Things You Don’t Want to Miss on Your Trip to Miami Beach | Vegan Food and Toddler Activities

sand and ocean of Miami Beach

My family got to try so many good vegan restaurants on our trip to Miami Beach. In this post I share everything you need to know about visiting. There were things my family experienced on our trip that would benefit you if you plan to travel there. After reading this you will know what to expect from the best beaches, to what to expect in terms of traffic and parking fees.

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things to do in Miami Beach palm trees on the beach

What You Need To Know

  • Overall if you plan on driving places it will take you a while due to all of the traffic lights even though things aren’t super far distance wise.
  • We experienced the worst drivers and pedestrians out of all the places we have traveled.
  • There will be luxury vehicles, yachts, and water everywhere.
  • Most of the beaches we experienced have kelp on the shore.
  • You will pay to park everywhere.

The Everglades

everglades lilypad

Just a short drive from Miami Beach, this is a fun excursion you don’t want to miss. We chose to go to the Everglades Safari Park on the airboat eco adventure. Upon arrival we noticed bugs flying everywhere and proceeded to apply our sunscreen and hydrosol. We then found out that the bugs were harmless love bugs which are a thing in Florida apparently!

airboats on everglades

We visited on a weekday morning, so there weren’t many people. Unfortunately, we had to wait around an hour just to go out on the boat. I think they didn’t want to just take us out alone unless it was a private tour. Once you get on the airboat, the driver will pass out little ear plugs. This is because the boat can be pretty loud.

everglades

My toddler and husband didn’t keep the earplugs in, so if you have a little one who may be sensitive to the sound these would have been great to bring. This was our toddler’s first boat ride, and he loved it! It wasn’t too long of a trip, and he enjoyed getting to see the alligators. Make sure you bring snacks for the car ride.

Snacks

Beaches

Sunny Isles

We had to pay for parking. This was a nice beach with lifeguards and a boardwalk. I also liked that there was a shower so we could rinse off before getting in the car.

Dad holding toddler while walking on trail

Crandon Park

This is a great park with so much to explore! It has been named one of the top beaches in the nation. The crystal clear water of Key Biscayne is totally worth the drive. Even if its a rainy day there is a playground for your little ones to enjoy. It was a super windy day when we made this trip, so we got to see all of the kite boarders.

Around the park we saw iguanas everywhere. There were many nature trails and even a nature center. Our toddler loved getting to touch, see, and explore some of the wildlife. You could easily spend a full day here.

Miami fish tank

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

toddler running towards lighthouse

We drove here in hopes of seeing the lighthouse and were disappointed that it wasn’t even open to go inside. The beach here has perfect calm waters for little ones to play in. Our toddler decided that he mainly likes to chase birds and play in the sand this last beach trip.

miami ocean view

Miami Beach

sand and ocean of Miami Beach

If you have a toddler I highly recommend staying at a condo on the beach. It gives you convenient access and usually comes with amenities such as chairs and umbrellas. This is the best way to avoid all of the parking fees and travel time it takes to drive. Plus, you might not even need to rent a car.

child playing in the sand at Miami Beach

You can come and go easily for nap time and cook at home when you rent a place with a kitchen. We stayed at the ocean pavilion that had beautiful ocean views from the balcony, valet parking, and showers located outside for you to rinse off. They even included fun beach toys for our toddler to play with.

Miami Beach taco and bowl with ocean balcony view

We took our trip during the end of April/beginning of May. It rained off and on, so staying right on the beach made it easy for us to come and go as the weather allowed. This is the perfect time of year to come if you’re looking for warm weather with little to no crowds.

Toddler Activities

toddler holding coconut on Miami Beach

Our toddler loves to play with balls, but we didn’t have any on this trip. It was easy to find a coconut and toss it around. He also loved just running around in the sand. This helped him run out energy and sleep well.

  • Read books
  • Bring a couple toy cars from home
  • Play in the sand
  • Chase birds
  • This sticker book makes for hours of entertainment
  • It always helps to have something new for your child to play with

Vegan Food

ft Lauderdale vegan restaurant

Copper Branch

After a day of travel, I was so glad to find this place. When we find a good vegan place we want to try everything. The food here was pretty good, but not the best of all the places we tried. Our favorite thing we tried here was their mushroom galaxy burger on a gluten free bun.

Full Bloom Vegan

Miami Beach vegan arepas

This gourmet vegan cuisine had a nice outdoor patio and good selection of creative meals. It was actually the first vegan restaurant in Miami Beach. Pro tip: do not come at your toddlers bedtime. Also, be prepared to pay for parking literally everywhere in Miami.

Holi Vegan

Miami vegan restaurant

This is another restaurant that was not far from Sunny Isles beach. This was in our top two favorite places we tried while visiting Miami. The aesthetic is great, but the food was even better. There was not a thing we tried that we didn’t like.

Della Bowls Wynwood

things you don't want to miss on your trip to Miami Beach vegan food

Unfortunately, there is no longer a location in Wynwood. I loved the outdoor seating and open area for our toddler to play while we ate. You can create your own bowl or buy one off the menu. Both of ours were delicious, and it was just a short drive from Miami Beach.

Plant Theory

I wouldn’t take a toddler to this restaurant. There was a designated smoking section, but the atmosphere was that of a bar or club. We sat outdoors, and the food was great. The egg bacon burger and nacho libre were so good. This is one of the restaurants closes to Miami Beach.

Screaming Carrots

I don’t even like salads, but the one pictured below was on point. It was so simple with the best dressing. We also tried chickpea scramble for the first time here. It was v delicious! If you visit Sunny Isles beach this restaurant isn’t far.

vegan salad at Miami Beach restaurant

Vshops

maimi beach vshops patio

If you make the drive to Bill Baggs, this is not a far trip and well worth it. They had plenty of seating and even a little section with a play kitchen for little ones. We had vegan gluten free doughnuts and cinnamon rolls! I loved that there were so many options of different food to try from various restaurants.

Love Life Cafe

love life cafe in Miami

When we arrived to this restaurant it looked so shady we almost left. There was an alley with graffiti on the walls and the shops nearby looked pretty sketch. Let me tell you though, this was by far in the top two of the places we ate at here. The food was on point, and the people who worked there were super friendly.

To see all of the specifics of the food we got at each restaurant make sure you’re following my food instagram account @doctorvegan.

Packing Essentials

  • This insulated backpack is perfect for any trip you take. We were able to keep our snacks cold during road trips, flights, and while at the beach. You can take this camping or on a hike.
  • A trip to Miami wouldn’t be complete without a cute beach bag to carry all of your essentials in.
  • These travel spice containers are essential if you plan on staying at a condo or cooking on your trip to save time and money.
  • If you have a young child uv swim gear is the way to go. We have never dealt with a sunburn yet while putting these on our toddler along with re-applying sunscreen while outdoors.

Check out my Maui travel guide for more packing tips!

If you enjoyed this post about Miami Beach and found it helpful please share it so others can benefit too. Comment below if you have any other tips you would add for someone who may be visiting.

best Miami things to do beach with umbrella
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