There is always something new to discover in the Magic City, from innovative restaurants and stylish hotels to one-off boutiques and thought-provoking museums. Here, our list of the 9 coolest things to do in Miami now.
SEE: Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum
The just-opened Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum, the latest mega-museum to hit Miami’s Museum Park, replaces a much-loved but outdated museum in Coconut Grove with an eye-popping, $305-million building overlooking Biscayne Bay. Among the highlights inside: an aquarium featuring a 500,000-gallon tank that's home to sharks and tropical fish; a 30-foot-long feathered dinosaur; and a 250-seat planetarium, which hosts laser shows and other performances.
Explore the art-lined streets of Wynwood, a permanent fixture on the global arts map since 2009 when developer Tony Goldman opened Wynwood Walls—the open-air mural gallery that showcases a rotating roster of world-renowned street artists including Shepard Fairey, Miss Van, and Os Gemeos. Around the Walls, other murals have popped up on the storefronts of new cafés and restaurants. Most notable is Wynwood Arcade, an open-air center housing boutiques and restaurants surrounded by large-scale murals from multiple artists.
SEE: Faena Arts District
There’s way more to see up at Faena than Damien Hirst's iconic golden wooly mammoth skeleton at Faena Hotel (although it is pretty epic). Argentine developer Alan Faena is not-so-gradually transforming the swath of Miami Beach near his hotel into a cultural hub dubbed the Faena Arts District. So far there's the Faena Forum, an airy events space that regularly hosts art programs and exhibits, and the red-and-gold Faena Theater, where visitors can attend performances of C’est Rouge, a cabaret-like show set to Latin American and jazz rhythms.
DO: Brickell City Centre
The new Brickell City Centre is a massive, billion dollar retail and lifestyle complex that spans nine acres. A clutch of buzzy international brands has chosen to open their first American outposts here, including Italian shoe legend Bruno Magli, up-and-coming British swimsuit retailer Olebar Brown, and Italian accessories and fashion darling Acqua di Parma.
DANCE: Envie at the Royal Palm South Beach Miami, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
It's no surprise that Miami is one of the country’s top destinations for nightlife (just look to the sprawling, perennially packed nightclubs on almost every corner in South Beach). But Envie, which just opened at the Royal Palm South Beach Miami, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, offers a much more intimate experience. With a capacity of just 200, it's the perfect spot to get your groove on without having to wait in an hours-long line for a drink. When the city's beauty set aren't jiving to the music (house on the weekends, hip-hop on Tuesdays), you'll find them relaxing on the purple sofas or at the mirrored gold and silver bar.
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DRINK: Sugar Rooftop at EAST, Miami
Go for drinks at Sugar, on the 40th floor of the new EAST, Miami hotel, whose lush, jungle-like plant gardens and ornately carved wooden bar were designed to evoke Southeast Asia, but with jaw-dropping views over Miami. Settle into one of the intimate seating nooks and order a Lychee Blossom, the bar’s dangerously smooth mix of vodka, sake, and lychee fruit, or go for the Sesame Sling, made with Tanqueray gin, mango, key lime, hibiscus, and sesame.
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EAT: Tatel Miami at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
You have pop star Enrique Iglesias, tennis pro Rafael Nadal, and NBA All-Star Pau Gasol to thank for Tatel, an outpost of the wildly popular Madrid restaurant that's become Miami’s hot new Spanish food spot located inside the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. The trio of Spaniards knew what they were doing when they brought on executive chef Nicolas Mazier (previously of Nobu Miami), who prepares expertly crafted traditional Iberian dishes including Ibérico ham croquettes, Spanish omelettes, and garlic prawns.
EAT: Bazaar Mar by José Andrés at the SLS Brickell
After wowing locals in 2012 with SLS South Beach’s restaurant, The Bazaar, Chef José Andrés and designer Philippe Starck are back again with Bazaar Mar, a seafood spot at the new SLS Brickell (ironically on the mainland). Starck’s white-and-blue interiors resemble a nautical fantasyland, with intricate tile mermaids and oversized fish sculptures jumping off the walls. As for the menu, expect seafood classics revamped Andrés-style. The California “funnel cake,” for example, is a deconstructed California roll, with seaweed, cucumber, Maryland blue crab, and flying fish roe—all served on a silver dish shaped like an octopus.
SNACK: Bachour Bakery + Bistro
Bachour Bakery + Bistro is a delicious tale of two chefs: Antonio Bachour, who handles the pastries, and Henry Hané, who mans the savory dishes, are a high-power duo: Bachour’s a James Beard House semifinalist hailing from Scarpetta and St. Regis Bal Harbour, while Hané has trained around the world, including stints at several two-Michelin starred restaurants. When they opened their joint venture in March, they gave Brickell office-workers and visitors a new favorite snack spot. Try Bachour’s buttery croissants and brioches, or go for Hané’s veggie-focused tartines and small plates, like the carbonara made with Israeli couscous and pork belly.