Three Days in Miami

Revel in the glamour and sunshine of Florida’s most cosmopolitan city.

Photo by Meinzahn/iStock

Lots of destinations promise something for everyone, but Miami follows through on this guarantee in a way that few other North American cities can. Miami’s miles of perfect sand and retro architecture may be its most iconic features, but this sprawling city offers so much more: glittery skyscrapers, world-class museums, bucolic farmland and vibrant ethnic neighbourhoods, many of which are steeped in a sultry Latin vibe. Put it all together, and Miami delivers a cosmopolitan city getaway and sun-seeker’s escape, combined into one fabulous trip.

Day 1

Morning Home to the Art Deco District, South Beach is the epitome of iconic Miami, which makes it the perfect starting point for your trip. Enjoy a light breakfast at News Cafe, a South Beach mainstay, then take a long stroll up the boardwalk or venture a block west to Collins Avenue to check out the area’s colourful, well-preserved art deco architecture.

Afternoon It can be tough to see beyond the glitz, but South Beach offers more than just bikinis and nightclubs. A food crawl with Miami Culinary Tours will give you a taste of the many cultures that flavour the area; you’ll sample ceviche, churros, empanadas and more on a two-and-a-half-hour jaunt through the area’s most notable eateries while learning some South Beach history.

Evening Zip across the causeway to Wynwood, a former warehouse district that’s home to the city’s hottest art scene. Take in the area’s galleries, museums and ever-evolving street art, then dine at SuViche—its name combines sushi and ceviche, and, aptly, the seafood-heavy menu blends Japanese and Peruvian influences.

Day 2

Morning Head downtown for strong coffee and Cuban-style breakfast sandwiches at Manolo & Rene Cafeteria, a no-frills 24/7 cafeteria and local staple. When you’re done, take a five-minute car ride to the new Museum Park, a 30-acre waterfront complex that plays host to outdoor music festivals and other public events. The park is named for its two largest tenants: the Perez Art Museum Miami (200,000 square feet of modern and contemporary art, much of which highlights the city’s diverse communities) and the soon-to-open Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.

Wynwood district, photo courtesy of GMCVB/

Wynwood district, photo courtesy of GMCVB/

Afternoon Drive 45 minutes south to Miami’s Redland farming area. Skip lunch in favour of a double dose of fresh-picked sweet treats: first, shakes made from the abundant tropical offerings at Robert Is Here, a roadside fruit stand, followed by strawberry sundaes at Burr’s Berry Farm (open December to May). Next, stop by Coral Castle, a coral rock oddity built over 28 years by Edward Leedskalnin in honour of the fiancée who jilted him back in Latvia. Finish your afternoon with a stroll through the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, also nearby.

Evening Before you head back to town, stop in to Anacapri (Pinecrest location), a rustic trattoria where the US$10 homemade pasta nights and adjoining wine shop full of hard-to-come-by imports have earned a devoted local following. End your day with a glam nightcap at The Biltmore Hotel.

Day 3

Morning Start your day with bagels and lox at Bagel Cove, in the suburb of Aventura, followed by a tranquil paddle through the mangroves at Oleta River State Park (BG Oleta River Outdoors rents kayaks and canoes). Home to scuttling crabs, herons, egrets and more, Florida’s shady mangroves play a key role as a feeding and nesting habitat to virtually all of the state’s migratory birds and fish.

Afternoon Head to nearby Sunny Isles Beach, a long, continuous stretch of white sand perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Along the way, pop in to Miami Juice for healthy Middle Eastern-driven fare and refreshing frozen lemonades.

Evening Dine in the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, where a growing number of restaurants are opening in restored retro motels. Blue Collar is a favourite, with its fresh veg options and great burgers. From there, check out Churchill’s Pub, in Little Haiti, to cap off your trip with live music.

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