City guide: Why you should visit Miami

Cuban influences, cafes and cigar shops, these are our must-sees in this southern city

From the gorgeous pastel buildings, to the laid-back Art Deco beach architecture. Open-air Latin-themed bars and swanky luxury high rises. Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and many hipster hostels. Miami has much to offer – and these are our top reasons to visit…

Where to stay

City guide: Why you should visit Miami

From intimate boutique hotels to luxury resorts, accommodations in Greater Miami come in every shape and size. Visitors can choose from a varied mix of beach hotels including the luxurious W South Beach as well as classic Art Deco properties such as the Shelborne and Fontainebleau.

Further inland, why not try the upscale hotels in the Downtown area, Brickell, home to major hotel brands including Four Seasons, Conrad, InterContinental and JW Marriott. Alternatively, for something a little different, head to Miami’s leafy neighbourhood, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, where hotels include the stunning Biltmore, one of the destination’s most notable historic hotels.

For a more affordable break, there is also plenty to choose from, including Freehand Miami a hipster-style hostel near the beach, home to one of the most popular cocktail bars in Miami, the Broken Shaker.  

Where to eat

City guide: Why you should visit Miami

If you’ve come to Miami to eat your way around the city, there’s never been a more exciting time in the culinary landscape. With a rise in locally-owned restaurants and homegrown chefs, the flavours of Miami are being showcased in a modern and inviting way.

Of course, never one to shy away from glamour, Miami is a mecca for splashy celebrity chefs, especially in South Beach’s lavish hotels. Then there’s Miami’s diverse ethnic heritage, ranging from Cuban food to the Caribbean and beyond. Each neighbourhood has its own personality, from the type of food to the vibe in the dining room and the surrounding area.

A major trend for 2018 will be the launch of various new food halls, with exciting food markets opening in Aventura Mall, a secret new Asian food hall opening in Wynwood, La Centrale, Miami’s first ever Italian food hall opening in December 2018, and also Time Out Market, set to open in 2018.

Where to drink

City guide: Why you should visit Miami

Miami has everything from trendy low-lit lounges and open-air Latin-themed bars, to high-end, designer decorated spaces. Every area in Miami has bars and lounges that stand out in their own right. Miami Beach caters to an international crowd ready to mix and mingle. Wander into the Art Deco boutique hotels and swanky luxury high rises where stunning hotel bars run the gamut from historic glitz to poolside tiki.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach was one of the world’s most popular places to see-and-be-seen throughout the 1950s and 60s and now you can hang out at offering specialty cocktails in genuine ice glassware from the full-service bar made entirely of ice. In Downtown Miami, check out locals’ favorite, Blackbird Ordinary, which is a favorite for both the late-night and happy hour crowds and MO Bar & Lounge, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Brickell Key also offers spectacular skyline views and a solid lineup of craft cocktails.

Alternatively, Ball & Chain heats things up in Little Havana. This newly revived historic bar once played host to the likes of Billie Holiday, Chet Baker and Count Basie and now it’s a mix of hipsters, tourists, Brickell office types, and everyone else who craves Latin music and live jazz, Cuban-style bar bites and cool cocktails.

What to do

City guide: Why you should visit Miami

Miami has something for everyone, from exploring the gorgeous pastel buildings of Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District, to immersing yourself in Miami’s Latin culture in Little Havana, home to wonderful art galleries, cigar shops and delicious Cuban food.

For those who enjoy a bit of culture, head to the Downtown Museum Park, where you can enjoy recently opened cultural institutions including the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, which opened earlier this year, and also the Perez Art Museum. Alternatively, step back in time at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, where ten acres of gardens set along Biscayne Bay beckon to be explored.

Art lovers will also marvel at the spectacular Wynwood Walls, a haven for aspiring painters, graffiti artists, creatives and young innovators alike. Just minutes from Downtown Miami, this thriving neighbourhood centres around Wynwood Walls and showcases a collection of giant walls that have become a blank canvas for famed artists from across the globe to decorate with spectacular street art designs.

This article was written in partnership with WOW Air, who fly to Miami (with one stop) from £139.99 from London Gatwick. Learn more here

Further Reading