Make your Miami vacation unforgettable for all the right reasons. Beat the heat, get close to the wildlife, snap some epic photos for your Facebook albums, and enjoy the city's beauty and variety at your own pace. Here's how to plan for the best family getaway in Miami this year:
Photo Credit: Visit Miami
Times and Seasons
If at all possible, plan your Miami visit to skip the peak of summertime—especially the months of July, August and September. The heat plus humidity is challenging for grownups, let alone kiddos. If you do find yourself visiting in summer, plan all outdoor sightseeing for the early morning or the two hours before sunset. Spend the middle of the day in a place with convenient air conditioning, swimming, and a continuous flow of chilled drinks.
Photo Credit: Parrot Jungle
Keep it Age-Appropriate
Make the family outings truly family-friendly: Browse the stalls at Bayside Marketplace, visit Parrot Jungle on Watson Island, or go to South Beach early in the day and do the amphibious DUCK TOUR followed by lunch on Lincoln Road. Then be sure to dine at a glossy Biscayne Corridor restaurant, drink on a Miami Beach rooftop, check out the Design District’s hipster scene, or plan a “Date Night” and leave the kids with a sitter back at the hotel.
Photo Credit: Wynwood Walls
Get Photos at Wynwood Walls
The exception to grownup vs. kid-friendly neighborhoods in Miami is Wynwood, specifically the Wynwood Walls. The colorful and ever-evolving street art here captivates everyone. Adults appreciate the diversity and creativity, while kids love the crazy colors and the fact that people are painting all over building exteriors. It’s all totally COOL.
It’s no surprise that the “island vibe” in this area is very different from mainland energy—but what’s surprising is that you really don’t have to go far to find it. You’re thinking the Keys, but in fact, you’ll find that quirky, sunshine-cheerful pace in Key Biscayne, the canal neighborhoods of North Beach, and Belle Isle among the Venetian Islands.
Photo Credit: Tarpoon Dive Centers
Further to what we said about making sure you’re near water in the heat of afternoon—there are a lot of options besides the hotel pool. If skyscraper-facing beaches aren’t your jam, lay down your beach blanket on a white sand beach surrounded by mangrove forest at Oleta River State Park. Don’t have a hotel pool big enough for serious swimming? The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is a watery wonderland with waterfalls, caves and natural rock coves. (Note: It’s spring-fed, so the water is downright chilly according to Miami locals, though people from colder climes find it nicely refreshing.) If your kids like snorkeling, splurge on a half-day boat excursion with Tarpoon Lagoon Diving Center, departing from Miami Beach Marina.
You can fill every meal with cheeseburgers, fish fingers and fries if you have picky eaters, but if your children are slightly more open-minded in their food choices, Miami is a great place to introduce them to a whole new spectrum of yum. Try crispy yuca instead of French fries, malanga fritters for a crunchy fried appetizer, and plantains with corn and queso instead of plain buttered spaghetti.