Miami is a hectic, modern city, best known for the glamor of its broad island city Miami Beach. The wide strip of white sand, kissed by turquoise Atlantic Ocean surf, is the kind of place people go to see and be seen. Beyond the shallow veneer though, there’s a subtler beauty at play, such as the historic architectural charm of pastel Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive and the cultural mélange scattered across the wider Miami. Getting around can be challenging, which is why it’s a great idea to explore Miami, and possibly further afield, on a guided bus tour. These offer greater ease of access and the chance to gain deeper insight along the way through narration.
Bus tours aren’t the only way to appreciate Miami to the fullest though. Miami Beach is surrounded by water and there are lots of great tours incorporating a boat cruise available. Other tour options include walking tours, while the Everglades National Park is only an hour away from Miami Beach, offering remarkable wildlife viewing opportunities. Here are five of the best bus tours that include trips around Miami and Miami Beach, taking into account many important considerations, such as value for money, previous guest reviews, itineraries and comfort.
FROM: $45/per person
A fantastic way to get to know Miami, especially for first-timers to the city, is this guided, four-hour bus tour of the city’s most culturally vibrant areas. Beginning by heading straight for the stunning South Beach, half an hour is devoted to wandering through the Art Deco District, passing highlights like Versace Mansion along Ocean Drive. Hop back on the bus then head back into Miami city to see one of the city’s latest tourism crazes: Wynwood Walls, where you will have the chance to explore the myriad styles of street art, a perfect spot to spruce up the Instagram feed. Finally head to Little Havana, where the city’s cultural heart beats to the rhythm of Latin beats and Cuban culture. Visit the Latin street fair around Domino Park and sample Cuban food (not included in the price). The tour is capped off with a drop-off back at your hotel.
From $40/ per person
If you’d like to see Miami from the streets and from the waterways but don’t want to waste time transferring vehicles, then one of the most enjoyable and idiosyncratic tour vehicles might be the perfect solution. The famous Duck Tour can cruise along Millionaire’s Row then when the land runs out, keep right on going into the waters of Biscayne Bay. Your tour guide on the bus/boat will keep the mood light and pretty cheesy with fun city facts and narration as you experience the 90-minute tour. Hotel pick-up and drop-off is, somewhat understandably, not possible on this particular option. Like all of the tours on this list, Duck Tours depart on a daily basis.
From $42/ per person
If you’d like to take a short boat trip and combine it with a longer bus tour that gives you the chance to see various sides of Miami either side of Biscayne Bay, then Big Bus Miami has a great option. Start out at South Beach along the classy, palm-lined Ocean Drive, past the entrance to pedestrianized Española Way, then cross over the bridge towards the sleek, glass high-rises of Downtown Miami, which overlook the more modest Wynwood, whose power is less ostentatious and can be found in the artistic flair of its residents. Head then to Little Havana and learn about the history of Cuban immigration and the cultural riches that came with it. Finally, on reaching Bayside Marketplace, you can board a ferry with an open-air upper deck for a 90-minute boat tour that allows you a better look at the mansions of Millionaire’s Row from the water.
From $59/ per person
For those who have already had a little taste of what Miami has to offer, there is a bus tour that digs a little deeper beneath the surface. The itinerary is much the same as the other tours listed above, however you’ll get guided to some of the lesser known attractions around Wynwood Walls and in the Latin Quarter where there are unique photo spots that some of the other tours might glide right by. You will also get the chance to learn about what motivated artists to start painting huge murals in Wynwood, with plenty of advice on the best places to eat and find Cuban culture at its most vibrant in the Latin Quarter. This tour lasts four hours and includes pick-up from hotels in the Miami Beach area.
From $139/ per person
When time is short and you want to make the most of your time in southern Florida, there is a half-day bus tour available that can help you tick more boxes. Boarding the bus in South Beach, you will have the benefit of a guide’s knowledge as you pass through the Art Deco neighborhood then cross over Biscayne Bay and on through Miami to the other side. Over towards the Everglades you will then stop off at a Native American village to learn about their traditional customs. Here you’ll also be able to have a unique, and really rather exhilarating airboat experience (included in the price and well worth the trip to Florida alone), which glides over the swamp, spotting wildlife like alligators along the way.