Sun-kissed beaches and art-deco beauties make an alluring backdrop to Miami’s other charms – a burgeoning arts scene, creative cuisine and blazing nightlife.
Architectural Jewel Box
Even if there was no beach, Miami would still have undeniable allure. The gorgeous 1930s hotels lining Ocean Dr are part of the world’s greatest collection of art-deco buildings. Tropical motifs, whimsical nautical elements and those iconic pastel shades create a cinematic backdrop for exploring the streets of Miami Beach. Of course, you don’t have to see these architectural beauties at arm’s length. Lavishly restored, Miami’s art-deco and mid-century modern hotels are also the playground for locals and out-of-towners alike, with sunny poolside terraces, artfully designed dining rooms and plush nightclubs.
Creativity, Miami Style
Chalk it up to Miami’s diverse population, or perhaps its love of always being on the cutting-edge. Whatever the reason, creativity is one of the great hallmarks of this city. From art and design to global cuisine, Miami remains ever on the search for bold new ideas, which manifest themselves in surprising ways. You’ll find brilliantly inventive chefs blending Eastern and Western cooking styles, sustainably designed buildings inspired by South Florida ecosystems and open-air galleries where museum-quality artwork covers once derelict warehouses. The one constant in Miami is its uncanny ability to astonish.
Nights in the City
When the sun sets and the brilliant colors of a South Florida sunset fill the sky, that’s when the best part of the day begins for Miami’s party people. By moonlight, all the magic of the city unfolds, in its salsa-filled dance halls, swanky candlelit lounges, and rooftop bars with sweeping views over Biscayne Bay and the glittering city skyline. While there’s plenty of bling on display, Miami has something for all, from backyard bars full of indie rockers to hidden dens of debauchery concealed behind neon-lit taco stands.
The Great Outdoors
Few cities are as blessed as Miami when it comes to natural beauty. Sparkling shores lapped by aquamarine waters set the stage for a memorable array of adventures, from sunrise strolls along peaceful stretches of Mid-Beach to scenic paddles in search of manatees off Virginia Key. You can look for colorful bird species while walking the trails of Oleta River State Park, or simply enjoy some downtown greenery while lounging in Bayfront Park. With year-round sunshine, and a love for celebration, the open-air is also where Miami’s biggest parties unfold – whether at massive music and dance festivals or the neighborhood fiestas that pack Miami’s cultural calendar.
South Beach Prime people watching and sunrise strolls photographing those iconic lifeguard stations.
Crandon Park A gorgeous beach that mixes nature and fun on offshore Key Biscayne.
Haulover Beach Park In North Beach, Haulover provides privacy and quiet.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Great views, a picturesque lighthouse and an idyllic setting perched on southern Key Biscayne.
Cubaocho Eclectic line-up of Latin groups in an iconic spot in Little Havana.
Lagniappe Hands down one of the best little Miami bars for a bit of live music and backyard boozing.
The Anderson A buzzing, off-the-beaten-path bar with a fun crowd and weekend bands.
Churchill’s If you think Miami can’t rock, check out the crowd at this hard-bitten British pub.
Sounds of Little Haiti The monthly party at the Little Haiti Cultural Center is a Caribbean/Kreyol feast for the ears.
Virginia Key Outdoor Center Looking for manatees and bird life on a peaceful kayak off Key Biscayne.
Virginia Key North Point Trails Riding the winding paths of a small mountain-bike park near the water.
Yoga by the Sea Taking an open-air yoga class with calming bay views at the Barnacle Historic State Park.
Citi Bike Hiring a sturdy three-speed for a spin along South Beach.
South Beach Diver & Surf Center Diving amid the colorful coral reefs of Key Largo on a day trip from Miami.
Art Deco Historic District South Beach’s heart is clustered with hotels, promenades and other prime examples of the art-deco movement.
Freedom Tower Downtown Miami is known for skyscrapers, and this classic tower was one of the first.
Biltmore Hotel A soaring design right out of southern Spain, with an equally striking interior.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens This fairy-tale estate is the most opulent, over-the-top jewel in Miami’s considerably sparkly architectural crown.
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts With high-tech acoustics and beautifully designed interiors, the Arsht center is a performance space par excellence.
New World Center Miami Beach’s concert hall hosts both edgy art and mainstream productions.
Cubaocho This Little Havana spot hosts visual and performing arts that showcase Miami’s Cuban creativity.
Wynwood Drop by on the second Saturday of each month for an open-house peek into Miami’s best galleries.
Museums & Galleries
Pérez Art Museum Miami Gorgeous museum on the waterfront that hosts top contemporary exhibitions.
Margulies Collection at the Warehouse Displays cutting-edge works by some of the world’s best living artists.
HistoryMiami A great introduction to the pirates, pioneers and industrialists of South Florida’s past.
Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science Celebrated new Downtown space that delves into the wonders of the world.
Wolfsonian-FIU Fascinating works of design and art from the 1850s to 1950, with a focus on art deco.
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU Learn about the many Jewish contributions in the realm of art, music, fashion and sports.
Books & Books The best independent bookstore in Miami is a bastion of good taste and great literature.
The Havana Collection Slip by this Little Havana shop and get outfitted in a classic guayabera, Cuba’s coolest shirt.
Malaquita Creative Wynwood store of unique objects from Latin America.
Nomad Tribe Miami shop that sells attractive, well-designed clothes and accessories with sustainability in mind.
Marky’s Gourmet An off-the-beaten-path store that stocks all manner of exotic gourmet goodies, including cheeses, wines and caviar.
South Beach Sure, you’ll end up spending money, but strolling the streets and people-watching from a cafe terrace is what Miami Beach is all about.
Art Deco Historic District The pastel heart of South Beach gives an impression of what the future looked like in the early 20th century.
Wynwood Walls This collection of murals and paintings is an explosion of urban art.
De La Cruz Collection Astonishing collections on display in the Design District.
Little Haiti Cultural Center See changing exhibitions that showcase innovative works by Haitian artists.
Lincoln Road Mall An outdoor pedestrian thoroughfare; come to see or be seen.
Viernes Culturales If you’re around the last Friday of the month, don’t miss this Little Havana fest.
Top Things To Do
Epicenter of the arts. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all.