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Traveling Like a Local in Miami: 5 Insider Tips

Miami is one of the most Instaworthy destinations in the US that lures in millions of local and overseas visitors each year. In 2022, Greater Miami and Miami Beach attracted 26.5 million travelers, 75% of whom were Americans.

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Its breathtaking beaches, fashionable districts, cultural diversity, and strong Latin American influence have made it a favored travel hotspot for both luxury and budget tourists. But whether you’re planning a short stay or a longer vacation, knowing a few insider tips could be useful to make the most out of your trip. Here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Best Ways to Get Around Miami

There are several options to explore different parts of Miami, let’s take a closer look at some of them.


Renting a car from one of the many rental car services is undoubtedly convenient since you get to travel on your own time. However, Miami’s streets can get fairly busy, and beating the traffic and finding parking spots is not easy in most areas. You must also take into account the extra costs, such as valet tips, parking fees, gas, and tolls.

Public Transport:

From Metrobus and Metromover trams to Metrorail’s light-rail network, there are several public commuting options for you to get around. These are excellent to get a first-hand feel of Miami’s buzzing landscape and the local culture.

Walking & Cycling:

Many travelers opt for walking to explore the less-traversed nooks and crannies of the city and its suburbs that tourists often miss. Considering the warm and humid weather of Miami, carrying a chilled bottle of water with you is always advisable when touring the streets.

Another important factor to bear in mind is that Miami has lots of ground to cover. So, from time to time, you might want to combine walking with cycling. Citi Bike’s electric bike-sharing network is a popular commuting option among locals. However, certain areas don’t allow e-bikes. So, checking where you can use them is essential before renting one.

Whether you choose to walk or cycle, be extra careful with the passing traffic—Miami drivers can be slightly impatient and aggressive on the street.


A safer and more convenient option to explore the city is using a regular ride-hailing or ride-sharing app. Freebee’s free electric vehicle rides are also available in certain areas.

Air Travel:

When talking about traveling, you should also consider how you fly into Miami. Miami International Airport, which is around 20 minutes away from Downtown, is the favored option for many visitors. However, it can get fairly busy and expensive.

Most locals prefer Fort Lauderdale Airport, located 45 minutes from Downtown. If you don’t mind the extra time, this airport could help you avoid the crowds and save some money.

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2. Finding Affordable Accommodation

Miami has plenty of high-end hotels for the luxury-seekers. However, you can also find mid-tier accommodation options outside the pricier neighborhoods. To benefit from affordable rates, it’s best to travel during the off-season. You can still enjoy great weather and grab some amazing hotel deals to keep costs low.

Another solution is to book a rental through Airbnb or a similar platform. A gracious local host might even offer to take you around.

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3. Exploring Miami Like a Local

Miami’s pristine beaches are its number one attraction. Places such as South Beach are popular options for many travelers. However, their restaurants, pubs, and other venues can be highly expensive.

What many travelers don’t realize is that Miami has less-famed beaches with reasonable F&B prices. If you want to limit expenses, you can even pack a few snacks and drinks to enjoy under the sun.

And when you’re not working on your tan, you could do some shopping or plan for a few outdoor excursions.

Don’t forget to explore Miami’s vibrant culture and history with a trip to its museums, galleries, parks, and countless other attractions. But remember, regular tours can be expensive. By planning ahead and booking directly, you can enjoy some great deals.

Trying out the city’s diverse Latin American cuisine is another must-do activity when visiting Miami. Downtown, Little Havana, and Wynwood host some of the best restaurants and cafés that are affordable and packed with flavors.

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4. Enjoying the Nightlife

Miami’s nightlife, known for its flashy parties, international DJs, and events that run 24 hours, attracts millions of visitors from around the world.

From hip bars to stylish nightclubs, the city hosts an eclectic choice of venues to cater to your every need. Many clubs attract crowds after midnight and have their dance floors packed until sunrise.

When you’re planning to attend a popular event, booking in advance is always best to avoid staying in queues. And remember, Miamians love to party in style.

So, ditch your daytime beachwear and dress up in your most glamorous outfit to get inside the trendiest places.

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5. Minding Your Safety

Overall, Miami’s crime rates are not among the highest in the US. However, some places in the city can be riskier than others. Therefore, the locals would always be cautious about their safety, whether they’re sunbathing on the beach or enjoying the nightlife.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind while you visit Miami:

  • Avoid wearing or carrying valuables on the streets. If you have any expensive items, store them in the safe provided in your hotel room.

  • Keep away from shady neighborhoods, especially when traveling by foot or cycling.

  • Never be too quick to trust people or share personal information with strangers. Make an effort to get to know them by running their names on Nuwber to check their personal details.

  • Keep an eye on your drinks and food for spiking, especially at nightclubs and pubs.

  • Share your location with a family member when traveling alone.

Image by Steele Rutherford

Wrapping Up

Miami is one of the hottest travel destinations for vacationers in 2024. Its sandy beaches, hip nightlife, flavorful cuisine, and rich culture offer plenty to rave about. And if you’re into celebrity spotting, you can do that, too, at many of the city’s flashiest destinations. To plan ahead and enjoy your trip to Miami like a local, use our insider tips as a guide for your next vacation.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Adobe Stock, Unsplash & Pixabay


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