This multicultural metropolis has an outsize Caribbean and Latin influence on its food, art, music and culture — not to mention beautiful weather year-round. Wynwood and the Miami Design District are vibrant neighborhoods, with ever-evolving dining and shopping, plus the South Beach nightlife is world-famous.
Explore the burgeoning (and predominantly Dominican) Allapattah neighborhood, one of the hottest up-and-coming cultural destinations with artistic attractions like Superblue, the Rubell Museum and Jorge Pérez’s El Espacio 23, along with exciting new restaurants and bars. Michelin publishes a Miami guide now, too, shining an international spotlight on the city’s culinary scene.
You’ll have to cross the Rickenbacker Causeway to get to this island oasis, but the tranquil Caribbean-inspired resort feels a world away from the Miami Beach party scene and the bustling Central Business District. There are several tempting dining options at this oceanfront property, plus an expansive club lounge, a glorious spa and two pools with private cabanas — meaning it’s easy to settle in for a week and never leave the property. Indulge in a nourishing coconut body ritual or look red carpet ready after an oxygen-infusing HydraFacial.
Little ones will love learning about sea life and environmental responsibility at the kids’ club in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. Adults should listen for the conch horn each evening calling guests to enjoy a sailor’s ration of complimentary Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum.
Sisters Isabel and Susana Garcia Nevett use the best single-origin Venezuelan cacao for their confections. These master chocolatiers are always coming up with new flavors, often inspired by the tropical fruits and desserts of their childhood. The vanilla rum truffle, for example, is a riff on their father’s favorite baba au rhum. “Our kids are our brand ambassadors, and the whole family is our test kitchen,” says Isabel. You’ll find bars, bonbons, cakes, cookies and more at their Coral Gables storefront — and you may even glimpse chocolatiers working in the kitchen through the glass panel behind the counter.
Songstress Jennifer Lopez named Garcia Nevett one of her favorite Latina-owned businesses, and the acclaim keeps rolling in. Try the tupelo honey cardamom, rum apricot, and chili caramel bonbons, all of which earned accolades at the International Chocolate Awards. And stock up on guava sandwich cookies dipped in dark chocolate to take home (trust us on this one).
It’s only fitting that the Rubell Museum’s restaurant serves culinary works of art as exquisite as the contemporary artwork adorning the walls. Classic tapas like truffled tortilla Española (Spanish omelet), slices of Ibérico ham, and gambas al ajillo with garlicky Key West pink shrimp all pair wonderfully with a Spanish cider or gin and tonic. There are a few surprises, too, like butterflied whole branzino drenched in a rich fish broth/olive oil glaze as well as smoked vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Executive Chef Carlos Garcia was born in Venezuela and honed his cooking chops at Spanish hot spots El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz, one of the most esteemed Basque eateries in San Sebastián. Unsurprisingly, Leku is a favorite venue for private parties during Art Basel. The dining room opens onto a foliage-filled garden, and the industrial, art-centric design is balanced with lush subtropical plants.
This charming concept store in Coconut Grove is Miami’s best kept shopping secret for an effortlessly chic look. Fashion maven Natalie Pons makes everyone feel like an old friend, styling each guest from head to toe in the most flattering pieces. The wardrobe assortment here is refined but relaxed, including denim, tees, sweats, knits and dresses. Plus most of the accessories on offer are from female-run brands like Clare V. and Kerri Rosenthal.
There’s also hand-thrown pottery, stunning tableware you’ll want to use every day, books to inspire in the kitchen and beyond, specialty food products to give meals a gourmet touch, and rotating artist-in-residence exhibits. “Fall brings about a feeling of comfort, cozy nights in, cooking more at home and Sundays on the couch,” Pons shares. “I am here for all of it.”
Fresh off his first Michelin star for Stubborn Seed last year, Top Chef champ Jeremy Ford continues to push Miami’s palate with his new Coral Gables eatery. The menu is meant to be shared, starting with table snacks like jamón Ibérico croquetas and house-cured coriander guanciale. Lots of global spices are incorporated, like berbere and persimmon jam to brighten up chicken liver mousse, and turmeric vinaigrette on a seemingly simple but absolutely delicious salad of local lettuces. Order the 44-ounce wagyu tomahawk for the table right away if you’re so inclined; it takes an hour to prepare but is well worth it. Desserts, like the apple Dutch baby pancake by pastry chef Ana De Sa Martins, are a must. If you normally skip sweets, the foie gras green apple truffle tart is listed as an appetizer but is a picture-perfect finish.
Since opening in May 2021, Superblue has quickly become Miami’s premier immersive art experience, pushing the boundaries of what a museum can and should be, with 30,000 square feet of flexible space for presentations of large-scale works, along with performances, workshops and family programs. The inaugural exhibition, Every Wall is a Door, features James Turrell’s disorienting “Ganzfeld” installation in monochromatic blue with reflection holograms and Es Devlin’s “Forest of Us,” inspired by the bronchial trees that exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide within our bodies. Viewers walk through the film into a mirror maze before contemplating light boxes by Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado depicting deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. And don’t miss “Pulse Topology,” an immersive biometric artwork consisting of 3,000 suspended light bulbs, each of which glimmers to the heartbeat of different participants.
Even the outdoor Blue Rider cafe, constructed of shipping containers, is a veritable art exhibit, transformed by British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Yinka Ilori with colorful murals and layered patterns showcasing Nigerian parables and West African fabrics.