The Perfect Three-Day Weekend in Miami

By Tom Austin for Travel + Leisure


As part of a new series, Travel + Leisure is exploring America one three-day weekend at a time. Here’s what to do on a short trip to the Magic City.


Tourists typically cling to the clichéd surf, sun, and bake routine of Miami Beach hotel life, but the pedestrian-friendly downtown Miami is locals-rule turf, full of authentic, only-in-Miami experiences.Here’s the perfect three-day itinerary for downtown Miami and a few side trips, full of the secret pleasures Miamians enjoy.


Day One


From Miami International Airport, it’s a 20-minute taxi or Uber ride to the new East, Miami, the only United States East hotel from the Hong Kong–based Swire Hotels. Swire Properties’ adjacent Brickell City Centre has a weekly farmers’ market, as does the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Almost any show at the historic Olympia Theater—where the young Elvis once dazzled Miami teens—is worthwhile.


The surrounding Arts + Entertainment (A+E) District features such fun events as “Miami Soul Train,” a dance party on the Metromover, the elevated public transit train servicing downtown Miami.


Hit Museum Park on Biscayne Bay for a free yoga class and a fix of contemporary art: it’s anchored by the Herzog & de Meuron–designed Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).


At the 1926 Langford Hotel, linger over a cocktail-infused sunset at the rooftop lounge, Pawn Broker, followed by dinner downstairs at PB Station: don’t miss the roasted octopus. Both Langford operations are helmed by the local James Beard Award–nominated Pubbelly Restaurant Group.


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