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Plan Your Trip to Miami: Best of Miami Tourism

Explore Miami

Miami at night is legendary—it’s all art-deco neon, music spilling into the streets and rooftop cocktails. But by day, there’s just as much to explore. Architecture buffs can visit the reconstructed 12th century Ancient Spanish Monastery and Renaissance-inspired Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, or cruise down the art deco-dotted Ocean Drive. For beach lovers, there’s plenty beyond South Beach: Swim with sea turtles at Boynton Beach, go windsurfing at Hobie Beach, or skip the sand and take a dip at the Venetian Pool (another architectural gem). And thanks to the strong Cuban and Jewish communities, you can snack on pastelitos in Little Havana or grab a loaf of kosher rye in Wynwood—in the same day, if you’re up for it.

Travel Advice

Essential Miami

How to spend a perfect day in Miami's Little Havana

From rich coffee to cigar shops to nights filled with salsa dancing, Little Havana has provided a colourful tapestry of Cuban life since the 1950s. I have called South Florida home for 25 years, and never tire of exploring here. Much of Little Havana runs along Calle Ocho, making it easy to see the neighbourhood in one food and fun packed day.
  • Cafe Versailles
    Begin with a jolt of Cuban coffee. You’ll find plenty of ventanitas, extensions to coffee shops providing quick access to caffeine, and Cuban pastries like guava and cheese. Cafe Versailles is a frequent pitstop for politicians and celebrities, and for a good reason: there’s strong coffee, flaky pastries, and an atmosphere thick with cultural pride. Cuban coffee is typically made with heaps of sugar, so be sure to request yours “sin azucar” for no sugar, or, like I do, “con poca azucar,” if you like it a little bit sweet.
  • Maximo Gómez Park
    Cigars are big in Cuban culture, so it’s no surprise to find a string of cigar shops in Little Havana. El Titan de Bronze offers a variety of premium cigars. Another favourite is Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co., a family-owned business founded by Don Bello in Las Villas, Cuba in 1896. After stocking up, head to Maximo Gomez Park (Domino Park to locals), the meeting spot for heated rounds of domino playing and conversation.
  • Sanguich De Miami
    For lunch, nothing beats a Cuban sandwich (roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard) on a hot-pressed Cuban baguette. My go-to spot is Sanguich de Miami because everything—right down to the pickles— is made from scratch.
  • Azucar Ice Cream Factory
    For dessert, head to Azucar Ice Cream Company. Flavours are not only exceptional, they’re a crash course in Cuban culinary culture. My favourite is Abuela Maria—an addictive blend of guava paste, cream cheese, and crumbled cookies. Cafe con leche and platano maduro (sweet plantain) hit the spot as well.
  • Tower Theater
    I take my ice cream for a stroll to check out the area’s street murals portraying everything from the Cuban flag to “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz. They’re a good lead in to the area’s thriving art scene. Visit The Futurama Building, which houses 12 galleries, and check out Tower Theatre, a historic film house once used to help immigrants learn English that now serves as a cultural hub.
  • La Carreta
    After my art tour, I’ve usually built up an appetite again, which is important since Cuban cuisine is tasty and arrives in portions fit for a growing teenage boy. At La Carreta, dishes are piled high with meat classics like vaca frita (crisply cooked shredded beef) and my choice, picadillo (ground beef cooked with raisins and olives) paired with sweet plantains, rice, and black beans.
  • Ball & Chain
    Dinner and dancing more your thing? Ball & Chain, a staple since 1930, can’t be beat—there’s live music playing all day and night that will literally make it impossible not to move your feet. And trust me, you don’t want to leave without trying the classic rum and mint mojito.