Looking for unique activities and hidden gems in Miami to explore on your next trip?
While everybody knows about the best things to do in Miami, Florida, not everyone is aware that this sprawling city has so many hidden spots. From roaring 1920s pools to beautiful gardens, there are so many hidden gems in Miami that most tourists get to see. Miami is an expansive city and a short trip sometimes isn’t enough to scratch the surface of all that this bustling south Florida city has to offer.
That’s why we put together this list of the best hidden gems in Miami you have to discover on your next trip to south Florida!
Check out the lesser known spots to discover in Miami, FL.
Vicazaya is a hidden gem in Miami that will ignite your fire for culture, architecture, and local Miami flavor. It is a large estate, once belonging to John Deering, a businessman, that has been turned into a museum with sprawling gardens. If you are into historical architecture, idyllic views of Biscayne Bay, or just want to snap a cool picture, Vizcaya is definitely worth checking out. It takes you out of the bustling and loud city of Miami and transports you back in time as you wander the gardens covering the estate.
Near Vizcaya you can find Venetian Pool. I know what you’re thinking, why would I go to a pool when the beaches are world-famous in Miami. But Venetian pool is a gem, a pool built in the middle of rocks and towers, it feels more like a natural spring than a pool. Swimmers can go explore tunnels and towers that surround the pool. For a fun day with the kids or a romantic date, I highly recommend checking out this aquatic facility unlike any other.
Oleta State Park
For my more adventurous folks, look no further than Oleta State Park. Whether you are in the mood to mountain bike, hike nature trails or kayak around the mangroves and bay, Oleta has everything you could need. This hidden gem offers rentals of kayaks, bikes and sporting equipment. The kayaks are my personal favorite and the mangrove path opens up into miles of crystal blue water perfect for diving in and leaving your kayak on one of the many private islands.
If you are more of a night owl and enjoy your wine, Lagniappe is the place. A local hotspot, this outdoor wine bar is sure to excite your taste buds. While it may seem simple, the wine is plentiful and the cheese selections are to die for. Situated in midtown, with a casual backyard vibe, this bohemian wine bar is a must! My personal recommendation is to get a bottle of red or white and make your own cheese board with the help of the bartenders. They are truly experts at matching your cheese with your wine, and the local bands that play there are actually good.
When the boardwalk gets to be a little too crowded, check out the Venetian Islands for a beautiful walk along one of Miami’s best hidden gems. The Venetian, as locals call it, is about a 3-mile stretch connecting downtown to Miami Beach and it is always filled with bikers, runners, and walkers taking in the glorious day. Situated in the middle of the bay, you will get a view of crystal clear waters and some of the nicest houses in Miami, they are truly stunning to look at while you dream of living there. Pro Tip: stop by panther coffee before your walk for a latte to enjoy on your walk.
Upper Buena Vista
This area is newer to Miami and not as crowded, but don’t let that fool you. Upper Buena Vista is just off of Biscayne Boulevard and is full of kitschy boutiques, amazing restaurants, and very cool locals. My personal favorite place to check out is Vista, an outdoor mall with a fantastic rooftop restaurant, the avocado toast is a must! Another hidden spot in Upper Buena Vista is the Citadel food hall, offering up some of the best foods around Miami in one convenient location. Upper Buena Vista is just down the street from the Design District which has some of the best shopping in Miami, not exactly a hidden gem but worth checking out if you are in the area.
For any late-night partiers and taco lovers, you must stop by Bodega on South Beach. A seemingly casual taco joint, the food is fantastic, but you stay for the club in the back. If you walk through the men’s room the back door opens up into one of the coolest clubs Miami has to offer. Always full of good music, positive people and great drinks, I cannot recommend this place enough. If the tacos aren’t enough, they give you a free shot of tequila when you go into the club!
Robert Is Here Fruit Stand
A short drive southwest of Miami is the local fruit stand and smoothie king, Roberts. This fruit stand is full of some very local produce and the best key lime smoothies. Make sure you sample the local honey and check out the petting zoo in the back. Roberts is a hidden gem on the way to the Everglades, so if you’ve made it this far, continue on a few more minutes to spot some alligators! The parrot also will talk back to you, and that’s always fun!
The Kampong Botanical Gardens located in Coconut Grove is one of the biggest hidden gems Miami has to offer. Most locals don’t even know they have a natural botanic garden right under their noses. This garden focuses specifically on plants and nature from Southeast Asia and South America, making it a very different experience than walking around Florida wildlife. This garden offers self-guided tours and guided tours, both are fantastic but I enjoy getting lost in the gardens on my own. My favorite thing about The Kampong is that they really are all about preserving nature and have locations all over the world, including Hawaii. The Kampong is focused on education and preservation, all the more reason to support them.
The final hidden gem in Miami would be The Standard Spa. One of my personal favorite spots in Miami, the views of the whole bay are breathtaking and the spa services are phenomenal. Apart from the spa, The Standard has a great bayside grill with a killer happy hour. Day passes are also available to access the pool and spa amenities. For a real experience, I recommend a staycation in one of the private rooms, it really doesn’t get more romantic than The Standard.