The park began construction in 1924 under the design plans of Warren Henry Manning and officially opened in March 1925. Beginning in 1980, it underwent a major redesign by Japanese-American modernist artist and landscape architect, Isamu Noguchi. Today, Bayfront Park is maintained by the Bayfront Park Management Trust, a limited agency of the city of Miami.
Bayfront Park is bordered on the north by Bayside Marketplace and the American Airlines Arena, on the south by Chopin Plaza, on the west by Biscayne Boulevard and on the east by Biscayne Bay. Bayfront Park is host to many large events such as the New Year's ball drop, Christmas celebrations, concerts, the Bayfront Park Amphitheater, the Tina Hills Pavilion, as well as boat tours around Biscayne Bay.
Seven blocks north is Bayfront Park's partner park, the 30-acre (0.12 km2) Bicentennial Park.
On February 15, 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was shot three times in the chest and mortally wounded while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in front of Bayfront Park by assassin Giuseppe Zangara. Along with Cermak, who died of his wounds 19 days later, four other people were hit by the gunman, one of whom also died. A serious debate has ensued as to whether Zangara had been actually trying to assassinate Roosevelt instead of Cermak, however no firm evidence has been found out to prove this theory.
Bayfront Park holds the city's annual "America's Birthday Bash" on Independence Day, which attracted over 60,000 visitors in 2011. The park also hosts the city's official New Year's Eve party that annually hosts over 70,000 visitors. Visitors are encouraged to take public transport for events at Bayfront Park as parking can be scarce and expensive. The nearest Metrorail station is Government Center. From there a connection to the Metromover is available with three stops near the park, Bayfront Park, First Street, and College/Bayside. It also holds the Ultra Music Festival which goes on for 3 days and has seen attendance of 55,000 people each day and 165,000 people over the three days.
The large fountain on Biscayne Bay is a landmark in the park.
Caesar LaMonaca, was a composer and band leader for the City of Miami. His band gave musical performances in its Bayfront Park from 1928-1978. LaMonaca ended his lengthy tenure as the city’s musical maestro in 1978, after falling from the podium during a performance and breaking his hip.
The Klipsch Amphitheatre at Bayfront Park (formerly the Bayfront Park Amphitheater) has a seating capacity of 10,000 people: 2,672 fixed benches and 7,328 in the lawn. The Tina Hills Pavilion is an open air pavilion with a seating capacity of 1,000 people: 200 fixed seats and 800 in the lawn.