When You Have Time to Kill at Miami International Airport: Things to Do, See, and Eat

People have a habit of groaning and grumbling when they get stuck at an airport. It’s not unreasonable. Airports by their very nature aren’t the most fun places to visit, especially with all the security and extra eyes seemingly on you at all times. But, when you’re a traveler and you have time on your hands waiting for your flight, it’s always fun to wander around, explore, and get to know the airport you’re stuck in. Miami International Airport (MIA) is one of those airports you don’t mind getting stuck in, provided it’s not for too long (like any airport). There’s plenty to keep the bored traveler occupied and satiated.

Food. Airports, MIA very much included, rarely have a shortage of food choices. MIA boasts well over a hundred dining options. Most of it’s what you’d expect, generic, pre-packaged, airport food, but when you’re on a schedule, fast food isn’t a bad way to go. Some quick choices include Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Manchu Wok, McDonald’s, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Pizza Hut, Quizno’s, and Wendy’s. They’re scattered all over, so walk in a straight line and you’re bound to run into one. Of course, if you’re looking for something different, you can stop by Au Bon Pain, which specializes in (fairly decent) sandwiches, though the options are more limited compared to full service Au Bon Pains.

Of course, if you’re looking for something (slightly) more substantial than your typical fast food, there are multiple bar and grills scattered about. There’s the Corona Bar & Grill (Mexican), Island Chicken Grill (Caribbean), Sbarro (Italian), Shula’s Bar & Grill (Burgers), and T.G.I. Friday’s. However, if you’re looking for something a bit classier, with food that doesn’t scream “airport food,” be sure to check out Beaudevin, a tapas bar. And if you’re craving something sweet, there’s Boca Bons, Cinnabon, and Häagen-Dazs! With so many food options, while it might not all be spectacular, you’ll certainly find something to fill you up. You’ll probably want to find a nice, quiet bench somewhere and take a short nap.

Drink. Then after your nap, you can hit up on of the many drink destinations such as Bacardi Mojito, Budweiser Brew House, or Heineken Bar. MIA is also home to a few airline lounges, Admirals Club/Premium Lounge (American Airlines) and Delta Sky Club (Delta Air Lines), so if you’re a ticket holder for one of those airlines, you can skip the hustle and bustle of the standard terminal bars. Just don’t drink and pilot.

And Everything Else. Shopping and art. While the shopping is what you’d expect for an airport—books, clothing, electronics—MIA also has art galleries you can browse. Exhibits change regularly, so there’s no telling what you might see In any case, there’s usually enough to see to keep most travelers occupied for the duration (an even more so) of their wait, provided that wait isn’t a delayed or canceled flight due to a hurricane.

Internet. . If you’re not interested in exploring, you’re just too tired and just want to spend your time browsing or streaming, MIA offers travelers wi-fi access. Unlike most airports MIA doesn’t offer free wi-fi, however—and this is a pretty important however—MIA’s network allows you to access specific information for free related to airport and travel information. If you do need to access the wi-fi network for anything else, the airport charges $4.95 for 30 minutes of access. If you think you’ll need more than 30 minutes, you can opt to pay a $7.95 fee which grants you a 24 hour block of access. It’s a little steep considering the prevalence of free wi-fi in public spaces, but given how many people may be trying to access the network, it’s understandable since it would require considerable bandwidth to function at usable speeds.

About the Author: Billy Chamberlin is an avid, frugal-minded traveler and writer who’s always on the lookout for travel deals wherever he might be, such as affordable Miami Airport Parking. When he’s not traveling on business, he strums away on the banjo and builds model spacecraft.

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This post was submitted by Billy Chamberlin.

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