Miami made easy

By | Category: Travel destinations

As Miami Beach celebrates its 100th anniversary, we’ve got the low-down on where to join the party

Out and about
The beach is the glue binding Miami society and deservedly so: Miami boasts some of the best beaches in the States. Yet while the sun splashed shores and ocean are a powerful lure for most, there’s plenty of other action in this town to keep you entertained. Tempting though it is to stay slumbering in the sun, be sure to explore Sobe’s art deco district. Art Deco – a term used to describe certain buildings and objects from the 1920s – is Miami’s signature style. Indeed Miami has the largest concentration of deco in the world and all of the hottest hotels feature deco details (read streamlined symmetry, friezes, glass blocks, curved edges and corners). To learn more about the movement, where to go and what to look for, pay a visit to the Art Deco Welcome Center. Miami also has a myriad of museums but the best is Casa Casuarina – a gaudy but gorgeous mansion also referred to as the Versace House. For many years, the house where fashion mogul, Gianni Versace, lived and died was only open to a privileged few but it has now opened its doors to the masses – or anyone who wants to cough up 65 bucks. The hour long tour takes in Gianni’s central courtyard, dining room, lounges, pool and a look at the marble toilet – one of only three in the world.


Best bites
The Magic City has a warren of restaurants with gourmet ambitions all dedicated to feeding you up. For a casual lunch, check out the institution that is the News Café where you can nosh while watching a parade of scantily clad beauties walking or roller blading by – it maybe a cliché but its fact. Alternatively fill your stomach to bursting point at Jerry’s Famous Deli. No matter what you’re craving in the comfort food genre, this much loved 24 hour Jewish food emporium will have it. Bagels? Check. Pizza? Check. Pasta? Check. The place is invariably almost always packed with locals and tourists alike trying to stave off hangovers. Meanwhile politicians and power brokers gather for lunch at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink  – hailed by The New York Times as one of the top 10 new restaurants in America. Make no mistake: cuisine such as shiitake mushroom pizza and baby beet and heirloom salad is delicious, but it’s the schmoozing that really adds spice to this landmark. From lunch to late night… seek out The Setai’s restaurant. Culinary sensations such as octopus sashimi with tomato jelly, blue fin tuna tataki with sticky rice, fried crab and sesame balls are light enough that you won’t leave too full to hit the clubs.

Bayside Miami

After dark
For post dinner drinks, seek out the Sky Bar a red hot and happening venue patronised by perma tanned models and modelisers. Then stop off at Ian Schrager’s surreal Delano Hotel – a much loved local icon with a façade that makes Buckingham Palace look like a Travel Lodge and enough marble to rival Rome. The hotel’s Rose Bar boasts a lively scene straight out of the society pages of Hello! and offers late night eats, a club like atmosphere and – most importantly for Miamians – a fully stocked bar. Aim to end your evening at The Mansion – an achingly cool club where you can dance away any calories consumed.


Top shops
Miami is a world beating, over draft shattering shopper’s town. Drop some dollars down Espanola Way – a European strip lined with beautiful boutiques (there’s no brand bland here) and quirky art galleries. Lovely Lincoln Road – an open air mall – is another lively place to stroll overflowing as it is with funky shops stocked with sexy tees and skinny jeans sporting four figure price tags, indie book stores and cafes which spill out onto the side walks. Shopping aside, the people watching at Lincoln Road is among the best. The pedestrian esplanade is packed with leggy models, real estate gurus, socialites, gold diggers and Italian playboys for whom the main uniform is an exotic pampered pooch.


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