Where To Stay In Miami: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
Deciding where to stay in Miami is not the easiest of decisions to make. Miami has so many great districts like Downtown, Brickell, and Wynwood, to name just three, and all have something unique to offer visitors.
Then there's neighboring Miami Beach with its famous stretch of sand, and South Beach which is what everyone wants to see. It would be wrong not to mention North Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables too as they all have special characteristics that suit some people more than others.
Have a read through this definitive guide to where to stay in Miami and you'll get a better insight into what each area has to offer and whether or not it's the right place for you.
Think about what you plan to do when you stay in Miami while you're reading and then you'll be able to match each district with your vacation expectations. It doesn't matter whether that's getting in some serious tanning time, going shopping in Miami, or visiting some of this Florida city's amazing museums and galleries.
Don't forget, if you need to leave your bags somewhere before you check in at your accommodation or after you've checked out when you stay in Miami, Bounce is a luggage storage service in Miami with facilities near to where you are. Stash your bags in a Bounce luggage locker where they'll be totally safe. Forget about them and head off to enjoy those first, or last, few hours in this incredible city without a care in the world.
What Are The Best Places To Stay In Miami ?
Downtown Miami is more or less right in the city center, so is one of the best places to stay in Miami if you're planning on exploring the city and making the most of its world-class cultural offerings.
The Downtown district of Miami is located on the opposite side of Miami River to the Brickell neighborhood and is on the shore of Biscayne Bay right across from Miami Beach. Getting to either of those places from Downtown is a doddle as the district has a fantastic public transport system which is truly one of the best and the most economical ways to get around Miami.
While Downtown Miami is renowned for being part of the city's financial sector, there's much more to it than skyscrapers full of floor after floor of Fortune 500 companies. It is one of the best parts of Miami for entertainment venues, restaurants, museums, and art galleries.
Head for the Maurice A. Ferre Park and you'll pass the Van Gogh Immersive experience on the way. In the park, you'll find the Perez Art Museum Miami plus the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and be right by the FTX Arena. And those are just a few of the attractions in Downtown Miami. Go to Bayfront Park and you can take a spin on the Skyview Observation Wheel and see all of Miami, including mid beach, as you go round.
Forget staying in a friendly guest house in Downtown Miami as here the hotels are high-rise towers where the rooms have balcony views of Biscayne Bay that will take your breath away. Prices per night range from moderate to high depending on the amenities available at the hotel. Are they worth splashing out for? The answer is a definite yes.
Brickell is a neighborhood in Miami on the opposite side of Miami River to Downtown that makes up the rest of the city's financial district. It's the most stylish part of the city to stay in, especially for business travelers, and, as it's frequented by hordes of office workers, the place where you can get the best brunch in Miami.
One of the main attractions here, and one that makes it the best neighborhood if you're into shopping, is the Brickell City Center shopping mall where you can go high-end shopping until you drop in a hundred or more stores spread over four floors or spend all day in Saks of Fifth Avenue which takes up over one hundred thousand square feet of the mall. It's one of the places in Miami where the in-crowd go to be seen.
There are also some of the best things to do at night in Miami in the Brickell neighborhood too. Think classy restaurants, rooftop bars with sensational views of the city skyline, flashy cocktail bars, and clubs where you can dance until dawn.
In Brickell, there are hotels to suit every budget as long as that budget is coming out of a bottomless purse. If you're on a no-expense-spared vacation then you could find yourself dishing out almost a thousand dollars a night if you want a five-star with in-house spa. Yes, this district is pretty much all about luxury accommodation.
Little Havana, Miami
If you're backpacking around the US and want to stay in Miami in the thick of things, but need somewhere where you'll find relatively cheap accommodation with a nightly price that won't induce heart failure then check out Little Havana.
Little Havana is Miami's Latin Quarter and it has that indescribable vibe that's synonymous with Cuba and Latin America. Salsa, rumba, and mamba music blare from bars and cafes where a quick Cuba libre is the order of the day.
Little Havana attracts a young crowd who like to party all day and then go to all-night parties as well. It also draws more mature people who are familiar with and love the Cuban culture.
Little Havana is a neighborhood that was originally settled by Cuban immigrants, but over the years has developed into one of the most colorful and characterful parts of Miami – and not just because of its art-daubed walls either.
Some of the most reasonable hotels and hostels in Little Havana are on its most famous street, Calle Ocho.
Wynwood is one of the trendiest districts in Miami and if you're into the hip art scene, wear tie-dyed fabrics on a regular basis or you’re a creative yourself, then this is the place you'll want to stay.
Once a derelict district full of empty factory units, the Wynwood Art District, or the Miami Design District as it's also known, has risen from the ashes of ruin like the proverbial phoenix of mythology. The main attraction here is the street art which consists of multiple murals that can be seen everywhere and are known as the Wynwood Walls.
There are plenty of art galleries, antique dealers, and shops offering handcrafted merchandise produced by resident artisans too. Restaurants and cafes all have their own theme and you won't struggle to find quality vegan food.
The one thing you won't get if you decide to stay in Wynwood is an oceanside hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows, but you will find most of the hotels have an outdoor pool and they’re always private rooms with en suite bathrooms.
From most hotel room windows in Coconut Grove you can see yachts at anchor in the marinas, so if that's your perfect vacation view, Coconut Grove is where to stay in Miami, especially for a spring break.
Coconut Grove is a city in itself and right on Biscayne Bay, so oceanside views are a given. Coconut Grove tends to attract the older, more well-to-do vacationer who enjoys a quiet stroll down tree-lined avenues, activities like visiting museums and botanical gardens, and dining by the waterfront in the evening. Hotels here definitely fall into the class of luxury accommodation.
Where To Stay In Miami Beach
South Beach, Miami Beach
When you want to be where it's all happening twenty-four hours of the day, seven days of the week, then there's only one place you should stay in Miami and that's South Beach in Miami Beach. It's the go-to place for beach lovers and party animals so attracts a young, trendy crowd who enjoy a vibrant resort atmosphere.
Miami Beach is a city in itself and on an island in Biscayne Bay. While it's an island city, it's connected to mainland Miami by several causeways and has excellent public transport connections, so going sightseeing from there isn't an issue if you can manage to drag yourself to South Beach now and again.
Accommodation in South Beach can be anywhere from three to five star, but if you search hard enough you'll find the odd budget option that will cost you under a hundred dollars a night. No, the latter won't have uninterrupted views of the ocean or an in-house spa or fitness center.
Choose carefully though and you'll still be within walking distance of South Beach sands and some of the other attractions in Miami Beach like its beautiful art deco buildings, The Bass, or the Wolfsonian-Florida International University Museum, as well as Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.
North Beach, Miami Beach
North Beach is at the opposite end of Miami Beach to South Beach and is, in many ways, a total contrast to the buzzing resort that occupies the southern part of the island. It's a quieter and more laid-back neighborhood that attracts more mature visitors who appreciate the paved Beach Walk and the fine dining restaurants.
North Beach also has good sporting facilities, so if playing a game of tennis or a round of golf every day of your stay is what you like to do, North Beach is perfect for you. The beach tends to be less crowded too so is great if you have children to keep an eye on.
Accommodation prices vary between the reasonable and the ridiculous. If you want a deluxe room or penthouse suite expect to pay in the region of five hundred dollars a night. There are a lot of lower-priced options available and none are very far from the beach so finding something to suit your budget won't be difficult.
Bal Harbor, Miami Beach
If you enjoy exclusivity and don't mind paying for the privilege then you should check out the Bal Harbor neighborhood of Miami Beach. Everything in Bal Harbor is designed to make you feel special so if you're thinking of spending your honeymoon or a special anniversary in Miami, Bal Harbor would be the perfect choice and definitely make the occasion memorable.
Bal Harbor occupies the most northern point of Miami Beach so is well away from the mayhem of the south. Think tranquility by a pool on a VIP lounger sipping cocktails, a white sand beach lined with palm trees, and, to make sure you don't get too relaxed, some of the best shopping in Miami at the Bal Harbor Shops.
In Bal Harbor you can forget cheap hotels. Here you'll find plenty of hotels that will make you sigh with sheer delight at their luxuriousness and the amenities they provide. Huge pools, access to stretches of private beach, rooms with balconies that have uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean views, and in-house bars and restaurants that will make you forget about everything else as you'll never want to leave the hotel. Expensive, but worth it.
Now you know all there is to know about where to stay in Miami you'll be able to choose the perfect neighborhood for your stay with complete confidence and know that when you get there, wherever you've chosen will be idyllic.
Whether you choose to stay in a luxury hotel or do Miami on the cheap by staying in a hostel in Little Havana, you’ll have such a good time, you’ll be booking to go back before you even leave. At the end of the day, it's not where you stay in Miami, but what you do when you stay in Miami that really counts.
If you don't get to see everything the city has to offer the first time you stay in Miami and miss out on South Beach, the Art Deco district, or some of Miami's outdoor activities, don't worry. You can always do them the next time you stay in Miami and believe it, there will be a next time.