The best neighborhoods in Miami for any getaway
Craving some South Florida sun? If you’re heading to the Magic City, don’t forget your sunscreen; this town is seriously hot. With temperatures hovering around 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Miami – but you may be wondering where to stay in Miami, Florida.
Whether you’re visiting the 305 with friends, family, coworkers, or solo, Stay Alfred has a travel apartment that will fit your needs and your budget. But we’re not only passionate about providing comfy beds and spacious digs; we also want to make sure you enjoy the city to the fullest. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to the Magic City’s best neighborhoods – from the artsy to the classic – so you can decide where to stay in Miami for whatever kind of trip you have in the works.
Where to stay with kids
Spring break? Summer vacay? There’s more to Florida than Disney World: give the kids a sunny vacation they’ll never forget in magnificent Miami.
The roomy travel apartments at Stay Alfred Brickell or Stay Alfred Little Havana are perfect for families. With separate bedrooms, a comfortable living room and a full kitchen, there’s plenty of space for the whole fam to spread out and relax. We also include essentials like in-unit laundry (spills happen!) and fast WiFi to keep everybody happy.
If you’re deciding where to stay in Miami with kids, the Brickell and Little Havana neighborhoods are perfect. Stay Alfred Brickell is centrally located with easy access to the surrounding neighborhoods like Wynwood and Coconut Grove, the Miami International Airport and Miami Beach. And, with Marlins Park and history museums galore and some of the city’s most family-friendly Cuban restaurants, Little Havana is a thriving cultural center for all ages.
Where to stay on a budget
The Magic City is known for the mega-mansions of opulent Star Island, extravagant yachts and pricey nightclubs, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have a fabulous time in the MIA. Wondering where to stay in Miami on a budget? Stay Alfred Brickell and Stay Alfred Little Havana will let you do Miami like a local – and by “local,” we aren’t talking about Diddy or Ricky Martin.
Live the local life at a modern Stay Alfred travel apartment – complete with a full kitchen, so you can save some $$ by whipping up home-cooked meals. And why splurge on an overpriced hotel room when you can get hotel-style amenities and a larger space at your very own Stay Alfred travel apartment?
The original: Downtown Miami
Art deco architecture, storied landmarks, and an up-and-coming food scene – you can’t go wrong with Miami’s OG neighborhood. Downtown Miami was the city’s first business district, but today it’s also a major tourist center. Historical sites include The Freedom Tower, which provided services to thousands of Cuban refugees during the 1960s, and the Olympia Theatre, which has been showing performances since 1926.
Downtown isn’t all about history, though – there are several Magic City attractions that are definitely modern. The massive American Airlines Arena is the home of the Miami Heat basketball team, and when the Heat isn’t shooting hoops, the arena hosts world-famous artists for sellout concerts.
You also can’t miss Bayside Marketplace and Bayside Park, a huge entertainment area adjacent to Biscayne Bay. While admiring the water views and the yachts of the rich and famous, you can shop at Bayside Marketplace’s boutiques or dine at one of the waterfront restaurants. Bayside Park hosts concerts and events (like free outdoor yoga!) on a regular basis for even more fun in the sun.
Or if you’re in the mood to cool off, downtown Miami is home to two of the city’s best museums: the Perez Art Museum and the Frost Museum of Science. In addition to a spectacular water view, the Perez showcases works from local and world-renowned artists, and the museum store always has some unique finds. The new Frost Museum of Science features a stunning planetarium and huge exhibits with hammerhead sharks, octopi, and jellyfish. Pro tip: visit this museum after your beach time.
Downtown Miami Neighborhood Highlights
While you’ll find some of Miami’s most famous attractions downtown, you’ll also find a plethora of hidden gems. Locals love downtown because it lacks the crowds and craziness of South Beach – and we think that’s why you’ll like it too.
Downtown Miami for Families
In addition to the Frost Museum of Science, downtown is very close to the Miami Children’s Museum – created especially for the little ones. Take a scenic five-minute ride across the causeway to Watson Island to access the museum, which is designed for kids under 10. Exhibits range from an interactive grocery store, a hospital and a miniature port where kids can learn about cruise ship operations and even lift some “shipping containers” with a crane.
Also on Watson Island is Jungle Island, a waterfront theme park and zoo with thousands of animals and hands-on exhibits. If your tiny traveler has ever dreamed of hanging out with sloths or cuddling up to a lemur, well, those dreams can come true.
After all those educational exhibits and animal encounters, the kids are bound to be hungry. Feed the whole fam at Pollos & Jarras, a funky Peruvian restaurant specializing in rotisserie chicken, or grab classic Cuban sandwiches or empanadas at the timeless Manolo & Rene Grill.
Downtown Miami for Couples
Amid the hustle and bustle of the MIA, downtown Miami presents plenty of places where you can slow down and enjoy the moment. Romantic downtown restaurants include authentic Italian spots like Vero and Soya e Pomodoro, the cozy Catalan-inspired NIU Kitchen and Indonesian favorite Bali Cafe.
Downtown Miami for Business Travelers
There’s nothing like celebrating the end of the work week (or work day, we feel ya) with jaw-dropping water views in the background. And the hardworking citizens of Downtown Miami make their way to the 16th-floor rooftop at Area 31, where Friday afternoons are even more fun thanks to their “beat the clock” specials.
Downtown Miami for Friends
You’re not really friends if you can’t last an hour locked in a small room together, right? Take your friendship to the next level at Downtown Miami’s favorite escape room, Fox in a Box. Here, you can try to beat the clock and escape the room before getting stuck in there forever! Just kidding, you won’t be stuck for more than an hour, but the memories will certainly stick with you for years to come.
Feeling claustrophobic? Instead, relax with your pals and bring a picnic to the waterfront at Museum Park. This grassy expanse in front of the Perez Art Museum is the ultimate spot to watch cruise ships sail away, jam out to some tunes or play frisbee on the lawn.
The modern: Brickell
Many of the glittering high-rises of Miami’s iconic skyline are located in Brickell, which has traditionally been known as the Magic City’s financial district. But among the offices of global banks and corporate headquarters, you’ll also find fantastic shopping, high-end restaurants and beautiful water vistas.
Some of Brickell’s top attractions include the glam Brickell City Centre mall and the high-end restaurants on the mall’s upper levels. If you’ve traveled through Europe or South America, you might recognize international designer names that are new to the US. Brickell City Centre features the only stateside location of many shops – so your trendsetter status will be seriously elevated when you return home. And if you’re ready to drop after all that shopping, head up to restaurants like Tacology or Pubbelly Sushi for some well-deserved refreshment.
If bay views are more your style, don’t miss the chance to take a walk around Brickell Key. And when we say “around Brickell Key,” we literally mean you can walk around the entire island. Runners, joggers, stroller-pushers and rollerbladers flock to this man-made isle to do laps around the trail along the perimeter, which is just over one mile. Sunrises and sunsets are exceptionally picturesque here, so make sure to bring your camera!
And another Brickell must-visit is The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, which is actually known more for its collection of restaurants and bars. Here you’ll find a variety of happy hour spots, brunch favorites, and even clubs that keep the party going late.
Does Brickell sound like your spot? Stay Alfred Brickell is in the heart of this ultra-cool ‘hood, so you can walk to all the action and admire the gorgeous views.
Brickell Neighborhood Highlights
If South Beach represents the best of “old Miami,” Brickell is the ultimate “new Miami” neighborhood, full of glittering skyscrapers and international culture. Deciding where to stay in Miami? Brickell is an excellent choice.
Brickell for Couples
Centrally located between all of Miami’s top attractions, Brickell is a perfect home base for couples who want to see and do it all. After a romantic sunset stroll around Brickell Key, take date night to new heights with a cocktail at Sugar, a rooftop bar with a panoramic view of the city. Or dine on globally inspired seafood at Crazy About You, where you won’t just be crazy about your special someone, but also about the spectacular waterfront views.
Brickell for Business Travelers
Miami’s financial district is the logical choice for business travelers, but thanks to the plethora of bars and restaurants, this area is certainly more exciting than your average boardroom. After a productive day of meetings or an inspiring week of team-building, raise a glass to your coworkers at some of Brickell’s best happy hour spots. The classy Edge Steak & Bar has outdoor fire pits and a killer cocktail menu, so it’s always a crowd-pleaser. Other highly recommended places to unwind include Batch Gastropub, Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita, and Marion.
Deciding where to stay in Miami on business? Stay Alfred at Habitat Residence is perfect for professionals in town for short or long stays. With a full kitchen, in-unit laundry, and access to a gym and pool, your business trip will feel a whole lot like vacation.
Brickell for Friends
If you think you and your squad will want to sleep all day after a night out in Miami, think again. Brickell is one of Miami’s best neighborhoods for brunch, and trust us, you’re not going to want to miss Miami’s take on this restorative meal. Get the mimosas flowing at American Social, where you’ll find river views and a drool-worthy menu – it’s always a good bet. Or have an Italian-inspired weekend brunch at Perricone's, where the buffet is piled high with freshly baked pastries. Feeling healthy? Don’t miss breakfast at DIRT, which has nutrient-packed menu options for your gluten-free friend, your vegan friend and your paleo friend.
Brickell for Families
Now that the young professionals who moved to Brickell for business a few years ago are starting to have families, a crop of family-friendly restaurants is popping up between the skyscrapers. Brickell isn’t all about happy hour; now there are kids’ meals and casual dress codes at many eating establishments.
A local favorite for sandwiches is Jimmy'z Kitchen, which has flavor combinations that appeal to sandwich lovers of all ages. Another option for handheld eats is Coyo Taco, one of the Magic City’s most popular taco shops. Or let everyone choose exactly what they want at the Casa Tua Cucina food court on the first level of Brickell City Centre. Hint: the gelato counter is a popular pick among the little ones.
The Cuban heart: Little Havana
Magic City’s vibrant Cuban culture shines brightest in Little Havana, also known as Calle Ocho (8th Street), a colorful neighborhood filled with dazzling street art, sexy salsa clubs, bustling bars, and the finest Cuban cuisine in Florida. Tasty eateries seem to have been air-dropped from Panama City, Managua, or Havana itself, with dishes and atmosphere offering a wanderlust-evoking authenticity and charm you won’t soon forget.
You’ll feel like you’re on vacation, but won’t need your passport to enjoy Little Havana’s fabulous food, art, and history. Just a few salsa steps from downtown and the Brickell neighborhood, Little Havana puts you close to best of big-city Miami, too. Book today at Stay Alfred Little Havana and enjoy all the comforts of home right in the heart of this vibrant little neighborhood.
Little Havana Neighborhood Highlights
As “old Miami” as South Beach but without the thronging crowds, Little Havana still has its share of big-ticket fun. From Calle Ocho’s delectable eateries and vivacious nightlife to Major League Baseball excitement at Marlins Park, Little Havana has something for everyone. Stroll Calle Ocho’s Walk of Fame and learn about Latin artists and celebs with ties to South Florida. Stretch your legs in Jose Marti Park, take in some history at HistoryMiami Museum, or enjoy a live performance at Manuel Artime Theater, the Little Havana neighborhood is a destination in itself.
Little Havana for Couples
Perfect for couples, Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood is big on charm and loaded with intimate dining spots, arts venues, and vibrant dancing spots both historic and new. Just a few minutes west of Miami’s downtown, Little Havana is the perfect getaway from big-city bustle, a place that takes late evening walk-ins for intimate tables for two. Brace yourselves for the best Cuban cuisine in Florida, along with plenty of romantic fun in this vibrant neighborhood!
You’re in Little Havana, so you must go dancing. Grab your dance shoes and head to Hoy Como Ayer, boasting frequent performances from popular Latin artists whose rhythm will indeed get you and your feet. After you’ve worked up an appetite on the dance floor, it’s time to hit a restaurant for some of that delicious Cuban food that Little Havana serves up so well. Two of the best spots are Café La Trova and Los Altos, both as fun and friendly as they are delicious.
Up for a flick? Head on over to Little Havana’s Tower Theater Miami, an Art Deco local landmark open since 1926 featuring shows and live performances in both Spanish and English. How about an intimate drink in a cozy Little Havana bar? Maybe some live music? Whereas the name might not befit the happiest couple’s night out the sublime mixology and couple-friendly dance floor at Ball & Chain certainly does. Adding to the romance is Ball & Chain’s history as an early Miami music hub that featured great performers like, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, and Count Basie.
Little Havana for Business Travelers
There’s no better place to mix business with pleasure than Little Havana. Calle Ocho’s authentically Cuban experience makes you feel like you’ve gone abroad, but it’s just a 10-minute drive to the business venues and convention centers of downtown Miami. From Calle Ocho fun for the work crew to Cuban cuisine for company dinners, Little Havana is a great place for team bonding between conventions a hop, skip, and jump away.
Whether you’re looking for a spot for yummy Cuban food for just you after that long of meetings or great dining for the whole team, you can’t go wrong with Versailles. Known throughout Florida, the eatery is considered the “World's Most Famous Cuban Restaurant” outside Cuba itself, and features golden chandeliers and mirrors and a vibrant atmosphere sure to dazzle the whole crew.
Deciding where to stay in Miami on business? Stay Alfred Little Havana travel apartments are perfect for professionals in town for short or long stays. With a full kitchen, in-unit laundry, vibrant culture all around and quick access to downtown, Stay Alfred Little Havana is your place in Miami.
Little Havana for Friends
Breathe some life into your bachelor/ette party, reunion, or friend-aissance get-together with a few days in Little Havana. There isn’t a friendlier or more vibrant neighborhood for bar-hopping and salsa dancing. Fire things up at Cubaocho, a funky museum, bar and performing arts center with the biggest rum collection in Miami plus live music, salsa lessons and bachata nights. The Little Havana Food & Cultural Tour is a great activity for the whole crew on which you and friends can learn about Little Havana’s rich culture and history while sampling delights from some of Calle Ocho’s best restaurants.
Little Havana for Families
A great place for family adventure, you’ll find that you and the kids are always welcome at Little Havana’s tasty Cuban restaurants. After a tasty Cuban meal little ones can burn some energy at Maximo Gomez Park and watch the locals play dominoes, a favorite pastime in this green space also known as Domino Park with its domino-themed benches and walkways. And, there’s nothing better than an icy helado at Azucar Ice Cream Company to keep little bodies on the move cool. Parents and older kids will enjoy El Museo de Little Havana, where you’ll learn about the neighborhood's homesteading history and jazz hub past.
Make Stay Alfred your place in Little Havana
Is Little Havana sounding like a little piece of heaven? Book today at Stay Alfred Little Havana and enjoy all the comforts of home right in the heart of this vibrant little neighborhood.
The artsy: Wynwood
Miami’s up-and-coming arts district is a must-see for any visitor to the Magic City – especially for foodies. This industrial neighborhood has been reborn as a mecca for muralists and graffiti artists who created Wynwood’s main attraction: the Wynwood Walls. This collection of larger-than-life artwork is free to view, making it one of the best places to scope out the latest in urban art.
Wynwood is still considered the new kid on the block, so if you’re deciding where to stay in Miami, the options within Wynwood itself might be slim. However, if you book a place to stay in Miami like Stay Alfred Brickell, you’ll just be a short drive away.
Wynwood Neighborhood Highlights
Need a little art in your life? Wynwood is Miami’s hottest neighborhood for anything a little eclectic and unique. From impressive murals to independent films to interesting local beers, you’ll find it all right here in Wynwood.
Wynwood for Couples
When it comes to things to do in Miami for couples, Wynwood presents some unique options. If the standard dinner date night is a bit ordinary, kick things up a notch with a romantic, artsy activity. Perhaps you’d like to cozy up to the silver screen at O Cinema Wynwood, where you can catch a foreign or indie flick. Or peruse Wynwood’s myriad of galleries, like The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE or The Peter Tunney Experience. But before the evening is over, don’t forget to stop at one of Wynwood’s many food trucks for a tasty late-night snack.
Wynwood for Business Travelers
For all its eclectic character and industrial vibes, Wynwood is a bonafide culinary hotspot, with many restaurants that would impress even the most discerning business clients. Snag that deal at one of Wynwood’s business meeting-worthy restaurants, such as KYU, a high-end Asian-fusion eatery, or Joey’s, known for authentic Italian eats.
If you’re celebrating an extremely special business relationship, pull out all the stops and treat your client to a meal at Alter. Helmed by Chef Brad Kilgore, this is one of Miami’s best restaurants and home of lengthy tasting menus that are truly unforgettable.
Wynwood for Friends
The obligatory Instagram photo from any Miami trip has to be an artsy shot with a mural backdrop, and a leisurely meander around Wynwood will present plenty of photo ops. Start your photo session in mid-morning to beat the heat (and the sweaty faces) and to avoid the crowds that come in the afternoon. Wander through the Wynwood Walls to snap pics of some of the city’s most iconic murals, but also explore the side streets for some lesser-known work by local
If photos aren’t really your thing – or if you’re searching for an air-conditioned activity – take a walk on the wild side at Lock & Load Miami. This indoor shooting range requires absolutely no prior experience and is a favorite for grown-up birthday parties.
Wynwood for Families
The arts district might as well be called the gastronomy district for its concentration of haute cuisine – which is delicious, but not always kid-appropriate. Luckily, there are plenty of local breweries that offer a laid-back atmosphere that’s perfect for all ages. While the adults sip samples of local craft beer, the kiddos can stay entertained with games like corn hole and horseshoes at Concrete Beach Brewery or Veza Sur Brewing Co. Thanks to spacious taprooms and outdoor patios, there’s also no reason to keep the noise down, so the tiny travelers can be their rambunctious selves.
And, while it’s not a brewery, it’s worth a mention: The Wynwood Yard is another solid pick for a family-friendly outdoor activity. Featuring food trucks and a slew of regular events that includes crafts and live music, there’s always something going on here.
The classic: Coconut Grove
Welcome to Coconut Grove, where you trade skyscrapers for banyan trees. Mere blocks south of Brickell, this leafy, residential suburb feels worlds away from the organized chaos of the city center. Coconut Grove is a favorite of boaters, fishermen and foodies, and the historic homes and verdant foliage make it a beautiful place to spend some time.
The crown jewel of Coconut Grove is most definitely Vizcaya, a massive vacation home-turned-museum built by an early 1900s business magnate. Today the mansion is open to visitors, but much of the decor and artwork looks exactly as it did back in the day. It’s a popular setting for wedding photos and movie shoots, and you can catch glimpses of the building’s facade in films like Iron Man 3 and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
Thinking about where to stay in Miami? Coconut Grove is easily accessible from Brickell or Downtown via a short drive, a quick spin on a CitiBike or a ride on the trolley.
Coconut Grove Neighborhood Highlights
With a relaxed pace and a residential vibe, Coconut Grove is where Miamians go to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. With views of the turquoise water and a bohemian heritage, Coconut Grove is a fabulous neighborhood to explore.
Coconut Grove for Business Travelers
Treat your coworkers or clients to something special: high-quality coffee. Forget about the “coffee” (can you even call it that?!) from the machine in the office; your colleagues deserve the best. Pick up some joe to go from Coconut Grove’s Panther Coffee, a local coffee shop with expert roasts and ethically sources beans. And if you can’t make it to the Grove, there are a couple other Panther locations throughout the MIA.
Also worth a mention is Morning Glory Organic Coffee, serving fair trade coffee from around the world.
Coconut Grove for Couples
Searching for a place to eat for just the two of you? Coconut Grove is full of sophisticated restaurants that are perfect for any romantic meal. Some top picks include Ariete, Sapore di Mare, and, if burgers are in your plan for a lovey-dovey lunch or dinner, LoKal serves up burgers and sides that locals rave about.
Finish off the night with something sweet from Bianco Gelato, which tastes so authentic you just might think you ended up in Italy.
Coconut Grove for Families
Can’t convince the kids to sit quietly through yet another sophisticated dinner or museum tour? Let ‘em run loose in one of Coconut Grove’s scenic parks. Closest to Brickell, Alice Wainwright Park has sport courts and incredibly picturesque picnic shelters. Continue south to David T. Kennedy Park, where kids can try beach volleyball or slurp down a lemonade from the lemonade truck in the parking lot. And for some rare Floridian flora, head to The Kampong, one of Miami’s most well-kept botanical gardens.
But the way to really do family-friendly parks like a Miamian is to visit Peacock Park. The beauty of this one is that the kids can run free in the park while the adults sip adult beverages and snack at the parkside Glass and Vine restaurant. Cheers!
Coconut Grove for Friends
Visiting Miami with friends? You’ve got to get out on the water – and Coconut Grove is the best place to do so. Whether you crew is in the mood for a boat tour or a jet ski rental, you’ll find it here. Want to try your luck with a fishing pole? Miami Fishing Charters can hook you up with a day trip. And if the fish aren’t biting, you can still dig into a fresh seafood meal at Monty’s Raw Bar, which is on the waterfront. If you’ve never sailed before, why not learn how at Let's Go Sailing Today, where you can book sailing lessons or a guided expedition.
The old-school: Midtown and MiMo
Rivaling South Beach with its collection of Art Deco and mid-century architecture, Midtown/MiMo is Miami’s latest neighborhood darling. Featuring recently renovated motels, under-the-radar restaurants and design-forward shops, Midtown and MiMo (the lines are blurry) will show you that Miami isn’t all about glitz and glamour.
Midtown is where you’ll find Miami’s exclusive Design District, with ultra-high-end designer boutiques and interior design firms. But it’s also a popular dining destination, with restaurants serving global cuisine overseen by local and world-renowned chefs.
Midtown and MiMo Neighborhood Highlights
Spanning a couple miles along Biscayne Boulevard, come to Midtown and MiMo if you’re hungry, because you won’t be hungry for long here. Enjoy culinary gems worthy of New York or LA – without having to make a reservation months in advance.
Midtown for Business Travelers
A staple of the Miami workday is the power lunch, and there’s no better place to find flavor-packed lunch spots than Midtown. At the Shops at Midtown, SUGARCANE raw bar grill is always a good idea, and they serve something for everyone – from sushi to South American small plates.
For a taste of South Florida, TAP 42 Miami has local beer on draft (if it’s that kind of business lunch) and a variety of American classics. Or, if your business lunch companions are fans of veggies, try something new at GLAM Vegan, which serves 100% plant-based fare.
Midtown for Couples
Midtown is one of Miami’s best picks for a date night, thanks to the concentration of cozy, romantic bars and restaurants. Sip wine from around the world with your sweetie at Barmeli69, a charming find with frequent live music, or at Café Roval, a stunning Mediterranean-inspired villa serving small plates under twinkling lights.
Also in Midtown is the most common answer you’ll get if you ask a local for a romantic restaurant recommendation: Mandolin Aegean Bistro. Known as one of the Magic City’s most magical dining destinations, this Greek restaurant will transport you to a breezy evening on Santorini, thanks to their white and blue decor and authentic cuisine.
Midtown for Friends
What’s better than listening to live music with some friends? Not much, and that’s why we’re glad Midtown has these fantastic venues. Lagniappe’s house-turned-venue hosts live music every night of the week – with the bonus of a massive selection of affordable wines by the bottle. Another popular event space is the vintage-styled Vagabond Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard, where you’ll find pool parties and concerts on a regular basis. And for live tunes with a bit more grunge, Churchill's Pub features rock and alternative acts.
Midtown for Families
Searching for things to do in Miami with kids? Between hours at the beach and time cooling off indoors, somebody’s bound to get hungry. And there’s one thing that’s always a crowd pleaser: pizza.
A few great pizza places are located in Midtown – and these aren’t your average cheese and pepperoni spots. The pies at Andiamo! are as tasty as the building is unique, and seeing as it’s a vintage tire shop, it’s one unique building. Two more solid bets are Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee Co. and Harry's Pizzeria in the Design District. Pizza forever!
Well, that just about sums up the best neighborhoods in Miami. The sun’s out, the water’s beautiful, and now you know where to stay in Miami to have the ideal South Florida getaway.
We’ll let you decide which lucky travel companion gets to come with you (or go solo!), but if you need any help booking one of our Miami vacation rentals, give us a call at 866-232-3864. And if you need any help packing, you can consult our handy packing list. Happy travels!