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Miami holidays

This city will show you a good time

Historic buildings in the Art Deco district

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Holidays in Miami

Families, couples, friends, lend Miami your ears – this city is ready to give you a sunny, sophisticated break. Everything really is better by the sea.

With miles and miles of beautiful beachfront from South Beach all the way up to Fort Lauderdale, you’d be hard-pressed to find Miami holidays without great seaside access and a chic pool deck. If you’re not a poolside paperback kind of holidaymaker, then there are plenty of things to do in Miami. Buy a Miami Pass if you want to sightsee. Explore the biggest Art Deco district in the world, or inspect the quality of contemporary art galleries, from the Wolfsonian to the Bass. Shop in reinvigorated Lincoln Road, or the achingly upmarket Bal Harbour.

Between South Beach and Miami Beach, the city is perfectly walkable – grab your boardshorts and get on the boardwalk. Hail an Uber to take you to Wynwood. If it’s a fly drive holiday you’re after, then our daily flights to Miami and car hire options allow the flexibility to do things your way. Go croc-spotting in the Everglades or trickle down to the Florida Keys.

Miami hotels

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Our recommended hotels in Miami

Miami has no shortage of hotels, but how do you make sure you’ve found the best for your holiday? Our list of carefully selected hotels has something to suit all budgets. For a boutique hotel for couples, stay at The Plymouth, which has a great sushi restaurant as well as a quiet location set back from the beach.

If you're looking for South Beach Miami hotels The Clinton offers fantastic value just five minutes from the seafront. Grand Beach Miami is a bright, white four star with cavernous rooms and ocean views. W South Beach is the ultimate five-star accommodation; contemporary and sleek, it lets the beachfront views do the talking.

3 star

If you’re spending all that time on the beach, a simple three-star hotel in Downtown Miami, Brickell, or near to Miami Beach will meet all your needs. Find somewhere to relax between the party on Saturday and brunch on Sunday.

4 star

If your budget won’t stretch to five star, stress not: we have lovely four-star hotels with everything from beach views and boutique-feel décor to Art Deco facades and outdoor pools.

5 star

Celebrities love Miami, and you will, too – when you pick one of the city’s upmarket five stars. Outrageous nightclubs, citadel-sized subterranean spas and poolside glamour will be yours when you book one of these carefully-selected hotels.

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How to visit Miami on a budget

Miami can be an expensive city, if you have expensive tastes. But in this big hot city there are plenty of things to do without waving your wallet around. Once you get to know Miami, you’ll realise that most people aren’t millionaires, and they have their own cool scene. Decide whether you want the five-star experience or the hidden gems, then plan accordingly.

Budget

Stay

For Florida’s many returning visitors, Clearwater Beach is the obvious place to stay. It’s simply beautiful: a long white beach clings to the west side of a barrier island. Every day you can celebrate the sunset on the pier with local performers and a rum runner. Just a few steps back from the sand are a host of fantastic hotels. Keep costs down whilst you tan with a stay at Holiday Inn & Suites Harbourside.

Book a stay

Eat

The Wynwood Yard street vans in the Wynwood District serve inexpensive food that you can easily eat with one hand as you wander around.

Do

The beach of course, is a no-brainer for those on a budget. When you’re sick of sand, hail an Uber (or rent a Citi Bike) to take you over to Wynwood Art District, home to an evolving outdoor street art exhibition, the Wynwood Walls. Afterwards, there are some great breweries nearby for refreshments.

Mid-range

Stay

The Palms is a family-run four star with a leafy garden and cosy décor throughout. It’s got a lovely beachfront location.

Book a stay

Eat

Joe’s Stone Crab is an open secret – a restaurant that sells the best crab claws in Miami. You can’t book ahead, you can only queue and hope.

Do

Do a spot of shopping on pedestrianised Lincoln Road: 11 blocks of shops near South Beach that are a hotbed for holiday outfits.

Luxury

Stay

The Miami Beach EDITION provides five-star luxury for the younger generations. You’ll be bragging about its basement ice rink.

Book a stay

Eat

You don’t need to wander far for great food on Miami Beach; much of it is based in the area’s wonderful hotels. Faena has something a little different – a pre-theatre menu at Pao by Paul Qui that you can enjoy before you see a show at the hotel’s 150-seater auditorium.

Book a stay

Do

Steel your nerves and take on Miami’s nightclubs. The Miami Beach scene is particularly elegant, though there’s still seas of silicone, stilettos, sunglasses and short sleeved shirts to swim through to get to the bar.

Make the most of your Miami holiday

Where are the best places to stay in Miami?

Miami Beach has some of the most glamorous beachfront real estate in Florida. Typical of Miami Beach’s hotel scene, The Confidante is luxurious, decorated to perfection and sits on ample beach front.

Everybody wants a slice of South Beach, Miami. Hotels here are easy to come by, and many look out onto the sand. The area is defined by its original art deco beachfront strip. The SoBe hotels might not all be ‘deco’, but they are all decadent.

Downtown Miami is the city’s business district, and Brickell its up-and-coming neighbour. With more and more Miamians moving here, it’s increasingly residential. There are hip, young hotels here to suit those who are happy to travel the short distance to the beach. Try the Mandarin Oriental at Brickell Key.

Miami’s glamorous beachfront stretches north to North Miami and Aventura, where golfers will love Turnberry Isle and shoppers will zone in on upmarket Aventura Mall.

If you head south from Miami, Key Biscayne offers a leafy city escape with its own swanky Ritz-Carlton, just south of South Beach.

Outside the city, Coral Gables hotels have more space, plus all the quirky features of the area. It’s residential and less ‘happening’ than Miami, but comfortable with its reputation. Anyone who skips it by is missing out on great shopping and quirky cafes. Stay at the famous Biltmore.

Aerial view of Brickell Avenue. ©ALEAIMAGE

What's Miami's food scene like?

Miami is one of America’s latest food scenes. A lot of the best restaurants are attached to hotels: like the Basque and Spanish dishes at Bazaar, the James Beard-approved restaurant at SLS South Beach. Little Haiti is slowly gentrifying, and the excellent Mandolin Aegean Bistro is a recent hotspot in the area. For a true romantic spectacular, dine at The Villa Casa Casuarina – the old Versace mansion has turned its courtyard into an intimate, iconic, but seriously pricy restaurant.

When's the best time to go to Miami?

That’s not heat you’re feeling, that’s humidity. Miami sits only two degrees above the tropic of Cancer, firmly in tropical climes, with an average temperature of 24 degrees. Crowds flock in spring and summer, though it can get quite humid by July. Summer rainfall might be heavy, but it’s usually over quickly – and might even feel quite refreshing once it clears the air. Go early in March for a light breeze, pleasant temperature and less humidity. Hurricane season (June to November) isn’t usually a problem for tourists and autumn is a nice, warm time to visit. In winter, Miami is quieter and you can get some great rates on hotel rooms.

Top five things to do in Miami

Sign on the beach at Key West. ©cristianl

Multi-city holidays

Miami is one cool corner of Florida, flanked by two national parks and only a few hour’s drive to the Florida Keys. Further afield there are Florida’s famous theme parks and the shell-strewn beaches of the Gulf Coast. Take a road trip down to Key West and meet some memorable marine characters on the drive south along the island chain. Alternatively, drive up the famous gold coast towards Delray Beach – your gas will run out before the beaches do.

Customise your trip

Fly-drive holidays

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Miami may be most known as aplayground for young adults, butit’s a great family destination too

Hannah Louise Summers,  Travel writer

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