See the Miami Skyline from some of the best rooftop bars in Miami

Miami Food & Travel Guide

Welcome to the vibrant heart of South Florida. Miami is a bustling metropolis where the warmth of the sun is matched only by the warmth of the people. The city is a melting pot of cultures, especially those from Cuban and Latino backgrounds, making it an absolute paradise for any food and travel enthusiast. From the iconic sandy shores of South Beach to the colorful streets of Little Havana, Miami offers an endless array of culinary delights and breathtaking sights.

During my time in Miami, I sought out the best Cuban sandwiches, rooftop bars, pizza, and more. Here is what I found.

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Best Areas to Stay in Miami

1. South Beach

The area most associated with the allure and excitement of Miami is South Beach. It’s beauty stems from the sandy beaches and historic Art Deco architecture while its fame comes from the world-renowned nightlife and upscale dining. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and is lined with oceanfront resorts and boutique hotels. South Beach is undoubtedly the party district of Miami, with clubs open until 5am.

Also, it is not technically in Miami, but rather the city of Miami Beach, a city located on a barrier island across the Biscayne Bay. But for all intents and purposes, you can consider it as part of Miami.

2. Brickell

This is Miami’s financial center, filled with skyscrapers, luxury condos, and high-end rental buildings. This is an ideal location for business travelers or those who enjoy an urban setting that includes trendy restaurants, a lively bar scene, and upscale shopping. This is also the area that seemingly all the New York models, influencers, and professionals escaped to during Covid. And admittedly, I am included as one of these people.

This is a popular are for short term rentals as most of the new buildings have amenities that include gyms, pools, and spaces for coworking. But there are also several mid to high-end hotels. The Four Seasons and JW Marriott and EAST Miami, are great luxury options. While the AC Hotel with a popular rooftop bar, citizenM, and Hotel Indigo are solid at a generally reasonable cost. This area is very walkable, clean, and central to all the other great areas of Miami. The Metromover is a free light rail that provides easy access to downtown, where you can find museums, tourist attractions, and the Kaseya Center (home of the Miami heat basketball team).

Brickell is the financial district of Miami. It has high rise condos, rental buildings, and upscale restaurants.
Brickell, Miami

3. Coconut Grove

This neighborhood, known simply as “The Grove” is Miami’s oldest neighborhood and boasts lush greenery, bohemian shops, and a relaxed atmosphere. Heading here from Brickell became my favorite drive, as the trees form a canopy overhead and you pass by beautiful gardens, making it feels like you are entering a suburban oasis. But once you arrive, you’ll find an area filled with shops, great restaurants, and outdoor activities.

This is a particularly nice area for families to live and visit. The playground in Peacock Park is especially busy on weekend mornings with young kids playing while their Millennial parents look on. You can even watch them play as you enjoy brunch and mimosas at the outdoor tables of Glass & Vine. Overall, this is a very nice and classy area, with a more relaxed nightlife.

There’s a handful of nice hotels in this area, including the exceptional Ritz-Carlton and the European influenced Mr C Hotel (part of Cipriani brand). The Mayfair House Hotel is a mid-priced option and is my preferred hotel, while the Mutiny Hotel is great for a more modest budget.

4. Wynwood

Wynwood is the heart of Miami’s art scene, famous for its colorful Wynwood Walls art exhibit, galleries, and street art. This former industrial district now thrives with craft breweries, quirky boutiques, and an eclectic culinary scene. It’s the place to stay for those who love being surrounded by creativity and innovation. This is an ideal neighborhood for people in their 20s and 30s who may work remotely and want a great nightlife that isn’t the club scene of South Beach.

The Arlo Wynwood Miami is a fantastic hotel with rooftop pool and is located steps from the center of the district.

5. Coral Gables

If you are over the age of say, 40, and prefer nice restaurants to nightlife, then Coral Gables might be a good option for you. This upscale neighborhood offers a more subdued experience with access to luxury accommodations and fine dining. It’s perfect for travelers who enjoy elegance that’s just 20 minutes outside Miami. It is home to the famous Venetian pool, the Fairchild Botanic Gardens, and the Lowe Museum. High-end accommodations include the renowned Biltmore Hotel, Loews Coral Gables, and Hotel Collonade while the Hyatt Regency and Aloft are both excellent at slightly lower rates.

While I have never stayed here, Coral Gables has several of my top Italian restaurants in the Miami area. And a perfect day is to drive out for brunch on the walking street of Giralda Ave and then visiting the Venetian Pool (a must-do for any visitor to Miami).

Best Time to Visit Miami

March to May in Miami is arguably the best time to visit. The weather is warm, but not yet as hot and humid as it gets in the summer, with high temperatures increasing from the high-70s into the mid-80s °F over this span. This is a great time to enjoy outside activities and the beach. And while the ocean temperatures don’t reach their ideal temperatures until around May, you will be able to go in the water. 

October and November also offer a great window for visiting Miami. The intense heat of the summer has waned, and the hurricane season is winding down, bringing back the pleasant weather that makes outdoor activities enjoyable. The tourist crowds are generally thinner, which can mean better deals on accommodations and more space to explore Miami’s attractions.

Now, this doesn’t mean that summer and winter aren’t also great times to come. Winter is peak tourist season, as people escape the cold found in most of the country. Most days will reach 70 degrees making it quite comfortable. The fall, from June to September is hot and humid, with temperatures often climbing into the 90s. Areas near the coast may have a refreshing breeze, but inland neighborhoods with little shade such as Winwood can get brutal in the sun. Summer is also the rainy season, which can have daily afternoon thunderstorms. Some of the heaviest rain and violent thunder that I have ever experienced were at the beginning of this season. There were several times it rained so hard that when driving on Rt 95 you could barely see the car in front of you and traffic slowed to almost a standstill.

Getting Around Miami

Driving: Cars & Ubers

Miami is pretty spread out, and if you really want to explore outside of the downtown area, car is by far the easiest and most common way to get around. It’s really the simplest and quickest way to get to great neighborhoods like South Beach, Coconut Grove, Little Havana, Coral Gables, and Wynwood. Other than South Beach where you may have to find expensive parking garages, I rarely had any problems finding street parking in any of these other areas. Uber is also a convienient way to get around and I found it quite reasonably priced .


The Miami Metromover is a free, automated, elevated rail system. It connects downtown Miami with Brickell to the south and the Park West / Omni neighborhoods to the north.

If you are within these areas, it is by far the most convenient way to get around the city’s central business district. It is a widely used system for daily commuters, fans headed to the Kaseya Center for a Miami Heat games, and people visiting the downtown museums. Since I lived in Brickell, I used this all the time and loved it. My only wish is that it extended to Coconut Grove and Winwood.

Here is the Miami Metromover route map.

The Metromover is a free elevated rail system that connects the Brickell, downtown, and Park West / Omni neighborhoods.


Miami’s elevated rail system serves key areas, including Downtown, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Miami, and extends to Miami International Airport. If you don’t have a car, then it could come in handy. But honestly, other than connecting to the airport, you’re probably unlikely to use it as  visitor.


Miami and several other municipalities like Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and Doral offer free trolley services. These trolleys generally stay within one specific neighborhood. They generally do not connect to other neighborhoods, though some stop a Metrorail station. Here is a list of the trolley maps.