By Briana Seftel
Get to know the glitz and glamour of the Magic City without breaking the bank. From iconic beaches to eye-popping museums, Miami has plenty to do for free.
1. Lummus Park Beach
Tucked between the Atlantic and Ocean Drive, Lummus Park, a.k.a South Beach, is the mother of all Miami beaches. Easily recognizable from countless films and TV shows, the beach is perennially packed with sunbathers, swimmers and camera wielding tourists.
2. Surfside Beach
Located north of the North Shore Open Space Park, Surfside is a local's favorite. Not only can you sunbathe peacefully, you can catch public art installations and take a stroll along the oceanfront path.
3. Haulover Beach
Dare to bare at Haulover Beach, Florida’s best-known and oldest officially recognized public nude beach. If sunbathing in the nude isn't your cup of tea, there are also designated sections for swimsuit-clad bathers.
4. Sunny Isles Beach
Sunny Isles is the northernmost beach in Miami and is known as Florida's Riviera. After relaxing on its gorgeous white sand, explore the area's world-renowned restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and cultural destinations.
5. Ocean Drive
A major thoroughfare in South Beach, Ocean Drive captures Miami's see-and-be-seen vibe. Lining the street are 1930s Art Deco hotels like the Colony Hotel, the Versace Mansion and countless chic boutiques and restaurants.
6. Calle Ocho
Calle Ocho (8th Street) is in the heart of Little Havana and a fixture of Miami's vibrant Cuban community. Sip a cortado at one of the outdoor cafes, join an impromptu salsa performance or pick out a freshly-rolled cigar.
7. Collins Avenue
Running parallel to the Atlantic, Collins Avenue is home to many historic Art Deco hotels, nightclubs, shopping and restaurants. People watch as you stroll down one of Miami's famous addresses.
Parks & Gardens
8. Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Explore South Florida flora at Miami Beach Botanical Garden. The garden specializes in orchids and bromeliads, making a visit here a tropical paradise. Don't miss the “autograph tree” that has been signed by thousands of tour groups and the peaceful Japanese Garden.
9. South Pointe Park and Pier
Located at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, South Pointe Park is a serene place to escape the Miami heat and crowds. Come for a stroll along the paths and watch local fisherman reel in their daily catch at the pier.
10. Bayfront Park
A 32-acre public park in Downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park is a great place to catch live music, take an outdoor yoga class or just stroll by the water.
11. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) was a striking addition to the Miami art scene when it opened in 2017. Located in the Design District, the three-story museum offers visitors and residents exciting contemporary art, free of admission.
12. Pérez Art Museum Miami
Located on the Biscayne Bayfront in an area known as Museum Park, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAAM) is one of Miami's top cultural institutions. Focusing on 20th and 21st-century art from the Americas, Western Europe and Africa, the museum's eye-catching design is total Instagram fodder. Admission is free every second Saturday of the month and every first Thursday from 10am to 9pm.
13. Miami Children's Museum
Bring the kids along to Miami Children's Museum. Every third Friday of the Month, the museum has free admission from 4pm to 8pm. Kids and adults will love the interactive exhibits focusing on arts, science and culture.
14. The Wolfsonian-FIU
Just steps from South Beach, the Wolfsonian-FIU is a Florida International University-affiliated museum in a grand Art Deco building. Free every Friday night after 6pm, the museum's collection focuses on modern art and design.
15. Wynwood Walls
Snap pics of colorful street art murals at Wynwood Walls, a street art initiative in the warehouse district of Wynwood. On the second Saturday of every month, the Wynwood Art Walk turns the area into a street party with food trucks, live music and art galleries staying open late.
16. Biltmore Hotel
Built in 1926, the Biltmore exudes old-world glamour and sophistication. Serving as a hospital during World War II, a VA Hospital and a campus of the University of Miami, the Biltmore was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1987.
17. Coral Gables City Hall
Coral Gables, a city that's part of Miami County, is home to numerous historic sites like the Biltmore Hotel, Venetian Pool and City Hall, designed in 1927 in the Mediterranean Revival style. Admire the City Hall, then hop on a free vintage-style trolley and explore downtown Coral Gables.
18. Holocaust Memorial
This landmark on Miami Beach was erected in 1984 to honor victims of the Holocaust. The centerpiece of the memorial is the Sculpture of Love and Anguish, an enormous bronze outstretched hand reaching for the heavens.
19. Cape Florida Lighthouse
Cape Florida Lighthouse stands majestically at the south end of Key Biscayne. Overlooking the 500-acre Bill Baggs park, the lighthouse was built in 1825 and is the oldest standing structure in Miami. Explore on your own or join a free guided tour at 10am and 1pm Thursdays through Mondays.
20. Bayside Marketplace
Pick up a colorful Britto bag or sip a daiquiri at this open-air market near Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami. Although super touristy, it's still an interesting place to people watch and enjoy views over the marina.