How To Spend A Day In Miami After Your Cruise

How to Spend a Day in Miami Before or After Your Cruise from

Miami is a hugely popular departure port for cruise ships. It serves as a homeport for a dozen major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages, and Celebrity. So naturally, I’ve taken a cruise or two that starts and ends here.

But because I live in San Diego, my direct flight options to Miami are limited. There’s only one flight home for me, and it usually departs around 8pm – a full twelve hours after I’ve disembarked. Which leaves me with plenty of time to explore what the Magic City has to offer.

If you find yourself in Miami with a few free hours after your cruise but before your flight, here’s a list of fun stuff that I’ve done (or will soon be doing).

Eat Your Way Around Little Havana

I did this Little Havana Food and Walking Tour back in November, and I’m still daydreaming about the Cubano sandwich and mojito I had. But there was so much more, too – like cafecitos, croquetas, and pastelitos.

Plus, I learned a lot about the history of the neighborhood and the current situation in Cuba. Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and engaging, which made the two and a half hours fly by.

Enjoying a delicious mojito on my post-cruise tour of Little Havana

Tour the Wynwood Walls by Golf Cart

After my lengthy lunch in Little Havana, I Uber-ed it over to Wynwood for a Golf Cart Tour of the Wynwood Walls. The buildings in this neighborhood are covered with huge colorful murals, street art, and graffiti. These pieces are created by a diverse group of artists, from the internationally renowned to the up-and-coming.

While you can explore the streets independently, this golf cart tour can help you see more of the neighborhood in a shorter amount of time. Plus, the driver is a local with intimate knowledge of the street art scene, who can provide context and insight for many of the pieces you’ll see.

Just one of the amazing murals I saw on my tour of the Wynwood Walls

Explore the Everglades on an Airboat

If you’ve got more than a couple of hours to spare, a trip to the Everglades Airboat Safari is an exciting way to escape the city and see some nature. This tour provides transportation to and from the Miami Tours hub in Miami Beach, so you can take a quick cab ride from the cruise port to meet up with them.

I loved this particular tour because it goes to Sawgrass Recreation Park, a beautiful area full of wildlife and greenery – and an animal sanctuary for gators, tortoises, iguanas, and other reptiles that need a little TLC. You won’t see any questionably ethical alligator wrestling here, but you will Iearn a lot about gators and get to know the workers who really care about their animals. Plus: you can pet a baby alligator! (It’s part of their effort to accustom the gators to human contact from an early age.)

This guy’s name was Mr. Wiggles!

Stroll Through the Bayside Marketplace

For a less structured itinerary with your one day in Miami, consider a walk around the Bayside Marketplace. There are beautiful views of the water available from this two-story open air shopping mall. Grab a drink at one of the bars and people watch, or hop on a sightseeing speedboat cruise. You can even get a tattoo to commemorate your vacation.

What To Do With Luggage After a Cruise in Miami

With all this cavorting around the city, you’ll need a place to store your bags so you can enjoy your sightseeing hands-free. I like to use LuggageHero.

For a small fee, you can store your luggage for a few hours while you go out and explore Miami. And since LuggageHero partners with pre-certified local businesses like shops and hotels, you won’t have to worry about your belongings. Even better: they’re insured against damage, loss, and theft.

What Would You Do With a Day in Miami?

So, did I miss anything? What would you do with a few hours in Miami after your cruise? Let me know in the comments.

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