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Miami for Beginners, Including Miami Beach

Miami does not sound like a cheap destination, but with its free transportion and places to visit, it is actually very suitable for tourism on a budget. Miami is very tourist-friendly, which means you may see a lot of things on your own without investing many resources. There is a lot to see: Miami beach, downtown, skyscrapers, ocean, ethnic neighborhoods, museums… Everyone may find something interesting.

Miami Downtown.

Start your tour in Miami with Tourist Information Center in Downtown. Located it the skyscraper, it will not only allow you to get free brochures about what to see in Miami: the employees of the center are very nice and may offer you to make a photo of Miami from their kitchen.
miaimi-skyscrapers

miaimi-skyscrapers

You may see the ocean next to the information center and Downtown, make sure you take a short walk along it and watch waves, people jogging and blocks of flats with palm trees growing on top of them.
Miami Downtown

Miami Downtown

One of the nicest things about Miami are its free trolleys. They are essential for the tourists since they will bring you to Coconut Grove, Little Havana, Design District, Overtown, Brickell District, and Downtown. All lines are of different colors, and the maps of various routes are available here. Alternatively, you may get a free map in the tourist information center.
miaimi buses

Or you may get on the sightseeing bus, which is less fun to our mind.
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A number of attractions are based at Bayfront/Bayside park. You may get to it by the red (Biscayne) trolley. The Park is great to eat, take a sightseeing boat, or shop. It includes both posh and Chinese-like shop for any taste.
miaimi-Bayside park

Bayside park

Bayside park

Next to it, Adrienne Arscht Center is an arts complex which includes the Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet.
Miami City Ballet

Stroll along the ocean here too, occasionally you may become the witness of Iron Man sports festival.
Iron Man sports festival

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See Port Miami.
Port Miami

Miami Beach.

Finish you first day in Miami with the cherry on its top: Miami Beach. Soon, they will open another free trolley going there. Before that, take a taxi or a public bus at Adrienne Arsch Center Metromover station (plan it well on google maps: the bus stop is not easy to find and the locals know little about it). Alternatively, make a couple of kilometers on foot through the Venetian bridge and take a bus at Venetian islands bus stop (hard to miss). In this case, the great views from the bridge are guaranteed.
Miami Beach.

Miami Beach.

Miami Beach.

Another bonus of such a trip is for the travelers with kids: after the bridge, at Venetian islands, you will find the Miami Children’s Museum.
Miami Children’s Museum

Shopping. Miami Beach is great for all kinds of souvenirs, which are much cheaper than in the mainland.
miaimi-shopping

Just stroll the streets of the island to make it to the beach.
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miaimi beach

miaimi beach

miaimi beach

miaimi beach

miaimi beach

These attractions are more than enough for your first day in Miami. Among other musts to see are historical districts, such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Historical Overtown, and Coconut Grove. Make sure you have at least two days for them.
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Another must is Everglades National Park: the alligator safari and transfer there will take at least 5 hours.