Been there, done that: Miami
Whether it’s your first time in the Magic City or you know it well, there’s always something new to discover.
From the colorful Ocean Drive and the cutting-edge galleries of the Wynwood arts district to the salsa dancing of Little Havana, Miami oozes cool. We’ve compiled a selection of highlights that will take your trip to the next level.
Take a stroll around the Art Deco Historic District
South Beach is pure art deco. Combining flashy modernism with the unique visual style of art deco makes perfect sense. With more than 800 buildings across one square mile, walking past them is a great way to spend a morning, and you’ll immediately get acquainted with the essence of Miami.
The Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive is a good place to begin your day. Take in the Colony, Winter Haven, Essex House, St. Moritz, and the former Tiffany hotels. The Lincoln Theatre and Colony Theatre shouldn’t be missed, either.
Insider tip: The Lincoln Theatre was the original home of the New World Symphony orchestra, which now calls the New World Center home. Indoor performances are cancelled until further notice, but you can still enjoy outdoor WALLCAST® concerts projected onto the side of the building. Keep an eye on the website for upcoming shows.
Have an art attack
Revitalized by Art Basel in 2002, Miami is a classic playground for the arts, home to some great collections showcasing local and international works. The Bass displays a wide range of modern art, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is as much fun outside as it is inside, while Wynwood Walls features colorful murals by artists from around the world. The Rubell Family Collection is one of only a few private art collections open to the public.
Insider tip: Entry to many of the city’s best museums is often free at some point during the week. Check the websites for full details.
Sample Miami nice: life on the beach
No trip to Miami is complete without spending some time at the glamorous South Beach, or in any of the bars, restaurants, and clubs that make up this city-within-a-city. But there are other beaches to consider: locals like to get away from the nonstop energy of South Beach’s Lummus Park by hitting 21st to 45th Street Beach. Further out are the neighborhood favorites like Surfside and Haulover Beach.
Insider tip: Below South Beach on Key Biscayne are the picture-perfect Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, overlooked by its historic lighthouse.
Get back to nature
Florida was built on a swamp, so Miami is also the place to come for nature and wildlife. If you’re up for it, go scuba diving in subtropical waters, rent a paddleboard at Crandon Park, or kayak through the mangroves at Oleta River State Park.
For a more laid-back experience, head to the magnificent Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay and take in a nature walk. Or you can pay a visit to Jungle Island, an eco-adventure park with 300-plus species of birds, rare twin orangutans, and the only trained cassowary in the world. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is an 83-acre rainforest complete with a rare plant conservatory.
Insider tip: The Everglades National Park is just a short drive away. Experience alligators, cranes, turtles, and even panthers across 1.5 million acres of subtropical wetlands.
Shop on the Fifth Avenue of the south
From designer stores to thrift stores, Miami has it all. Once you experience the cool boutiques of Lincoln Road, you’ll know why it was once referred to as the “Fifth Avenue of the south.” Today, for exclusive brands like Prada and Gucci, head to Bal Harbour’s open-air shopping center in North Beach.
Miami Design District is full of luxury fashion brands and designer watches, while you should also check out downtown’s Brickell City Centre and Aventura Mall. If you’re looking for something a little different, Hialeah is where you’ll find Flamingo Plaza’s array of thrift stores like Red, White & Blue and the Community Family Thrift Store.
Miami Twice is another local secret. It stocks a dazzling selection of prized vintage accessories by Louis Vuitton, YSL, Gucci, and Chanel.
Insider tip: For an authentic Mediterranean lunch in the Design District, prebook a table in the courtyard at Mandolin Aegean Bistro.
Sample local produce galore
Miami has a ton of farmers’ markets, and it’s here that you’ll find slices of Miami life alongside the freshest produce. The colorful Redland Market Village is a mega market loved by locals, while Saturday’s Coconut Grove Farmers’ Market is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. If you’re anywhere near Homestead, check out Robert Is Here, a fruit stand that also features a petting zoo. The vendor’s milkshakes are legendary, as is his large selection of local produce. We recommend the canistel or sapote fruit.
Insider tip: Coconut Grove is a great place to spend a full day. This leafy neighborhood runs parallel to Biscayne Bay, making it one of the most beautiful districts in town.