City Guide: Miami, Florida

Miami is a city of vibrant diversity: the opulence of soaring, marble-floored 5-diamond hotels are juxtaposed beside Spring Break-loving, neon-clad partiers slurping Ocean Drive’s famous fishbowl margaritas. But there is so much more to South Beach and beyond when it comes to exploring Florida’s most southern city. Read on and see for yourself.

 

STAY:

When planning a trip to Miami, most look to stay in Miami Beach, a short trip across the causeway from the city of Miami. South Beach, known for its glamour and nightlife, is the place to stay if you’re looking to dive right into the action. Situated right in the middle of South Beach, The W Hotel South Beach is a glamorous, chic and large hotel that accommodates luxe tastes with their organic architecture and edgy design. Airy, spacious rooms all come with balconies, gorgeous, spa-like marble bathrooms and beautifully decorated and sophisticated white dé©cor. Their huge pool and garden-like grounds (with ample seating sprinkled throughout to encourage you to literally stop and smell the roses!) make their outdoor and indoor spaces equally appealing.

If you’re looking to dive right into Miami’s Art Deco scene, look no further than the tasteful and stylish Blanc Kara Hotel. At the further south end of South Beach, this boutique hotel is perfect for guests who like a little more privacy and distance from the constant buzz (bonus: this is an adult-only property). Decorated with tons of fashion knick-knacks and books from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent to Coco Chanel, this black and white colour-schemed hotel makes you feel like you’re in Paris, if Paris had a hotel with an ocean view. Each room is equipped with a King size bed and full kitchenette; pair this with their beautiful art lining the hallways and limited number of rooms and you’ll feel like you’re settling in to your sleek new home.

PLAY:

There is certainly no lack of choice when it comes to deciding on a place to sip a cocktail or dance the night away when in Miami Beach. If you’re looking to pull out all the stops but don’t want to wait for the weekend, slip into your most stylish clothes, your most uncomfortable shoes and head to The Delano in North Beach on a Tuesday evening. Arguably Miami Beach’s most luxurious hotel, their pool bar hosts a Tuesday night party with some of the best DJ’s in the world, as well as the city’s best people watching. The ultimate in affluence, expect stunning views of the pool, garden and other guests.

If you must go to a popular dance club, go to Liv, and go on a Sunday. Inside another super luxe hotel, The Fountain Bleau, pop in a few minutes early and soak up the scene in their lobby bar, The Bleau Bar.

More interested in exploring Miami’s Latin culture? Head to the historic Espaé±ola Way, where drink specials are a plenty, salsa and flamenco dancing spills into the streets, and you can grab a late night empanada on the cheap.

Looking to play with the locals? Take a taxi across the causeway and into the insanely cool industrial/ arts district of Wynwood. Get lost wandering around the neighborhood and just soak in all the incredible street art before heading the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor street-art gallery. Afterwards, take a seat on Wynwood Kitchen & Bar‘s grassy, art-surrounded patio for a drink and bite.

EAT:

You can easily dine at one of the many celebrity chefs restaurants that dot the dazzling hotel’s dining scene and drop a couple thou, or you can eat well and for under $20 at 100 Montadito’s. A chain from Spain, this gem of a joint literally offers 100 different kinds of mini, three bite sandwiches that range from $1 – $3 and $3 glasses of wine; go on a Wednesday and the entire menu is $1.

You can enjoy South Beach’s love of happy hour at practically any restaurant on the entire island, but you can eat and drink really well for a discounted price before 8pm at both Tongue & Cheek and Sienna Tavern. Tongue & Cheek, an imaginative and extremely well executed new American-focused menu offers incredibly tasty bites and craft cocktails, while Sienna Tavern is a glitzy Italian hot spot that serves us absolutely delicious, home-style dishes and share plates.

SHOP:

Looking to find your usual suspect favourites (Zara, Victoria’s Secret, Aldo, etc.)? Look no further than the iconic Collins Avenue, where shops line both sides of the street. The one exception to the usual is the supremely delightfully unusual 3 story space The Webster. Carrying trendsetting and luxury favourites like Chloé© and Givenchy for both men and women, also find lust-worthy extras like vintage Chanel clutches and the most amazing selection of jewelry.

Lincoln Road is practically the definition of shopping in South Beach. A pedestrian-only mecca of shops ranging from rock n’ roll cool John Varvatos to designer haven Intermix to affordable favourite Forever 21.

If you’re a street-style star, make sure you don’t miss the Alchemist. Tucked away from the touristy Lincoln Road at street level, this highly curated shop is perched high up on the 5th floor in a critically acclaimed-designed parking garage. A beautifully bright (the 22” high walls are either glass or mirrored), minimal-esque space, everything about the Alchemist seamlessly blends into a unique, conceptual space. Featuring a mirrored ceiling that boasts a moving art instillation by a group of artists from London, the only thing better are the racks of up to the minute collections from the likes of anti-trend designers such as Rick Owens, Delfina Delettrez, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten.

Tags: City Guide, Miami, travel, travel guide, where to party in miami, where to shop in miami

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