How to Spend 24 Hours in Miami

Wynwood Walls l © Marcos Lozada Echenique / Flickr
Wynwood Walls l © Marcos Lozada Echenique / Flickr
While you can’t see all of the city in one day, you can get a true taste of the Miami experience with our helpful city guide. Covering world-famous street art, gorgeous beaches, and seafood dinners on the water, we think you’ll enjoy living like a local for a day.

Start your day with the coolest coffee in town

Coffee connoisseurs love Panther Coffee, an independent coffee shop located in the trendy area of Wynwood. They take their joe seriously here, curating all the shop’s offerings from small farms and grinding the beans themselves on-site. Lounge in the outdoor seating area while perusing the menu of cold brews, single-origin coffees, and well-made coffee beverages, including Americanos, lattes, and because it’s Miami, cortaditos. If you didn’t have enough at breakfast (or even if you did), consider sampling one of Panther’s popular freshly baked cookies. You’ve been warned, though: locals swear Panther’s quality café fare will ruin you for stale croissants and drab donuts forever.

Be sure to spring for a larger-sized coffee this morning; you’ll need the extra fuel to…

Panther Coffee l Jimmy Baikovicius/Flickr

Explore Instagram-famous street art at Wynwood Walls

Perhaps the most ‘grammable attraction in Miami, the Wynwood Walls are a popular destination amongst tourists and locals alike. Conceived in 2009, the Walls came about as a creative means of utilizing the area’s high concentration of empty warehouses. The windowless buildings provided the perfect canvas for street artists from around the world to present and legitimize their art. Nearly a decade later, the Wynwood Walls have risen to the status of international attraction thanks to contributions from graffiti giants such as Shepard Fairey and Invader. Over 50 artists from Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and 14 other countries have since made their mark on the Walls.

Get lost in the area, admire the art, and remember to snap a shot or two. While you’re in the neighborhood, you might like to pop into some of Wynwood Arts District’s many galleries, antique shops, and quirky bars.

Wynwood Walls l © Marcos Lozada Echenique / Flickr

Dig into an authentic Cuban lunch

You probably worked up an appetite with all that walking. It’s time for lunch at Versailles, the most locally beloved Cuban restaurant in Miami. (Note: the area of Little Havana, where Versailles calls home, is about a 20-minute car ride from Wynwood Walls. However, sitting in traffic will give you plenty of time to admire the city’s Art Deco architecture and palm tree-lined streets).

Versailles’ opulent interior makes for a great photo-op, but it’s the restaurant’s authentic Cuban cuisine that steals the show. Rub elbows with locals as you dig into croquette sandwiches, stuffed avocados, saffron rice with chicken, and more. Trust the spot’s nearly 3,000 Yelp reviewers, and don’t miss this cult-favorite cuisine.

Versailles l Eugene Kim/Flickr

Lie on one of the world’s most iconic beaches

That was a lot of food! Good thing you’re just a 20-minute drive from Miami Beach, one of the most famous (and infamous) beaches in the world and an ideal destination for daytime relaxing. With a torrid history as ground zero of Miami’s cocaine habit in the 1980s, South Beach has since cleaned up its act—mostly. The area still boasts a thriving nightlife scene, ideal for bar-hopping and clubbing.

During the day, however, the beach is a perfect locale for swimmers, sunbathers, and anyone seeking unbeatable views of Miami’s shoreline and great people-watching. Claim a spot on the sand (under the cool shade of a lifeguard stand if you can swing it), and spend a relaxing afternoon outdoors.

Miami Beach l wadester16/Flickr

Enjoy a great dinner with an even better view

You must be feeling peckish by now. Perhaps you’d like to grab a shower and a fresh outfit, or maybe you wouldn’t: either case is fine with Grove Bay Grill, your end-of-day destination. Located in historic Coconut Grove, this local hot spot (previously known as Scotty’s) is serving up fresh seafood, all-American classics, and breathtaking waterfront views.

Watch the sun set over some mahi mahi sandwiches, dolphin fingers, mouthwatering burgers, and any of the Grill’s excellent beer options. Also offering live music, a friendly staff, and a pro-pup policy, this spot combines everything that’s great about Florida.

Grove Bay l Wikicommons

Grab a classic Miami breakfast before you leave

Buenos días! Before you depart, be sure to stop in at one of the city’s many cafeterías for a quick breakfast bite. Popular choices preferred by locals include the guava and cheese pastelito, the sweet-and-salty tequeño, and the savory bocadito, croquetas, and papa rellena. Whichever you choose, wash it down with a cafe con leche, a blend of strong coffee and scalded milk and the unofficial drink of Miami. Now that’ll energize you for your travels!