Known for its sophistication, Latin flair and tropical vibe, Miami is always alive with colour – from the painted surfaces in the Wynwood Arts District to the neon lights of South Beach’s art deco buildings. And now that many noteworthy inhabitants and artists are taking root here, it has become a world-class destination.
Visit Bal Harbour Shops, a luxury shopping destination that is getting better than ever. Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney and Kiton moved in recently, and Neiman Marcus’s men’s store has had a makeover. And although the Design District has been home-furnishing heavy in the past, Christian Louboutin, Marni, Maison Martin Margiela and Amsterdam
brand Scotch & Soda are now there. Rumour has it that Louis Vuitton, Dior, Hermès and Cartier are coming soon.
Lincoln Road is good for people-watching as you shop. Those in the know frequent Books & Books, Alchemist for couture, and Base for fashion, music and anything cool. Off the main drag is The Webster, a wonderland of designer labels. Or find unique buys at
Mary Brickell Village.
Need to know
At long last, Miami’s new Marlins Park has opened its doors, ushering in a new era for the city’s baseball team. Fans can enjoy air-conditioned comfort,
along with shopping, dining, aquariums and a swimming pool.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
is a must for an afternoon stroll. Nearby is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, one of Miami’s historical treasures. The Italian Renaissance-style mansion, built in the early 1900s, is surrounded by a stunning tropical landscape.
End the day on Ocean Drive, in
South Beach, to view the ice-cream-coloured art deco architecture. Watch it transform as the sun sets.
Thanks in part to the Art Basel fair, held annually in December, Miami is famous for its creative scene. Over the years, it seems, many artists have stayed, and local galleries are carrying their work. Art district Wynwood is home to Pan American Art Projects and the Dorsch Gallery. You can visit many of the galleries, without an appointment, on the Wynwood Art Walk on the second Saturday of each month. While in the neighbourhood, snap the Wynwood Walls, art murals by leading graffiti artists.
Enjoy another blast of colour along Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Try an authentic stogie and watch the rollers at work, then head to Domino Park – a gathering spot for domino players – followed by souvenir shopping at Little Havana To Go and, for Cuban shirts, La Casa de las Guayaberas, both on SW8th Street. But set aside time for the Wolfsonian-FIU design museum on Miami Beach, which houses fascinating objects from the modern era (1885 to 1945).
The great outdoors
The advantage to having gorgeous weather year-round is not lost on fitness fanatics. Bike ride along the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne, or play a few matches at Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open. Paddleboarding outfits in Key Biscayne and South Beach offer hourly rentals, and kayaking and canoeing is available at Oleta River State Park.
The Five Star-rated Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami is a sanctuary with 18 treatment rooms, six of which are suites overlooking Biscayne Bay. Its new Beauty Suite uses the latest technology, including an oxygen machine for hydrating facials, a CACI Ultra machine for the ultimate natural facelift, and LED light therapy. Products include Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy and mineral make-up by La Bella Donna. Outdoor massages in private cabanas are also offered – so guests don’t miss out on the sun.
at Mandarin Oriental, Miami is one of the city’s top fine-dining venues, serving Modern European and Asian-influenced cuisine that tastes as wonderful as it looks. Other widely recognised Miami restaurants are Joe’s Stone Crab, The Forge and Prime One Twelve. The Dining Room at The Villa by Barton G is a real treat, as it’s set inside Gianni Versace’s former home – the perfect excuse to dress up. For something more casual, head to local favourites such as Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Yardbird, Run Chicken Run or Sugarcane. Downtown, Asiaphiles should try Zuma for the otoro sushi, and Makoto in Bal Harbour for short rib robata.
Into the night
Research the shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center – if it was a hit on Broadway, chances are it has made its way here. Music aficionados can flock to the Van Dyke Café
for live jazz, Hoy Como Ayer for Latin music, or the New World Symphony for orchestral concerts.
Miami’s clubs and bars are mostly concentrated within South Beach and downtown. Celebrities are often spotted at LIV, Bardot, Mansion and Set. Or simply enjoy the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay and the city skyline from M-Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Miami.