8 must-visit neighborhoods in Miami

Not sure where to stay in Miami? Or are you looking for the best places to discover during your stay? Find out in this guide!

Miami is one of those totally unique cities! This lively, flamboyant metropolis is known for its multicultural face, chic, trendy bars, Miami Beach, Ocean Drive, gastronomy, Cuban quarter and avant-garde architecture. Nicknamed the « Gateway to the Americas », you’ll soon discover that each neighborhood has its own identity, often heavily influenced by the Caribbean communities that call it home. Whichever neighborhood you choose for your Miami accommodation, you’ll need to explore every facet of this beautiful city to understand its cultural richness, architectural beauty and bubbling fire. For Miami is also a lively nightlife, a mecca for bodybuilding and a world that never sleeps.

To help you immerse yourself in this fantastic world, discover our guide to the 8 must-visit neighborhoods in Miami during your stay!

1. South Beach

South Beach, Miami

Photo credit: Flickr – Mike McBey

It’s the emblematic district of beautiful Miami! South Beach lies at the southern tip of Miami Beach – an equally famous city.

The neighborhood is known for its magnificent Art Deco district, highlighted by the TV series « Miami Vice » or « Deux Flics à Miami » in French! It stretches from South Pointe in the south to Dade Boulevard and 23rd Street in the north. In South Beach, you can stroll along the magnificent Ocean Drive, which runs alongside the beach, or along Lincoln Road, with its neon lights and terraces. Of course, the district’s main attraction is a visit to the superb Art Deco buildings, also known as Tropical Art Deco for its typically Floridian inspirations. South Beach boasts the largest concentration of buildings in this style in the world! In Miami, there’s no better place than South Beach to soak up the unique, trendy atmosphere of this flamboyant city.

2. Wynwood

Wynwood Walls, Miami

Photo credit: Unsplash – Bruce Warrington

Known for its street art, Wynwood is the second must-visit neighborhood after South Beach and its Art Deco district! Located north of downtown, it’s home to a large concentration of graffiti, drawings and street art – a veritable open-air gallery! Of course, the place to discover first is the Wynwood Walls garden, which attracts the most travelers. Here you’ll find famous works by Shepard Faire, Okudart and other leading street-art artists!

Don’t limit yourself to this attraction, however, and take advantage of Miami’s pleasant climate to stroll the streets of Wynwood for long hours. Lingering in the neighborhood is also an opportunity to discover its lively nightlife: Wynwood is a trendy neighborhood, where the locals come at night! Here, craft breweries, hipster bars and trendy restaurants reign supreme. Among them, the lounge bar No. 3 Social is one of the best rooftops for a drink in Miami! So, if you choose Wynwood for your Miami accommodation, you’ll have the chance to sample these charms without having to use public transport or the car.

3. Little Havana

Miami is also home to Cuban culture and the omnipresent Spanish language! Hundreds of thousands of Cubans fled to Miami after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, and Little Havana is the focal point of this lively and welcoming community! For a real taste of Cuban culture, there’s no better place than this neighborhood, where Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) is the emblematic street. Here, you can sample delicious Cuban and Latin specialties, such as empañada, a meat-stuffed turnover, pastelito or colada, a short, very sweet coffee, in the many typically Cuban restaurants that populate the neighborhood! After dark, you can experience the unique Latin ambience of Little Havana. To the tune of salsa, you’ll be able to kick off a wild evening.

But this is not just a neighborhood for partying, sampling Cuban cuisine or enjoying a good cigar. Little Havana offers a unique experience, so don’t hesitate to stray from Calle Ocho to discover the traditions, architecture and unique atmosphere that prevail elsewhere in the neighborhood. Little Havana is almost like being in the Cuban capital – you might as well make the most of it!

4. Coconut Groove

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Coconot Grove, Miami

Photo credit: Flickr -jpellgen

Located in the south of the city, Coconut Groove is Miami’s oldest neighborhood! Like every neighborhood in this beautiful city, it has its own unique atmosphere. Originally a neighborhood for writers and artists, today it’s the home of Europeans and has a special, almost tropical, quiet charm, with its beautiful gardens and old houses.

In this beautiful neighborhood, the main attraction is of course the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: a historic estate to the north of Coconut Groove, now a museum, and home to classic European sculptures and gardens! To the south, you can also discover the superb botanical garden, The Kampong. If you’re looking for accommodation in this residential area of Miami, you’ll need to budget a little more: it’s one of the richest neighborhoods in the flamboyant Floridian city!

5. Buena Vista – Design District

Back downtown, Buena Vista is a small neighborhood known for its Design District! Mainly pedestrian, it’s a trendy area with a unique atmosphere. The Design District street is a showcase for architects and designers, with beautiful boutiques, magnificent buildings and quiet streets. The rest of the district is bustling with cafés, restaurants and artisanal businesses. This is what makes Buena Vista so charming: a contrast between modernity and antiquity!

6. Little Haiti

Just north of Buena Vista lies the astonishing district of Little Haiti! As with Little Havana, it’s a complete change of atmosphere. Here, English gives way to Creole and even French! A visit to Little Haiti will plunge you into a Caribbean universe.

People come to this district above all for its unique culture: here you’ll discover Caribbean culinary specialties, vibrant and lively cafés and bars, Creole sounds and a lively art world. Don’t miss the Saturday morning market and the monthly Sounds of Little Haiti festival, held every 3rd Friday! Because that’s what Little Haiti is all about: cultural, musical and artistic hustle and bustle.

7. Brickell

Brickell, Miami

Photo credit: Flickr – Maciek Lulko

Miami’s financial district, Brickell is located on the shores of Biscayne Bay, just south of Downtown Miami! Known for its skyscrapers, the tallest in the city and indeed in all of Florida, it’s home to some of Miami’s best rooftops, including the trendy Sugar and the extravagantly chic Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita! Because Brickell isn’t just about soaring towers, it’s also an ultra hip and dynamic neighborhood. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Miami, it’s also a superb neighborhood: you’ll probably have a superb view of the ocean and the bay from your accommodation!

8. Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami , as its name suggests, is a must-visit area during your stay! Bordered by Biscayne Bay, like neighboring Brickell, it’s a lively district both day and night.

So don’t hesitate to take a stroll around the Port of Miami, especially the Bayside Marketplace, where you can shop, stroll or have a drink on the terrace. It’s also from this port that most boat trips depart: why not take advantage of your visit to offer a tour of Biscayne Bay? Last but not least, Downtown Miami is home to the American Airlines Arena, the venue for games played by the world-famous NBA basketball team, the Miami Heat! A Miami Heat game is a must-see during your stay in the Magic City.

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