Miami is a city that blends trendy modernity and historical culture, and it’s also the busiest cruise port in America attracting people from across the globe. Whether you’re on a stopover or beginning or ending a cruise, there are many exciting things to do and see in Miami. Here are a few suggestions for what to do at the Miami cruise port.
Take A Segway Tour
To experience the famous Art Deco architecture of South Beach, take a Bike & Roll Miami Segway tour. These tours will give you an up-close and personal look at the glamorous residents, upscale cafes, and even Gianni Versace’s Mediterranean mansion.
Not only will you get a history lesson about Miami but also some exercise, photo-ops, and have a lot of fun.
Pro Tip: Wear your phone in a lanyard around your neck to be safe when taking photos.
Explore The Everglades
Visit the unique subtropical wetland of the Everglades National Park, often mistaken for a swamp. This protected ecotourism preserve is full of one and a half million acres of subtropical wetlands, offering an up-close view of gators, a variety of birds and other wildlife.
On most tours, you will take an airboat ride through the mangroves and river of grass. If your cruise line offers this excursion, take them up on it, as the location is quite a distance from the cruise port.
Gators are up close and personal on this tour, and you’ll see a wide array of birds and other critters.
Everglades Holiday Park is a wildlife preserve sits amidst 29 lush acres of wetlands in nearby Fort Lauderdale and allows you to see the preservation and conservation efforts of the parks. This is my favorite place to experience the Everglades. Ear protection is available.
Note: It’s illegal to feed the alligators in Florida.
Stroll Through Little Havana
Little Havana, a vibrant Miami neighborhood chock full of all things Cuba-related, is your closest option to visiting Cuba without the 332 miles of travel. With its bustling Calle Ocho the most famous address for tourists and the main drag, and renowned eateries like Versailles, Little Havana offers visitors a charming and rich cultural experience.
Home to whimsical painted fiberglass roosters lining the street, mural art installations known as “Rooster Walk”, and Máximo Gómez Park’s domino and chess players, there’s so much to explore.
Fun Fact: The rooster represents strength and power in Cuban culture.
Shop the boutiques and cigar shops. Then, grab a Cuban sandwich and cortadito (double espresso with steamed milk) from Versailles, the most famous Cuban restaurant in Miami. Or indulge in lighter bites like croquettes, empanadas, and yuca fries with cilantro sauce.
Don’t miss out on the fun and friendly atmosphere of Little Havana.
Shop Lincoln Road Mall
Over 60 years ago, a wise man thought of building shops along a street, designing one of the first modern outdoor pedestrian shopping malls. Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian east to the west parallel between 16th and 17th Street.
My favorites are Anthropologie, Jo Malone London, and Sunglass Hut for shopping. Relish the Cuban combo appetizer platter from Havana 1957 or savor the authentic French macarons from PAUL Bakery Café with a cortadito or mojito.
You can also venture over to Aventura Mall for Miami’s best luxury shopping mall—three stories of luxury boutiques, beautiful artwork and gallery, a theater, and an interactive playground.
Expect big names like Bond No. 9, Burberry, Kiehl’s, and Louis Vuitton.
Catch A Sporting Event
Miami, Florida is home to numerous professional sports teams. There’s nothing quite like experiencing a Miami Dolphins game in flip-flops and t-shirts during winter. Don’t miss out on the excitement at Hard Rock Stadium – one of the most accessible and thrilling arenas to catch a game.
Fun Fact: The Miami Dolphins were Super Bowl winners in 1972 and 1973.
Wander Bayside Marketplace
Bayside Marketplace is another fun mall to stroll around and admire the waterfront views. This two-story open-air shopping complex is great for restocking the things you forgot for your cruise, sprucing up your wardrobe, or bagging a bargain. There are several excellent spots to hang out and enjoy the scenery and weather.
You may be surprised to know that Bayside Marketplace is Miami’s #1 visited attraction.
Bayside offers great opportunities for dining and photo ops in Miami. Kids and adventure enthusiasts can enjoy a walk-through dinosaur adventure (Dino Safari) and exhilarating speedboat rides respectively. Mambo Cafe, Lombardi’s Ristorante, Landshark Bar & Grill, and Hard Rock Cafe are some excellent dining choices.
You can also visit some of the Dexter TV show’s filming locations, such as his apartment located at 1155 103rd Street, out on Bay Harbor Island. The second-floor apartment in the TV show is 10b.
Visit Historic Sites
Explore Miami’s Holocaust Memorial, a hidden treasure among the beaches and elite crowd. This 40-foot-high monument, created by architect Kenneth Treister, serves as a poignant reminder of the 6,000,000 Jews who died during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945.
It’s a free-place to visit, sure to stimulate thought-provoking emotions as you gaze at the desperate souls crying out from the outstretched hand.
Enjoy A Botanical Garden Near the Miami Cruise Port
On a lighter note, Miami has another excellent free attraction, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. You can wander the 2.6 acres freely as you indulge your eyes on a spectacular display of plants, flowers, sculptures, and even water fountains. This urban green space and tropical oasis is truly a way to forget you are in one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the country.
My favorite parts of the gardens are the Japanese garden, with a lovely bridge and pond, the Banyan trees, and the edible garden, with coffee, figs, pineapple, and more. Of course, the giant flowering milkweeds, koi pond, and orchids caught my eye, as well.
FYI: This attraction is closed on Mondays and most US holidays.
Note: There is free Wifi in many parts of the gardens.
Photograph The Wynwood Walls
Once a free attraction, the Wynwood Walls is one of the country’s premier outdoor museums of street art and murals. It was one of the first to bring these huge, vibrant murals from artists worldwide to one spot. Tickets and a tour run around $17 to see the special artwork, which I would splurge on for the photo-ops alone.
We are talking incredible artwork here, and the Wynwood Arts District area has a Bohemian feel that is fun to be in.
Tours last approximately 50 minutes. Children under 12 are free.
Eat Delicious Food
Blue Collar is my favorite Miami restaurant, serving simple but exceptionally well-done food as beautiful as it is tasty. I love the coziness of Blue Collar, the dailies, and comfort food dishes. I go for the veggie plate, with four choices from the daily selection (see the chalkboard), and chock full of yummy starches, too.
Save room for dessert, such as Hummingbird cake or Butterscotch Heath bar bread pudding. Note that Blue Collar also has a weekend brunch.
Joe’s Stone Crab, a pricey but bucket list restaurant, is another Miami institution. Just getting your hands dirty from these luscious seafood favorites and seeing the upscale crowd is worth the cost.
Baires Grill, an Argentinian steakhouse in Mary Brickell Village, has a stellar happy hour Monday through Friday. Besides drastically reduced beer and cocktails prices (upscale, call liquor cocktails), the bar bites are also heavily discounted. Try the empanadas and beef carpaccio, decadent and 10/10 good.
Versailles and El Pub Restaurant in Little Havana are two Cuban restaurants that will please your palate. Try a cafe con Leche and a classic Cuban sandwich. My favorite dish is the Media Noches, similar to a Cuban but on softer, Challah-like bread.
I recommend the ocean and poolside La Côte at the iconic Miami Beach Fountainbleau on Collins Avenue to rub elbows with the rich and famous. The Fried Calamari with artichoke aioli is fabulous, while the heirloom tomato salad is my choice for an entree.
Enjoy your meal while a world-class DJ spins the tunes.
Where To Stay In Miami
Stay at Kat’z Cozy Cottage in the charming MIMO (Miami Modern) district of North Miami. The darling Airbnb property is complete with delightful hostess Kat, unique artwork, and whimsical treasures. I loved that every inch of this space was utilized. We loved staying there!
For an indulgent splurge, check out the Panorama Tower with its luxurious suites and unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay. This iconic tower boasts 85 floors and the “best address in the best city.” Enjoy a stay that’s “all that and a bag of chips”!
Our room was around 1100 square feet with a fully stocked state-of-the-art kitchen, Bosch appliances, and balconies affording spectacular views. The furnishings were zenful and comfy, while the decor was beach chic and metropolitan, without obnoxious.
Enjoy Miami! Bon Voyage!
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