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Vibrant Miami Nightlife | © Wyn Van Devanter/Flickr
Vibrant Miami Nightlife | © Wyn Van Devanter/Flickr

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Miami Over Orlando

Picture of Aisha Moktadier
Updated: 16 May 2017

Miami is a great place to visit if you’re looking to have a romantic getaway and visit some beautiful beaches. It boasts water sports, a great nightlife scene, and plenty of culture and diversity. Sure, Orlando is pretty cool too, but here we put the case for why you should visit lively Miami over Orlando.

Miami is much more romantic

Orlando has some nice spots for couples to visit, like Epcot and Disney Springs, but Miami has beautiful oceanfront hotel rooms, gorgeous restaurants offering a panoramic view of Miami, and even small wine bars that boast live jazz and cafe lights in the trees. Orlando boasts romantic restaurants like Norman’s and Le Coq Au Vin, but Miami has Juvia, which offers an almost 360-degree view of Miami lit up at night, and Love is Blind, a breathtaking spot in the heart of Coral Gables.

You can stay at an oceanfront hotel right on Miami Beach and have a couple’s massage with sensual oils, or you could go to the Biltmore Hotel for a beautiful getaway where you can swim, have a delicious Italian meal and marvel at the hotel’s beautiful architecture.

You can go on cruises from Miami

If looking to head to the islands, it’s much easier to dock from Miami, where several cruises going all across the globe start. You can go on an Alaskan cruise with your love or head to the islands with your family for a great getaway. Either way, Miami docks to all sorts of destinations, like the Carribean, Cuba, Panama Canal, Copenhagen, and across South America.

It has some of the most beautiful beaches

Hands down, Miami has some of the most beautiful beaches around. If you’re looking for an oceanfront hotel to stay at, where you can simply walk down and enjoy a private beach and Miami’s gorgeous blue water and soft sand, look no further than the Soho Beach House, Fontainebleau, and Savoy Hotel. These stunning hotels offer rooms that look like they are out of a dream and amenities that will make you feel like royalty. Sunsets here are breathtaking, and while you can hit the beach in just a few minutes even from suburban areas in Miami that are not located on the island, if you’re staying in Orlando, you’re looking at about 75 minutes of driving before you hit a nice beach.

The nightlife is much more vibrant

Sure, in Orlando you can hit the clubs and bars, and chances are your drinks will be cheaper. However, if you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife scene, Miami is where you need to be. This city boasts some of the most amazing clubs with the hottest DJs, where a spot inside is highly-coveted. At LIV, bouncers have to choose you out of the crowd in order for you to just get in, so making the cut can be nerve-wracking (but totally worth it!). The best clubs, like Story, LIV, Mynt Lounge, have an air of exclusivity to them that is unmatched. If not into the clubs, you can hit Little Havana for some Latin flair and salsa dancing, or maybe try a romantic restaurant, which are typically all open late into the night.

There is a lot of Latin culture

Orlando can be fun, and there is a lot of diversity there as well. You can meet people from all around the world who come in to visit and go to the theme parks, as well as meet a lot of young people from across the country who are going to school in neighboring areas. However, if you’re looking for some real authentic cultural hot spots, you need to visit Miami. Here, you can see the wonder that is Little Havana, where Cuban culture resides and creates a vibrant, fun environment for all tourists to come and see. You’ll find authentic Cuban food and Cuban music, and can even pull up a chair and learn how to play dominoes from the locals.

You can taste all different kinds of cuisine

Huge plates of freshly made paella? Check. Bowls filled with hot and spicy Thai red curry? Check. Cafe con Leche and hand-rolled and baked empanadas? Cheeeeeck. No matter what kind of food you’re looking for, you can get it here, and you can get it authentically made because of just how much diversity is found in the city. In Orlando, you can get your hands on some Mickey-shaped ice cream pops at Disney, some ceviche from Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, and some kick-ass sashimi from Shin Japanese Cuisine. But if you want to try some seriously exotic cuisine, visit Miami where you’ll find Cali Cafe, Zuma, and Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant.

You won’t have all the Disney hype

Disney is great, it really is. It’s something that everyone should get to see in their lifetime, and truly is the most magical place on Earth. However, if you’re looking for something a little less “family-friendly,” and romantic/sexy, you’re going to want to head to Miami. While Orlando is definitely the haven for family fun, Miami is better for couples or groups of friends trying to find a great place to spend spring or summer break. Here you can go to clubs and rooftop parties, get drunk on the beach, and even tan at the topless beach. It’s definitely less “family friendly” than Disney and Orlando as a whole, so if you’re looking for something a little more risque, Miami is your place.

Miami boasts an insanely big, modern airport

Miami International Airport is one of the top airports in the nation, and in 2016, MIA scored fifth on the list of the top five airports in the US, according to the Miami Herald. The airport opened a yoga room, has “animal relief’ areas for traveling pets, and there are also nursing suites for women who want some privacy when breastfeeding their children but don’t want to do it in the bathroom. Orlando ‘s airport is still a nice one, winning one of the spots for top airports in the country by Travel and Leisure magazine in 2012. However, MIA still takes the cake, with the airport serving 44.35 million passengers in 2015, and Orlando coming in second in Florida, serving 38.81 million that same year.

MIAMI me lo confirmóoo 🛬💃🏼☀️🌈🌴#doreenTravelDiary #Miami #MiamiLife #305

A post shared by DOREEN GUTIERREZ (@diariodebelleza) on

It’s great if you love water sports

Into jet skiing? Would you love to rent a yacht for you and your friends? Maybe you want to try stand-up paddleboarding? Regardless of what kind of water sport you’re into, Miami has a ton of different options and trainers to help you learn how to master any of them. That’s the perk of coming to visit a place right on the water, right? Agreed, Orlando has a ton of fun things to do as well, but water sports isn’t part of that. The nearest beach is, as mentioned before, quite a drive, so if you’re looking for sun and water, head to Miami instead.

There is a much bigger art scene

Orlando has its downtown arts district, but nothing compares to Wynwood. Miami’s art scene is massive and boasts all kinds of street art by local and international artists, that bring an entire area of the city to life. Dinosaurs, monsters, and flowers eat up the sides of walls, all spray-painted in neon colors. You’ll find quotes on the sidewalks, designs all over buildings, and even kick-ass galleries you can go into and visit. You’ll have to stop by the Wynwood Walls first and then head to all the different smaller galleries. Pick up tiny trinkets from Frangipani, and make time for a hot latte (with macadamia milk!) at Panther Coffee while you’re in the area.