You’ve arrived in Miami with a sunny disposition and then the skies open up in a downpour. As seasons go, summertime in South Florida is known for its spotty mid-afternoon showers to monsoon storms, clearing out around 5 pm. But as any savvy traveler will tell you, weather shouldn’t put a damper on your trip.
From plush movie theaters and sprawling shopping centers to laid-back bars, fun gaming spots and fascinating attractions, here’s all you can do in Miami on a rainy day.
Chill at the Movies
Watching back-to-back movies is an easy way to kill a few hours. Virtually every shopping center in Miami has a multiplex. However, these three top our list for their wide array of amenities that make it so much better to go to the movies than "Netflixing and chilling" inside the hotel room.
The Mexican-based chain Cinemex, recently opened its first U.S. location at Brickell City Centre. The new CMX features 10 screens and two bars. Sample dishes from their in-seat culinary options include Alaskan king crab roll, Cuban egg rolls and a delcious piña colada cake. Fancy a cocktail with your food? On-site mixologists are ready to craft artisanal cocktails made with rum, whiskey and other spirits.
Like CMX, iPic Theaters is another luxury moviegoing experience. Tucked inside the Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach, iPic guests select from two types of seating: Premium and Premium Plus. Premium ticket holders can opt for regular or chaise lounge seats while Premium Plus offers full-leg reclining leather seats inside a private viewing pod, courtesy pillows, blankets and unlimited popcorn. Before and after the movie, you can pop into The Tuck Room, a modern speakeasy helmed by three-time James Beard Award-winning chef Sherry Yard and enjoy a cool drink and gourmet bites.
For indie film fans, O Cinema stands out from the mainstream crowd. With locations in Miami Beach, Wynwood and Miami Shores, O Cinema offers a schedule of first-run indie, foreign, art and family-friendly films. If the rain catches you in Miami Beach, after the movie you can pop into cafes nearby, likewise in Miami Shores. In Wynwood, the theater is seven minutes from the Wynwood Walls, Shops at Midtown Miami and the Miami Design District.
Life can be draining especially when the rain ruins beach plans. For ultimate relaxation on a rainy day, spend hours at a wellness retreat where you can get mani/pedis, massage therapy, a stylish blowout and primped for a night on the town.
Step inside the peaceful haven of the British Bamford Haybarn Spa at the 1 Hotel South Beach where you will be catered to from head-to-toe with natural and organic products from a curated menu of treatments. Book the Blissful Haybarn Day to spend half a day indulging in a body scrub, facial, massage and lunch.
Escape the bustle of South Beach at the spa at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. In addition to the spa's brand new look, the spa also introduced new signature treatments that celebrate Miami's vibrant Latin heritage. Try the Rhythm Massage, an energizing full body massage set to the rhythms of salsa, flamenco and Spanish guitar that uses mojito or piña colada scented oils for a full sensory experience. Or get dolled up at the spa's full-service salon.
In Miami, shoppers flock to the malls—Aventura Mall, Dolphin Mall and Brickell City Centre—when it rains. Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes to walk millions of square feet and the hundreds of luxury boutiques and contemporary brand stores.
Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s, Aventura Mall's luxury retailers include Givenchy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and CHANEL. An Apple and Microsoft Store, is here too in case you need to replace your smartphone or laptop.
If that isn't enough, the mall offers visitors the opportunity to explore the world of books through a partnership with the Little Free Library Book Exchange. Stop at the Concierge Center and Visitor Center to grab a book to read while visiting the mall or take it with you. Once you are done, return it or donate it for another one.
At Brickell City Centre there’s more high-end browsing. BCC offers luxury boutiques in addition to newcomers in the U.S. retail market including Bruno Magli, Acqua di Parma and Mirto.
Shoppers on a budget can head to the Dolphin Mall for affordable retail therapy. As thousands of tourists toting empty suitcases can attest, there are loads of bargains to be had, from popular brands like Saks OFF Fifth and Neiman Marcus Last Call to the Gap and Armani Exchange. Visitors traveling farther than 50 miles are welcome to pick up a “Passport to Shopping” with discounts and offers to more than 80 stores, from the Visitor Center.
Games: Billiards and Bowling
Who knows why pool halls get a bad reputation when the game was started by nobles in the 15th century. Churchill's Pub and Lost Weekend, two local hangouts in Little Haiti and South Beach, respectively, are here to debunk the stereotype. Both are known for their good food, cheap beer and a laid-back vibe, which makes up brilliantly for the divey décor.
Take in a pool game and local bands at Churchill's Pub and sports games at all hours of the day at Lost Weekend when the downpours roll in.
Other sports-oriented hot spots include the bowling alleys that have morphed into all-in-one sports bars, trendy nightclubs and gaming centers. Kings Bowl Miami-Doral, Basement Miami and Splitsville are a few places stepping up their bowling game.