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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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.
In short, South Beach is the option for where to stay in Miami that gives you the most quintessential experience. Miami is dreamy beaches and vibrating nightlife, and in South Beach you get just that.
Pick South Beach for: Miami hotels at nightlife.
Recommended South Beach hotels
The Esme Hotel sits at the entrance to the Mediterranean inspired Española Way. This Miami 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 is both a Miami 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.
Related: See our ultimate Florida guide too.
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 Miami accommodations, dining and entertainment at a new, carefully crafted, level.
In conclusion, Mid Beach is for visitors who want a mix of North Beach calm and South Beach buzz. When you stay in Mid Beach you enjoy an upscale vibe, just a short ride from livelier South Beach attractions.
Pick Mid Beach for: Convenient high-end lodging.
Recommended Mid Beach hotels
At Palms Hotel you spend your entire Miami 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.
For a special occassion 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.
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 Miami 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.
To sum up, North Beach is a low-key alternative for where to stay in Miami Beach. Don’t stay here if you want intimate access to Miami hotspots and nightlife. However, the beach is certainly as pretty up here.
Pick North Beach for: A quieter Miami Beach getaway.
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.
In short, Wynwood might be the most unique place to stay in Miami. It’s a neighborhood renowned for its colorful murals, but the entire area just breathes an inspirational creative spirit.
Pick Wynwood for: Miami hotels in a unique area.
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 hotels you reach Everglades in about an hour, making it a popular day trip. But maybe you want to stay in a Miami 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 0.4 miles (0.6 km) Anhinga Trail, where alligators like to hang out. Here the Gumbo Limbo Trail, of same distance but with fewer gators, also 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.
In conclusion, you can day trip from any Miami hotel to the Everglades. However, Homestead and Florida City are optimally located to explore the vast southern portion of Everglades National Park.
Pick Homestead for: Unparalleled Everglades access.
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
Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay in Miami, Florida.
For a quintessential stay, with stunning beach days and pulsating nightlife, the best place to stay in Miami is 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.
Beyond Miami Beach there are many other options for where to stay when visiting Miami. Wynwood is renowned for its street art, and Homestead/Florida City gives you the ultimate Everglades access.
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.
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.
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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