The Capital of Latin America
There’s no shortage of supply when looking for the best places to stay in Miami.
Sun-kissed beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a city set for exploring — Miami checks all of the boxes for a perfect tropical vacation. And aside from tourism, this city is a powerhouse for finance, commerce, culture, arts, and international trade.
Notably, Miami is the second most populous metropolis on the East coast of the United States. And it’s the seventh largest in the country.
Miami also features the third most developed in skyline in the US, so get ready to be lost among towering palm trees and buildings.
The large Latin-American population infuses the city with an eclectic mix of entertainment, delicious restaurants, and nurturing cultural history. It also lends itself to Miami’s nickname, The Capital of Latin America.
When looking for the best places to stay in Miami, the first thing you should know is that the city splits into two large areas: Miami and Miami Beach. Both Downtown Miami and Miami Beach offer a diverse set of amenities and accommodations.
But among this massive metropolis, there are tons of unique and exciting places to explore. Here’s to finding some hidden gems and the best places to stay in Miami.
Best Places to Stay in Miami Beach
The top spot on the list of best places to stay in Miami is South Beach.
South Beach sits in front of Downtown Miami across the Biscayne Bay. This well-known area is made popular through numerous TV shows and movies filmed here, such as Ballers, CSI: Miami, Bad Boys, and more.
South Beach offers a plethora of amenities. From excellent shopping and restaurants, to exciting bars and clubs, and of course, tons of pristine beaches to soak up the sun. While the area is known for luxury, you can still find some activities for any budget.
Famous restaurants like The Bazaar by Jose Andrews (pretty pricey, but amazing food) are based here. On the other hand, other dining options, like Taquiza, offer cheap and delicious tacos served in a lively setting with large portions.
A common way to spend the day in South Beach includes some time on the magnificent beaches, a game of volleyball on the sand, and a trip to one of the trendy cafes on Ocean Drive. At night, there is nothing like enjoying the lively atmosphere and spending an evening at notorious clubs in Miami, such as Nikki Beach.
South Beach also has cultural attractions. It is known as the Art Deco District as it has one of the highest concentrations of this architectural style in the world.
Most of these buildings were erected between the 1920s and 1940s. And after years of neglect, the city almost motioned to have the area demolished and replaced.
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.
Through the work of non-profits and historical societies, the area was not just preserved, but promoted. Now, the Art Deco District is renown for elegant design and gorgeous pastel-colored boutique hotels. Explore the Art Deco District from 5th street to 23rd street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue.
Here, you’ll find multitudes of beautiful buildings converted into shops and hotels, each of which offers a unique history to accommodate any stay.
- 1 Hotel South Beach ($$$)
- The Miami Beach EDITION ($$$)
- Avalon Hotel ($)
- COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach ($)
Best Places to Stay in Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami is located in front of Biscayne Bay west of South Beach.
This neighborhood is filled with skyscrapers and hosts the headquarters of many companies and banks. Mixed in among this financial center are also a number of theaters, like Silverspot Cinema, neat museums, and shops.
In addition, it contains many of the oldest buildings in the city and some awesome tourist attractions. Here, you’ll find the popular Bayside Marketplace, which is a two-story open-air shopping center. It’s also one of the most visited attractions in Miami.
Other notable spots include museums like the Miami Art Museum, sports venues like the Miami Heat stadium, and interesting neighborhoods, like Little Havana, that are full of latin cafes and Cuban cuisines.
Another place to checkout is the Design District, known for its sleek modern architecture, upscale interior design stores and art galleries.
Downtown is a very lively place by day. But similar to financial districts in other cities, it’s not so fun at night. After dusk, employees flood out of the city, and the area becomes a bit quiet. The exception to this is NE 11th St, which offers a lively night scene, like E11LEVEN MIAMI, Club Space, and others.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back place to stay, then be sure to include Coral Gables. This area is just southwest of Downtown Miami, recognized for its chic, luxurious, and quiet neighborhoods.
In sum, the downtown area offers some of the best places to stay in Miami due to its proximity to South Beach and the rest of the metropolis. The area is also prime for sightseeing, with wonderful places like Little Havana, Coral Gables, and the Design District nearby.
Prices are also much more affordable than other spots in Miami.
- Life House, Little Havana ($$)
- Mandarin Oriental Miami ($$)
- SLS LUX Brickell ($$)
- Airbnb – 2 Level Loft ($)
- Airbnb – Modern Condo in Downtown Miami ($)
Conclusion: A Tale of Two Cities
Miami, Florida is a classic tale of two cities.
On one side of the bay, you have Miami Beach — an area storied for it’s luxurious offerings, stunning beaches, historical districts, and lively nightlife. Here, you’ll find no shortage of great restaurants, exciting clubs and bars, and wonderful places to shop.
On the other hand, there’s Downtown Miami, an area rife with the hustle and bustle of any major city. Yet among these towering skyscrapers are an assortment of museums, theaters, and exceptional places to visit.
Its central proximity is also a huge perk. From downtown, you can easily access Coral Gables, Little Havana, and the Design District.
If you’re planning a vacation to Miami (which you likely are if you’ve made it this far — kudos!), then our top recommendation would be to stay near South Beach. This area offers the best attractions and amenities in Miami, albeit at a steeper price.
Have some other ideas in mind? Let us know in the comments below.