Having undergone a massive transformation in the last decade, we’re going beyond the neon lights of SouthBeach to find Miami’s heart and soul. Which, to our pleasant surprise is less Spring Breakers (the movie is still amazing though) and more high concept art and design.
Old School Glamour
Nothing beats staying on Miami’s SouthBeach strip (lovingly known as SoBe). The quiet glamour of The Betsy Hotel is a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle you’ll find outside. The hotel is just down from the infamous News Café –a Miami institution on the famed Ocean Drive where locals and tourists mingle from morning ‘till night.
Miami’s Art Basel has anchored the art and design community since it set up shop 10 years ago. The design fair, held in December, is a multi-venue event that brings together more than 250 gallerists from around the world. The newly christened Design District is just 15-minutes from South Beach and has become a magnet for both up-and-coming boutiques as well as luxury powerhouses like Céline, Cartier and Louis Vuitton (check out LV’s vibrant storefront by famed graffiti artist Marquis Lewis, a nod to the area’s once gritty past).
Michael’s Food & Drink is a revelation among the standard diner fare you’ll come across in the city. This laid-back bistro in the heart of the Design District does everything from growing and harvesting to preparation and serving –yes, it’s that local.
You can’t leave Miami without experiencing its Latino flavour –which comes in the form of a frothy, sweet Cuban coffee (café Cubano), which can be ordered from the much-loved Café Versailles in Little Havana.