12 Hours in Miami

On my way to Europe this past summer, I had a 12-hour layover in Miami. Eager to get out of the airport + explore, I made sure to use-up every minute I had of exploration time and I’m already itching to go back and adventure around the ocean-side city.

South Beach

I’ve put together a list of some places I was able to visit during my short stay + a few extras that you can squeeze into your own itinerary. Enjoy!

Kuva Miami Airport

First things first, coffee! We made a stop at the (decently priced for an airport) Kuva Miami and enjoyed copious amounts of coffee and breakfast foods. It was delicious, the service was speedy and it was just what we needed after an early morning flight.

Next, we checked our luggage into the MIA Baggage Storage area which was so worth the $12 for the day. If you’re wondering how much it’d be to store your luggage for the day, you can find their complete list of pricing, here. It’s conveniently located at Central Terminal E (Level 2) and it’s open from 5am-9pm.

Airport Floor in Miami

After dropping off our too-heavy bags, we called an Uber to take us into the city. I don’t think Uber is cleared for the airport in Miami (Uber isn’t available for airport pick-up rides in many cities), but we didn’t know and the driver agreed to meet us at the pick-up zone right outside of the baggage storage area.

Las Olas Cafe

I love to ask locals what they prefer to do and where they prefer to dine in the city I’m traveling to, so was pleased when the driver told me the touristy sandwich shop I was going to try wasn’t all that great + offered to drop us off at an authentic Cuban place right in the heart of the city. I eagerly accepted his offer + he told us how to get to other great places I wanted to explore in the area– he was such a huge help + I’m grateful we had him to help us orchestrate our time-crunched day in Miami!

Las Olas Cafe Review

The place he told us to try was a little hole-in-the-wall named Las Olas Cafe and we were pleasantly surprised. We kept saying how funny it was that we weren’t even in Europe yet though and already felt so out of our element! The workers spoke little English and we had to go down the line quickly among the locals in a hurry to get their food in hopes that we were choosing yummy choices. It all worked out + we decided to split authentic Cuban pork, white rice and veggies.

South Beach Miami Layover

After leaving Las Olas, we walked to South Beach and took in the colorful hotels, white sand and warm Florida sunshine. It was just the nice walk we needed before having to sit on our transatlantic flight that evening!

Colorful Miami

We I also did a little shopping at the stores nearby and it did not disappoint. If I would have had more room in my backpack, it would have been dangerous!

Garrett wanted to rest at the airport before our flight, so we took off a bit early– I can’t wait to explore this vibrant city in length in the future!

This would be my go-to guide:

Layover in Miami

What should I do next time I make it to Miami?