Miami is a lot of things to a lot of people: A land of beautiful beaches and beautiful people. An all-night party destination. A Latinx melting pot. And of course, it’s where Super Bowl LIV will take place.
This year’s game takes place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. But if you’re visiting, you’ll want to venture further out to find some real Miami fun. Whether you’re making it to town for the big game, or simply want to know what the Magic City is all about, here’s what you need to know before you go.
Wynwood Arts, Drinks, and Fests
The Wynwood Arts District might not be high on every football fan’s radar, but it’s worth checking out no matter what you’re into. Start at the Wynwood Walls and stroll out to encounter works by local and world-renowned street artists, as well as dozens of art galleries (most of which open their doors to the public during monthly Art Walks).
Wynwood is also hosting this year’s Super Bowl Fan Fest, a multi-day extravaganza featuring live music, a Caja China tailgate experience (trust, this could only be found in Miami), a Field of Dreams where you can test your own football skills, and more.
While you’re at it, check out Shaq’s Fun House: a one-of-a-kind Super Bowl party put on by the legendary athlete and sports commentator himself, including performances by Diddy, Tiesto, and Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull.
If food and drinks are more your thing, Wynwood has plenty of breweries, lounges, and restaurants, including KUSH—a much-beloved local gastropub that’s hosting its own Super Bowl and Ace Ventura-themed event. Yes, that’s right, Ace Ventura was all about Miami after all.
South Beach and Beyond
While locals hate that tourists often only think of the beach when anyone mentions Miami, the fact is that our beaches are, indeed, gorgeous. Spend at least a few daylight hours sunbathing or swimming at Lummus Park. Come evening, make sure to take at least one walk along the bustling Ocean Drive.
Speaking of nightlife, you’ll want to venture to some of Miami’s highest caliber joints for the party of a lifetime. LIV, located inside the infamous Fontainebleau Hotel (where films like “Scarface” were shot), is the sort of high-energy, exclusive place where you might spot an actual Kardashian.
Other celebrity-laden spots to consider are E11ven and Rockwell (who wouldn’t want to rub elbows with Leonardo DiCaprio?) For a more laid-back vibe, opt to drink at Sweet Liberty—a top cocktail bar and local favorite, with a daily happy hour that’s hard to beat.
If you decide to drive even further north along the A1A (highly recommended), you’ll also want to check out Gronk Beach at the North Beach Bandshell. This festival series helmed by 3-time Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski will bring food, drinks, and more for an epic pre-Bowl blowout along. The bandshell also regularly hosts concerts of all kinds, from hip-hop to opera to reggae and more.
While Miami is happy to host the Super Bowl, it actually isn’t a huge football town. Basketball rules the roost here, which means catching at Heat game at the American Airlines Arena should certainly be on your itinerary. Afterward, make like a tourist and do a little souvenir shopping at the adjacent Bayside Marketplace.
And while you’re in the area, stop in at HistoryMiami, the museum that’s currently hosting the touring exhibition Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
And There’s So Much More
Miami is a massive, sprawling area and it’s hard to get everything done in a weekend, or even a week. If you’re staying near Hard Rock Stadium, it’s just a short drive out to Miami Lakes to eat at former Miami Dolphins football coach Don Shula’s Steakhouse.
Consider stopping into Little Havana, Miami’s quintessential Cuban neighborhood, where you’ll find Versailles Cuban Restaurant, Latin dance clubs like Hoy Como Ayer and Ball & Chain, walking tours, and even Marlins Park.
Go further west and you’ll inevitably his Everglades National Park—a real must for nature-lovers who want to do some biking, birding, or simply scope out gators in the wild.
Related Reading: A Bite Size Stop in the Florida Keys
And for racing fans, check the calendar to see what’s happening at the Homestead International Speedway on the south side of Miami-Dade.
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Header image courtesy of Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson / Moment / Getty Images