30+ Essential Miami Bucket List Ideas: Food, Activities + More

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Miami brings the heat—with both sun and fun. But with so much going on in Miami, it might be overwhelming to plan your trip. This is where a travel bucket list comes in handy. 

Of course, Miami is a popular bucket list destination for many. Even if you’re familiar with Miami or live locally, this post will help you plan a staycation or visit. 

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Whether you’re planning to head straight for the beach, a national park, or a Latin restaurant, a list of options can help you keep the party going throughout your trip, and maybe even extend your stay.

This post will cover more than 30 essential bucket list ideas in Miami, including what to eat and what to do for locals, kids and families, university students, and more.

Unique Miami Bucket List Ideas for Locals

Creating a travel bucket list is possible, even on a budget. It’s easy to experience new places right in your state or city with a bit of research. Miami locals looking to branch out on their own or help entertain out-of-town loved ones should check out the following.

1. North Beach

Topping the list is the opposite of what you might expect from Miami — North Beach. This beach neighborhood offers lower prices and a laidback, vintage feel that those that know about it are rumored to love. 

2. Little Haiti Cultural Complex

At Little Haiti Cultural Complex, you can shop in a lively market and enjoy authentic culture and cuisine, plus Caribbean music and architecture.

3. Miami Beach Cinematheque

Built in 1927, this cozy theater used to be Miami’s City Hall but now offers intimate showings of Sundance films and Oscar-nominated shorts. 

4. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum

Part of Florida International University, this museum offers a quiet (air-conditioned) activity for a rainy or overly hot day begging for an indoor activity.

Must-Do Miami Bucket List Ideas for Visitors

If you’re visiting Miami alone or with family, be sure to check out the following activities. However, fair warning, they may make you want to extend your stay or buy a timeshare. 

5. Miami Heat, Marlins, or Dolphins Game

If you’re a sports fan, this suggestion probably doesn’t come as a surprise. But maybe, while planning your trip, or if you had no time to plan, a pro sporting event would be a great activity to put on your list. 

6. Little Havana

Little Havana is a fantastic area to explore for a glimpse into life in Cuba and the rich history of Cuban culture in Miami. The experience won’t be short on live music, authentic cuisine (and coffee), art, and more. 

7. Wynwood Art District

With murals, large outdoor art installations, galleries, and breweries, Wynwood is one of the best places to explore in Miami to get a feel for the city. 

8. Superblue Immersive Art Experience

Superblue is a relatively new addition to Miami’s lively art scene, an indoor alternative to Wynwood's mostly outdoor offering. This immersive experience makes for great photo opportunities and escaping a bit of the heat. 

South Beach Bucket List

Miami and South Beach are synonymous. Besides the beach, there are plenty of specific spots you should be sure to visit. 

9. Lummus Park

You’d likely recognize Lummus Park — it’s the popular backdrop of many shows and movies. You’ll find a playground, walking/biking/blading paths, public restrooms, and even Muscle Beach South Beach, a popular spot for fitness enthusiasts to work up a sweat.

10. South Pointe Park Pier

A destination for many walking, biking, and segway tours, South Pointe Park Pier offers sweeping views of the water as an alternative to getting down and dirty in the sand.

11. Miami Beach Boardwalk

Also known as Beachwalk or South Beach Boardwalk, this 40-block long stretch is great for a leisurely stroll, walking off Cuban food, or just enjoying some sun and salty air. 

Miami Bucket List Hikes, Walks, and Parks

Miami is more than just beaches and expensive waterfront property. It also has a wild side waiting to be explored. But, if you’re looking for a quiet (alligator-free) place to enjoy a walk, it has that, too.

12. Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is a great option for adventurous visitors, especially if you have an interest or prior experience in scuba diving. The park includes coral reefs, islands, and mangroves, with some of it only accessible by boat. Wildlife to look out for includes turtles, dolphins, and pelicans.

13. Everglades National Park

The wetlands of Everglades National Park are made up of various marshes, mangroves, and flatwoods, spanning a massive 1.5 million acres. Though endangered, this park is one of your best bets to check out a manatee, Florida panther, and the American crocodile up close. In addition to smaller walking portions, you can also kayak or enjoy an airboat tour. 

14. Giralda Plaza

Suppose you’re looking for a lowkey daytime or evening walk with plenty of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. In that case, Giralda Plaza is a great spot popular among locals. You’ll also love the “Umbrella Sky” art installment.

15. Miami Beach Botanical Garden

A great free activity year-round (with the exception of major holidays), Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a great destination for plant lovers or nature lovers alike. 

16. Art Deco Walking Tour

Now, the art deco walking tour is a can’t-miss for the architecturally curious. Miami offers a ton of great art and culture everywhere you look, but this walking tour can give you additional history and insight into many of the recurring designs you’ll see across the city.

Miami Bucket List Ideas for University Students

If you’ve never been to Miami, it’s certainly a paradise for young people or the otherwise young-at-heart. Even if you don’t love clubbing it up with a drink (or several), you’re still in for a good time. Miami’s warmth and beachy atmosphere will surely put you at ease. 

17. Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach

At this busy café and nightclub, you can take in dinner and a show — including Brazilian Samba, Cuban Conga, and other Latin music — and dance late into the night, enjoying signature cocktails and more.  

18. University of Miami Athletics 

If you’re not already in Miami to see your school battle the Canes, it’s still an excellent opportunity to check out some live sports. And, if you’re on a budget, college sporting events typically run a bit less expensive (or even free). The University of Miami has many talented teams, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, and more. 

19. Ball & Chain

If you’re looking for both history and nightlife, Ball & Chain is the perfect spot. An iconic nightclub in the 1930s–1950s, it now offers live Cuban music and drinks. 

20. Big Pink

Big Pink is a quintessential diner — but still more than just a diner. The late hours and breakfast offered make it a great option for university students. The menu also offers imaginative burgers, salads, and comfort foods in massive portions, no less. 

21. Freehold

Described as having the appeal of a hotel bar without the hotel, you’ll love sharing a massive cocktail with your friends on Freehold’s pool deck — disco ball overhead and all. 

22. Terras

If you and your friends or family need a great backdrop to soak up the city and a sunset — maybe snap a picture or two — Terras is a great rooftop bar in Little Havana.

Miami Bucket List Ideas for Kids and Families

Though some areas of Miami can get a bit rowdy, especially after hours, there are plenty of activities for kids and families to enjoy. After all, Orlando isn’t the only “Magic City” in Florida. 

23. Flamingo Park

Flamingo Park offers just about everything a family needs for a fun day — pools and a water park, sports courts, playgrounds, and even a dog park.

24. Thriller Speedboat Ride

Your kids will forget you’re not at a theme park. A speedboat ride is a great way to get outside and satisfy the adrenaline junkies in your family, all without leaving the beach.

25. Key Biscayne

This area offers a variety of great beaches and family-friendly parks. There's also the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse — a spot with views to help your little ones (if they’re 42 inches) reach new heights.

Bucket List Foods and Restaurants in Miami

Miami is rich in culture, there’s no doubt. Many of its inhabitants are as passionate about authentic food as anywhere in the world. Choosing where to eat may be tough, but here’s a list to hopefully help you branch away from chains. You can also check out some tips on making a food bucket list to help you become a foodie in every city you visit.

26. Versailles Restaurant

Dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant,” Versailles is a food lover’s dream — not even for just Cuban food. For more than 40 years, they’ve been serving fresh seafood, chicken, beef, and pork entrees, sandwiches, fresh-baked goods, and daily specials to keep patrons on their toes. Of course, they offer Cuban and Latin favorites like croquettes and empanadas, flans, guava cheesecake, and more. 

27. Mignonette Downtown

A classic, upscale oyster bar offering other seafood and prime rib, Mignonette surely won’t disappoint. Consider it an excellent spot for a special occasion meal or an anytime splurge.

28. El Bagel

New York bagels might be legendary, but don’t give up on Miami bagels just yet. This spot started as a small pop-up but has since expanded to meet the demand of hungry locals.

29. Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Without leaving Miami, you can also take a trip to Turkey and Greece with a visit to this upscale, intimate restaurant featuring authentic cuisine. 

30. Caja Caliente

Awarded best tacos in Florida by Eat This, Not That and Yelp according to the Miami Herald, Caja Caliente is a food truck you have to experience for yourself someday, not just on a Tuesday.  

31. Ghee Indian Kitchen

Ghee Indian Kitchen uses vegetables and ingredients fresh from the head chef’s own garden, called Rancho Patel. Chef Patel has a massive appreciation for and desires to share authentic Indian cuisine with his guests.  

32. Mofongo’s Restaurant

Mofongo’s Restaurant offers just about the best Puerto Rican food you can find without leaving the U.S. In fact, much of their staff is from the island and is incredibly passionate about sharing authentic flavors with visitors. 

Miami Brings the Heat

Hopefully, by the time your tan starts wearing off (or sunburn, it happens to the best of us), you’ll be reminiscing about your Miami trip, and you’ll want to plan another. The great thing about travel bucket lists is that you’ll have an organized way of finding — and noting — the spots across the globe that make you feel alive. Be sure to also check out this guide on making a travel bucket list.

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