Plan Your Miami Staycation On A Dime

Beach Day

Enjoy a beach day


Kayak at Oleta River State Park


Enjoy outdoor art tours

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By: Andy Hoffman

So, you know you live in a world-renowned destination. You also know that we have many luxury hotels, world-class spas, and a burgeoning culinary scene with some very upscale restaurants. You know we have internationally recognized arts and culture, and a killer nightlife scene, and you also know our attractions are second to none. Yes, all of this comes at a price, meaning that things are generally not inexpensive.   

However, with all that being said, Greater Miami and the Beaches also has many great options to have an enjoyable and fulfilling, budget-conscious staycation. Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to stay local and enjoy all the wonderful things that are Miami, right at your fingertips. Just like a regular vacation, you can still have a lot of fun playing tourist, but without the time, expense and worry of social distancing on route—what a bonus!  

When you’re planning a vacation, what is one of the first things you do? You look for a destination of interest. Since you’re already living in the best destination around, that box is checked, so now what? You need a hotel.  

A great resource to assist you is the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau’s local Miami Shines Program. Now is the perfect time for staycationing, with many of our local hotels, restaurants, and attractions offering incredible deals and special events appealing to both locals and tourists alike.  

Please note that while things are starting to reopen, it’s a good idea to check websites for the most current information. 

Ocean Drive
Get a greal deal at a Miami hotel

Miami Hotels Offer Locals Great Deals

From luxury, oceanfront resorts to iconic properties with a storied past, to boutique hotels, quaint  Bed & Breakfast Inns, and hostels that won’t break the bank, Greater Miami and the Beaches have enough variety to fit your style and budget.    

If you’ve never stayed in an Art Deco era boutique hotel, there is no better place than here in South Beach, on famed Ocean Drive. You’ve seen them, you’ve heard about them, so why not use your staycation to experience one first-hand. Fun fact: Miami’s South Beach Art Deco District is known to be one of the world’s finest and best-preserved collections of art deco buildings.  

Or, maybe you want to be the first to experience one of the hot, new Miami hotels that have recently opened. Whatever your preference, be sure to check out these special discounts on rooms, packages, amenities, and more.  

After deciding where to stay, next you want to know what there is to do. Wow, where to begin? There is so much to do and see all around Greater Miami and the Beaches. Whether you’re into the beach, arts and culture, the foodie scene, boating and water sports, or nature, it’s all here with the deals you need to create your perfect budget-friendly staycation full of things to do. Here are some inexpensive and even free things to do on your Miami staycation.  

Beach Day
Enjoy Miami's iconic beaches

Plan a Beach Day

One of the things Miami is most known for, is its beautiful beaches. The one most people think of first is usually South Beach, but there are many incredible beaches up and down the coast to enjoy with a variety of amenities like food concessions, watersports rentals, and more. Check out this guide to some of the best beaches in Miami and find the perfect one for your family.   

Get outdoors in Miami's many parks

Commune with Nature

Despite what the postcard skylines look like, Miami isn’t all skyscrapers and high-rises. There are lots of open spaces that cater to hiking and biking enthusiasts, with different nature trails and environments for different skill levels.  

There are also so many ways to enjoy Miami on the water, from Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. Get out there and take advantage of the opportunities for boating and sailing, kayaking and canoeing, diving and snorkeling, and fishing, which make great additions to any staycation.  

We would be remiss not to mention that the Florida Everglades is one of the most exciting natural places in South Florida to explore. Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., covering 1.5 million acres. Explore the area through guided tours of Shark Valley, nature trails, ranger-led adventures, airboat rides, bird-watching, kayaking, and canoeing through backcountry waterways. Here are some of the best Everglades tours to get the most out of your experience.  

Biscayne National Park is a 170,000-acre marine sanctuary that is 95% water and is the third-largest offshore reef in the world. You can sign up for guided boat, paddle, and snorkeling tours, or go kayaking through clear, blue waters. Your best bet is to stop at the Tropical Everglades Visitor Center for all the information you need about these two parks, as well as other nearby things to do.  

Also, if you enjoy sleeping under the stars, there are lots of camping, and even glamping (fancy camping) options, at our National Parks.  

With over 500 parks and recreational facilities in Miami-Dade County, you will want to check out the Miami-Dade government website for a comprehensive listing and to learn about the amenities and activities available at each one. Just remember to bring sunscreen. 

See Miami's Art in Public Places

Some More Free Things

Our amazing Miami attractions and museums are now starting to reopen and are definitely worth a visit. As a matter of fact, many of the museums offer free admission on certain days and times. If you want to include one or more museums in your staycation itinerary, we do suggest that you check their website and plan your visit for one of those free days. 

The Wynwood Arts District of Miami is just a few minutes north of Downtown. It is a cultural oasis that has become a haven for aspiring painters, graffiti artists, Pop and Street Art creatives and young innovators. The cornerstone of the area, the Wynwood Walls, is a collection of giant walls from six buildings, that these artists use as their canvas. Displaying everything from life-sized murals and graffiti quotes, to abstract paintings and one-of-a-kind sculptures, Wynwood Walls is as unique as it is creative and is also free of charge. 

Did you know that Miami-Dade County is a veritable museum of public art, with more than 700 works—the largest in the nation? On the county’s Art in Public Places website, you can view them on a map to help you tour the collection—and needless to say, any of these would be a great addition to your Instagram! Here is another resource to help you get out and explore Miami’s arts and culture this summer. 

South Pointe
Treat the kids to activities just for them

Especially for the Kids

Yes, attractions, museums, parks and playgrounds are fun and will no doubt be on your staycation itinerary, but what kid doesn’t like a splash park? Luckily, many of our local residential areas are packed with splash pads and water playgrounds that are free, or have a very inexpensive entrance fee, and are open to the public—perfect for some family fun in the sun, just don’t forget the waterproof sunscreen! But before you head out, please confirm prices and hours of operation. 

Get a taste of Miami's best restaurants

Dining on a Budget

Last, but certainly not least, you’re thinking about where to eat. Miami restaurants run the gamut from James Beard award-winning haute cuisine, to barbeque joints, to sandwich shops. You’ll also find an international flavor throughout the city from a variety of ethnic cuisines. But despite our burgeoning gourmet culinary scene, there are plenty of places to enjoy some savory inexpensive eats. Whether it’s stone crabs from Joe’s, signature tacos from Huahua’s Taqueria, pizza from IL Ponte Vecchio, or a platter of wings from Duffy’s Sports Grill, just to name a few, you’re getting good food at good prices.  

Starting June 1, our annual Miami Spice Restaurant Months program begins and runs through September. This is the best staycation deal of all with many of Miami’s top restaurants offering 3-course meals priced at $23 for lunch and brunch and $39 for dinner. These are substantially below normal prices and the perfect way to end an evening of staycationing before heading back to the hotel for a nightcap and a great night sleep without the worry of heading to the airport the next day.  

So good luck, have fun, and enjoy everything your own backyard has to offer! 

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