They call Miami the Magic City for good reason. Sandwiched between the lush Everglades and the sparkling Florida Keys, it’s a town that really knows how to party. Get down to Miami Beach on a scorching afternoon and you’ll see what we mean – there are Art Deco clubs and purring Cadillacs prowling the palm-speckled boulevards. Beyond that is a sprawling metropolis that lurches from the chic to the gritty. Head to Coconut Grove and you’ll catch millionaire mansions dropping into the pearly waters of Biscayne Bay. Go to Little Havana and there are paint-peeling cantinas plumed in cigar smoke and jiving to Cuban jazz. Throw in markets, museums, and all the natural wonders of the southern Sunshine State and you’ve got one darn enticing destination.
Airbnb is a great source of accommodation in this happening town on the side of the Atlantic. It has hundreds of listings, which go from boutique hotel suites to high-rise condominiums to cozy beach shacks near the cotton-white sands. You also might find that Airbnbs in Miami come in cheaper than conventional hotels, leaving you with a few more dollars for those Cuban club sandwiches and tours of the Everglades.
Airbnb is completely legal in Miami. As a traveler looking to hit the sparkling sands and strut the seaside promenades, you can feel free to browse and book whatever surf-view condo or sleek villa you like.
Hosts do have to stick to some pretty strict rules. They’re laid out by the local county authority. Provisions included in the laws mean that some areas of the metropolis have designated districts where short-term lets are allowed, and others where they’re not. That’s particularly true on Miami Beach, where you’ll notice that a lot of the options are either clustered close together or in already established hotels. Property owners must also register their listing and display their registration number online.
Where should I stay in Miami Airbnb?
There are oodles of amazing districts in Miami that you’ll want to consider when looking for that perfect Airbnb. Lots of people will try to score a pad in the immersive area of Little Havana(1). It is a corker, what with Cuban rum joints and jazz bars aplenty. Wynwood(2) and the Miami Design District(3) are better for touring the art galleries and sipping cocktails in cool bars. To have one of Florida’s most famous beaches outside your door, there’s nothing for it but Miami Beach(4). Then comes Coconut Grove(5), filled with history and stylish boutiques, or Downtown(6), which is grittier and more businesslike. Finally, the Upper Eastside(7) beckons with flea bazaars and parks on the side of Biscayne Bay.
Oozes Cuban character
Loads of great Caribbean food
Not very many Airbnbs at all
Can seem a bit touristy at points
Little Havana is famed all over the USA as one of the most characterful neighborhoods of Miami. It grew in the 1960s as a place for exiles from Castro’s Cuba to settle in the United States. Many of the families are now second and third generation, but the area has kept its unique Hispanic feel. You’ll see cigar-puffing oldies playing dominoes in the parks. You’ll munch on fat Cuban sub sandwiches from the old-style delis. You’ll get to samba your way through annual festivities like the Calle Ocho in March. On top of that, Little Havana is super close to Downtown for more shopping and nightlife.
Arty Wynwood has established itself as one of the city’s coolest corners. It’s got sights like the Wynwood Walls graffiti murals (a whole park of kitschy street art) and the contemporary works of the Margulies Collection (a thought-provoking modern art gallery). More than anything it’s about life on the buzzy streets. They’re fringed with jalapeno-scented taquerias and creative microbreweries, bohemian beer outlets and artisanal bakers. You won’t go hungry in these parts, whether for food or for entertainment.
The Miami Design District is closely linked to nearby Wynwood (see above). Bursting with contemporary art exhibits, photography galleries, and ambitious street installations, it’s an area to wander and wonder at all the culture. But the neighborhood, which spreads roughly between N Miami Ave and 2nd Avenue is also a major shopping spot. It’s packed with upscale boutiques in the ilk of Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and has its fair share of elegant cocktail and champagne lounges. You might need to fork out a little more for an Airbnb that’s close to all that.
Without further ado…Miami Beach – the area you’ve all been waiting for. There are loads of reasons this one’s up there with the best places to stay in Miami. It’s a salt-washed, happening resort district that’s been famous since the roaring 20s. Get ready to see lovely vintage Art Deco buildings and bars down Ocean Drive, along with the spires of shiny new condominiums (they host some of the best sea-view Airbnbs in the city). Of course, one of the top draws of Miami Beach is the beach itself. It’s a corker, with talcum sands running for over 13 kilometers as it rolls north to the town of Surfside.
Coconut Grove is one of the oldest parts of Miami city. It’s known for its relaxed, residential vibes and upscale character. The streets stand out because of how green they are. You’ll often be strolling under a gnarled cypress tree draped in vines and speckled with orchids. The jewel in the crown of The Grove – as it’s known to locals – has to be Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (one of Florida’s most prestigious houses). South of that, you can get to the indoor-outdoor malls of the CocoWalk shopping precinct, yacht-filled marinas, and even some 100-year-old streets laden with historic landmarks.
The forest of high-rises that sprouts from the side of Biscayne Bay just opposite the cruise terminal is known as Downtown Miami. It’s a mix of strait-laced business and cultural activity, with retro venues like the Olympia Theater rubbing shoulders with brand banks and financial centers. Some of the best-loved parts of the district are closer to the water, where Bayside Marketplace and the Bayfront Park gaze out towards Miami Beach. Condos here can offer good bang for your buck, and they’re really well connected to the rest of the city.
Spilling out of the eastern half the Carib-cool district of Little Haiti, the Upper Eastside is one if the Magic City’s lesser-known quarters. It’s been making some serious waves in recent years with an all-new glut of great eateries and al fresco drinking spots, many of which host experimental DJs and bands on the weekends. We especially like the mix of urban and natural draws. You can spend the morning buying organic veg at the Upper Eastside Farmer’s Market and while away the afternoon watching the waters of Biscayne Bay lap against Legion Park.
No matter how many times you gawp at the pictures, we don’t think there’s anything that will prepare you for the view from the balcony of this uber-cool condo in Miami Beach. Close to bustling Lincoln Road, it has a veranda that looks straight out towards the sugary sands and the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. Inside, there are minimalist, hi-tech kitchen fittings and a spacious bedroom-lounge with air conditioning.
The garden is what catches the eye at this four-bedroom home between the Upper Eastside and Little Haiti. It’s lush and packed with waxy, subtropical flowers and palm trees. Oh, and there’s a broiling hot tub where you can kick back and relax after a day of touring Miami’s Cuban cigar shops. That’s not to say the inside is bad. It most certainly isn’t. You’ll find a bright and breezy lounge-diner with surf paraphernalia dotting the walls. Lovely.
Located right in the thick of the culture-rich and restaurant-packed MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, this 10-person house should be enough for even the largest of families. It’s done out in modern styles with a whiff of Caribbean design in the wood-beamed ceilings and colorful artworks. Bedrooms are divided into doubles and twins, so there’s sleeping arrangements to suit all sorts of groups.
On the cusp of vibrant Little Havana, this big townhouse come villa has everything you might need for a memorable stay in the Magic City. Behind the walls of the white-washed bungalow is a large lounge and kitchen area with a breakfast bar and double fridge. That’s backed up by a dining room and six individual bedrooms. Outside is the piece de resistance, though, what with a freestanding pool and lots of al fresco eating space to enjoy as a party.
Miami isn’t the cheapest city to visit in the USA, so the Bed N’ Drinks Hostel might be just what you’ve been searching for. It helps you save some dollars for nights out down Ocean Drive – which isn’t actually too far away – by offering single beds in shared dorms of around eight people. There’s a real backpacker vibe about the establishment, with communal dining spaces and a big front terrace where you can meet and mingle with other travelers.
There’s a good chance that you’ll find an Airbnb in Miami is easier on the travel budget than your usual hotel. Why? Well…these pads are often designed with groups in mind. They have multiple bedrooms and capacity for up to 16 people, which is great if you’re sharing out the cost of the booking! More than that, Airbnbs will usually have self-catering facilities (cooking is typically cheaper than dining out in Miami). Oh, and there are regular discounts for stays of between a week and a month.
The downside is that you won’t have the same sort of five-star service that hotels strive to give. Valet parking, on-site lobby bars, a concierge – these are the frills of a hotel. If that’s what you’re craving, how about somewhere like the Habitat Brickell I Sextant? Highly rated and seamlessly merged with the happening arts and shopping areas of Coral Way, you’ll get contemporary rooms, access to an outdoor pool, and even a hot tub there.
Make sure your bucket-list jaunt to Miami is exactly how you want it to be by seeking out Airbnbs in some of the city’s most buzzy quarters, whether that’s jazzy Little Havana or sand-speckled Miami Beach.