This list of free things to do in Miami will ensure your visit to The Magic City doesn’t break the bank! There are plenty of attractions for kids and adults!
One of our favorite free things to do in Miami is walk around the Wynwood neighborhood. The street art is amazing and always changing, so you can go back and see different murals each time. During our last visit to see Wynwood’s latest street art, we did a combination of both walking and pulling the car over to take pictures of our favorite murals. It’s fun to roam and discover new paintings. And don’t be surprised if you see a photo shoot going on; they’re pretty common in this neighborhood.
A fun place to visit, day or night, is the Bayside Marketplace. Here you’ll find shops, restaurants, and plenty of live music (and yes, people dance!). We love going there to walk around, soak in the energy, and people watch. We also like to go and imagine which boat or yacht could possibly be ours one day lol!
*You do have to pay to park in the adjacent parking lot.
Up the street from Bayside is the Perez Art Museum. This sleekly designed waterfront museum features modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Admission is $16, however, admission is free every Second Saturday of the month and every First Thursday of the month. The museum also offers multiple free tours led by museum guides in both English and Spanish, so be sure to check out their website for updated tour times.
We took advantage of that free admission and spent a couple of hours wandering around the museum on a second Saturday. Our favorite piece was “Mar Invadido” (Invaded Sea) by Tony Capellan of the Dominican Republic. It calls attention to the ever-increasing pollution of our oceans. All of the objects used to create the piece, that resembles a view of the sea, were collected in the waters of the Caribbean.
*You do have to pay to park in the adjacent parking lot.
The Biltmore Hotel is a National Historic Landmark inspired by a cathedral in Seville, Spain. Built in the 1920’s, this iconic hotel has an interesting history. It welcomed guests such as Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Al Capone and held events such as fashion shows, galas, and aquatic shows (it has the largest hotel pool in the continental US). For those that would like to see the magnificent hotel and learn more about it, a free tour is given every Sunday at 1:30pm and 2:30pm. The tour starts in front of the concierge desk in the main lobby and lasts about one hour.
*There is complimentary parking in their West parking lot.Dow
If you’re in the Homestead area, stop by Wat Buddharangsi of Miami. This Thai Buddhist Temple is a great place to enjoy some peace and quiet and admire the many Buddha statues. They often hold events or classes there as well, and we sat in and watched a class that was being held on meditation. The amount of monks on the property varies depending on the time of year and if there are ceremonies being held, but there are a few that reside there at the temple. It’s not very big, but if you’re in the area visiting Coral Castle or any of the many farms or gardens in Homestead we definitely recommend stopping by.
Another fun place to walk and people watch, day or night, is Lincoln Road. The mile long pedestrian-only street in Miami Beach has shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries, and street vendors. You’ll find locals and tourists alike enjoying the great weather and fun atmosphere.
In the heart of urban Miami Beach, visitors can find the beautiful greenspace of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Admission is free (they’re closed on Mondays though) and they have a self-guided tour system that allows visitors to learn about the various plants and the natural history of Miami Beach. One of our favorite areas was the Japanese Garden.
*There is street parking around, or you can park a couple of blocks away at the 17th St. Parking lot.
Next to the botanical gardens, is the very stirring Holocaust Memorial. We think it’s important to not only have fun, but also to get to know the history of a new place. With South Florida having one of the highest populations of Holocaust survivors in the United States, it made sense to build a monument here commemorating the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazis.
As visitors walk around the reflecting pool they can read a history of the events that occurred in Europe in the 1930s and 40s . When they reach the back center, there is an entrance that leads down to the main sculpture, an almost 4-story tall outstretched arm tattooed with a number from Auschwitz. The arm reaches to the sky for help, while thin and emaciated bodies cling to it. Surrounding the arm is a circular black granite wall with the names of people who died during the Holocaust. It’s a very moving and emotional place
South Florida has stunning beaches, so you should definitely take advantage and spend some time on the sand. The South Beach area is fun and you can see some pretty beautiful people, but if you want an area that’s a bit less crowded and has more of a local feel, head over to North Shore Open Space Park on Collins and 85th St. It’s our personal favorite and we’ve spent many weekends there. But whatever beach you end up at, we’re sure you’ll enjoy yourself.
While you’re in Miami there’s a good chance that you’ll also be spending time up north in Orlando. If that’s the case, we recommend stopping by Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s in the city of Jupiter, just off of the Florida Turnpike and I-95 so it’s easy to get to while traveling between Miami and Orlando.
This unique animal sanctuary is both a nature center and a wildlife hospital, so visitors get to see a lot of animals that are native to the area including alligators and panthers. Their mission is to rehabilitate injured animals and also to educate visitors on the local wildlife and environment. The sanctuary also has trails through cypress wetlands and different fun activities held throughout the week like feedings and animal educational programs.
Have you been to any of these places in Miami? Are there any other free locations that you’d recommend? We’d love to read your comments or suggestions below! 🙂
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