The capital of Florida, more than a city, is a mixture of influences and stimuli. It combines urban charm with beach evenings, lively nights with artists without complexes and Caribbean cafés with European bistros. A unique mix worth visiting in three days... or many more. And, no matter how many nights you can spend, we invite you to do so at our 4 star hotel in downtown Miami.
Start your day off people watching over a morning coffee at the very hip Panther Coffee and mesmerize yourself in Miami’s modern art scene. The once dilapidated and run-down Wynwood Arts District has evolved into the city’s most eclectic art scenes. Neglected warehouses, buildings, and former factories have been rehabilitated into performing art spaces, art galleries, as well as a slew of restaurants, cafés, wine bars, and pubs.
Check out the artist-commissioned graffiti murals at the Wynwood Walls across the walls of warehouse buildings and pop into the adjacent art galleries, which feel like a daily celebration of Art Basel. More than 70 art galleries grace this district, featuring local and international works, an array of retails stores, antique shops, buzzing bars and quirky cafés. Instead of exploring on foot, you’ll cover more ground by bike.
Make sure you stop by the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and the Rubell Family Collection as well as some of the “Only in Miami” mixed-use spaces like Swgr Gallery, an art gallery and retail store dedicated to fishing and urban-inspired fishing apparel. Then for lunch, nosh on a killer Cuban sandwich at Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop.
The Wynwood Arts District also has one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world. If you’re lucky to be there for the Wynwood Art Walk which happens every second Saturday of the month, you’ll be in for a fun Miami-style street party.
A trip to Miami wouldn’t be complete without time spent on South Beach, Miami’s iconic coastal hot spot. Lovingly nicknamed SoBe, this is where the rich and famous rub shoulders with the quirky and eccentric.
Spend your morning on the long sandy beaches dotted with umbrellas and sun-worshippers and take a dip in the tropical waters ideal for swimming and paddle boarding. The oceanfront boardwalk is a perfect place for a stroll while people-watching. A plethora of restaurants and bars overlooking the beach offer everything from fine dining to handmade to-go sandwiches.
Have a light lunch in your lounger or indulge on the terrace at Driftwood Room, a farm-to-table restaurant where dishes are fresh, flavorful, and focused on regional Florida ingredients by Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli.
Post lunch, lounge around a hotel pool like the one at Iberostar Berkeley, which sits in a legendary location, in the midst of the glamour of Collins Avenue and an iconic location providing both the exclusivity and proximity you need to explore South Beach.
Exploring the Art Deco buildings in South Beach is one of the best things to do in Miami. Head over to the full-service Art Deco Welcome Center to brush up on Art Deco history through self-guided audio tours or private tours available all day. The Art Deco Museum is open daily 10 am to 5 pm, but closed on Monday.
With the self-guided tours, walk through Miami Beach’s Art Deco District at your own pace, and learn about its architectural history using an iPod-based self-guided tour and accompanying map. The complete tour takes approximately 1.5 hours, but you can set your own pace.
For dinner, check out the quaint and cozy Macchialina, one of Miami’s best Italian restaurants. Run by business and life partners Jen Chaefsky and former Scarpetta chef de cuisine Michael Pirolo, they are well known for their house made pastas and creamy polenta loaded with sausage ragu. Other favorites include the beet-filled mezzaluna crowned with hazelnuts or the butter ricotta salata or the parpadelle Bolognese with rabbit and sausage fonduta.
If you’re craving fresh seafood, try Joe’s Stone Crab. Founded in 1913, the restaurant is actually two years older than the City of Miami Beach itself, which was incorporated in 1915. Though the restaurant boasts a full selection of fresh seafood and steaks with full-time fish and meat butchers tasked with cutting the perfect piece of flesh, it's the famous stone crabs that people fly across the globe for. The claws, served with the restaurant's signature mustard sauce, are the reason why multiple generations of people have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and engagements at Joe's.
Closer to Lincoln Road, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar has a reputation for Southern favorites like crisp fried chicken, tender shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes. This place also has pet-friendly outdoor seating.
On your last day in Miami, travel to “Cuba” by heading over to Little Havana, the core of Miami’s Hispanic community. Originally a Cuban neighborhood, Little Havana is now a melting pot of immigrants from all over Latin America. A glimpse into real life in Spanish-speaking Miami, this famous neighborhood is where you’ll find great Cuban food, coffee and culture. The weekend is a great time to visit this neighborhood. Calle Ocho, the main street in Little Havana, is lined with shops, galleries and restaurants.
For lunch grab a bite at Versailles Restaurant. Originally a humble sandwich and coffee shop, it has been in operation since 1971 serving award-winning Cuban fare. Visited by musicians, celebrities, and politicians alike, the traditional, authentic Cuban menu is based on tried-and-tested family recipes, with unique dishes that have made it a beloved Miami institution.
A must try is the Cuban sandwich packed with roast pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles along with the golden and crispy croquetas. Versailles’ most favorite dish is the Lechon Asado.
Post lunch stroll through Little Havana, grab a 50-cent cortadito (a shot of Cuban coffee with steamed milk) from a walk-up window and watch cigar rollers hand roll stogies at family-run factories. Make sure you get a scoop (or three) of homemade Abuela Maria Ice Cream at Azucar Ice Cream Company. Artisanal flavors like guava, cream cheese, and Maria cookies are fashioned after Cuban desserts.
Little Havana is fun during the day, but at night it takes on a whole new vibe, especially on the last Friday of the month, when the streets come alive with domino games, cigar rollers, cafecitos, mojitos, dancing, and Cuban art.
Drive from Little Havana and spend your final evening exploring Miami’s downtown. With a wealth of options for barhopping, dining out and dancing the night away, you are sure to experience an exciting night. With its powerful high-rises, beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and countless restaurants, bars, lounges, and more, this part of the Magic City promises a little something for every type of traveler.
For a laid-back, locals’ hangout, check out Blackbird Ordinary, a tavern famous for both its handcrafted cocktails during happy hour and its late-night live music scene. For dinner, Downtown Miami has plenty of notable locales just perfect for a meal out on the town. The popular gastropub, 180 Degrees at the DRB, led by Chef Ryan Martin, is a downtown dive is known for its burgers. A fan favorite is the 50/50 burger with chorizo, prime beef, queso frito, maduros, fried egg and spicy lime aioli.
Another option for dinner is NIU Kitchen, a Spanish tapas place specializing in Catalan cuisine. Helmed by Barcelona’s own Deme Lomas, the frequently-changing menu boasts light, fun favorites like different kinds of tartare, cold tomato soup with mustard ice cream, and pan-seared foie gras with honey bread, apples and raspberries.