Check out a few of our favorite hotspots in Miami and Hollywood.
With its 24/7 action and entertainment, powdery white sand beaches and celebrity appeal, Miami is a cosmopolitan hub with a tropical-meets-sultry allure. Upon arrival, you’ll instantly be transported to a vacation state of mind. One of the busiest airports in the world, Miami International Airport serves more than 150 destinations around the globe, but as soon as you step off that airplane, your most difficult decision will be whether you should start with a mojito, a piña colada or both.
Downtown & Brickell
Located on the mainland, downtown and the surrounding districts make up the city’s urban core. Skyscrapers shoot up from the coastline revealing sea-to-sky panoramic views with a metropolitan feel. Explore the heart of downtown where you’ll find elite cultural institutions on the waterfront like the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat. Home to luxury brand boutiques and great restaurants, Brickell City Centre is a high-end, multi-level urban mall spanning several city blocks in Brickell. Be sure to visit nearby Mary Brickell Village, a popular nightlife and dining district frequented by Miami’s young and hip crowd.
Miami Design District, Wynwood & Little Havana
Just north of downtown, the Miami Design District is an artsy neighborhood with uber-luxe boutiques featuring the who’s who of fashion royalty. Peruse the nearby Wynwood Arts District, a unique neighborhood with once neglected warehouse buildings that have been reimagined into international art galleries, one-of-a-kind shops and funky local eateries. It’s also home to graffiti-clad Wynwood Walls and one of the largest outdoor street art installations in the world.
For authentic eats and entertainment, Little Havana is Miami’s ode to Cuban culture. Famed Calle Ocho is the heart and soul of this vibrant neighborhood and you can almost always find a lively game of dominos taking place at Domino Park. One of the most well-known Cuban restaurants on Calle Ocho is Versailles, where you can find authentic baked goods, Cuban coffee and more. Also, visit the Little Havana Welcome Center for a great list of additional hotspots serving pastelitos, empanadas, cortaditos and, of course, Cuban sandwiches. Make sure you also tour one of the popular cigar factories like El Titan de Bronze and Cuban Crafters. Every last Friday of the month, head to Calle Ocho between 13th and 17th Avenues for Viernes Culturales, a street festival featuring local art, music and culture. And for salsa dancing and great Latin bands, Ball & Chain is the place to practice your moves.
Coral Gables & Coconut Grove
Sandwiched between Latin-infused Little Havana and seaside Coconut Grove, Coral Gables is a Mediterranean-style village with stunning historic homes and architecture. Offering the perfect place to cool off, the serene 1920s-era Venetian Pool is a system of waterfalls and coral rock formations connected by a large swimming lagoon. Nearby, wet your whistle at one of the many watering holes that line the Miracle Mile, a dining and shopping destination in the heart of downtown Coral Gables.
Situated on a beautiful stretch of coastline and nestled under a lush tropical canopy, Coconut Grove is home to an eclectic group of artists, families, sailors, entrepreneurs and bohemian-style hippies. Located on the waterfront, Peacock Park hosts a variety fun events like the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Like the name of the park suggests, keep an eye out for those colorful birds. Wild peacocks tend to roam the surrounding residential areas. And just up the street, you’ll find a great collection of artisan restaurants and local shops.
South Beach & the Barrier Islands
For a party vibe with some of the best people-watching in the world, South Beach is Miami’s crown jewel. Located at the southern tip of Miami Beach, travelers flock to this sandy paradise to see and be seen. And it’s the undisputed fashion capital of the tropics. Just like you’ve witnessed in the movies, Ocean Drive is lined with neon-lit, pastel buildings on one side and a drop-dead gorgeous beach on the other. At 10th and Ocean, visit the Art Deco Welcome Center where you can learn about those iconic Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern (MiMo) structures.
Another Miami Beach hotspot, Lincoln Road Mall is an open air, pedestrian-only promenade flanked by palm trees, fashion boutiques and popular sidewalk cafés. Art, culture and entertainment abound at the New World Center and its Soundscape Park, where you can bring lawn chairs and a picnic to watch movies and music projected on a giant outdoor wall. The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater is a great place to catch live shows by popular music artists and comedians. This area is the central hub for major events like Art Basel, a word-class art show held each December.
Warm days fade into sizzling evenings as well-heeled crowds dine at the finest local restaurants like Joe’s Stone Crab, a Miami Beach institution for more than a century. Or visit one of the romantic restaurants that line picturesque Española Way—with its Spanish colonial architecture, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a European village. Top it off with a late night of lively music and neon lights at a swanky A-list nightclub like LIV and STORY. The club scene in Miami Beach is all about high fashion and style, so make sure you dress to impress and arrive early to increase your chances at making it past those red velvet ropes.
If more of a laid-back vibe is what you’re after, there are plenty of beaches along Miami’s coast that will provide you with a little rest and relaxation. Home to a popular fishing pier, Sunny Isles Beach is a picture-perfect stretch of sand with crystal clear water and a carefree ambiance. Visit Oleta River State Park for tranquil kayaking through meandering waterways, or simply unwind under an umbrella on the beach. Key Biscayne is an idyllic island with two family-friendly public beach parks, as well as the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse. Climb the 109 steps to the top, look out at Biscayne Bay and you’ll spot Stiltsville—seven vintage houses on stilts hovering above the salt flats. If you rent a boat, you can get closer to these historic structures that were popular for rumrunners during Prohibition.
Situated on the coast between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood is centrally located to everything there is to do in South Florida—especially shopping. Stuff your suitcase with hot new finds from Aventura Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the country. Once you’ve filled those shopping bags to the brim, check out the jaw-dropping ocean views along the Hollywood Broadwalk. It’s a great place to ride bicycles and check out the mom and pop-style restaurants that line the beach. Then visit ArtsPark at Young Circle in downtown Hollywood for food trucks, art classes and live music. Nearby you’ll find a collection of curated outdoor murals by internationally recognized artists. Spend some time exploring the 1,500-acre coastal mangrove wetlands inside the Anne Kolb Nature Center, where you can kayak or hike along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.