A colleague is going to Miami on vacation. She apparently has a sweet deal to stay at the Seitai and a free flight. How lucky is that? I went to see her to talk about work and all she cared about was picking my brain about My Miami. We got interrupted, I needed a coffee anyway, but here is what I’m going share with her:
Art District and Design District
This is the up and coming arts district of Miami. There is a small battle between New York developers and local Miami developers for the next big thing in Miami and this is where it’s taking place. Lots of art galleries and a couple of cafes. Second Saturday is the big night, otherwise the neighborhood can feel rather sketchy.
Also in the Wynwood District are the remains of the yearly Art Basel Primary Flight mural installations. In my opinion this is one of the more interesting things about Wynwood. The collective brings together some of the world’s most famous grafitti artists every year. The dozens of murals were voted as one of the best events during this year’s Art Basel event. You can do this in the car, stopping to take pictures if you like, but its worth a drive by.
If the Wynwood district belongs to the New York art galleries the Design District is a home grown counter movement. The Design district is the visionary idea of Craig Robbins, the main developer behind the Art Deco hotel renovations of the 80s and 90s. He was also my boss in Miami, cool dude, so be nice. His idea was to buy and build a design destination in Miami. Have a look around the district to see how his work is going. Some of his commissions include a huge Zaha Hadid piece in the Moore Building and a Marc Newson designed fence for the Miami Design and Art Senior High School (DASH). The restaurants are much better in the Design District than in Wynwood. Fratelli Lyon, Micheal’s and Pacific Time are all run by Miami’s most renowned chefs.
On your drive towards the art and design districts take a moment to swing by the Bacardi Building. It’s one of Miami’s historic landmarks and is being considered for designation. Super cool building.
Just beyond the Design District is Little Haiti. Driving through the neighborhood is like being transplanted into the country with hand painted signs and voodoo trinket shops galore.
This area has relatively well preserved of Miami Modern (Mimo) buildings and hotels. The famed Copperton tanned girl still stands tall in the neighborhood and there is great pizza at Andiamo’s in a renovated gas station. (http://www.mimoboulevard.org/)
Miami Beach and South Beach
These parts you really can’t miss generally speaking but some of the areas are worth going a little slower.
Morris Lapidus dreamed of Lincoln Road becoming a pedestrian version of 5th Avenue in Miami. It took 50 years but his vision has become a reality and much of his original public interventions are still in place. It’s definitely worth the walk to take in all the characters of South Beach. On the bay end of the road is the new Herzog de Meuron parking garage.
Miami Beach and South Beach Hotels
There are a number of hotels worth popping into for a drink or dinner. Each of them have their fans and haters I like to list them and let visitors decide. South Beach – Setai, Shore Club, Sagamore, Raleigh and Delano are all in the debate for must see locations. Further north on Miami Beach is the recently renovated Fountain Blue and Eden, both interesting examples of Miami Modernism style. The Standard Spa on the bay is great for a subdued drink and the sunset. For a little more bling with your sunset try the Mondrian near Whole Foods.
South Pointe Park
One of the best parks in Miami is Southe Pointe Park at the southern most point of South Beach. The Park opened about a year ago is still very much a locals park but has incredibly views of the sailing cruise liners and sunsets over the bay. One the beach side, if the winds and tides are right, you can watch surfers on some of the best waves in Florida. South Beach is also nicest from 1st to 3rd streets and further up past 8th street for your sunning needs.
For shopping and architecture try Bal Harbour. This family run mall set the standard for outdoor shopping experiences in 1974.
Beyond the Beach and Art Districts
Flagler Dog Track
Try your luck betting on the dogs at this quintessential Miami locale. They also host a huge flea market on Saturdays. Splurge for a $6 meal and sit in the air conditioned VIP restaurant while you adjust to the adrenaline rushes of greyhound racing.
Versailles Cuban Food
There are hundreds of Cuban restaurants in Miami but this one is the most famous.
A huge surprise was to find this great Dutch restaurant in Miami. Its in North Beach but well worth the drive.
That’s about it. I hope that gives you a few ideas to kill the beach boredom.
Enjoy your stay!Share