Miami’s Brickell and Downtown neighborhoods offer a vibrant mix of culture, dining, nightlife, and attractions for visitors. As two of the most popular areas for tourists, there is plenty to see and do in these exciting districts. Here are some of the top places to visit when traveling to Brickell and Downtown Miami:
Pérez Art Museum Miami
One of the highlights of Downtown Miami is the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Opened in 2013, this modern and contemporary art museum houses an impressive permanent collection as well as rotating exhibitions showcasing both local and international artists. The striking waterfront building was designed by famous architects Herzog & de Meuron and focuses on displaying art in natural light. Visitors can take a scenic stroll outside to enjoy the gorgeous bay views. Don’t miss the museum shop and on-site restaurant Verde, which uses ingredients grown right on the PAMM gardens.
Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science
Just steps away from PAMM, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science is another top downtown attraction. This world-class science museum contains an aquarium, planetarium, and 250+ interactive exhibits focusing on technology, earth science, biology and more. Some highlights include the Gulf Stream aquarium with a 31-foot replica of a great white shark and the 8K digital planetarium. Outside, visitors can explore the Frost Science Park with experiential exhibits on living coral reefs and marine life conservation. With so much to see, you’ll want to spend a full afternoon here.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Located south of Downtown in Coconut Grove, this opulent mansion was built in 1916 as the private residence of businessman James Deering. Today the estate serves as a museum where visitors can tour the 34 ornate rooms filled with European antiques and artwork. The main draw is the sprawling formal gardens featuring fountains, statuary, vine-covered pergolas, a maze, and a man-made grotto. The gardens provide a scenic backdrop for events, weddings and casual strolls. Don’t miss the lovely cafe, which serves light fare on the outdoor terrace.
No trip to Miami is complete without a visit to the colorful Wynwood Walls. This outdoor street art park originated as an initiative to transform the warehouses of the Wynwood Arts District using giant murals by acclaimed artists. Now home to over 50 murals, the Wynwood Walls have become a vibrant tourist destination. Visitors can freely stroll around the park to snap photos of imaginative graffiti and advanced stencil works created by artists from around the world. In addition to the eye-catching murals, Wynwood Walls often features art installations, augmented reality experiences, and special events.
Brickell City Centre
As one of the hottest new developments in Miami, Brickell City Centre is a massive $1.1 billion mixed-use project spanning nine acres. The complex includes luxury shopping, restaurants, office towers, residential condos, a hotel, and entertainment venue. Visitors can browse brands like Coach, Porsche Design, and Lululemon in the 500,000 square foot outdoor shopping center. After shopping, relax by the Clos Maggiore fountain or dine al fresco on the fourth floor terrace lined with palm trees and string lights. The City Centre is a great place to experience Brickell’s new modern metropolis.
Travel back in time with a stroll down this charming historic street in South Beach lined with Mediterranean revival architecture. Española Way was designed to resemble Spain in the 1920s and today houses quaint boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. Pop in for a handmade mask at The Spot for Masks or catch a flamenco show at the Havana 1957 restaurant.Visit on a weekend afternoon when the street becomes pedestrian-only and street performers come out to play Spanish guitar and dance. The Bohemian vibe makes Española Way a favorite photo backdrop.
South Pointe Park
At the southern tip of Miami Beach, this waterfront park provides postcard-worthy views of the downtown Miami skyline. Visitors flock here for pictures at the Miami Beach sign and viewing the cruise ships coming and going from Government Cut. Pack a picnic or dine al fresco at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse located right in the park. Other highlights include the dog park, free yoga classes on the pier, and watching the sun go down from the lawn while the city lights come up. It’s one of the best places to watch the sunset in Miami.
Art Deco Historic District
Stroll along the pastel-lined streets of South Beach to take in the iconic art deco hotels and homes. Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive boast the largest collection of art deco architecture in the world with over 800 preserved buildings from the 1920s to 1940s. Pop into hotels like The Delano, Tides South Beach, or the Parisian-style Cavalier for a lobby tour. As you walk, gaze up to admire the decorative facades, neon signs, porthole windows, glass block, and whimsical details that define this classic Miami style.
Lincoln Road Mall
At the heart of South Beach, this lively outdoor pedestrian mall boasts some of the best people watching in Miami. By day, shop at major chains like Nike, Sephora, and Zara or check out the many street side boutiques, art galleries, and sidewalk cafes. When the sun goes down, flashy restaurants and thumping dance clubs come alive. Other draws include street performers, Art Deco movie theaters, the lushly landscaped Lincoln Road Park, and the Antique & Collectible Market that takes over each Sunday.
New World Symphony
Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this uniquely designed concert hall in South Beach houses the acclaimed New World Symphony orchestra. Visitors can enjoy an open rehearsal for just $5 to appreciate the soaring, curved glass exterior and striking 7,000-pipe organ inside. For a special experience, catch one of the Wallcast concerts where the orchestra’s performance is live projected on a 7,000 square foot projection wall in the adjacent SoundScape park. Locals and visitors bring lawn chairs, blankets and snacks to enjoy the free outdoor simulcast with friends.
Oleta River State Park
Just north of Downtown Miami, Oleta River State Park offers a peaceful natural escape from the city with miles of bike trails, beaches, kayaking and more. Rent a bike to cruise through the lush tropical landscape along Biscayne Bay spotting local wildlife. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the sand at Oleta Beach before swimming in the calm bay waters. For amazing views, venture out on the water on a kayak, paddleboard or motorized boat. The park also features cabins, campsites, fishing piers, and outdoor adventures like stand up paddle boarding and archery.
Miami Design District
Combining art, fashion, and design, the Miami Design District is a must for shopping and architecture enthusiasts. Browse through the neighborhood’s many high-end boutiques featuring runway styles, jewelry, home furnishings, and art. Luxury stores like Fendi, Gucci, Bulgari, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton all have a home in the Design District. Don’t miss checking out iconic buildings like the Moore Building, Palm Court and Paradise Plaza with their ornate facades, arches, towers, and charming details. After working up an appetite, dine al fresco at one of the chic restaurants or cafés.
Wynwood Brewing Company
The Wynwood neighborhood is one of the epicenters of Miami’s craft beer scene, thanks in large part to Wynwood Brewing Company. Since opening in 2013, this family-owned microbrewery has been serving an ever-evolving lineup of ales, lagers, and experimental brews. Beer enthusiasts can sip tasting flights in the colorful taproom before stocking up on kegs, cans or crowlers to go. On weekends, the patio becomes a lively hangout with food trucks, cornhole, and special releases like their popular La Rubia blonde ale. It’s a great spot for kicking back with a cold pint after a day admiring Wynwood Walls street art.
With its exciting blend of culture, dining, nightlife, and attractions, Brickell and Downtown Miami offer visitors endless options for creating memorable experiences. From appreciating artistic masterpieces, soaking in the Miami sun and street art, exploring sprawling gardens and green spaces, or strolling historic neighborhoods, there is something for every interest when visiting these vibrant Miami districts.