How to Spend 2, 4 or 6 Hours in Miami

How to Spend 2, 4 or 6 Hours in Miami

Looking for things to do in Miami before you can check into your hotel or Airbnb, or perhaps you have a couple of hours to spare before returning your rental car at Miami International Airport (MIA)? Whether you’ve got two, four or six hours to explore, make the most of it in Magic City, nickname to this vibrant, unique South Florida hotspot.

2 Hours: Chow Down at a Cuban Restaurant

Drive about 4 miles south of MIA

While it’s easy to spend hours wandering around Little Havana, hungry travelers with just two hours to spare should make a beeline for Versailles, one of the best restaurants near Miami’s airport. Known as “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant,” you can’t go wrong with the traditional Cuban sandwich: ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles served on toasted Cuban bread.

Cuban sandwiches At Versailles, a hotspot of Cuban culture and cuisine since 1971, locals and visitors alike can bite into tasty dishes like the above Cuban and Spanish baguettes, or savor weekly specials like pulpeta, a Cuban variation of meatloaf that’s served with moros rice and sweet plantains. Photo by dcwriterdawn, Flickr.

4 Hours: Meander Through Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Drive about 10 miles southeast of MIA

A visit to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens will easily transport you back to the early 1900s, when the mansion and its accompanying gardens were created as farm machinery magnate James Deering’s subtropical winter home. The European-inspired gardens are considered among the most elaborate in the U.S. and are open every day but Tuesday. Families can easily spend a half day touring the grounds, hearing live organ music (weekdays at 4 p.m.) or attending one of the many events at this Miami attraction, which is conveniently close to the airport.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens An American’s take on an Italian Renaissance villa, Vizcaya invites visitors to its exquisite 50-acre estate.

6 Hours: Explore South Beach’s Art Deco Scene and Seafood Restaurants

Drive about 12 miles east of MIA

Looking for a beach near the airport? South Beach is synonymous with Miami, and you don’t have to change into a swimsuit to enjoy it. One of South Beach’s highlights is its architecture; park in one of the nearby city garages and take a self-guided walking tour to learn about the area’s art deco, Mediterranean revival and modern architectural styles. Afterward, grab an outdoor table at one of Ocean Drive’s seafood restaurants, like A Fish Called Avalon, and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

South Beach art deco buildings South Beach boasts more than 800 art deco structures full of personality and painted in every shade of the pastel rainbow.

About the Author

Susan B. Barnes, aka travlin’ girl, is a travel writer who enjoys exploring the world as much as her own Florida backyard and sharing discoveries with her readers. Follow her travels online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.