Things are bustling in Miami’s South Beach. Every time I visit there are a million new places to explore. I try to spend a few days in Miami each year when I visit my parents an hour north near Palm Beach. After a few days of golfing, I just need to go explore the newest and greatest that Miami has to offer.
With a new Sixty Hotel set to open in the old Shore Club and a Four Seasons to take over the legendary Surf Club, things won’t be slowing down any time soon. Here’s a handful of things to keep you busy in South Beach.
WHERE TO STAY
The Miami Beach Edition
South Beach’s new kid on the block, The Miami Edition opened during art basel in December as a “next generation urban resort”. With Edition Hotels popping up in London, Istanbul, NYC, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and more, I was curious to check out what the hype was about. The hotel is modern, it’s glam, it’s historic. It’s very Miami but in the most tasteful way.
Thompson Miami Beach
Also, brand new, the Thompson boasts a yellow and blue poolside décor (my fave) and a mid-century allure with vibrant Palm Beach prints and colors. It’s retro at it’s at it’s finest with a strong youthful attitude.
Soho Beach House
British pedigree intermix with Latin flavor at this private club/hotel where leather club chairs sit atop patterned cuban tiled floors. The Soho Beach House answers to every traveler’s dreams: from the 100ft pool and stretch of private beach and bars or lounging spots around every corner—right down to straightening irons and fully-stocked Mad Men-esque wet bars in every guest room.
WHERE TO EAT
The new Jean-Georges Vongerichten dining room at the Edition Hotel blends old world glamour with Latin flavors. But it’s on the twinkly Matador Terrace overlooking the pool at night that magic happens.
Michelle Bernstein’s new talk-of-the-town restaurant is on Eater Miami’s heatmap right now. Seagrape serves a Florida-inspired locally-sourced menu in the familiar retro Miami setting of the Thompson Hotel.
Romantic venue “par excellence”, head to Soho House’s Cecconi’s restaurant to enjoy an approachable Italian fare and delicious cocktails under a canopy of twinkling lights wrapped silver button trees.
Known for its’ celebrity sightings and exclusive crowd, this private oasis tucked away on a residential street serves classic Northern Italian in an intimate dining room adorned with blue and white striped banquettes, wicker chairs and immaculately styled gallery bookcases. If Cecconi’s isn’t South Beach’s most romantic restaurant, Casa Tua is.
Sometimes you just need to escape the flashy South Beach scene, which is the perfect occasion to visit the up-and-coming Wynwood art District and it’s most promising establishment. If competing for America’s Best New Restaurant isn’t enough to convince you, just take my word for it: it’s delicious.
If you’re not going to José Andrés’s popular venue to catch a glimpse of the magnificent oversized coral chandelier (a staple in recent Philippe Starck-designed restaurants) you should go for what Zagat describes as “an unbelievable culinary experience”.
I’m generally a fan of every property that André Balazs touches, and the Lido Bayside Grill is no exception. With an outdoor dining room vaguely reminiscent of Sunset Beach‘s vibrant casual vibe, Lido seems like the perfect place to grab a healthy (it’s located in a wellness spa after all) and fresh Mediterranean-inspired lunch.
A long-time favorite of mine, the poolside dining at the Raleigh Hotel offers a simple American menu overlooking the historic pool of the Raleigh. Twinkle lights included.
27 Restaurant & Bar
You’d think that the 27 Restaurant located inside a bustling hostel is indicative of the crowd’s maximum age (and that’s being generous)— but for a late night cap, there’s no better place to grab a craft cocktail in a decidedly relaxed atmosphere.
WHAT TO DO
Let’s not pretend that most of us go to Miami for any reason other than to relax (or party, or go to Art Basel for the lucky ones). So find yourself a lounge chair by the pool of one of the aforementioned hotels and order yourself a jalapeno margarita and a fresh ceviche.
If you’re itching to go walk around and you’ve done a beach walk already, head to Wynwood District to see the labyrith of street art, galleries and foodie hotspots.
If it rains (which is rare) or simply for the pure irony of it, go ice skating in the basement of the Edition Hotel, or challenge your friends to a good old fashioned game of disco bowling.
WHAT TO PACK
For more of my favorite addresses around the world, check out the Directory.