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 (www.balharbourshops.com), 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 (www.miamidesigndistrict.net) 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 (www.booksandbooks.com), Alchemist (www.shopalchemist.com) for couture, and Base (www.baseworld.com) for fashion, music and anything cool. Off the main drag is The Webster (www.thewebstermiami.com), a wonderland of designer labels. Or find unique buys at Mary Brickell Village (www.marybrickellvillage.com)
Azul 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 (www.joesstonecrab.com), The Forge (www.theforge.com) and Prime One Twelve (www.mylesrestaurantgroup.com). The Dining Room at The Villa by Barton G (www.thevillabybartong.com/dining) 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 (www.michaelsgenuine.com), Yardbird (www.runchickenrun.com) or Sugarcane (www.sugarcanerawbargrill.com). Downtown, Asiaphiles should try Zuma (www.zumarestaurant.com) for the otoro sushi, and Makoto (www.makoto-restaurant.com) in Bal Harbour for short rib robata.
Into The Night
Research the shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center (www.arshtcenter.org) – if it was a hit on Broadway, chances are it has made its way here. Music aficionados can flock to the Van Dyke Café (www.thevandykecafe.com) for live jazz, Hoy Como Ayer (www.hoycomoayer.us) for Latin music, or the New World Symphony (www.nws.edu) for orchestral concerts. Miami’s clubs and bars are mostly concentrated within South Beach and downtown. Celebrities are often spotted at LIV (www.livnightclub.com), Bardot (www.bardotmiami.com), Mansion (www.mansionmiami.com) and Set (www.setmiami.com). Or simply enjoy the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay and the city skyline from M-Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Miami.