There’s something about a city dangling off the edge of a peninsula, hovering over the Caribbean with the promise of adventure. We’re talking about Miami — that glorious mix of urban glamour, pristine beaches and spicy international flair. Home to 150-plus ethnicities speaking more than 60 languages, this sun-drenched city has many compelling reasons to come visit. In fact, there’s so much going on that we decided to divvy up the action into three categories. Of course, feel free to mix and match. The Magic City won’t mind.
For those who appreciate life’s crème de la crème, your Downtown Luxe escape might begin in the Miami Design District — an intoxicating cocktail of high-end design, art, dining and fashion — including Tiffany, Harry Winston and other ooh-la-la shoptions.
It’s not everywhere you can test-drive a Tesla, so why not zoom around Miami in a Model S? The all-electric powertrain will have you moving 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Rather rev up the action aquatically? Charter a luxury yacht and take in Miami’s gleaming skyline from Biscayne Bay.
Evening’s culture may take you to the Adrienne Arsht Center, one of the world’s leading performing arts venues. The right timing could get you into a passionate flamenco performance, or a jazz show with the likes of Kenny G or Patti LaBelle.
Where to stay: Kimpton’s waterfront EPIC hotel puts you in the soul of downtown Miami, and even offers its own dazzling choices. To wit: the 16th-floor Area 31 restaurant (lobster risotto and sweeping views, anyone?), the sultry LILT Lounge and two sky-high infinity pools.
If sun, sand and open-air fun are calling your name, begin your answer with Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in South Beach. Featuring a taco truck inside the building and al fresco dining tables, this colorful industrial setting serves up Hawaiian Mahi Tacos and Mexican French Kiss cocktails. Mwah.
With appetite duly satisfied, saunter through SoBe’s cotton-candy-colored Art Deco District, a historic architectural wonderland. Can’t get enough creativity? Get your inspiration on at Wynwood Arts District, one of the biggest open-air street-art installations the world has ever seen.
Nature has artistic ideas of her own at Miami Seaquarium. Forget the “look, don’t touch” rule here. Shake hands with a dolphin, swim with the seals or even be a trainer for a day.
Where to stay: Surfcomber is Kimpton’s beachfront basecamp to all things playful in South Beach. Lounge on the beach or by the palm-tree-lined pool with a pitcher of margaritas from the hotel’s outdoor High Tide restaurant and bar. Later, party till the wee hours at The Social Club with it’s haute food and cool vibe.
Yes, there’s much to see and do in Miami, and some are laidback jewels. Take a stroll through Little Havana, the quintessential Cuban neighborhood where you can immerse yourself in Spanish chitchat and Cuban music while you enjoy un cafecito — a sweet, frothy, caffeine concoction best enjoyed from a walk-up ventanita. Even better if you order it at 3:05, Miami’s official coffee break time.
Other less obvious gems include the 50-acre Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, once dubbed “the finest private house ever built in America,” and where serene beauty meets old European charm. Or hop on a boat and see Stiltsville — seven houses hovering over Biscayne Bay on wooden stilts, complete with a storied past that apparently involves partying and police raids.
Where to stay: Leave it to Kimpton to plant a quiet enclave in lively South Beach. With its private rooftop terraces with Jacuzzis The Angler’s seals the deal if you’re in total chill mode.
There you have it: a trio of subtropical escapes, and just in time for your fall and winter wanderings.
Planning your Miami stay? Check out all of the Kimpton hotel options in the area by clicking here.
— Katy Davis