With its fascinating history, unique artwork and vibrant murals, moving live music, and mouthwatering authentic Cuban cuisine, Little Havana will make you want to stay longer.
Located in Miami, Florida, Little Havana is a neighborhood with a strong Cuban influence.
Known as a hub of cultural, social, and political activity in Miami, its festivities are broadcast to millions of people throughout the globe.
Little Havana, named after Cuba's capital and largest city, Havana, is home to numerous Cuban exiles and immigrants from Central and South America.
Because of the influx of Cuban exiles in the 1960s, the region became fertile ground for counterrevolutionary action.
Nearly 85 percent of its residents were Cuban by 1970; rather than returning to Havana, where their former leader was still in charge, they settled in various parts of Miami for good.
Little Havana remained the primary entry point and a stronghold for new immigrants and companies owned by Cubans.
Small businesses, the political intensity, and a sense of community warmth are some of the characteristics of this neighborhood.
Little Havana was named one of the 11 Most Endangered Places in 2015 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
It was designated a national treasure by the Trust in 2017.
Experience Miami's Cuban-ness with the best things to do in Little Havana.
Check Out the Stars at Calle Ocho Walk of Fame
The Walk of Fame on Calle Ocho is just one of the numerous things to see and do in the neighborhood.
You may call it the Cuban counterpart of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, marked by pink marble stars.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame honors South Florida-born Latino celebrities. Celia Cruz, the legendary Cuban salsa singer, received the first star in 1987.
Since then, the pink marble stars have been bestowed onto more than 30 other notable Cubans, including Thalia, Gloria Estefan, Pablo Ral Alarcón, and Willy Chirino.
In Maximo Gomez Park, you'll find them between 12th and 17th Avenue, so keep an eye out as you make your way there.
Witness Stellar Performances at Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center
In the heart of Little Havana, the Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center sits right on the iconic Calle Ocho.
The Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center is a steadfast defender of traditional Cuban culture in Miami's Little Havana district.
From 1800 through the 1960s, the museum houses pre-revolutionary Cuban art and contemporary Cuban artists.
As a performing arts venue, the Cubaocho features Cuban music and dance.
More than that, you may buy many of the artifacts on display at the Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center.
Previous visitors recommend trying a mojito and a cigar here.
Tourists may dance the night away to live music while admiring the selected Cuban art, which visitors praised in the past.
Hang Out at Domino Park
This park is a local favorite named after Cuban revolutionary General Máximo Gómez.
Regulars may be seen drinking Cuban coffee, playing dominoes, and catching up with friends at any hour of the day or night.
Playing in the park has been a tradition for over 40 years, and spectators can expect intense competition, true Latin spirit, and friendly banter.
Members-only events tend to be the rule rather than the exception.
Domino Club members over the age of 50 can play for free, and they don't mind if you're there to watch.
The little park has tile paths painted with dominoes and chairs around the edge for onlookers.
As you walk inside this popular hangout, you'll see a large mural painted on the wall.
Presidents from all American countries are represented in Oscar Thomas' mural, painted in Miami for the inaugural Summit of the Americas in 1994.
Admire Works of Cuban Artists at Futurama 1637 Art Galleries
Little Havana's best art hangout is Futurama.
Established in 2011 to serve as a creative hub for the neighborhood, Futurama opened its doors to the public in 2012.
It aims to provide affordable workspace for great visual artists at all phases of their career development and educate the public about the contemporary visual arts and culture in Little Havana.
Futurama 1637 Art Galleries also host exhibitions and public outreach programs.
There are twelve studios for artists and five offices in the building.
Each month, there are art openings, concerts, and networking events.
See exclusive pieces by Cuban artists during the exhibition.
Futurama is open on weekdays.
The gallery is also open to applications from artists and curators.
Pay Tribute to Heroism at the Cuban Memorial Boulevard
Learn a little more about Cuban history by visiting this attraction.
Monuments and statues of heroes are on display at the Cuban Memorial and the ever-lit flame memorial.
Cuban Memorial Park, which stretches along 13th Ave just south of Calle Ocho, is home to several monuments honoring notable Cuban and Cuban American figures.
The Eternal Torch in Honor of the 2506th Brigade honors the exiles who lost their lives during the Bay of Pigs Invasion; a José Mart monument; and a Madonna statue that is said to be lighted by a shaft of heavenly light every day are among the tributes.
There's also a José Marti phrase on a map of Cuba.
One of the most sacred trees in Santeria is depicted in the middle of the map.
Celebrate the Vibrance of Cuban Culture at Viernes Culturales
One of Miami's most realistic glimpses into Hispanic arts and culture is held every third Friday of the month on Calle Ocho in Little Havana.
As a celebration of Calle Ocho's history and culture, join the fun in Viernes Culturales.
This monthly celebration of Cuban life takes over the stretch between the 13th and 17th avenues, where history, cuisine, music, dance, and art come together.
More than 4,000 visitors stroll the streets during this event as art galleries stay open late, local craftsmen sell their products, and residents play dominoes and roll authentic Cuban cigars.
Also, peruse the menu of various restaurants as they bring their tables outside!
Party with the Locals at Hoy Como Ayer
Visit Hoy Como Ayer for a taste of Cuban culture and Latin music.
It's a private club that focuses on Latin music to the utmost extent.
Salsa dancing and traditional Cuban dance and music are combined with Latin funk to create a unique blend of the past and the present.
You won't want to miss this if you like dancing!
Celia Cruz and Benny More paintings, stained glass, and vintage Cuban advertising decorate the wood-paneled walls.
It is possible to witness one of the top Latin Music acts at any given time.
On Thursdays, the house band, Spam Allstars, performs Latin-fusion music on a tiny stage near the bar's entrance.
A few Latin celebrities may even be lurking in the shadows, so be on the lookout if you want to take selfies with them or ask for their autographs!
Take Photographs with Little Havana Murals
Little Havana is a street art lover's dream come true.
The streets are awash in vibrant color, in addition to painted murals and mosaic tile murals.
Images of familiar Cuban icons like the rum-swilling Celia Cruz and the domino-playing poet Jose Marti are on one side.
On the other are portraits of the country's most famous exiles.
Make the most of the opportunity to photograph some of Miami's most famous artworks.
Famous street artist Atomik's "Cuba Libre" slogans and the red, white, and blue figure (who usually is orange since he resembles a Florida orange) are included.
Welcoming you to "Little Havana," this portion of Calle Ocho is located more than a mile away from the main area but is worth noting if you pass by.
If you're on the sidewalk with the painting in the backdrop, it's not difficult to snap a picture with the mural in the foreground.
Of course, some of them are more Instagram-worthy than others.
However, they're all worth capturing.
Learn Cigar Rolling at El Titan de Bronze
Cigars made in Cuba are known across the world.
El Titan de Bronze is the most well-known family-run Cuban cigar business in Little Havana.
It is a great place to see the art of cigar rolling in action.
Little Havana's El Titan De BronzeTM Cigar Mfg. has been in business since 1995.
Antonio Maceo Grajales was the inspiration behind the moniker El Titan De Bronze.
Maceo's troops began to refer to him as "The Bronze Titan" because of his incredible strength and resilience to bullet and sword wounds.
Some of the displays include tobacco leaves dangling from the ceiling, the masters' tools of the trade, which are razor blades for slicing, and water for sealing the wrapped joints.
Watch Latin Movies at MDC's Tower Theater
MDC's Tower Theater is one of the first cultural icons in Miami.
When it launched in 1926, the theater was the most technologically advanced in the southern United States.
Visiting the Tower Theater Miami was an opportunity for many Cuban ex-pats to learn more about American culture aside from simply enjoying the films.
In the beginning, the Tower Theater was the only place in Miami where you could watch English-language movies having Spanish subtitles.
As a result, it has been converted into a local movie theater that shows films in various languages from nations like Cuba, Latin America, and even Miami-based artists.
Cool Down at Azucar Ice Cream Company
Azucar Ice Cream, which opened its doors in 2011, is a melting pot of innovation and culture.
In the middle of the sensory assault on Calle Ocho, you can always search for the ice cream cone sculpture to help locate Azucar.
Its ice cream is naturally sweet since it only utilizes fresh, locally produced ingredients.
This small scoop store, located just below, serves you some authentically Miami tastes.
Cuban coffee and Oreo are delicious, but the most refined flavor here is Abuela Maria, prepared with guava and Maria cookies and served in the shape of a sundae.
You can eat it behind a large portrait of Celia Cruz while sitting on a guayabera-made seat, just in case you haven't realized you're in Little Havana.
Enjoy Authentic Cuban Cuisines at Versailles
Versailles is widely regarded as the world's most famous Cuban restaurant and is a must-visit in Little Havana.
You may eat traditional Cuban food here, and the tastes will transport you directly to the country's capital.
Is it even possible to be in Little Havana if you haven't had a Cubano at Versailles?
One of Little Havana's most well-known landmarks is its famed coffee window, crowded with ex-pats and lovely older adults savoring their morning brews.
In addition to politicians seeking support from the local Cuban exile population, the restaurant is a favorite of the journalists who want to get the community's perspective on current social and political events.
Indulge in Fresh Fruits Offered by Los Pinarenos Fruteria
Traditional Miami fare, including mangos, mameys, guanabana, and coconut, is available at this open-air fruit market.
Your fresh "Batido" smoothie will arrive at the sound of street roosters.
Mix and combine an assortment of fruits and vegetables, or just tell one of the two brothers that manage it what you want, and they will whip up a bespoke batch of your favorite dish especially for you at this location.
The bar's "Green Juice," produced with actual sugarcane, is a popular drink.
The tamale, a tiny Cuban sandwich, and the handmade tuna are just a few of the mouthwatering dishes available at this cash-only hotspot.
Coffee Cubano prepared by the house woman will make you feel as if it's your own Abuela feeding you.
Back in the store, you'll discover a fruit orchard, chicken coops, and even Tuco The Pig, the shop's mascot.
Bring Home Interesting Items from La Casa de los Trucos
In addition to costumes and gags, La Casa de los Trucos sells a wide variety of joke accessories.
Here, you can find everything from animal and cartoon costumes to movie and rockstar outfits.
Customers flock to it during the Halloween season, which means you may have to wait in line for quite a while.
This bizarre shop has been featured in publications like the Miami Herald and Miami New Times "Best of Miami" over the years.
The Miami New Times and other media outlets have also recognized it as the best costume shop in Miami.
Dine with a View at Terras
Terras is Little Havana's lone rooftop bar and restaurant.
It is tucked away from the main drag on Calle Ocho, yet it provides spectacular views of Brickell, its glitzier neighbor just east.
Bistro lights adorn its retro-tiled interior, dotted with large umbrellas and couches.
Additionally, there's a rooftop herb garden from which the numerous plant-based meals on the menu are garnished, with a wide variety of fresh vegetables and herbs.
Indulge yourself with a mezcal drink while nibbling on the fresh and flavorful vegetable-forward dishes, such as grilled mushrooms and heirloom tomato salad.
Little Havana accurately depicts the Hispanic community's values and traditions.
Head to this charming community for authentic Cuban food, a strong coffee, a Cuban cigar, Latin festivals, or an intense game of dominoes!