The Short Answer:
The Long Answer With Advice & Caveats:
First thing’s first, let me address my inherent bias. I am actually from Miami, and I feel that when you actually live inside of a city you become privy to the otherwise irrelevant day to day dealings of the city that could never affect regular tourists. Does anyone particularly care that Kendall, the little suburb I’m from, is becoming overpopulated with people? Does anyone care about the subtle politics of the city and how day by day it’s becoming more extreme left? Does anyone care that the people here are stereotypically fake wanna-bes? Does anyone care that home prices in Miami are skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate? Probably not, because for the most part these things don’t affect tourists. They affect me because I live here. But to a visitor, honestly, who cares about my gripes?
So I’ll try my hardest to portray only the parts of Miami that a visitor would care about and then arrive at a conclusion that’s fair for a city that truly isn’t the greatest city ever, but is definitely interesting enough to come lend an ear to.
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. The people are famously rude, trite, and annoying. Everyone is always in a mood, and all the women of Miami have a chronic case of resting bitch face. Actually, come to think of it, so do the men. The culture down here is such that it rewards fame, popularity, and ostentatious displays of wealth, and it looks down upon humility and frugality. That means that the typical Miami-homie is wearing clothes from designer brands, driving a car they can’t afford, living in a home they shouldn’t have been able to buy, and eating at restaurants that are too expensive for them. They think they’re God’s greatest gift to the planet and that they’re literally the hottest shit that’s ever been shat. They don’t want to talk to you, they have that same busy New York complex where they really don’t have time to stop and answer any of your questions, and they will absolutely ridicule you with all their friends in Spanish if they find you unattractive, not bougie enough or whatever.
In short: the people of Miami generally suck. However, there are some gems out there, and they look even more brilliant next to the garbage that most people here represent. As a tourist, your staff at restaurants/hotels will likely be attractive (because it seems everyone in this city is) and amicable (but probably in a fake way that you won’t pick up on because they want tips). You’ll have a great time and think the people are great if you stay in tourist areas doing tourist things and don’t stray into the parts of Miami where tons of residents congregate like Downtown, Wynwood, etc.
is awesome. Seriously, don’t go to franchises while you’re here. Go to the unique restaurants of Miami. This city actually does a great job of getting TONS of great tasting, eccentric flavors in your mouth. Don’t know where to go? Try Swine, Chef Adrienne’s, Samurai, Palacio de los Jugos, and any Fritanga for a start. Thank me later.
I think the one thing Miami has above all else, and more so than most cities that I’ve visited, is shopping. Miami lives off of its retail sector, and it’s apparent in how many malls and shopping centers there are. Dadeland Mall is probably the nicest mall of the bunch, while Dolphin Mall is the cheapest and has the most variety. Go to The Falls Mall if you want a relaxing treat of a shopping experience.
Other than the malls, there are tons of things to experience, such as the Perez Art Museum, the Frost Science Museum, Miami Beach itself, the Fontainebleau Hotel, the Freedom Tower, the Everglades among other things gives you a nice variety of stuff to do. You’ll surely find something in there for everyone. Miami Zoo is nice, but if you have the money, give the Zoological Wildlife Foundation a shot, it’s ten times more interactive and fun.
For night life, there are clubs galore, but I’m not a clubby person so I’m the wrong source for that information. Just search it up and you’ll surely find tons of places to go satisfy your club thirst.
If I didn’t have to live here, I’d probably really enjoy going to Miami. However, be forewarned, coming to Miami is definitely quite the expensive experience, so prepare your wallet. And prepare your attitude, because it’s going to get challenged.