Miami, near the southern tip of Florida, may be known for its lively and varied nightlife, but there’s much more to it than that. It is also a burgeoning hub for the arts, has hip restaurants at every turn and is home to some of the most interesting Art Deco architecture in the USA.
Miami is a melting pot of cultures and has over 20 diverse neighbourhoods to explore. Little Havana, home to the largest community of Cubans outside of the Cuba, is a must-visit. You’ll find a Latin American vibe that pulsates through every aspect of life.
Most visitors make a beeline for Calle Ocho, where you can pick up hand-rolled cigars, knock back 25-cent cafecitos (Cuban espressos) and watch Cuban retirees playing dominoes at Máximo Gómez Park.
Wynwood, north of Downtown Miami, has become an arts hub. There are more than 70 galleries and museums, and a plethora of street art and murals by internationally acclaimed artists on the famous Wynwood Wall — there’s even an Art Walk through the district every second Saturday of the month.
Be sure to venture further north into Little Haiti — Haitian immigrants flocked to Miami in the 1980s and the district has flourished into one of the city’s hippest hangouts, packed with art galleries, family-owned restaurants and Haitian music and book stores.
Of course, when in Miami you should also hit the beach. Miami Beach is a narrow island just east of the city. It’s packed with bars and restaurants ranging from cheap-eat burger joints to swanky celeb hangouts. Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant serves up some of the east coast’s finest crab claws, and has hosted Sean Connery, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez over the years.
For live music and hard partying head to South Beach, but for a more relaxed affair, North Beach is the place to go for shops, restaurants and plenty of fine white sand. You’ll also get better rates on hotels and still be just a short taxi ride from the clubs in “SoBe” should you want to venture down there.