With F1 races in Austin (Texas), Las Vegas (Nevada), and now Miami (Florida), Formula One is fast gaining popularity in the United States, helped in part also by the Netflix series Drive To Survive.
Miami, with its great weather, is a popular race on the annual F1 calendar so let’s take a look at how to attend and what to expect, at the Miami F1 Grand Prix.
The Race Track
Miami F1 Race Track is a world-class motor racing destination located in the city of Miami, Florida, and is named the Autodrome.
The track was designed with technicality, speed, and entertainment as top priorities, making it one of the most challenging yet exhilarating tracks in the sport.
The track features a mix of long straights, fast corners, and slow chicanes, the track has been slightly modified several times to ensure optimal conditions for drivers and spectators alike.
This includes changes such as new runoff areas, modifications to the pit lane, and adaptation of curbs.
In addition to the F1 Grand Prix, the Miami F1 Race Track hosts several other motorsport events throughout the year such as NASCAR and IndyCar races.
>> More on the Miami Autodrome
How to Get to Miami Autodrome
The Grand Prix is held in the Miami Gardens district and around Hard Rock Stadium, with the track around 20 minutes from downtown and 25 minutes from the popular South Beach.
Because the track is set around a major stadium, infrastructure is already in place to get fans to the track and back home.
From the downtown area, you can jump on Metrobus line 297. This passes a number of major stations on the way to the track and will take around half an hour.
When the F1 is on in Miami, there are also normally shuttle services connecting the heart of the city to the racetrack for those with a grandstand ticket.
Uber, Lyft, and taxis are other options for getting directly and conveniently to the track from your hotel.
Lastly, there is parking, along with park-and-ride services if you want to drive to the track.
Traveling to Miami
Miami is served by three major airports making getting to Miami from abroad or from other U.S. cities, relatively easy.
The main airport is Miami International Airport and it receives over 1,000 daily flights from across the United States, while also being Miami’s primary hub for overseas flights.
If you are traveling from Europe and Latin America, you will find plenty of direct flights to Miami International Airport. From Europe, a flight direct to Miami will take around 7 to 10 hours.
After arriving, expect a 30-minute drive to the area around the racetrack.
The other two options are Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport.
Fort Lauderdale has some great options for domestic budget racegoers and is only 40km north of downtown Miami.
Palm Beach is a decent option but will come with an hour’s drive to the city.
In a country of over 300 million and where motor racing is popular, you can imagine that getting tickets is something you might need to do early.
The popularity of the event thus means that the general admission, grandstand, and VIP tickets sell out very quickly, once they go on sale.
Ticket options include one-day passes (including for practice sessions only or for race day).
You can also purchase a three-day pass to watch practice, qualifying, and race day (the recommended option to get the most out of the event).
The main grandstand understandably provides the best views of the racing. It is also one of the most expensive choices, but it will provide unforgettable views of the race start and key moments.
Other spots for catching the action include the Turn 1 and Marina grandstands.
Both overlook high-speed action points and tend to provide plenty of memorable moments.
Some of the cheaper seats can be found at the Family and Fountain grandstands.
If money is no object, then you can buy a pass to the Formula One Paddock Club or the Champions Club.
Both come with guest appearances, special events, and all-inclusive food and drink.
A Day at the Miami Grand Prix
OK, you’ve been patient. With your ticket in hand, you’re now ready to experience what’s sure to be an epic race weekend.
The grand prix is held in May, and at this time of year, you can expect to be drenched in temperatures of around 25 to 30 Celsius and with plenty of sunshine.
So, be sure to include a cap or sunhat and a bottle of sunscreen in your bag.
Before the cars even hit the tarmac, the fun for fans begins at the Kick-Off Concert held on Thursday night.
The action then flows into the following day as the Fan Zone, held within Hard Rock Stadium, welcomes fans with interactive fun that will help you feel a part of the action.
Afterward, it’s time to head to your seats and take in the race.
Qualifying takes place on the Saturday, with the race itself set, taking place on the Sunday afternoon.
Both bring another level of excitement for racegoers and another way to experience the Miami F1 GP.
Where to Stay in Miami
Miami has long been a popular tourist destination, so there is no shortage of hotels and hostels to service the influx of fans across the race weekend.
There are many parts of the city that will appeal to fans, especially if you want to combine some time at the beach with your time at the track.
South Beach is the most popular place to stay in Miami.
Home to Miami Beach and the famous Ocean Drive, you’ll have easy beach access, great food, restaurants, and bars.
While the city isn’t the best destination for budget travelers, you’ll find a number of hostels in this part of the city that will provide some comfort without blowing your budget.
Likewise, there is an abundance of upscale accommodations around South Beach.
But, if visiting for F1 weekend, I recommend booking as far ahead as possible to avoid hotel surcharges for the event.
Other areas to stay in the city include Downtown Miami.
Looking out to the channel, you will be able to find a number of major hotel brands with easy access to the Autodrome.
There is also the neighborhood of Wynwood, which has become a trendy part of town, with eclectic shopping, food, and culture.
Fort Lauderdale is another great option if you don’t mind staying a little further from the track. This comes with a famous beachfront and, while exciting, it’s more laid back than Miami.
Best Things to Do in Miami
Miami, Florida, is a wonderful city to experience for a few days, with plenty of interesting things to see and experience (in addition to the F1).
From the iconic South Beach area to the many museums and galleries in downtown Miami, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
1. See Ocean Drive
This iconic stretch of beachfront is known for its vibrant colors, lively atmosphere, and breathtaking views of the ocean.
Take your time to explore the area and enjoy the unique architecture and street art found in this historic part of town.
2. See the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
This elegant estate was built in 1916 as a winter retreat for industrialist James Deering and now serves as a museum showcasing an impressive collection of artifacts from around the world.
Spend an afternoon exploring this lush property, complete with formal gardens, terraces, and fountains that are sure to mesmerize every visitor.
3. Explore Little Havana
Little Havana is a vibrant neighborhood that is home to Cuban and Latin American culture in Miami.
Here you can find authentic Cuban cafes and restaurants, colorful cigar shops, and lively street performances throughout the day.
Take a tour of this unique area or simply relax with a cup of café con leche as you take in all the sights of this culturally rich part of town.
4. Experience Wynwood Walls
Wynwood Walls is a unique outdoor street art gallery located in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Art District.
This colorful area showcases over 60 murals painted by world-renowned artists from around the globe and includes vibrant colors and stunning designs.
Take your time exploring this creative space, which also features plenty of galleries and boutiques for those looking to pick up some unique souvenirs on their visit.
5. Browse the Lincoln Road Mall
The Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian-friendly strip of shops, restaurants, and cafes located in South Beach.
This trendy destination is perfect if you are looking to explore Miami’s shopping and dining scene as it offers everything from high-end boutiques to casual eateries.
Spend an afternoon browsing the many stores or take a break with a cup of coffee at one of the outdoor cafes.
6. Relax at Bayfront Park
Located in downtown Miami, Bayfront Park is a 30+ acre public park that features lush green spaces and beautiful views of Biscayne Bay.
Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront boardwalk or relax on one of the shaded benches while enjoying the tranquil surroundings.
You can also find a variety of activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing at this popular park.
7. Take an Airboat Ride Through Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is one of South Florida’s most unique attractions.
This 1.5 million-acre wetland preserve offers stunning views of native wildlife and birds that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Take an airboat tour to get up close with alligators, turtles, and exotic plants as you explore this amazing ecosystem.
8. Visit Miami Seaquarium
The Miami Seaquarium is located on Key Biscayne and features more than 8,000 aquatic animals from around the world.
This family-friendly attraction offers a variety of educational shows and exhibits, including the popular dolphins show and shark feeding demonstrations.
You can even take part in swimming with dolphins or sea lion encounters for an unforgettable experience.
9. Enjoy the Nightlife at Bayside Marketplace
Located on Miami’s downtown waterfront, Bayside Marketplace is a bustling outdoor shopping center that features an array of restaurants and shops.
After dark, this area transforms into one of Miami’s most popular nightlife destinations as it hosts live music performances, dance clubs, and rooftop bars to keep you entertained throughout the evening.
Sports Travel Booking Resources
Traveling around the world to watch & experience sports, I tend to always use the same resources for booking trips. These are the ones I use most frequently and that I find to have great customer support and competitive prices.
- Sports Event Tickets – Tickets for all sporting events
- Get Your Guide – is an excellent site as a one-stop shop for booking attractions, local tours, activities, and excursions. Great customer service and an easy-to-use site.
- Booking.com – The best site I have found for hotel and accommodation bookings.
- Flights – are also now offered by booking.com and as I love the brand this is my first port of call now for flights.
- Safety Wing Travel Insurance – I love Saftey Wing as they cover everything I need to be covered and they have a simple-to-use site, and again, I have found their customer service very good, when I needed to ask questions.
- Hostelworld – Book backpacker hostel rooms around the world with Hostel World.