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Where To Stay In Miami Before Leaving On A Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Simone Chisolm



Miami, the vibrant and sunny city on Florida’s southeastern coast, is not only famous for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and rich cultural heritage but also for being one of the largest cruise ship ports in the world. As a result, it attracts millions of cruise enthusiasts every year who want to embark on a memorable journey to the Caribbean, Bahamas, or beyond.


Before setting sail on your dream cruise, it’s essential to find the perfect place to stay in Miami, ensuring a comfortable and convenient pre-cruise experience. Whether you’re looking for luxurious beachfront resorts, trendy urban accommodations, or cultural and historical neighborhoods, Miami has it all.


In this article, we will explore some of the best areas to stay in Miami before leaving on a cruise, each offering its own unique charm and attractions. From the iconic Miami Beach to the vibrant downtown area, let’s embark on a virtual tour and discover where to stay to make the most of your Miami pre-cruise stay.


So, whether you’re looking to bask in the sun, explore the city’s vibrant nightlife, indulge in delicious cuisine, or immerse yourself in local culture, Miami has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the various neighborhoods and find the perfect place to stay before embarking on an unforgettable cruise adventure.


Miami Beach

Miami Beach is synonymous with sunshine, sandy beaches, and glamorous beachfront properties. It is a popular choice for those looking to soak up the sun and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere before their cruise. Located on a barrier island, Miami Beach is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character.


South Beach, often referred to as SoBe, is the trendiest and most iconic neighborhood in Miami Beach. It is known for its Art Deco architecture, world-famous Ocean Drive, and bustling nightlife. Exploring the vibrant streets lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants is a must-do for any visitor. Relax on the white sands of South Beach during the day, and in the evening, venture out for a night of fun and excitement.


For those seeking a more laid-back atmosphere, North Beach is a great choice. With a more residential feel, it offers a quieter ambiance while still providing easy access to the beach and a variety of dining options. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the oceanfront promenade, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or simply relax and soak up the breathtaking views.


Along with its gorgeous beaches, Miami Beach is also home to numerous boutique hotels, luxury resorts, and vacation rentals, ensuring a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. From historic Art Deco gems to modern beachfront retreats, you’ll find a plethora of options to make your stay memorable.


In addition to the beautiful beaches, Miami Beach boasts a vibrant dining scene, with world-class restaurants showcasing diverse cuisines from around the globe. From fresh seafood to international fusion dishes, you’ll have plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds. Don’t forget to try some local favorites, such as Cuban sandwiches and Caribbean-inspired delicacies.


For those interested in the arts, Miami Beach is also home to several museums and galleries. Visit the Bass Museum of Art to explore contemporary and modern artworks, or stroll through the streets to admire the colorful murals and street art that grace many buildings.


Overall, Miami Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation, entertainment, and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking a lively party scene or a tranquil beach escape, Miami Beach is an ideal place to stay before embarking on your cruise adventure.


Downtown Miami

If you’re looking for a stay in the heart of the city with easy access to a myriad of attractions, Downtown Miami is the place to be. Located just across the bay from the port, it offers a convenient location for pre-cruise accommodations.


Downtown Miami is a bustling urban center that combines business, culture, and entertainment. Its skyline is adorned with towering skyscrapers, giving it a sleek and modern feel. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, you’ll find a range of accommodations to suit your needs.


One of the top attractions in Downtown Miami is the iconic Bayside Marketplace. This open-air shopping center overlooks Biscayne Bay and offers a wide selection of shops, restaurants, and live entertainment. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, indulge in some retail therapy, or savor delicious cuisine with a view.


If you’re interested in arts and culture, Downtown Miami is home to several renowned museums and cultural institutions. The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) showcases contemporary and modern art from around the world, while the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of world-class performances, including ballet, opera, and theater.


For sports enthusiasts, catch an NBA game at the American Airlines Arena, home to the Miami Heat. The arena also hosts concerts and other events throughout the year, offering a diverse range of entertainment options.


Downtown Miami is also known for its vibrant culinary scene. From upscale dining establishments to trendy food halls and hidden gems, you’ll find a wide variety of flavors and experiences to delight your taste buds. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some delicious Cuban cuisine in the nearby iconic neighborhood of Little Havana.


If you’re looking to explore the city beyond Downtown, the Metromover is a free transit system that connects various neighborhoods. Hop on a train and visit nearby areas like Brickell or Wynwood, known for their unique charm and cultural offerings.


Overall, Downtown Miami offers a vibrant and convenient location for pre-cruise accommodations. With its proximity to the port, a plethora of attractions, and a lively nightlife, it provides an exciting setting to kick-start your cruise experience.



If you’re looking for a sleek and modern neighborhood with a touch of luxury, Brickell is the perfect choice for your pre-cruise stay in Miami. Located just south of Downtown Miami, Brickell has quickly become a hotspot for upscale living, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.


Brickell is known for its impressive skyline, filled with towering condominiums and office buildings. It is often referred to as the “Manhattan of the South,” offering a stylish and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most luxurious hotels, making it an ideal option for those seeking a lavish stay before embarking on their cruise.


One of the main attractions in Brickell is the Brickell City Centre, a sprawling mixed-use complex that boasts high-end shops, dining options, and entertainment venues. Enjoy a shopping spree at designer boutiques, savor gourmet cuisine at world-class restaurants, or catch a movie at the state-of-the-art cinema.


For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Alice Wainwright Park offers a green oasis amidst the urban landscape. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade, enjoy a picnic with stunning views, or simply relax and soak up the Miami sunshine.


Brickell is also famous for its buzzing nightlife scene, with a variety of trendy bars, rooftop lounges, and dance clubs. Experience the vibrant energy as you dance the night away or enjoy a refreshing cocktail with panoramic views of the city skyline.


When it comes to dining, Brickell offers a diverse range of culinary experiences. From upscale eateries helmed by world-renowned chefs to casual waterfront cafes, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Indulge in a gourmet meal featuring international flavors or savor Miami-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients.


Brickell’s central location provides easy access to other areas of Miami, including Downtown and Coconut Grove. If you’re interested in exploring beyond Brickell, you can take a short drive or hop on public transportation to discover more of what Miami has to offer.


With its modern ambiance, luxury accommodations, vibrant entertainment options, and proximity to the port, Brickell offers the perfect blend of style and convenience for your pre-cruise stay in Miami.


Coconut Grove

If you’re looking for a charming and bohemian neighborhood with a laid-back vibe, Coconut Grove is the perfect choice for your pre-cruise stay in Miami. Located just south of Downtown Miami, this historic neighborhood offers a unique blend of nature, culture, and relaxation.


Coconut Grove, known locally as “The Grove,” is characterized by its lush greenery, tree-lined streets, and waterfront views. It is home to several parks and gardens, making it a haven for nature lovers. One of the highlights is the stunning Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a European-inspired estate featuring beautiful gardens, sculptures, and a breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay.


Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the streets of Coconut Grove and explore the bohemian shops, art galleries, and open-air cafes. The neighborhood has a vibrant arts scene, with various art festivals, live performances, and cultural events taking place throughout the year. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the CocoWalk, a popular outdoor shopping and dining center that offers a mix of upscale boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment options.


Coconut Grove is also known for its diverse culinary offerings. From international cuisines to local favorites, you’ll find a range of restaurants and eateries catering to every palate. Indulge in fresh seafood, savor authentic Cuban dishes, or enjoy a farm-to-table dining experience in one of the neighborhood’s charming eateries.


If you’re in the mood for some relaxation, head to one of the neighborhood’s beautiful parks. Peacock Park, located along the waterfront, offers serene views of the bay and features walking trails, picnic areas, and a playground. The Barnacle Historic State Park is another hidden gem, offering a glimpse into Miami’s early history with its preserved 19th-century home and lush surroundings.


Coconut Grove also provides easy access to nearby attractions. Take a short drive to Key Biscayne and explore the picturesque Crandon Park Beach or visit the Miami Seaquarium for a fun-filled day with marine life. Alternatively, you can take a scenic boat ride along the bay or rent a kayak to explore the waters at your own pace.


With its bohemian charm, natural beauty, and relaxed atmosphere, Coconut Grove offers a tranquil and unique pre-cruise stay in Miami. Immerse yourself in the neighborhood’s rich history, explore its vibrant arts scene, and enjoy the serenity of its lush surroundings before embarking on your cruise adventure.


Coral Gables

If you’re seeking a sophisticated and elegant neighborhood for your pre-cruise stay in Miami, Coral Gables should be on your list. Located southwest of Downtown Miami, Coral Gables is known for its upscale residential areas, lush landscapes, and Mediterranean-style architecture.


Coral Gables, often referred to as “The City Beautiful,” offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions. The neighborhood is home to the iconic Biltmore Hotel, a historic landmark known for its luxurious accommodations, world-class golf course, and stunning pool. Spend a day exploring the hotel’s grounds, relax by the poolside, or indulge in a spa treatment for the ultimate pampering experience.


One of the main attractions in Coral Gables is the picturesque Venetian Pool. Built in 1924, this historic swimming pool is a must-visit for its unique design and tranquil ambiance. Surrounded by lush foliage, waterfalls, and caves, it offers a refreshing oasis in the heart of the city.


Explore the charming Miracle Mile, the main commercial district of Coral Gables. This bustling street is lined with upscale shops, art galleries, and a variety of dining options. Discover local boutiques, browse art exhibitions, or sample international cuisine in one of the neighborhood’s renowned restaurants.


Coral Gables is also home to the University of Miami, a prestigious institution known for its beautiful campus and excellence in education. Take a leisurely stroll through the university grounds, appreciate the stunning architecture, or catch a sports game to experience the vibrant campus life.


For those interested in the arts, the Coral Gables Art Cinema showcases a curated selection of independent and international films. Immerse yourself in a cinematic experience that goes beyond the mainstream, and appreciate the art of storytelling on the silver screen.


Coral Gables also offers easy access to nearby attractions. Visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where you can explore expansive gardens filled with exotic plants and colorful blooms. Explore the historic Deering Estate, which features a stunning waterfront setting and offers guided tours of its rich history.


With its upscale ambiance, elegant architecture, and serene landscapes, Coral Gables provides a sophisticated and serene pre-cruise stay in Miami. Immerse yourself in timeless beauty, indulge in world-class amenities, and experience the charm of this elegant neighborhood before setting sail on your cruise adventure.


South Beach

When it comes to the quintessential Miami experience, South Beach takes center stage. Located at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, South Beach, or SoBe as it is affectionately known, is a vibrant and iconic neighborhood that offers a lively and energetic pre-cruise stay.


South Beach is synonymous with beautiful beaches, Art Deco architecture, and a vibrant nightlife. The area’s most famous street, Ocean Drive, features a picturesque promenade lined with colorful Art Deco buildings, trendy bars, and restaurants. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the strip, bask in the Florida sunshine, or grab a table at a sidewalk café to people-watch and soak up the energetic atmosphere.


The main attraction of South Beach is, of course, its stunning sandy beaches. With pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, it’s the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun, or take a refreshing dip in the ocean. Rent a beach chair and umbrella, enjoy water sports such as paddleboarding or jet skiing, or simply unwind under the swaying palm trees.


South Beach is renowned for its energetic nightlife scene, with world-famous nightclubs and bars that attract partygoers from around the globe. From trendy rooftop lounges to legendary clubs hosting top DJs, you’ll find plenty of options to dance the night away and create unforgettable memories.


Art enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of galleries and art installations in South Beach. Explore the Art Deco Historic District to admire the distinctive architectural style or visit the Art Deco Museum to learn more about its rich history. Additionally, a stroll down Lincoln Road, a pedestrian-friendly street bustling with shops, cafes, and galleries, is a must for any culture lover.


When it comes to dining, South Beach offers a diverse range of culinary experiences. From upscale restaurants run by celebrity chefs to eclectic beachside cafes, you can savor everything from international cuisine to fresh seafood and Latin-inspired dishes. Don’t miss the chance to try some mouthwatering Cuban food in the nearby historic neighborhood of Little Havana.


If you’re in the mood for shopping, the upscale boutiques of Collins Avenue and the bustling Lincoln Road Mall offer a wealth of options. From designer brands to unique local boutiques, you’ll find everything you need for a stylish pre-cruise shopping spree.


With its iconic charm, gorgeous beaches, pulsating nightlife, and vibrant energy, South Beach provides an unforgettable pre-cruise stay in Miami. Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of this world-renowned neighborhood and get ready for an incredible cruise adventure.


Little Havana

Step into the vibrant world of Cuban culture and heritage by staying in Little Havana for your pre-cruise experience in Miami. Located just west of Downtown Miami, Little Havana offers a lively and immersive neighborhood known for its rich Cuban influence.


Little Havana is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood that gives you a taste of Cuba right in the heart of Miami. Calle Ocho, the main thoroughfare, is the soul of this bustling neighborhood. As you walk along this iconic street, you’ll be captivated by the sounds of lively music, the aroma of strong Cuban coffee, and the sight of locals playing dominoes in Maximo Gomez Park.


Immerse yourself in the Cuban cultural experience by checking out the local shops and markets that line the streets of Little Havana. Here, you’ll find unique souvenirs, handmade cigars, vibrant artwork, and traditional guayabera shirts. Don’t forget to stop by El Credito Cigar Factory to witness the art of hand-rolling cigars, a classic Cuban tradition.


One of the highlights of Little Havana is the captivating street art found throughout the neighborhood. Take a stroll and admire the colorful murals that depict Cuban history, culture, and iconic figures. Each artwork tells a story and adds an artistic flair to the already lively atmosphere.


When it comes to food, Little Havana is a culinary paradise. Indulge in mouthwatering Cuban cuisine from the numerous restaurants and cafés that dot the area. From savory classics like ropa vieja and Cuban sandwiches to refreshing mojitos and cortaditos, your taste buds will be delighted with the authentic flavors of Cuban gastronomy.


Don’t miss out on the renowned Calle Ocho Walk of Fame, which pays tribute to influential figures such as musicians, artists, and actors who have made significant contributions to the Cuban community. Take a walk along the pathway and learn about the rich cultural heritage that has shaped Little Havana’s vibrant identity.


For an authentic Cuban experience, visit the Tower Theater, a historic movie theater that showcases a selection of Latin American and international films. Catch a show and immerse yourself in the world of Hispanic cinema.


Little Havana provides a unique and immersive pre-cruise stay, offering a delightful blend of Cuban culture, music, art, and cuisine. Experience the warmth and hospitality of the community, learn about the rich history, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere before setting sail on your cruise adventure.


Key Biscayne

If you’re looking for a tranquil and scenic pre-cruise stay in Miami, Key Biscayne is the perfect destination. Situated just off the coast, this idyllic island offers a serene and secluded escape from the bustling city.


Key Biscayne is known for its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Crandon Park Beach is a popular spot, offering soft sands, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and stunning views of the Miami skyline. Take a swim in the refreshing ocean, soak up the sun, or enjoy various water activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, or snorkeling.


For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a must. Explore the park’s trails that wind through mangroves and hammocks, marvel at the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, or take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic paths. The park also offers picnic areas, a fishing pier, and onsite rentals for bikes, kayaks, and even cabanas.


Key Biscayne is home to several prestigious golf courses, including the Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne and the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Golf enthusiasts can tee off amidst the lush landscapes while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean and city skyline.


If you’re seeking a cultural experience, visit the nearby Miami Seaquarium, where you can marvel at various marine life including dolphins, sea lions, and tropical fish. The Seaquarium also offers educational shows and interactive programs, providing a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.


When it comes to dining, Key Biscayne features an array of waterfront restaurants that offer delicious cuisine and stunning views. From fresh seafood to international flavors, you can enjoy a memorable dining experience accompanied by panoramic vistas of the ocean or the Miami skyline.


Key Biscayne is also conveniently located near the Port of Miami, making it an ideal pre-cruise stay. You can easily access the port for embarkation, ensuring a seamless transition from your island retreat to your cruise ship.


With its natural beauty, tranquil ambiance, and proximity to both nature and the port, Key Biscayne provides a peaceful and picturesque pre-cruise stay in Miami. Enjoy the island charm, soak in the breathtaking surroundings, and get ready to embark on your unforgettable cruise adventure.


Bal Harbour

If you’re seeking a luxurious and exclusive pre-cruise stay in Miami, Bal Harbour is the epitome of upscale elegance. Located on the northern tip of Miami Beach, this prestigious neighborhood is renowned for its high-end shopping, pristine beaches, and luxurious accommodations.


Bal Harbour is synonymous with luxury shopping, boasting the world-famous Bal Harbour Shops. This upscale open-air mall is home to an impressive collection of designer boutiques, including renowned fashion houses and iconic brands. From designer clothing and accessories to fine jewelry and exquisite home goods, you’ll find a curated selection of high-end offerings that cater to the most discerning shoppers.


Aside from shopping, Bal Harbour offers stunning beaches that provide a tranquil and serene setting. Relax on the pristine white sand, soak up the Florida sunshine, or take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The seclusion and beauty of the Bal Harbour beaches create a serene ambiance, allowing you to unwind and recharge before your cruise.


The neighborhood is also home to several luxurious hotels and resorts, ensuring a lavish and indulgent pre-cruise stay. With world-class amenities, elegant accommodations, and impeccable service, these properties provide a refined and pampering experience that complements the upscale atmosphere of Bal Harbour.


For dining, Bal Harbour offers a range of gourmet restaurants that showcase culinary excellence. From Michelin-starred chefs to innovative gastronomic experiences, you can delight in a variety of cuisines prepared with the finest ingredients. Indulge in delectable seafood, savor international flavors, or enjoy a romantic dinner with panoramic views of the ocean.


While mainly known for its luxurious offerings, Bal Harbour also boasts a serene beachfront park. Haulover Park offers a picturesque landscape with walking paths, picnic areas, and a marina. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll, have a picnic by the waterfront, or even try your hand at fishing.


Bal Harbour’s proximity to the Port of Miami, combined with its luxurious amenities and exclusive atmosphere, makes it a coveted pre-cruise destination. Immerse yourself in a world of luxury, enjoy the sophistication of the neighborhood, and prepare to embark on your cruise in utmost style and comfort.



Choosing the perfect place to stay in Miami before leaving on a cruise is essential to maximize your pre-cruise experience. From the vibrant beachfront of Miami Beach to the sophisticated streets of Coral Gables, Miami offers a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and attractions.


If you’re looking for sun-drenched beaches, trendy nightlife, and a bustling atmosphere, Miami Beach and South Beach are the ideal choices. Miami Beach offers a mix of luxurious resorts and boutique hotels, while South Beach provides the iconic Art Deco architecture and a vibrant nightlife scene.


Downtown Miami and Brickell cater to those who prefer a more urban and cosmopolitan ambiance. With their sleek skyscrapers, upscale shopping centers, and lively entertainment options, these neighborhoods provide convenience and easy access to the port.


If you’re seeking a quieter and more serene stay, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne offer a tranquil retreat. Coconut Grove is known for its bohemian vibe, lush parks, and artistic scene, while Key Biscayne boasts pristine beaches and abundant outdoor activities.


For a taste of authentic Cuban culture, Little Havana provides an immersive experience with its colorful streets, delicious cuisine, and vibrant art scene. And for those seeking opulence and luxury, Bal Harbour offers world-class shopping, upscale accommodations, and a refined atmosphere.


Whichever neighborhood you choose, Miami offers a pre-cruise experience that combines relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. From exploring vibrant neighborhoods and indulging in delicious cuisine to enjoying pristine beaches and engaging in outdoor activities, Miami sets the stage for an unforgettable prelude to your cruise adventure.


With its diverse options and vibrant energy, Miami provides the perfect pre-cruise getaway, allowing you to unwind, explore, and soak up the sun before embarking on your dream cruise. So, choose your ideal stay, pack your bags, and get ready to set sail on a memorable journey from the vibrant shores of Miami.