Welcome to Miami! (Bienvenidos a Miami!)
You’ve made it to one of the most beautiful cities in Florida — Miami! And with so much to see and do (and eat!), your money can be spent quickly. But you don’t have to go into debt, because this is one city that has a lot to offer- and a lot of what it offers is free (or close to it)!
Here are some of the best free things to do in Miami (or relatively inexpensive) while you’re in the beautiful beach town in South Florida!
BEST BUDGET HOTELS IN MIAMI
- The Perfect Retro Vibe: We love The Plymouth South Beach for under $300/night (and under $100/night in the off-season!) It’s in Miami Beach, but gives you that Old Hollywood vibe. The pool area, lobby and restaurants are perfectly “Miami”!
- A Bold Art Deco Dream: The Vagabond Hotel in Northeast Miami brings bold shapes and colors to the table, so you never forget where you are. Two lounges and a to-die-for pool area will have you sipping Mai Tais without a care in the world.
- Apartments for Family Fun: Lofts of Aventura offers accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue facilities and a concierge service for your convenience. Free WiFi is featured and private parking is available on site.
FREE THINGS TO DO IN MIAMI: ANY TIME, ANY DAY
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THE BEACH (OBVIOUSLY!)
You are not going to Miami without visiting the beach. I won’t allow it! The beaches here are too beautiful to pass up, and no matter what kind of beach experience you’re looking for — Miami has it. Looking for parties, music, and cocktails — then South Beach is for you!
Hoping to get some beach time in with your kids? Head to the beach between 30th and 16th Streets for a more family-friendly vibe. Visit the melting pot that is Lummus Park for some truly wonderful people-watching. And if you’re in the mood to see a beautiful sunset (and who isn’t?) then head to the South Pointe Park Pier!
VISIT KEY BISCAYNE
Head over the Rickenbacker Causeway for gorgeous views on your way to quiet Key Biscayne. Once there, enjoy their beaches, bike paths, and Miami views. Key Biscayne also offers a nearby coastal barrier reef!
MIAMI BEACH BOARDWALK
Take a walk on the Miami Beach Boardwalk, and enjoy views of the ocean on one side, and the beautiful city on the other.
Stretching 40 blocks from South Beach, the Miami Beach Boardwalk is a must-do destination for visitors and locals alike. There are plenty of places to stop and eat, drink, and shop along the way.
EXPLORE LITTLE HAVANA
Little Havana is a popular Cuban neighborhood in Miami that will make you believe you’re actually in Cuba. With art galleries, amazing restaurants, and colorful murals, Little Havana is a top destination and perfect for exploring.
Walk down the popular Calle Ocho strip to experience the best food and bakeries, and stop by to visit the famous El Titan de Bronze to see cigars rolled right in front of you.
Pro Tip: If you can splurge anywhere on your trip, make it here! We took a tour of Little Havana with Miami Culinary Tours and it was MY FAVORITE part of our entire 18-day Florida road trip. Worth every penny. Tons of food, drink, culture…and kids are welcome!
FREE YOGA CLASS BY THE BAY
Free and donation-based yoga classes are offered almost every day at Bayfront Park! Breathe, stretch, and relax outside while enjoying the beautiful views.
Classes are offered Monday-Thursday at 6 pm, and Saturdays at 9 am. Bring your own towel, water, and sunscreen.
TAKE IN AN OCEAN DRIVE
Ocean Drive runs along South Beach, and is the perfect place to grab a bite while people watching.
This busy street is famous for its beautiful architecture, which has been seen in movies and TV shows (like Miami Vice, of course)! Restaurants, hotels, and shopping abound.
EXPLORE THE ART DECO DISTRICT
The Art Deco District is so amazing, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places! Your inner photographer will love the pastel-colored buildings!
EXPERIENCE COCONUT GROVE
Explore Miami’s oldest neighborhood! Coconut Grove is known for its beautiful green spaces and views of Biscayne Bay. Explore restaurants, shops, and art galleries while you’re here.
VISIT THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Take a trip to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and see some of the most beautiful tropical plants from around the world!
Miami has the perfect weather for these plants and flowers to flourish. General admission is free.
RIDE THE METROMOVER
Observe the city from above in the comfort of the Metromover – a free sky train that operates 7 days a week in the downtown and Brickell area.
The trains connect hotels and makes stops at American Airlines Arena, Freedom Tower, and more. View the Metromover map.
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT THE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL
In 1984, a group of Holocaust survivors developed a memorial in Miami to honor the 6 million Jewish lives lost at the hands of the Nazis. Admission to the memorial is free, and is a must-see. Opens at 9:30 am.
TAKE A SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOUR
Download the map and go on a 1-2 hour self-guided walking tour of the Art Deco district and Ocean Drive.
Take the tour at your own pace, stop to grab a bite to eat along the way, enjoy the beautiful waterfront views, view street art, and learn about the architectural history of the area.
HIKE AT BEAR CUT NATURE PRESERVE
Bear Cut Nature Preserve is located on Key Biscayne at Crandon Park. Hike amongst the tropical trees along the waterfront, before ending up with fantastic views of Miami in the distance!
Parking is $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends.
TAKE YOUR DOG TO AMELIA EARNHART PARK
This is one massive (and pet-friendly) park!
This park has it all — replica farms, a gigantic play area for kids, bike trails, lakes, disc golf, fishing, and a lot more. But what amazes me, is that it’s home to a 5-acre, fenced dog park, that even has a separate section for smaller dogs!
It’s the place to go to get some outdoor times a little bit away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Parking is free on weekdays, and $7 on weekends and holidays.
EXPLORE GREYNOLDS PARK
Once the site of a rock quarry, Greynolds Park is now home to nature trails, a campground, cabins, bike trails, canoeing, and much more.
The well-known “observation mound” here is said to be the highest point in South Florida at 46 feet above sea level. Parking is $7.
VISIT THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART
With a permanent collection downstairs, and a rotating collection upstairs, there is so much to explore at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami. The best part? It’s free!
They recommend reserving tickets in advance, and it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
EXPLORE THE FRUIT AND SPICE PARK
There is nothing else like this place in the continental United States, so make sure you plan a stop at Fruit & Spice Park.
The facility is home to over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, and herbs. They offer tram tours, and you’re welcome to explore it to your heart’s content. Free for children under 6, $3 for kids, and $10 for adults.
BE INSPIRED AT THE PEREZ ART MUSEUM
The Perez Art Museum is beautiful both inside and out. Modern, contemporary, and international art is displayed here, and the exhibitions show Miami’s diverse community.
It’s free for children under 6, $12 for kids, and $16 for adults.
ENJOY A DAY AT BAYFRONT PARK
Bayfront Park is a beautiful and scenic park in downtown Miami!
The park has a path that runs right along the water, and it’s right next to the Bayfront Amphitheater that hosts live music events often. It’s also home to the annual “America’s Birthday Bash” every July 4th that thousands of people attend!
GET INSPIRED AT THE MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN
Note: The Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College and MDC Special Collections are currently closed while the Freedom Tower undergoes necessary renovations.
The Museum of Art and Design is located in the historic Freedom Tower and is known for featuring contemporary art by both local and international artists.
They offer free family days from 2-4 the last Sunday of the month. Free for children under 12, $5 for students, $8 for seniors, and $12 for adults.
EXPLORE DOMINO PARK
At any time of day at Domino Park, you will find the regulars sipping Cuban coffee, playing dominoes, and chatting with friends.
A tradition for more than 40 years, gameplay at the park is serious and exciting to watch, with authentic Latin energy and competitive banter
VISIT THE LITTLE HAITI CULTURAL COMPLEX
The Little Haiti Cultural Complex allows visitors to learn about the Afro-Caribbean culture!
They offer all sorts of free events throughout the year, and there is always so much to see and do, making it the perfect place to spend your time.
HOP ON THE MIAMI TROLLEY
The Miami Trolley system is free and accessible to all!
Hop on a trolley in downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Brickell, Miami Beach, and others for a trip like no other. The trolley would be a great way to get to the many attractions Miami offers.
SPEND A DAY AT CRANDON PARK BEACH
If you’re looking for a relaxing day at a beautiful beach, then Crandon Park Beach is for you. This 2-mile beach is well-known for its calm waters and soft, white sand. There are also concession stands, picnic areas, volleyball courts, and grills.
Parking is $5 on weekdays, and $7 on weekends.
Wynwood Walls offers visitors countless opportunities to enjoy the best of international contemporary art, whether in galleries or simply on the street, where colorful murals make it a go-to place for Instagrammers.
Since you’ve saved money during your Miami vacation, maybe it’s time to spend a little on one of these discounted tours!
- Tour Everglades National Park and enjoy an Airboat Tour and Wildlife Show. Experience South Florida’s premier Everglades and alligator adventure. Take an educational and exciting airboat tour of the National Park and join a wildlife show to see a baby gator.
- Enjoy a Big Bus Half-Day City Tour & Biscayne Bay Cruise. Discover the tropical beauty and vibrant culture of Miami aboard a half-day, panoramic open-top sightseeing tour. Embark on a relaxing bay cruise along the Miami Skyline and Millionaire’s Row.
- See the views on a 1.5-Hour Evening Cruise on Biscayne Bay. Enjoy unobstructed views of Miami’s glistening skyline by night on this 1.5-hour cruise. See sights like Millionaire’s Row and South Beach. Upgrade your experience with a double-decker bus tour beforehand.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE EVENTS ON SPECIFIC DAYS
Now that we’ve shown you what you can experience anytime, let’s take a look at some of the recurring events and activities that you have to do just a little planning for! With so many events happening, there’s sure to be something happening while you’re in town.
Flying into Miami? You’re going to need a car. Great rates and comparisons on all major brands, including Enterprise and Hertz make Discover Cars our favorite travel tool. Click here to compare rental car prices.
ENJOY JAZZ AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART NORTH MIAMI
If jazz is your thing, then this is a must-do for you! Free outdoor jazz concerts are held rain or shine on the last Friday of every month at 8 pm.
Your Friday nights just got way cooler.
EXPLORE EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
Mark a national park off your list with a visit to Everglades National Park. Everglades is a one-of-a-kind park, that is home to many rare species, such as manatees, the American crocodile, and the Florida panther.
Now, there is a $30 fee per vehicle, but that covers everyone in your car and is good for 7 days. Also, the National Park Service hosts several fee-free days throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those.
TAKE THE KIDS TO THE MIAMI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Get ready to have some fun with the kids at the educational and hands-on Miami Children’s Museum! Your kids will love exploring the Construction Zone, the Multi-Sensory Room, and the Castle of Dreams!
The Museum is open for three daily two-hour play sessions with advanced ticket purchase.
BROWSE THE FARMER’S MARKETS
If you’re looking to do some shopping, check out some of the many farmer’s markets offered in the Miami area.
The Brickell City Center Market is held every Saturday from 10-3 and features locally grown produce. And the Adrienne Arsht Center Farmer’s Market is held every Monday from 4-8:30pm and features produce and prepared foods.
EXPLORE BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK
A national park located south of Miami, ecosystems like Biscayne Bay and its offshore reefs are protected because of Biscayne National Park.
Recreational opportunities include fishing, boating, diving, snorkeling, paddling, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, cultural exploration, and the opportunity to experience the northernmost Florida Keys
The park has no entrance fees.
Read More: BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK – EPIC GUIDE 2022
If you want to learn more about Miami, head to the HistoryMiami Museum. This unique museum is a Smithsonian affiliate, and works to show visitors how Miami came to be the wonderfully diverse place it is today.
You can enjoy the museum and activities during their Free Family Fun Days on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am – 4 pm.
CHECK OUT THE TRAINS AT THE GOLD COAST RAILROAD MUSEUM
Explore the awesome and fun Gold Coast Railroad Museum! Home to over 40 railcars, they offer fun, games, and lots (and LOTS) of trains!
Adults are $12, Children (3-12) are $10, and children 2 and under are free.
CHECK OUT REDLAND MARKET VILLAGE
The Redland Farmer’s Market is located on 27 acres and features both an indoor and outdoor Farmer’s Market, 22 food trucks, and fun for the whole family.
Parking and admission is free, and it’s open Thursday-Sunday.
TOUR THE BILTMORE HOTEL
Free walking tours of the beautiful Biltmore Hotel are held on Sundays at 1:30 and 2:30, where your guide will tell you about the hotel’s history and show off their amazing grounds.
METEOR SHOWER BIKE RIDE
The only thing cooler than riding your bike through the Everglades, is doing it during a meteor shower. You can join a park ranger for the 15-mile bike ride during certain evenings when a meteor shower is happening. Call for reservations.
ENJOY A MIAMI ART WALK
The Miami Design District hosts free public art walks twice a month – on the second Sunday and last Wednesdays of the month! These interactive and informative art walks coincide with the Family Fun Days and the Market at #MDD, respectively.
ENJOY THE GABLES GALLERY NIGHT
The Gables Gallery Night is held the first Friday of the month, and takes you through the art galleries along Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
There is even a special trolley that will loop you between the Coral Gables galleries and other art venues.
CELEBRATE VIERNES CULTURALES
Head out to Little Havana to celebrate Viernes Culturales on the third Friday of the month at Domino Plaza. There’s a children’s village, art, dancing, music, and so much more at this family-friendly event.
EXPERIENCE A WYNWOOD SECOND SATURDAY
On the second Saturday of each month, visitors can explore the Miami art scene during an art walk between Miami Avenue and Northwest Second Avenue.
Starting a 6 pm, this even features art galleries, restaurants, and shops.
ENJOY A MOVIE AT SOUNDSCAPE CINEMA SERIES
Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and enjoy a free movie under the stars every Wednesday from October-May at SoundScape Park.
TAKE A BACKSTAGE TOUR OF THE ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER
Learn about the Arsht Center’s history and architecture during these free, twice-weekly tours. Held on Mondays and Saturdays at noon, the tour is about an hour, and also allows you to enjoy the views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.
FREE & CHEAP THINGS TO DO IN MIAMI (printable)
Downloadable Free and Cheap Things To Do In Miami list to print at home or your local print shop. Perfect to keep in a binder, bring on your adventure or just put on the refrigerator!
(PS. Some of this list is detailed in our article, 41 Kick-Ass Cheap and Free Things To Do in Miami for Tourists and Locals.)
Format: PDF, US Letter Size, Portrait (8.5”x11”)
You will receive one PDF file. File will be emailed and available for download up to three times upon payment. No physical item will be shipped.
SAVE MONEY WITH OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL PARTNERS
How can I have fun in Miami on a budget?
There are so many great ways to have fun in Miami on a budget! Spend the day on the Miami Beach Boardwalk, hop on the trolley, head to the beach, enjoy one of the local parks, take a self-guided walking tour, and visit the Wynwood Walls. You’ll never run out of fun things to do here!
Is South Beach free to enter?
Yes! South Beach is free to enter and is the perfect place to enjoy Miami on a budget.
What is the cheapest month to visit Miami?
The shoulder season, from February to May, is considered one of the cheapest times to visit Miami. You’ll find great hotel deals during this time, excluding Spring Break.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA:
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- BEST RESORTS: 19 Best Resorts In Florida: Family Options That You Should Not Miss
- FLORIDA BEACHES: 17 Best Florida Beaches For Families To Relax And Unwind
- FLORIDA RV PARKS: 19+ RV Parks In Florida That You Should Totally Visit
- MIAMI AMUSEMENT PARKS: Top 8 Amusement Parks In Miami You Will Want To Visit
WHERE TO STAY IN MIAMI
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