Hot and sultry with a strong Latin heartbeat, Miami is a city that gets inside of you and you’ll want to go plan a return visit. From chic hotels and boutiques, artsy neighborhoods, hot restaurants and clubs, there is a lot to take in. Here’s how to see and experience as much about Miami as possible in two days:
8AM EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK & BISCAYNE BAY DAY TRIP
This 48-hour guide can be broken up one of two ways. Art and culture or National Parks and the waterways. If you and your family want to go the National Park route, consider this day trip to the Everglades National Park and a water cruise of Biscayne Bay with Viator. Embark on an airboat around the Everglades, seeing alligators, turtles, deer and all sorts of birds. You might even spot wild pigs! Then head back towards Miami for an afternoon boat ride of Biscayne Bay. Don't forget your sunscreen.
10AM SOUTH BEACH
Hit the beach. The gorgeous white sands of South Beach are a people watchers paradise. You can kite-surf in the aquamarine ocean, or just lay on the sands and soak up the sun/ admire the scantily clad and hard-bodied sun-worshippers. Beach bars and cafes flank the streets facing the beach, so you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to grab an ice-cold mojito when things get hot.
1PM DAVID'S CAFÉ
Take lunch at David’s Café for authentic Cuban food and the best café con leche in town. David’s has been there for 33 years, and it’s a friendly, family owned restaurant. (They are open 24/7 should you feel the need for flan or custard in the wee hours.)
2PM ART DECO WELCOME CENTRE
1001 OCEAN DR. MIAMI, FL 33139
Stroll through the fabulous and colorful Art Deco District, where pretty much every building is architecturally significant in some way. Pick up a map for $3 at the Art Deco Welcome Centre, or take one of the organized walking tours that leaves from there. All along Collins Avenue are premium boutiques and stores, housed in pretty Art Deco buildings.
5PM WOLFSONIAN MUSEUM
Visit the Wolfsonian Museum, which has neat exhibits on design, art and propaganda from 1885 – 1945, and has really neat pop up modern exhibits too. Stop in at the World Erotic Art Museum for a little titillation at the largest collection of erotic art in the world.
Dine at GrillFish for great seafood and steaks. Be sure to get the superbly spicy ginger calamari starter.
9PM MILANI GELATO
Explore Washington Street around Espanola Way, which comes alive after dark. There are lots of great bars and clubs to check out. There are unique stores open late too – including one that only sells handbag sized puppies. If you get a sweet craving, stop at Milani Gelato for the best gelato in Miami.
11PM W HOTEL
Head over to the W Hotel and hop between its six bars, all populated by Miami’s most beautiful citizens and visitors (every other girl and boy could be a model in this place). Be sure to check out The Living Room bar for killer cocktails.
10AM MIAMI ART MUSEUM
101 W. FLAGLER ST. MIAMI, FL 33130
Check out the Miami Art Museum where you’ll find exciting installation pieces and video art from new artists, as well as more traditional modern renderings from the likes of Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Cindy Sherman.
2PM DESIGN DISTRICT
Spend the afternoon exploring the Design District, where you’ll find 18 blocks of galleries, stores and restaurants that will give your credit card a workout. The Design District is a discerning shopper’s dream: You’ll find beautifully tailored men’s suits, lingerie, jewelry, take home pieces or art, designer knick-knacks and baubles, and all manner of beautiful of beautiful objects.
Beat the crowds and take an early dinner at Andalus, which serves excellent tapas and fine Spanish cuisine. The anchovies in sherry vinegar are beyond delicious, and you need to finish with their rich and boozy chocolate mousse.
8PM PELICAN HOTEL
Grab a cab back over to South Beach and bar-hop in the beach front hotels along Ocean Drive, starting at the Pelican Hotel, which is owned by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso. If you get peckish, stop for a snack at the Cardozo Bar and Grill, and sit on the patio so that you can people watch. As the sun goes down, head to the Speakeasy, in The Betsy Hotel for carefully crafted old-fashioned cocktails.
WHERE TO STAY: RIVIERA HOTEL
2000 LIBERTY AVE. MIAMI, FL 33139
Stay at the very chic and private Riviera Hotel in South Beach, an Art Deco jewel that has been refurbished in luxurious artsy style. The suites are well appointed and there’s a gorgeous little pool and sun deck area to relax in. Be sure to check out The Living Room bar for killer cocktails.