• Thu. May 12th, 2022

Miami Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Eat and More

Miami is a wonderful travel destination with great food, warm weather, and beautiful beaches. When other parts of the country are cold, snowy and gray, escaping to this tropical region may be the break you need. Miami is home to many luxury hotels, New York restaurants, and high-end boutiques if that’s what you’re looking for. But there are also free or cheaper options to help you enjoy Miami without breaking the bank.

Despite its reputation as a hard party, Miami can be a gentle, even civilized escape for those looking to enjoy a few days of socially distanced fun in the sun. And of course, if you are vaccinated, the options are endless. No matter which category you fall into, we have recommendations.

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Where to stay

Assuming you want to be near the water (really, what other choice is there?), you’ll want to sleep where it makes the most sense geographically, which is Miami Beach. Luckily, there are myriad oceanfront options, from boutique hotels to ultra-luxury properties — not that you can put a price on waking up and having an immediate swim.

Hotel Kimpton EPIC

Swimming pool and deckchairs at the Epic hotel.
Picture of the EPIC Hotel

Located in the heart of downtown Miami overlooking Biscayne Bay, the Kimpton EPIC Hotel has it all. Outdoor cigar lounge? To verify. Japanese izakaya dinner at Zuma? Yes sir. You can even choose to arrive by yacht at a private marina if you wish. The amenities are so enticing you’ll never want to leave.

Another option? Book a day pass or rent a private cabin at the scenic Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel in South Beach. Trust us, happy hour is worth it.

  • Nearest airport: Miami International Airport
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Distance: 6 miles

Kayaking on Miami Beach

Interior shot of the KAYAK Miami Beach Hotel.
Travel & Leisure

As Kayak.com’s first-ever hotel, Kayak Miami Beach offers all technology innovations, including (but not limited to) access to hotel staff, event notifications, expedited check-in and streaming workouts, all in historic Art Deco style. building. Perfectly blending past and future, we can’t say it’s a hugely efficient place to stay.

  • Nearest airport: Miami International Airport
  • Time: 21 minutes
  • Distance: 10.9 miles

good time hotel

Swimming pool at the Good Time Hotel.

Whether or not you’re here for a long time, you’re guaranteed to have a good—no, good—time at The Goodtime Hotel, a collaboration of hospitality impresario David Grutman and Pharrell Williams with 266 rooms with chic AF interiors and a 30,000 square foot vintage-tinged Pool Club. After a raucous opening night with Kim Kardashian and David Beckham in attendance, you can expect a celebrity-caliber getaway.

  • Nearest airport: Miami International Airport
  • Time: 23 minutes
  • Distance: 9.2 miles

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Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Hotel room at the Faena Miami Beach hotel.

When it comes to Miami hotels, the Faena is arguably the most coveted stay. Its signature red umbrellas are a defining feature of the property, which offers suites with panoramic ocean views and a wildly decadent asado experience over an open flame curated by Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann against the backdrop of a golden woolly mammoth from the artist Damian Hirst, a must-see for passers-by on the promenade.

  • Nearest airport: Miami International Airport
  • Time: 23 minutes
  • Distance: 10.5 miles

what to eat

There are so many great restaurants to choose from in Miami that it will be hard to fit them all into one vacation.

  • “$” = economy or cheap
  • “$$” = medium
  • “$$$” = expensive

OTL Restaurant

An overhead view of plates with eggs, toast and fruit.

start to OTL in the bustling Design District, a casual cafe that serves breakfast all day (we suggest the overnight oats).

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Zak the baker

Zak the baker's chocolate babka.

No trip to Miami would be complete without a quick trip to Wynwood to Zak the bakera kosher restaurant with an easily recognizable graffiti exterior that specializes in delicious pastries ranging from classic (double chocolate babka) to creative (Reuben salmon) – but beware, the pastries sell out fast, so get there early to get the goods.

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The Oasis

Miami Oasis tables, chairs and building.

two steps, The Oasis offers an assortment of lunch options, including New York institutions Alidoro and Prince Street Pizza.

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The Sandwich Shop

Sandwich and drink from La Sandwicherie.

queue at The Sandwich Shop and grab a big sandwich on a crispy baguette to go, you can’t go wrong.

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Osaka

Plate of thin slices of tuna.

Arguably the most important meal of the day in Miami, dinner is an opportunity to see and be seen (even during a pandemic). One of the hardest reservations to get includes the Peruvian-Japanese Restaurant Osaka.

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Plant

Salad, sushi and side dishes from Planta.

If you’re looking for delicious plant-based dishes, Planta sources its own rooftop garden from the restaurant.

  • Ideal for lunch, dinner
  • $$$

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Byblos

Sofa, tables and chairs at the Byblos patio.

Byblos serves Eastern Mediterranean cuisine such as lamb chops, couscous and stuffed baklava accompanied by a wide variety of their signature cocktails.

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Overtown Red Rooster

Sauce poured over grilled fish.

You’ll feel like a local at the Red Rooster. It celebrates local arts and musicians and offers delicious comfort food.

  • Ideal for lunch, dinner
  • $$$

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Carbon

Kiosks inside the carbon restaurant.
Culture Crusader

Don’t miss this Italian restaurant. The spicy rigatoni vodka is one of a kind, but if you want a seat, be sure to make a reservation in advance.

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Margot Natural Wine Bar

The bartender pours drinks for Margot.

If you’re not too drunk, pass Margot Natural Wine Bara concept from the Broken Shaker team that offers organic and biodynamic wines.

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Lido Restaurant and Champagne Bar

Indoor dining room at the Lido.

Hot, anyone? Cruise by Lido Champagne Barlocated in the history surf club, for a drink to relax and rejuvenate. Filled with palm trees, the space exudes glamour. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s a staple for Hollywood icons, including Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.

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swan

Swan colorful purple drink.

swanthe indoor-outdoor space and favorite celebrity haunt run by Grutman and Williams, is an absolute must.

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The Mojito bar

Red ceiling lights and pineapple canopy.

The Mojito bar is the perfect place if you want the full Miami experience. Relax, enjoy the music and taste the delicious Cuban cuisine led by Hispanic chef Douglas Rodriguez.

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Bodega Taqueria and Tequila

Taco platter.

For a late-night bite, end your marathon night at Bodega Taqueria and Tequila, a taco-slash-speakeasy lounge that’s undeniably cool from front to back. Let’s be honest, after a night of dancing, who doesn’t crave a ginormous burrito?

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What to do

Wynwood Walls

Graffiti wall.
Painting Tats Vintage at Wynwood Walls 2019, in Miami, USA.

Wynwood Walls, the open-air museum featuring expansive street art murals by prolific talents like Faile and Shepard Fairey, is a must-see if only for Instagram opportunities. Get inside (and maybe some more photos, too) as you stroll through the Design District, where you can shop, eat, pose, and browse the galleries and art installations, including Virgil Abloh’s inflatable figures from his storefront. collection.

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Joia Beach

Beach chairs and cabana.

Relax on a comfortable daybed at Joia Beach on Jungle Island, inspired by European beach clubs. Maybe you’ll see one of the place’s fans, including Blake Griffin, Adriana Lima and Dwayne Wade, but otherwise it’s still the perfect place to enjoy an epic sunset.

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E11EVEN

Blue lights illuminate the indoor dance floor.

While waiting for your vaccination status, head to the infamous 24/7 club E11EVEN – we honestly can’t think of a better place to relax when you’re at the peak of your immunity.

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How to save money on your trip to Miami

Experiences

Look for free activities. Wynwood Walls, for example, charges nothing to walk around. The beach is always free. Save money where you can, because Miami can definitely be an upscale (read: expensive) vacation if you want it to be.

Hotels and vehicle rental

Book in advance and travel out of season!

Book on KAYAK

Editors’ Recommendations