The Ultimate Miami Travel Guide

A girl in a blue dress sitting along the South Beach boardwalk
The South Beach Boardwalk

There is no doubt that Miami is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. From the colorful Art-Deco Historic District to the beautiful beaches this city delivers the ideal vacation vibes. This blog post is the only Miami travel guide you need to help you plan your trip.

I grew up visiting Miami with my family during Spring Break. When I graduated college and got my first big-girl job, Miami was the first vacation I took myself on. I also attended Ultra Music festival two times throughout my early 20’s, which takes place during Miami Music Week. You can say this city holds a special place in my heart.

There is something for every type of vacationer there. Whether you’re a foodie, a fan of the nightlife or more of a sight-seer, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Miami. I know you will find something in this Miami travel guide for you!


miami travel guide a girl in a yellow dress in south beach

As summer came to an end in Chicago, my boyfriend and I were looking for a last-minute trip to any city where we could spend a few final days in the sun. Roundtrip flights to Miami were under $300 so choosing this as our destination was an easy choice.

We flew out early Friday morning and flew home late Sunday night. We only had 48 hours in Miami and squeezed in as much as we could while still leaving some time to relax.


I recommend staying in South Beach (often referred to as Sobe), which is a 20 minute drive across the bridge from downtown Miami. South Beach truly encompasses the vibrant energy you think of when people talk about Miami.

We stayed at the Shelborne South Beach Hotel at 18th and Collins Ave. Our hotel backed up against the east coast of South Beach so we were only a few steps away from the ocean.

A girl in red swimsuit at the Shelborne Miami hotel pool

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a hotel with a pretty aesthetic. As a travel blogger, a huge part of what influences my booking decision is how the hotel looks in the photos I see online. The Shelborne offered plenty of Instagram worthy photo ops.

Shelborne miami hotel lobby bar

There is a hotel bar situated in the back of the lobby that had booze stacked as high as the ceiling. The outdoor pool had cabanas and lounge chairs that lined the perimeter. There was even a cute beer garden between the pool and the beach entrance that had yard games and walk-up bar.

We stayed in a King bed room which had plenty of space to spread out. The room had a wet bar, a mini-fridge and a spacious bathroom.


If you’ve read my past blog posts or follow me on Instagram, you know that I am self-proclaimed foodie. My travel itineraries tend to revolve around the different restaurants I want to try in the local area.

We treated ourselves to a nice meal on the first night at Osteria Del Teatro. This place is a fine dining Italian restaurant but they serve a lot more than just pasta. They also have vegetarian and vegan options. We got the burrata appetizer and even though it was a little pricey, it was worth every penny.

One of the more exciting places we ate during the weekend was the Time Out Market Miami. The market has 18 food vendors and 3 bars to choose from which I loved because we got to try a little bit of several different cuisines.

They also have a big screen TV on one end of the dining hall which made for a fun college football Saturday environment. I hear they’re putting a Time Out Market in Chicago so I’m pretty excited!

Española Way is a charming 2-block street where you can enjoy dinner or drinks on one of many outdoor patios. The pastel colored buildings with plants pouring out of the windows definitely gave me Spanish vibes. We enjoyed a Cuban breakfast at Havana 1957 which I highly recommend.

On our last day in Miami we stopped for a quick lunch at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila. Bodega is known for their street tacos (among several other menu items) served out of a taco truck inside the restaurant.

TRAVEL TIP: Look for the “hidden” door on the side opposite from the food truck. This door leads to a 2-level bar with couches, pool tables and good tunes. Such a fun surprise!

A few other Instagram worthy restaurants in Miami that are worth mentioning are Dreamer Café (for smoothies and acai bowls) or the Dior Café pop-up (for lattes and croissants) located on the rooftop of the Dior store in the Miami Design District.


Enjoy the beach

There is still plenty to keep you busy here beyond eating and laying by the pool. The most obvious is walking up and down the South Beach shoreline. Every time I come to Miami, the water temperature is perfect and I love walking along the shore.

If you’re an early riser, rent a bike and cruise along the boardwalk while watching the sun rise over the beach. Most hotels rent out bikes by the hour free of charge. But there are also public city bikes that you can rent for a small fee.

Wynwood Walls

You’ve probably heard of the famous Wynwood Walls. There are dozens of colorful murals to check out featuring artists from around the globe. The best part about this art district is that it’s absolutely free!

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was my favorite part of our trip. The property is the former estate of wealthy businessman James Deering. Even though we went here on a rainy, grey morning, the villa looked absolutely beautiful.

The property sits right on the ocean and there’s a giant garden off to one side that you can walk through as well. The cost of admission is $22/person.

Faena Hotel

Faena hotel wooly mammoth in south beach miami

Check out “Gone but not forgotten” at Faena Hotel. It’s a multi-million dollar, 24-karat gold coated skeleton of a wooly mammoth that sits in the back property of the Faena Hotel. Be sure to grab a drink at the hotel bar while you’re here.

Art-Deco Lifeguard Stands

South Beach is famous for its colorful Art-Deco lifeguard towers. These add such a nice pop of color to the Instagram feed! They line the shore of South Beach and are such a vivid contrast to the sand and water.

Lincoln Road Mall

shopping at the lincoln road mall in south beach miami

One of my fondest memories from coming to Miami as a young girl is shopping at the Lincoln Road Mall . There are shops and restaurants that line the street which is pedestrian friendly. You can also do some great people watching from one of the many restaurant patios.

There you have it. I hope my 2-day Miami Travel Guide gave you plenty of tips to stay busy on your next trip. If you have any other questions about visiting Miami, leave them in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram. You can find me here.

RELATED: If you enjoyed reading about this Instagram worthy city, you will love my blog post of Instagram worthy cities in the US here.


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