Do you really think Will Smith would waste his time singing about a city that wasn’t worth a visit? Of course not. Miami remains a must-visit for anyone with a pulse: a sun-soaked, culture-packed, gourmet-food-centric paradise where, yes, the heat is on, all night on the beach till the break of dawn. Here’s everything you shouldn’t miss on your next trip.
Opened late last year, EAST offers its guests the absolute best of Miami before they’ve even left to explore the city. There are spacious rooms with jaw-dropping views of the skyline, two award-winning restaurants, a rooftop bar with a waitlist longer than the menu, and a pool deck that manages to overshadow the beach (which is a mere fifteen minutes away).
Named the #1 rooftop bar in America two years running by Condé Nast Traveler, this 40th-floor open-air lounge offers delicious Japanese and Chinese eats and cocktails that compliment the 270-degree views of Miami perfectly.
If you’re going to be in the heart of Miami, you’ll need to pick up a Cuban sandwich. But not just any old Cuban sandwich — you need to get the most authentic sandwich in the city. And for that, you’ll have to head to Enriqueta’s. In addition to its pitch perfect sandwiches — loaded with cheese, pork and pickles — the tiny, shabby-chic diner serves up a range of other Cuban favourites like ham croquetas and sweet Café Con Leché. Order in Spanish at the take-out window for extra points.
A taco spot by day and speakeasy by night, everything on Coyo’s menu is as fresh as can be. Guacamole is made to order, while tortillas are handcrafted on-site and piled high with locally-sourced vegetables, meat and seafood. After dark, the dimly-lit back room starts cranking tunes and serving an array of tequila from its specially curated wall of booze. Don’t be surprised if the dance floor spills out past the taco shop and onto the outdoor patio.
This once-neglected area of town has been transformed into a renowned graffiti hub, thanks to street artists from across the globe whose work adorns walls throughout the neighbourhood. Each wall is assigned to a specific artist, which means if the moods strikes, they can visit their wall and paint over its existing art to create something new as often as they please.
Perez Art Museum
PAM’s exterior is almost as beautiful as the works that hang within. The 200,000-square-foot waterfront facility overlooks Biscayne Bay in Museum Park and features a massive vertical garden intended to promote de-pollution. Inside, you’ll be treated to a wide, well-curated range of modern and contemporary exhibits — which, for a time, included an ode to Miami Vice, both the original TV show and the movie remake.
Brickell City Centre
Just steps away from EAST Hotel, this epic luxury shopping centre — which spans four floors and three city blocks — awaits, practically begging you to make it rain. Make sure you visit the mammoth 107,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue towards the end of your trip, otherwise you might get lost, never to be heard from again.
No trip to Miami is complete until you see a proper Latin-inspired cabaret. Along with a packed show that includes live music, burlesque and the kind of dancing that will bring you to your own uncoordinated feet, El Tucán indulges its guests with a delicious array of tapas-served bites. Be sure to order the infamous cocktail named after the club itself, which mixes vodka, lemon, watermelon, lychees and St. Germaine Liqueur in their signature copper Tucán, which, coincidentally, weighs too much to sneak out the door. Trust us.
Ball & Chain
This authentic Cuban bar and restaurant in Little Havana originally opened its doors in 1938 and hosted performances from the likes of Billie Holiday. It was closed in 1950, but reopened a mere two years later because it was just that beloved. All of the original artwork and photographs from the golden age of Ball & Chain are still hanging on its walls, and the drinks served have been favourites since the very beginning.