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5-Day Itinerary in Miami
3 May. 2023
3 May. 2023
The city of Miami is located at the southeastern tip of the state of Florida, on Biscayne Bay. The city is a clever mix of contemporary skyscrapers and Streamline buildings (heir to Art Deco) lined with palm trees, and huge beaches along turquoise waters, art galleries and street art, luxury stores and dance bars. Due to its geographical location, its population is rich and varied, made up of native Americans but also exiles from Cuba, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, which often earns it the nickname “Passage of the Americas”. It is this colorful culture that makes all the charm and effervescence of this city called, “The Magic City”, crowned by a sunny weather that guarantees a sweet life and swimming all year round.
Dedicated to innovative fashion, art, architecture, and dining, Miami Design District is a square of a few streets crossed from north to south by the NE 1st Avenue. This district is home to over 130 art galleries (Margulies Warehouse, Cubaocho Museum), high-end boutiques and restaurants, antique dealers and showrooms. The Miami Design District was entirely revamped in the early 2000s under the direction of developer Craig Robins, founder of Dacra and Development and co-founder of Design Miami, who purchased many of the run-down buildings and persuaded luxury brands to open their studios and showrooms there.
Today, amid towering palm trees and contemporary buildings, visitors can find boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Louboutin, Givenchy, Hermès, alongside Michelin-starred restaurants such as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Le Jardinier, as well as award-winning Michael’s Genuine, Mandolin Aegean Bistro, and more.
Housed within a building designed by Aranguren & Gallegos architects – a design that mimics a magic box and which played a key role in ensuring the recognition of the Museum – the Museum covers 37,500 square feet, including a 15 000-foot sculpture garden that boasts works by artists such as Pedro Reyes, Abigail Deville, and Mark Handforth. Inside, the museum’s permanent collection displays art pieces such as Inka Essenhigh’s Poor Puppy, Alexander Harrison’s The Moon, and Ben Sledsens’s Figures across the lake, among others.
Address: 61 NE 41st St, Miami, Florida
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday – 11h to 18h
With its whitewashed walls, sky-blue doors and friendly atmosphere, Mandoline Aegean Bistro brings the flavors of the Aegean Sea to Miami. Within the décor of renovated 1940s home, with wooden farm tables and creeping vines in the backyard, guests can enjoy traditional Greek and Turkish dishes prepared with love from husband and wife, Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis.
Address: 4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 12h to 23h
Reputed for being a district with no shortage of entertainment, Wynwood is divided into 2 sub-districts: the Wynwood Art District and the Wynwood Fashion District.
Also known as Little San Juan and El Barrio, due to the significant number of Puerto Rican immigrants, the district is filled with exciting Puerto Rican-owned restaurants, showrooms, shops and markets, lending a particularly effervescent atmosphere to an already exciting neighborhood. Walking the streets, visitors will come across outdoor murals, old warehouses turned into works of art. Visitors can even hop on a buggy to tour the district and partake in graffiti art on the walls.
One of the most popular landmarks of the district is Wynwood Walls, an outdoor mural museum. Opening in 2009, the Wynwood Walls is 35 000 square feet of walls upon which over 100 artists have contributed. From the politically-charged artwork of Shepard Fairey to the Quaker-inspired flat geometrics paintwork of Clare Rojas to the explosion of colors of AIKO’s graffiti work, the Wynwood Walls have provided many artists with a platform to spread their messages and for Miami to become a significant ambassador of Contemporary Art in the world.
Address: 2516 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, Florida
Monday to Friday – 11h to 19h
Saturday – 10h to 20h
Sunday – 10h to 19h
Helmed by Chef Jeremy Ford, the Michelin-starred Stubborn Seed is all about combining Jeremy’s love of cooking, which he developed after meeting his maternal grandmother when he was 14, and his relentless passion for innovation.
Within an industrial chic décor, guests are invited to explore contemporary twists on American classics, such as Belle & Evans Truffle Chicken or the Salty, Smoky Stubborn Snacks.
Address: 101 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 18h to 22h
Ocean Drive is by far the most iconic thoroughfare in the city, and strolling down the road is one of the best ways to get an idea of what Miami is all about. Flanked on one side by Art Deco hotels, restaurants and high-end boutiques, and on the other by the sun-drenched Miami Beach, with its palm trees, and open-air gyms, Ocean Drive is the beating heart of the South Beach neighborhood. Even today, the area still retains the 80s atmosphere that’s made it so recognizable in movies like Brian de Palma’s Scarface and the James Bond movie Goldfinger.
However, if one wants a quieter or more family-friendly destination, North Beach is the place to go. This largely residential area doesn’t boast the Art Deco building of its southern counterpart; however, its Miami Modernism architectural style makes it an absolute delight to walk or bike around and explore. Its 3 pristine beaches are perfect for a laid-back moment of relaxation.
Located in the popular Bal Harbour Shops, Makoto invites guests to relish the Edomae-style sushi prepared by one of Miami’s most accomplished chefs, Makoto Okuwa. Within a décor by renowned designer India Mahdavi, which blends Miami’s signature Art Deco influences with a traditional Japanese eatery, guests can experience traditional Japanese dishes given a contemporary twist. The Bento Box which includes Chicken Robata and Sushi Roll alongside a serving of miso soup and wasabi rice is a must-try. The restaurant also serves A5 Wagyu steaks.
Address: 9700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 11h30 to 23h
An outdoor shopping arcade boasting a collection of high-end fashion boutiques, restaurants, and hotels, the Bal Harbour Shops is the favorite spot of fashionistas and celebrities who are on a mission to splurge in Miami. With its tropical garden, lush vegetation and fish pond, Bal Harbour Shops has the feel of a hanging garden. It also hosts a number of events such as The Market at Bal Harbour, Yoga on the Beach, and many others.
Address: 9700 Collins Ave, Bal Harbour, Florida
Monday to Saturday – 11h to 22h
Sunday – 12h to 18h
The Monterrey Bar offers a stunning and intimate Art Deco setting, complete with vintage light fixtures, booth-style velvet sofa, lush leather chairs, Afromosia wood paneling, and a Murano chandelier. Within a speakeasy atmosphere that could have been lifted from the pages of The Great Gatsby, guests can enjoy classic cocktails with unique twists as well as the light bites prepared by Executive Chef Andrew Gilbert.
The Monterrey Motel cocktail pays homage to the original Monterrey Motel (now The Standard Spa Miami), which opened in 1953. The Birria Canard is also a delightful pre-dinner snack.
Address: 40 Island Ave, Miami Beach, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 17h to midnight
Dining at Casa Tua is like dining at home. Either inside a contemporary villa that could have been an Italian apartment, complete with wood ceiling fan, and a collection of books and artworks on the walls, or outside in the garden, underneath tropical trees and plants, guests may relish classic Italian dishes such as the Tuna Tartare, Bucatini Cacio e Pepe, or the Veal Milanese “Orecchia d’Elefante Style”. For dessert, the Millefoglie Cream Cake is a must-try.
Address: 1700 James Ave, Miami Beach, Florida
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 17h to 22h
A businessman in the agricultural industry, James Deering decided to have a villa inspired by the Tuscan and Venetian Renaissance built in 1922. The architecture was entrusted to F. Burral Hoffman, and the gardens were designed by Diego Suarez. The work lasted two years and this is how the Villa Vizcaya came into being. Transformed into a museum, it is now an architectural and landscape reference in Miami with its neo-Mediterranean style influenced by the Tuscan and Venetian Renaissance.
Meanwhile, the Main House features a collection of antiques that includes items from the 20th century all the way back to Pompei.
The 17-hectare property boasts one of the most elaborate gardens in the United States, taking influence from European-style gardens that were created in the 17th and 18th century Italy and France. It is home to a Secret Garden, a Theatre Garden, the Maze Garden, and the Fountain Garden. The subtropical forest within the property was preserved by James Deering, and is home to many endangered species such as the Redberry Stopper, the Bitterbush, and the Brittle Maidenhair.
Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, Florida
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday to Sunday – 09h30 to 16h30
Little Havana is a lively neighborhood named after Havana, the capital of Cuba, as it is largely home to immigration from Cuba, Central America and South America.
With its many restaurants, dance bars, cigar stores, Calle Ocho, located on Southwest 8th Street, is the beating heart of Little Havana. This is also where you can find the Domino Park, a small park where Cuban exiles play dominoes. In March, the Calle Ocho Music Festival is the highlight of the Miami Festival. This one-day street party showcases Pan-American culture and attracts more than a million visitors.
In keeping with the Cuban lifestyle of the day, Sanguich is the perfect place to go to enjoy the flavors of Cuban cuisine. A charming little eatery with those iconic green walls and vintage lights, sit down at the counter and enjoy a traditional Cubano sandwich or the fancy Pan Con Bistec with thinly sliced steak, fried string potatoes, and Swiss cheese. End the meal with a velvety Coladita, Cuban Coffee milkshake.
Address: 2057 SW 8th St, Miami, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 10h to 18h
After lunch, what better way to stretch your legs than with a round of golf at the Biltmore Golf Course Miami? Nestled in the upscale town of Coral Gables, south of Miami, this golf course is owned by the Biltmore Hotel, a historic landmark with Mediterranean architecture that is one of the greatest hotels of the American jazz era. Designed by the legendary golf course architect Donald Ross in 1925, the Biltmore Golf Course is an 18-hole, 71-par championship course. When it first opened, the course used to host The Miami – Biltmore Open, one of the richest prize purse professional golf tournaments of the time. The golf course was fully restored in 2018 to accommodate modern games but retain much of the character that the original architect infused it with.
Address: 1210 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, Florida
Monday – 09h30 to 19h
Tuesday to Sunday – 06h30 to 19h
Located in the heart of downtown Brickell, Miami, Sexy Fish delights with an electric atmosphere and contemporary Japanese cuisine. The interior of the Sexy Fish was designed by Martin Brudnizki and decorated with works by Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst and Michael Roberts. As its name suggests, the Sexy Fish has a marine theme and features giant blue octopuses and marlin fish on the wall, koi fish-shaped lamps hanging from the ceiling, illuminated agate floors, coral leather seatings, and a massive bar top of pink onyx.
Within these extravagant interiors, guests can enjoy a menu of modern dishes such as Tako Dog & Truffle., Burrata, Kimchi & Prawn crackers, tartare, caviar, skewers and gyoza, and splendid Wagyu steaks as well as an omakase menu.
Address: 1001 S Miami Ave, Miami, Florida
Sunday to Wednesday – 12h to midnight
Thursday to Saturday – 12h to 02h
To end the day, nothing beats going to Sugar, located at the top of the 40-storey EAST Miami. Sit down at the hand-carved Balinese bar in its lush rooftop garden, and enjoy incredible cocktails to the groovy tunes of the DJ and the breathtaking skyline of Miami.
Address: EAST Miami
Sundays to Wednesdays – 16h to 01h
Thursdays to Saturdays – 16h to 03h
A 1.5-million-acre tropical wetland, home to a range of ecosystems of diversified fauna and flora, the Everglades begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River and flows southward to Florida Bay. The Everglades National Park is located about 40 minutes drive from Miami. It covers just 20% of the complete territory and is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States.
The Everglades National Park was created to protect the territory’s fragile ecosystem and is currently home 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. The national park also serves as a sanctuary to no less than 36 threatened species (including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, the West Indian manatee, the Atlantic hawksbill, the snail kite, and more)
Besides activities like birdwatching, camping, kayaking and canoeing, fishing and hiking, one of the most popular activities in the Everglades is the airboat tours. A flat-bottomed watercraft propelled by an aircraft/ automotive engine, the airboat glides across the grassy waters of the Everglades at 40 mph and brings visitors in close encounters with the wildlife, such as the popular alligators, tortoises, Marsh Rabbits, River Otters, and more.
For those looking for something a little less intense, they can head to the Royal Palm Visitor Center located at the heart of the Everglades National Park. The Visitor Center provides access to a number of trails, such as the Ahinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trail, which will allow visitors to observe some of the animals in the park.
Address: Everglades, Florida
Opening hours: All hours depending on staff levels, locations and seasons. Must contact the main park line prior to visit.
Key West Island is located in the the Florida Keys, a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida. The island is the country seat of Monroe Country, which includes a majority of the 1 700 keys (low-lying coral island) that make up the Florida Keys as well as part of the Everglades.
A laid-back destination, much like Miami, Key West Island offers plenty of entertainment, restaurants, and landmarks and natural landscapes for visitors to enjoy. The island can be reached either by plane or by driving along the Seven Mile Bridge, which offers some of the most stunning views.
A glass-domed habitat, the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory gives visitors the opportunity to walk among over 50 varieties of free-flying butterflies, exotic birds, and even a couple of flamingos. The calming atmosphere of the place and the colorful butterflies flying around lends a fairy-tale-like atmosphere to the experience.
Address: 1316 Duval St, Key West, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 09h to 17h30
Accessible by seaplane or ferry, the Dry Tortugas National Park is made up of 7 islands, notable for their rich sea life, colorful reefs, as well as historic landmarks. The 19th-century Fort Jefferson located on Garden Key is the largest brick masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, covering 16 acres. The Park also offers plenty of stunning beaches, ideal for camping or water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and swimming.
Address: 40001 SR-9336, Homestead, Florida
Opening hours: Open 24 hours, every day.
A West African colonial-style residence that’s right on the beach, in the heart of Islamorada, Pierre’s Restaurant invites guests into an eclectic interior that takes influences from Africa, India, and Morocco among other exotic places, to relish a French Fusion cuisine. Whether it is in the lounge or the upstairs Dining Room, guests can enjoy such dishes as a Dijon Pistachio Crusted Boneless Lamb Tenderloin or a Seafood Cassoulet. The restaurant also offers a 5-course tasting menu. The drinks menu boasts an expansive collection of wine, spirits, and signature cocktails with the 1951 Champion Martini being a standout.
Address: 81600 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 17h to 21h30
Ernest Hemingway is probably one of the most famous American authors with his popular novels such as The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Located just across the street from the Key West lighthouse, this colonial-style house was the author’s home in the 1930s. It was here that he wrote The Green Hills of Africa and To Have and Not to Have, among others. The house is now a National Historic Landmark.
Address: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, Florida
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 09h to 17h
Populated with street performers and musicians, Mallory Square is famous for its stunning views of the ocean. Many visitors gather around to watch the performances or enjoy a drink at the open-air bars and restaurants while enjoying the sunset.
Duval Street, the main street of Key West features a beautiful blend of Bahamian and Spanish architectural influences. Reputed for its nightlife, the street is lined with restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and exciting bars. The effervescence is such that the atmosphere is often compared to that of a carnival, and the tourists and locals have even come up with a ritual called the “Duval Pub Crawl” where they would hop from bar to bar throughout the night.
Inspired by the atmosphere of the Gulf of Mexico, the Latitudes restaurant is part of the Sunset Key Cottages hotel and has the look of a colonial villa. Located on the beachfront, between the interior and exterior, the restaurant offers a menu that includes traditional items such as avocado toasts and a variety of egg benedicts, a delicious main lobster roll, cubano sandwiches, and swordfish linguini, to allow guests to explore the various culinary influences of Florida. Of course, the Key Lime Pie, which originated in the Key West itself, is the must-try dessert.
Address: Sunset Key Cottages, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida
Breakfast and lunch:
Monday to Sunday – 07h to 14h15
Sunday to Thursday – 17h to 22h
Friday and Saturday – 17h to 23h
Overlooking 4.5 acres of pristine Miami beachfront and a carefully manicured lawn, speckled with palm trees and signature red beach umbrellas, the Acqualina Resort and Residences on the Beach is a haven of peace from the constantly buzzing Magic City, and an escape to a contemporary Mediterranean lifestyle.
In this two-tone, 51-storey building, half fresh butter yellow and half terracotta, guests will find a Mediterranean design, with chandeliers, outdoor terraces reminiscent of an Italian palazzo. Its 98 rooms and suites feature a soothing palette of white and grey tones, and sport a residential and contemporary design, with textured materials such as chenille velvets and exotic woven textiles, zebra wood and champagne bronze for the furniture, adding a typical Art Deco touch that Miami is so well known for. The floor-to-ceiling windows, right next to the bed, are perfect for enjoying the view of the ocean, day and night.
On the culinary front, guests are treated to 5 restaurants and bars. Avra Miami, the latest addition to the hotel’s gastronomic offering and located at the Estates at Acqualina, is accessible through an exclusive sky bridge adjacent to the Acqualina Resort. There, guests will be able to enjoy flavors from Greece, within a delightful indoor-outdoor décor of bougainvillea sprawling across the pergola, and an outdoor terrace where the sound of the waves act as a relaxing natural symphony.
Ke-Uh is the hotel’s Japanese restaurant, offering a tapas-style menu within a relaxed and elegant white rotunda. The Ke-Uh Bar, adjacent to the restaurant, has an arty interior decorated with pop art by Warhol or Lichtenstein. Guests can play chess or backgammon while enjoying cocktails and sake drinks.
The Mediterranean villa-style Costa Grill is a beachfront outlet, where guests can take a seat in the middle of the palm grove to enjoy light lunches or cocktails, while the Il Mulino New York brings to mind a Florentine diner, warm and inviting, with its dark wood cabinets and furniture. Their wine list features a large collection of Italian wines.
Finally, The AQ Gelato & Coffee Bar is a treat for those with a sweet tooth, with its variety of specialty coffee, gelato, custom-made pastries, homemade cookies, and more.
With over 6,000 square metres of dedicated space, the Acqualina Spa is a haven of peace that transforms every treatment into an experience and a journey. The spa provides guests with 11 state-of-the-art therapeutic rooms and 1 Royal Spa Suite, as well as an extensive menu of holistic, Ayurvedic massages and signature treatments such as the ESPA Soothing Body Oil massage or the Cryo T-Shock Body Treatment, as well as a slew of anti-aging treatments. Guests also have access to a Finnish sauna, a Crystal Steam Room, an oceanfront outdoor spa swimming pool, a heated jet pool with a Roman waterfall, and an oceanfront fitness centre, with personal training sessions by Miami-based Unlimited Fitness.
Address : 17875 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Transfer: 10 minutes from Miami International Airport
Opening seasons: All year
If the hotel is full or you wish to stay in a different hotel in Miami, the Lartisien collection also includes the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club and the W South Beach.