Taking into account that Miami is such a diverse city with an amplitude of attractions to enjoy, you’ll need a week to take it all in. But if you only have one day in the Magic City and are up for a challenge, here’s a Miami sampler that packs beaches, boutiques and bars into 24 hours.
Start off your day early at one of the city’s beautiful sandy beaches. While South Beach is the ultimate sunny location for people watching, Key Biscayne is the ideal trip for those looking for pure luxury and a quick getaway from the large crowds. The Key’s Crandon Park is a great place for a tour around the nature-filled preserve or a morning of kayaking. Before your adventure-filled afternoon, refuel at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami‘s Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge, where you’ll nestle in a comfy cabana and order a refreshing Royal Raspberry Rush with Chambord or some other frozen cocktail.
A busy morning under the sun might have you aching for something to eat. Get out of the heat, throw on a comfortable outfit and have your pick of prime cuisine when you make the 20-minute drive to Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Along the shady, tree-lined streets, you’ll find the always-dependable Hillstone restaurant, which offers excellent food (hence the infamous 45-minute wait), including the home-smoked salmon and the house-ground cheeseburger, and the 50 Eggs Inc. restaurant group’s Swine Southern Table & Bar, a new down-home entry serving up a 14-hour house-smoked brisket like no other.
What better way to work off a splendid meal than with some shopping? The beautiful outdoor Bal Harbour Shops is the ultimate address for luxury labels in Miami. The lush two-level shopping center offers only the crème de la crème of designer boutiques, including Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Fendi. But the fashion doesn’t stop there. Make the 10-mile drive over to the Design District to look at even more high-end tags. The District has become an area cultivating edgy design, due in large part to the emergence of high-end retailers and delicious culinary creations. While Christian Louboutin claimed its spot here a few years back, many other elite designers like Cartier, Dior, Prada and Hermes are following the trend with new boutiques.
As for food, there is a host of top-notch dinner options in the area as well. James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz offers crispy pig ear and slow-roasted pork shoulder at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, while the charming Greek food haven Mandolin Aegean Bistro dishes out stuffed zucchini with eggplant and a delicious traditional gyro sandwich.
Come nighttime, head next door to the Wynwood art district. Every second Saturday of the month, the Wynwood Art Walk takes place from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. The event showcases more than 60 different galleries and studios along NW and NE 2nd Avenue. Drift in and out of various creative spaces like the Robert Fontaine Gallery and Pan American Art Projects. On April 13, the guided Underground Tour will take art aficionados around to some of Wynwood’s more innovative spaces.
After all the sightseeing, eating and shopping, relax at one of the fancy venues found in the South Of Fifth neighborhood on Miami Beach. Known as one of the most stylish places to see and be seen, SoFi presents plenty of opportunities for a nightcap at popular restaurants like Prime One Twelve, Smith & Wollensky and Joe’s Stone Crab. But if you’re trying to mix things up a bit, check out the tony section’s latest entry, The Flat, a European-style lounge that makes an Xcreamly Hot cocktail with chili peppers and añejo rum so tingly you’ll want to rewind the whole day just to relive that first sip.
Photos Courtesy of Bal Harbour Shops, Adamar Fine Arts, Myles Restaurant Group and The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company LLC