Where to stay in Miami, FL

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  • Post last modified:February 21, 2024
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Miami, fringed by sugar-white beaches on one side and the wild Everglades on the other, is an alluring South Florida city. It’s a complete destination with something for everyone: familes, couples, friends and solo travelers. But where to stay in Miami for the best experience?

South Beach is the best place to stay in Miami for nightlife. But if you prefer it quieter, there are many other options for where to stay when visiting Miami.

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South Beach

When people think of Miami, the picture of South Beach often pops up in their heads. The neighborhood is defined by its white beach, swaying palm trees and colorful Art Deco buildings.

South Beach, stretching out from South Point Park up to 23rd Street, is the Miami you know from the movies.

The area has a lot to offer, but its beach is the undeniable top attraction. On the South Beach dunes locals and visitors alike hang out all year round.

Miami Beach Boardwalk traces the entire Miami Beach shoreline. If you walk the full South Beach stretch, you get to see every inch of its most iconic 2.5 miles (4 km).

A stone’s throw from the beach cozy streets invite you over.

Lincoln Road and Española Way are pedestrian hubs where eclectic shopping and dining await. These gems are also excellent spots for people watching and cocktails.

But for nightlife there’s one spot that stands out: Ocean Drive.

Ocean Drive, at the neighborhood’s southern end, offers legendary South Beach nightlife. Lined by vivid Art Deco buildings, it’s a buzzing spot with restaurants and bars. Here you can party the night away Miami style.

Yet the architectural highlight that Ocean Drive is shines during daytime too. With uncountable Art Deco buildings, such as the famous Avalon Hotel, Ocean Drive makes up the heart of Miami Art Deco District.

Pick South Beach for: Nightlife.

Best South Beach hotels

Esme Hotel

The Esme Hotel sits at the entrance to the Mediterranean inspired Española Way. This hotel’s architecture, inviting like a Spanish dream, completes the area’s theme. Those balmy Florida nights Esme’s rooftop bar is a great place to be.

Avalon Hotel

Avalon Hotel is both a hotel and attraction. Located on Ocean Drive, with the famous beach just across the street, Avalon Hotel is one of the most photographed buildings in Miami.

Art Deco-style Avalon Hotel on Ocean Drive in Miami, FL
Avalon Hotel on Ocean Drive.

Related: See our ultimate Florida guide too.

Mid Beach

Where the South Beach neighborhood ends, the Mid Beach area begins. It’s a choice for where to stay in Miami that gives you a blend of its neighbors.

Expanding from 23rd Street to 63rd Street, Mid Beach shows that in between can be a good thing.

The further north you go on the Miami Beach island, the more the crowds thin out. So Mid Beach, located halfway up Miami Beach, operates at a slower pace than South Beach.

Still the area offers easy access to the Miami hotspots down south.

This makes Mid Beach a great compromise for where to stay when visiting Miami Beach.

Mid Beach is also a Miami area with its own unique upscale appeal. Some of the most luxurious Miami hotels, restaurants and bars are established here.

The Faena District, from 32nd Street to 36th Street, is a prime example of that. Its luxury-filled centerpiece Faena Hotel presents accommodations, dining and entertainment at a new, carefully crafted, level.

Pick Mid Beach for: Convenient high-end lodging.

Best Mid Beach hotels

Palms Hotel

At Palms Hotel you spend your entire stay in the way most visitors prefer to: on the snow-white Miami Beach. So gorgeously located every moment of your day is with a view. This is Miami Beach, but it feels like a tropical oasis far away from the hustle and bustle.

Faena Hotel

For a special occasion it’s hard to imagine a better place to stay in Miami than the Faena Hotel. It’s a Mid Beach institution that represents extreme luxury. Welcome to enjoy grand 1950s decoration, exclusive dining and tasty cocktails, of course stunningly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Overlooking view of white-sand stretch in the Miami Mid Beach area, dotted with sun loungers and beach umbrellas
Mid Beach view.

North Beach

North Beach is an option for where to stay in Miami if you don’t come for nightlife. It’s the northernmost Miami Beach neighborhood, which is sheltered from the liveliness that South Beach is so famous for.

The hotels in North Beach, extending from 63rd street to 87th Street, present a more laid-back scene.

Just like everywhere else in Miami Beach the biggest draw is the beach. But up north you share that stunning white shoreline with fewer fellow visitors.

A great base for beach days is North Beach Oceanside Park. The relaxed park, with help of its many trees, offers shade to make sure that the South Florida sun doesn’t get the better of you.

Although life in North Beach is relatively quiet, you find an appreciated scene of restaurants here. Some trace the Atlantic coastline, while others are located across the channel on Normandy Isle.

Pick North Beach for: The quiet Miami Beach.

Tall skyscrapers tracing the sugar-white Miami Beach shoreline, looking north along the Atlantic Ocean
Miami Beach, looking north.

Wynwood

Imagine block after block of colorful murals and an endless stream of creativity. That’s exactly what you find if you pick Wynwood for where to stay when visiting Miami.

It’s the street art that has made Wynwood so famous. The Wynwood murals, making a stroll through the area unlike any other, is the foundation of what’s one of the most unique districts in the United States.

If just one spot is mandatory in Wynwood, it’s certainly the fascinating Wynwood Walls. This is the outdoor museum, filled with vivid pieces of art, that really set the ball rolling for the Wynwood neighborhood.

But the creative Wynwood vibe extends past the mural art.

When you have had a good dose of artwork exploration, don’t miss Wynwood’s inviting cafés and breweries. Zak the Baker, fittingly so behind a colorful facade, has become a Wynwood institution.

You can, of course, stay in Miami Beach and just visit Wynwood over the day. It’s only 15 to 20 minutes from South Beach to Wynwood, which makes it easy to go between the two.

Pick Wynwood for: Artsy vibe.

Orange fire hydrant in front of colorful mural in Wynwood, Miami
Wynwood street art.

Homestead & Florida City

The Everglades is North America’s most recognized wetland. Holding more than 1.5 million acres of untouched nature, Everglades National Park is the kingdom of the alligator.

From most Miami areas you reach Everglades in about an hour, making it a popular day trip. But maybe you want to stay in an area closer to the unique wilderness?

Then Homestead and Florida City call your name. These connected cities are located just 10 miles (16 km) from Ernest Coe Visitor Center, the entrance to the vast southern portion of the Everglades.

At Ernest Coe you find the 0.8-mile (1.3 km) Anhinga Trail, where alligators like to hang out. Adjacent the Gumbo Limbo Trail, shorter and with fewer gators, meanders past gumbo limbo trees.

A short drive away Everglades Alligator Farm lets you discover Everglades by airboat.

Past Ernest Coe the road continues into the Everglades depths for 38 miles (61 km), and the trails along the way demand several stops. At the park road’s very end Flamingo Visitor Center, Everglades boat tours and even more trails extend the adventure.

Pick Homestead for: Everglades access.

Gator by the edge of the water in the Everglades
Everglades alligator.

Everglades info: Because Everglades is so big, there are four different visitor centers: Shark Valley (straight west of Miami), Ernest Coe (southwest of Miami), Flamingo (38 miles past Ernest Coe) and Gulf Coast (on the Gulf side).

Final words about where to stay in Miami

With a wide range of neighborhoods, from South Beach to Wynwood, Miami is the definition of a cultural melting pot. But don’t let all those options for where to stay in Miami confuse you.

South Beach, with colorful Art Deco buildings, is the prime target for nightlife lovers. If you prefer it quieter — rest assured that the beach is as stunning anywhere along Miami’s sugar-white shoreline.

Where to stay in Miami FAQ

Where should I stay when visiting Miami?

For a quintessential stay, with stunning beach days and pulsating nightlife, don’t look past Miami Beach. Just pay attention to that Miami Beach is made up by three different areas: South Beach is the livelier of them, while Mid Beach and North Beach offer quieter experiences.

Where to stay in Miami for Everglades?

Many visitors day trip from Miami to Everglades National Park, including the Shark Bay and Ernest Coe areas. However, the Homestead/Florida City outposts give you better access to the Everglades wilderness. From here it’s just 10 miles (16 km) to Ernest Coe and another 38 miles (61 km) to the remote Flamingo.

Should I stay in South Beach or Mid Beach?

South Beach is the busiest Miami Beach neighborhood. This is where you find famous tourist hotspots including Ocean Drive, Española Way and Lincoln Road. For liveliness and nightlife South Beach is the best place to stay in Miami Beach.

Mid Beach is sandwiched between South Beach and North Beach. Here, several hotel and resort complexes, such as Faena Hotel, present unique entertainment offerings. But, good or bad, the pace is in general slower in Mid Beach.

Is Miami Beach and South Beach the same?

Miami Beach, a city in the Miami metropolitan area, encompasses three neighborhoods: South Beach, Mid Beach and North Beach. That makes South Beach a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach. So when you visit South Beach, you also visit Miami Beach.

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