There are endless ways to spend your Saturday in Miami, but the day must begin BEFORE dawn to see the sunrise at the beach… South Beach! For some that means a very early morning jog. One of the most pleasant (and easiest) runs is along Miami Beach Boardwalk, a wooden walkway that snakes along the beach for about two miles between 21st and 46th streets.
On one side you’ll pass cafes, restaurants and party people making their way home from the night before. On the other side perfect ocean views and, if your timing is right, you’ll see the sliver of pink on the horizon as it tints the sky bright orange, kicking off another Miami day. For the less sportif, make your way to the tip of South Beach. South Pointe Park is a favorite local spot to watch the sunrise and the big cruise ships as they leave port. Sit on a bench, or sit cross-legged on the sand pretending to do yoga and join the local folk in welcoming the day.
Time for breakfast, so head for the South Beach strip’s most well-known sidewalk café, News Café right in the heart of the Art Deco District and the action. Speaking of “heart”, portions are huge, “a heart attack on a plate”, one in-the-know local says. But you’re not there for the breakfast alone, rather for the people watching. For something brand new, immensely more tranquil and healthier, have breakfast at the Traymore Restaurant on the terrace at the Metropolitan by COMO. The newly and stylishly renovated 1930’s Art Deco eatery has made-to-order wellness juices, house-made granola and a most fabulous egg-white omelet with kale and roast tomatoes. Caffeine junkies, nota bene: super espresso too!
From this classic Art Deco hotel, head out to learn about the architecture of the Deco period and visit more of these pastel gems of the 1930s and ’40s. The Art Deco Welcome Center hosts ninety minute walking tours and you’ll learn about a bygone era when personalities from Al Capone to Frank Sinatra peopled the glittery strip.
Today’s Miami is pretty glitzy too. A blast of new money steered to Miami from the ultra-rich in Latin America has made the city a must-visit for stylish sirens (and the rest of us window shoppers). It’s a fifteen-minute taxi hop to Miami’s Design District for some ritzy shopping at sleek boutiques, but first…lunch at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. Chef Michael is a James Beard award-winner but there’s nothing stuffy about the patio tables and wood-fired-oven roasted fish or lamb sausage pizza. Nearby are luxury emporiums like Hermes, Prada and bien sur, Celine!
If luxe shopping isn’t for you, there is a wonderful and under-exposed museum right in the Art Deco District. The Wolfsonian, which calls itself the “museum of thinkism”, has a delightfully strange collection of European and North American industrial design – cameras, clocks, radios and phonographs from 19th and early 20th century. One almost expects to hear the music of the Andrews Sisters in the background from a Bakelite radio. But most fun and a bit of a local secret is at the Wolfsonian’s café-bookstore, Dynamo. A great place to stop for lunch or coffee and a browse through the unusual collection of propaganda art books.
A trip to Miami isn’t complete without time at the beach to swim and watch the glam fashion shoots, but don’t stay too long. There are evening plans to be made. The party boys and girls will soon be getting ready to turn up the heat in Miami so it’s time for you to think about dinner and a club or dinner and the theater.
Dinner at Area 31, on the 16th floor of the Kimpton Epic Hotel is all about cityscape views, sustainable seafood and a stellar chef. From there you are about 3 minutes from the Adrienne Arsht Center designed by celebrity architect Caesar Pelli. The Arsht Center’s performances, everything from opera to hip hop, are a magnet for locals and visitors alike. Or for dinner and a club in one shot, try for hard-to-get reservations at Thea’s Supper Club. The under-the-radar place has a throwback romantic candlelit atmosphere with unfussy but elegant food and a Cuban band playing early 20th-century Havana ballads.
For the late nighters among you, head to nearby Latin dance club, Kukaramakara for some South American swank, musica en vivo with bands from places such as Columbia and Venezuela. Finally, if you can hang in that long, you can dance till almost dawn end up where you began, on the beach watching the sunrise over Miami.
Where to stay in Miami