Miami Beach on a Budget: How to Spend Less Than $100 a Day

Miami Beach is one of the most popular winter destinations for anyone who wants to escape the winter weather up north. It also happens to be one of the most expensive cities to visit in the United States. However, travelers can still enjoy this vibrant city without maxing out their credit limit. For example, stay at an Airbnb rental instead of a hotel or look into one of the many free events and happenings around town. This article is a means for you to make the best out of Miami Beach on a budget. Listed below are some helpful tips on how to survive a Miami Beach vacation for less than $100 a day.

Miami Beach on a Budget: South Beach
South Beach looking north

Choose an Alternative to Hotels

It is difficult to imagine booking a hotel room in Miami Beach, let alone South Beach, for less than $100 a night, but the emergence of online websites that offer alternative accommodations has made that a reality and changed the way people travel. There are also trendy hostels like the Freehand Miami, where you can reserve a bed for as little as $20 per night.

Seek out Free or Bargain Activities

The best way to travel to Miami Beach on a budget (or anywhere on a budget!) is to take advantage of free tours and bargain activities.

The main attraction for visiting Miami Beach is quite obviously the miles and miles of fine golden sand and the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It costs nothing to swim, sunbathe, or walk along the promenade, and for some visitors these activities will suffice. Some beaches offer a range of sporting activities from volleyball to yoga at no additional cost. Check with your front desk or your host for a list of locations. There are also several noteworthy seaside parks ranging from South Beach to North Beach worth visiting that includes South Pointe Park, Lummus Park, and Miami Beach Boardwalk.

Miami Beach on a Budget: Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive

But contrary to popular belief, Miami Beach is not just all about the beach. It also has a vibrant cultural, artistic, and culinary scene and most of it you can take advantage of on the cheap. Begin your day with a visit to the Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Most of the exhibits are outdoors, including the enormous hand in the middle of a lily pond that serves as the museum’s most prominent image. Poignant words and real-life sculptures put the events of the Holocaust in perspective and certainly provide a complete contrast to the typical Miami scene. Admission to the museum is free.

After reflecting on the events leading to the Holocaust, lift your spirits by exploring the city’s Art Deco District. Their vibrant colors and their trendy architecture will definitely make you wonder about the stories behind some of the structures’ inspiring designs. To find out the answers to those curious inquiries, take an Art Deco walking tour hosted by the Miami Design Preservation League, a non-profit organization that pioneers the preservation of Miami Beach’s architectural and historic district. This 90-minute walking tour will take you around the art deco pockets of Miami Beach and South Beach. Rates begin at $20 per person.

Miami Beach on a Budget: Local art at Art Center South Florida
Local art at Art Center South Florida

Lastly, take advantage of the many galleries and art museums around town that are free to the public and explore the city’s small and eccentric pocket areas. Collins Ave has a number of art galleries featuring all sorts of art. Stop by one of them and get to know the art and the artists themselves. Lincoln Road has the Art Center South Florida and it houses a collection of the best works of art from local artists. Espanola Way is a street just off Collins Ave and 15th Street where you can find houses and establishments modeled after Mediterranean villages in Spain and France.

The Clay Hotel, Espanola Way
Espanola Way

Miami Beach on a Budget: Eating and Nightlife

With so many of the nation’s top chefs offering their culinary creations in the city, it becomes quite difficult to dine in Miami Beach on a budget. However, eating at those posh restaurants and experiencing Miami Beach’s active nightlife does not need to be ridiculously expensive if you consider taking advantage of specials and promotions particularly during Happy Hour. Many of South Beach’s good quality bars and restaurants offer discounted rates on certain drinks and food during Happy Hour, which for some, is available seven days a week, and lasts as late as 8pm. South Beach Magazine has recently compiled a list of restaurants and bars offering the best Happy Hour specials in Miami Beach and you can read more about it here.

Miami Beach remains a city synonymous with glamour, style, and affluence, but there is more to it than that. It also has plenty of scenery, history, and culture to offer visitors. For additional information on how to travel to Miami Beach on a budget, visit the city’s official travel and tourism website, Miami and The Beaches, or my city guide to Miami found on my blog, Traveling With Iris.

Do you have other tips on how to travel to Miami Beach on a budget? Comment and let us know!

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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