78 hours in Miami for free
People visit Miami for tropical beaches, an electric urban vibe and world class art. The good news is you can experience all of this without even spending a dollar. If you follow our pattern of spending half a day on a beach and half a day at a museum/gallery or on a tour, this exicting city can be done on a budegt. Over your 3 days, try the following activites:
Tip – if you like a lounger and plan on more than one beach day, it’s cheaper to buy one from a nearby Walgreens.
Miami is famous for Art Deco and the best way to see these pastel coloured masterpieces is by visiting South Beach on foot. A walk along Collins and Ocean Drive takes in most of the iconic hotels – don’t miss: the Park Central, The Carlyle, The Webster, Essex House, The Tides, The Cadillac, The Clevelander and The Marlin. Other must see buildings include the Post Office on Washington and the Beach Patrol HQ on Ocean Drive. Tip – download the free walking tour from National Geographic.
Miami is home to a world class art scene and hosts Art Basel every year. There are many free museums and private galleries and some of the big hitters are free. Our favourites include: the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Design District which is always free; the phenomenal Perez Art Museum, PAMM, has free admission on the second Saturday of every month; and The Bass, a compact Art Deco gem with a cool permanent collection and high profile exhibitions, has regular free days – see their website for dates.
If urban graffiti art is your vibe, check out this open air art gallery. The Wynwood Walls is in essence an outdoor museum featuring the world’s greatest street and graffiti artists. The eclectic art isn’t confined to the gallery. It spills onto the surrounding blocks which are packed with hip boutiques and cafes. Tip- you could easily spend a day exploring the area and our favourite pitstop is Coyo Taco on 2nd Ave.
The Biltmore Hotel:
We don’t normally recommend a hotel visit, but the Biltmore is iconic. Check out a free tour on a Sunday afternoon and prepare to marvel. The extravagant Coral Gables estate has played host to celebrities and dignitaries since it opened in the heydays of the 30’s. Tip – if you’re impressed by the Biltmore’s massive pool, take a dip in the nearby Venetian Pool. It’s not free, but it will give you the Biltmore experience on a budget.
Finally, for general travel tips on visiting the USA click here.