Miami needs no explanation as to why it’s among the best spring break destinations in the country: its warm-water, white sand beaches are top-notch, and celebrities regularly turn up popping-bottles in the youth-mecca nightclubs in South Beach along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.
While the glitz and glam is, indeed, everywhere, Miami is also a bustling, vibrant collection of neighborhoods, with no shortage of free and inexpensive activities for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.
Miami Beach has the most 1920s and 1930s art deco buildings in the U.S.--over 800. Join a walking tour, or simply wander down Ocean Drive between 5th and 17th streets and marvel at the gorgeous architecture for free.
Twice a month, New World Symphony offers free Wallcasts concerts, projected onto a 7,000 square foot ball of a Frank Gehry building. Or, watch movies like The Wizard of Oz and The Goonies under the stars at the free SoundScape Cinema Series.
The Wynwood Arts District features outdoor murals by respected graffiti artists, with its galleries opening their doors—and serving drinks—on the second Saturday of the month to artists, art buyers and passers-by.
Stop by Little Havana—a vibrant neighborhood with Cuban cafes, Maximo Gomez Park (known as Domino Park), and Paseo de las Estrellas (like the Hollywood Walk of Fame)—on the last Friday of the month for Viernes Culturales, which includes dancing, dominos, cigar rolling, and free walking tours.
Think you have the stuff to hold a baby gator? Prove it at the Everglades Alligator Farm, where you can also watch alligator and snake handling shows. Or take an airboat tour instead.
While, hotels can get expensive, Miami is frequently featured sites on like Groupon Getaways, Living Social Escapes, and Jetsetter, as well as Priceline.com. Get stylish bang for your hotel buck with The South Beach Group which offers small but stylish rooms for as low as $178/night.