeffer
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As Brickell continues to grow up (literally, into the clouds), so too do its offerings, drawing more and more new residents and visitors itching to see what it’s like to live and play in a tropical urban paradise on the edge of the Atlantic. From dining and shopping to waterfront parks and even pre-historic archaeological sites, the densely packed financial center known as Brickell has it all. Some of Miami’s best restaurants are located in Brickell, including the newly Michelin-starred Elcielo Miami By Juan Manuel Barrientos, along with a handful of the best rooftop bars in the city.

With easy access to the Metromover, it’s fairly easy to get around Brickell and Downtown on Miami public transportation—a good thing, since parking in Brickell doesn’t come easy or cheap. Whether you’re staying in the neighborhood or just exploring for the day, there’s no shortage of delicious cocktails, fantastic shopping and interesting things to do in Brickell.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to Brickell, Miami

Best things to do in Brickell

  • Shopping
  • Shopping centers
  • Brickell

This futuristic outdoor retail makes it easy to spend a day shopping and eating your way into bankruptcy. Architecturally, the complex is impressive and deserving of a stroll whether or not you want to buy anything. The crown jewel of Brickell, Brickell City Centre is home to not only top-notch shopping but some great food as well. Check out Pubbelly for inventive sushi, Tacology for Mexican, Ch’i for Asian Fusion, or the deliciously carb-y Casa Tua Cucina, among other spots.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Brickell
  • price 3 of 4

Brickell is home to Miami’s tallest skyscrapers, making it likewise home to the city’s best rooftop bars with the best views. Sugar is a lush watering hole where (fair warning) nothing is cheap. But the view (it’s on the 40th floor) is very worth it. If, perhaps, Sugar has a big line outside (not a rare occurrence), try Wet Deck Lounge at the W. Its floor-to-ceiling windows will still give you a great shot of the city.

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  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • Brickell Key
  • price 4 of 4

Lar Mar is, in our humble opinion, one of Miami’s best restaurants. Famed chef Gastón Acurio serves up creative Peruvian that combines imagination with local and seasonal ingredients. In addition to the delicious food and waterfront view, La Mar gives you a chance to check out Brickell Key, a tiny island just a short bridge away from the edge of Brickell. And we’ll take any excuse to go to an island, no matter how small.

A collection of shops, restaurants and—most importantly—bars, Mary Brickell Village ain’t no Brickell City Centre, but it is home to some popular spots. During the day, Mary Brickell is good for a quick lunch (Shake Shack, anyone?). But night sees the area's biggest crowds thanks to reliable mainstays like Balan’s. The forthcoming Hampton Social and its signature Rosé All Day lounge will likely inject some New York-inspired energy into the block, too.

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Explore Brickell Backyard, the first half-mile completed phase of the planned 10-mile Underline. Similar to New York’s High Line or Chicago’s 606 Trail except on the ground, Miami’s Underline Park utilizes the path carved by its legacy public transportation lines to create an innovative urban park and trail. Opening in phases through 2025, visitors can already enjoy amenities like a free weekend yoga series, a dog run and separated biking and walking paths along the Miami River.

  • Things to do
  • Cultural centers
  • Brickell

Is that…could it be…a park? In Brickell? Yes! It is, admittedly, a very small park (7.8 acres) but a park nonetheless. A stroll through Simpson Park Hammock offers a quiet, cool and lush respite from the bustle of the city. Plus, this park and nature preserve is basically the only remaining proof of what Brickell used to look like before all these buildings and people arrived and many native plant species are protected here.

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  • Things to do
  • Film events
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

The plush leather seats at this luxury dine-in movie theater are so comfy you just might not make it to the third act. Better order a craft cocktail and a cappuccino (both available for purchase from the comfort of your recliner) to ensure you see the final scene. Is a $20 movie ticket worth it? When you consider the menu of not-half-bad food and drinks and full service during the show, it all makes for a pretty sweet night out at the movies.

Miami Circle National Historic Landmark
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Miami Circle National Historic Landmark

In a neighborhood defined by its constant construction and towering luxury condos, you wouldn’t exactly expect to find an archaeological site, let alone the oldest known permanent settlement on the U.S. East Coast. Yet here it is, a perfect, 38-foot circle of 24 holes cut into the limestone bedrock on coastal Brickell Point. Believed to have been the location of a structure built by the Tequesta Indians, the Miami Circle is estimated to be somewhere between 1,700 and 2,000 years old.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

Marion is a French fusion restaurant adjacent to El Tucán where the food, although tasty, is not necessarily the main event. We can safely bet you have never had a dinner like Marion’s Thursday Soirée: After the plates have been cleared, the lights dim and suddenly the dignified diners (dress code is upscale elegant here) morph into table-dancing maniacs feasting on sparkling dessert platters. Or, maybe you have. If so, congrats on living your best damn life.

  • Things to do
  • Brickell Key

This small manicured park on Brickell Key’s southern tip features waterfront walking paths with sweeping views of Biscayne Bay and Downtown Miami. Palm trees, shade structures, benches, statues and sculptures line the park’s brick walkways. Whether it’s day or night, Brickell Key Park is an excellent spot to take in the iconic skyline and watch the boat traffic idle by.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Brickell
  • price 3 of 4

Blackbird has been satiating Brickell and Downtown’s thirsty masses for longer than most Miami bars. Here, the dancefloor is inviting, the cocktails are strong and the nightly DJs play a mix of bangers that draw eclectic crowds late into the night. Open from 3pm until 5am seven days a week, Blackbird Ordinary toes the line between a rowdy neighborhood dive and a full-on nightclub. Whichever journey you’re on, rest assured the dress code is relaxed, the music is on point and the prices are definitely on the friendlier side for the area.

  • Things to do
  • Sport events
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

Haven’t you heard? Miami has soccer fever. So you should probably brush up on your skills since Beckham and company are bringing the sport to the city. Open from 4pm on weekdays and 9am on weekends until midnight, Soccer Rooftop is a lively pair of turf soccer fields on the roof of a Brickell building. Gather some friends and play six-on-six or stop by for weekly pick-up games. You can also rent them out for private parties, and there’s room to just sit and watch in case you’re more of a spectator.

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La Sandwicherie is a Miami institution, helmed by founders Franz and Elise since 1988. Though the French sandwich shop and its addictive vinaigrette have expanded to throughout Miami, its original location remains on Miami Beach, as well as its second-oldest location in Brickell. Just across the street from Brickell City Centre, La Sandwicherie is open daily from 9am to 5am. The crusty French bread, pillowy croissants and piles of fresh ingredients like ham, brie and crunchy cornichons are just as effective in drawing corporate lunch crowds as they are post-club crowds.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

American Social is a popular bar and restaurant that sits on some prime real estate along the Miami River. Young and feeling slightly reckless? This is your weekend spot, especially if you’re looking for a bottomless brunch. The Miami River cuts through Brickell, which makes it a great place to grab a drink or bite along the waterfront. At American Social, you can do both with satisfying quality. Friday happy hour sees ferocious packs of thirsty professionals.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • Brickell
  • price 3 of 4

El Tucán is Brickell’s only proper nightclub. Bottle service, DJs, high heels, the occasional Rick Ross cameo—you know the deal. It used to be home to a pretty neat Latin cabaret but has since ended live shows and pivoted to the untz-untz. Come here because you want to go to a nightclub, and this is really the only place in Brickell to find that.

Dade Heritage Trust
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar

16. Dade Heritage Trust

For a bit of Miami history, stop by Dade Heritage Trust, Miami-Dade’s largest preservation organization located in the original 1905 office of Dr. James Jackson, Miami’s first physician. With a mission to preserve the county’s architectural, environmental and cultural heritage through education and advocacy efforts, Dade Heritage Trust hosts popular bike and walking tours throughout the city as well as a sweet Baking in Historic Places series. The building itself is surrounded by beautiful native landscaping curated by Fairchild Tropical Garden.

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